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headlines from the caspian: april 24, 2023

Headlines from the Caspian: April 24, 2023

Author: Caspian Policy Center

Apr 24, 2023

Image source: CPC

Energy and Economy 


Kazakhstan Ships 80,000 Tons of Oil to Romania

On April 22, KazMunayGaz reported that 80,000 tons of oil was successfully delivered from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline to the Romanian Petromidia oil refinery owned by KMG. This is part of an agreement signed in November 2022 in which Kazakhstan will ship 1.5 million tons of oil through Azerbaijan’s BTC pipeline to reach alternative routes. 

Source: AstanaTimes

China and Türkiye to Develop Power Transmission Networks in Uzbekistan

China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co., Ltd. (CET) and Türkiye's Şa-ra Enerji İnşaat Ticaret ve Sanayi A.Ş will begin developing a high voltage power transmission network in Tashkent city and the Sirdarya region of Uzbekistan. Uzbek Energy Minister Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov and Yu Jun, the General Manager of CET, have signed an agreement to increase power production in Uzbekistan. 

Source: Silk Road Briefing 

Kashagan Operator Contests $5.1 Billion Fine

The Kashagan oil field operator, North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), is asking courts to drop the charges from its environmental compliance inspections of its offshore and onshore facilities. In March, the Atyrau regional department of the Kazakh Environmental Protection Ministry charged NCOC with 2.3 trillion tenge ($5.1 billion) for environmental compliance violations, but now NCOC is arguing that the inspections lost their legal validity when the department made their findings public.

Source: Upstream Online

Air China Launches Direct Flights to Astana

On April 21, Air China launched the first direct flight to Kazakhstan’s Astana through the Beijing-Xi'an-Astana route. Regular flights in this direction will be operated three times a week, increasing the number of direct flights between China and Kazakhstan from 13 to 19 flights per week.

Source: MenaFN

Security and Policy


Israel Opens Embassy in Turkmenistan

On April 20, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen inaugurated a new embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, less than 15 miles from the Iranian border. During his visit, he met with Turkmenistan’s President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, and his Turkmen counterpart Raşit Meredow.

Source: The Times of Israel

Azerbaijan Sets Up Checkpoint on the Lachin Corridor 

On April 23, Azerbaijan’s State Border Service announced that an Azerbaijani checkpoint was created on the road along the Lachin corridor leading to Karabakh. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry stated that the checkpoint “shall be implemented in interaction with the Russian peacekeeping force.” The road checkpoint was established on the road that is currently the only route connecting Armenia to Karabakh, and the Azerbaijani side claimed that it was essential due to what it described as Armenia's use of the road to transport weapons.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Eurasianet

Armenia Hosts First Trilateral Meeting with Iran and India

On April 20, Armenia hosted the first trilateral consultations with Iran and India in Yerevan. The meetings involved deputies and assistants in the foreign ministries of the three countries, specifically focusing on “economic issues and regional communication channels.” The sides agreed to further continue consultations in the trilateral format.

Source: Eurasianet

Kazakhstan Cancels Military Parade on May 9

On April 24, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement announcing that the military parades dedicated to Defender of the Fatherland Day on May 7 and Victory Day on May 9 will not be held due to save money. According to the statement, the priority at the moment is “to maintain the required level of combat readiness and mobility of the units of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan.”

Source: Vestnik Kavkaza

Sources: Astana Times, Eurasianet, The Jerusalem Post, Mena FM, Silk Road Briefing, The Times of Israel, Upstream Online, Vestnik Kavkaza

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