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headlines from the caspian: april 30, 2024

Headlines from the Caspian: April 30, 2024

Author: Caspian Policy Center

Apr 30, 2024

Energy and Economy


Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghan Taliban Government Agree to Boost Transport

At an April 27 meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, the governments of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan reached an agreement to improve transportation infrastructure within Afghanistan. The three parties also agreed to ease tariffs on goods transiting from China through Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan before exiting to Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern markets. The agreement will also allow more goods to enter Afghanistan at lower cost.

Source: Astana Times

Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan Sign MoUs

As a part of Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov’s working visit to Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan signed several memoranda of understanding (MoUs). Following the bilateral meetings between the presidents and the second meeting of the Interstate Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Kyrgyz Republic, the two sides signed MoUs in the fields of health, energy, transportation, customs harmonization, migration, and legal affairs. Additionally, the economy ministers of the two countries signed an agreement on the establishment of the Joint Azerbaijani-Kyrgyz Development Fund.

Source: President of the Republic of Azerbaijan 

Kazakhstan Aims to Produce 60 bcm of Natural Gas in 2024

According to the forecasts announced by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy and QazaqGas, Kazakhstan expects to produce approximately 60.456 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas in 2024. The ministry stated that more than 85% of Kazakhstan’s gas production is provided by the “Tengiz” (27%), “Karachaganak” (38%) and “Kashagan” (20%) projects.

Source: Caspian Barrel

Türkiye Eyes LNG Deal with ExxonMobil 

In an interview with the Financial Times, Türkiye’s Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar stated that talks are underway between Türkiye and ExxonMobil for the purchase of up to 2.5 million tons of LNG a year through a long-term deal. According to Bayraktar, Türkiye is aiming to build “a new supply portfolio” to reduce its dependance on a single supplier.

Source: Reuters

Security and Politics


Protests in Tavush Region as Armenia Preps Return of Villages to Azerbaijan

Local Armenians living in the district of Tavush are protesting the planned return to Azerbaijan of four villages that had been a part of Azerbaijan until the outbreak of the first Nagorno-Karabakh war in 1992. Local Armenians have been blocking roads around Tavush and protests have spread to Yerevan as well. The decision to return the villages to Azerbaijan has been supported by Azerbaijan, Armenia, the United States, and the European Union.

Source: RFE/RL

Tajikistan Issues “Temporary Advisory” Asking Citizens to Refrain from Travel to Russia

On April 27, the Tajik Foreign Ministry warned citizens to temporarily cease travel to Russia. The announcement came after the government raised concerns over the treatment of Central Asians in Russia since the Crocus City Hall attack and Russia’s subsequent crackdown on Tajiks entering the country. The Ministry added that nearly 1,000 Tajiks are currently stranded at Russian airports. 

Source: RFE/RL

Aliyev and Putin Hold Talks in Moscow

On April 22, President of Azerbaijani Ilham Aliyev met for one-on-one talks with Russian President Vladamir Putin. Public statements offered during the meeting focused on the 50th anniversary of the Baikal-Amur Mainline railway (BAM), as well as boosting north-south transportation and commerce. The meeting came on the heels of Russia’s peacekeepers withdrawing from Karabakh. 

Source: President of Russia

Secretary Blinken Holds Phone Calls with Aliyev and Pashinyan

On April 28, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by phone with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Secretary Blinken welcomed Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s agreement to use the 1991 Alma Ata Declaration as a basis for border delimitation, and reiterated U.S. support for the progress between the two sides to reach a durable peace. During the call with President Aliyev, it was mentioned that the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan will soon hold a meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan, as per the proposal of the Kazakh side, to further negotiations on the peace treaty. 

Source: U.S. Department of State, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Shanghai Cooperation Council Ministerial Meeting Held in Kazakhstan

On April 26, Kazakhstan hosted the Ministerial Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Council, an intergovernmental organization comprised of Asian and Middle Eastern countries. While there, Russian Defense Minsiter Sergei Shoigu met with his Iranian counterpart and announced their countries would be upgrading security cooperation. Shoigu also met with Chinese military officials. 

Source: Al-Monitor, Associated Press

Aliyev Visits Germany for Petersburg Climate Dialogue

On April 25, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev embarked on a working visit to Germany. During the trip, Aliyev participated in the High-Level Segment of the 15th Petersburg Climate Dialogue and held talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Scholz welcomed the progress achieved in border delimitation between Armenia and Azerbaijan and emphasized Germany’s willingness to support both sides in finding a lasting solution. Scholz also spoke about Azerbaijan’s hosting of COP29, as well as the interest of German companies in investing in green-energy development of the region.

Source: Trend News Agency

Sources: Al-Monitor, Associated Press, Astana Times, Caspian Barrel, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of Russia, Reuters, RFE/RL, Trend News Agency, U.S. Department of State

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