Headlines from the Caspian: August 30, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Aug 31, 2022
Energy and Economy
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan Sign Agreements
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan signed strategic cooperation deals aimed at boosting bilateral relations in a meeting between Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Baku on August 24. The signed deals outlined cooperation efforts in sectors including energy, transportation, digital development. The “Comprehensive Program on the Development of Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2022-2026” signifies efforts to work towards greater regional cohesion at the 30-year mark of diplomatic relations between the countries.
Source: Caspian News
Turkmenistan Signs Pipeline Contract with China
On August 29, Turkmennebit, the national oil company of Turkmenistan, received signed approval from Turkmenistan President, Serdar Berdimmuhamedov, to purchase 2,309 tons of drilling pipes from China’s King Ease company. Turkmenistan’s gas reserves recently increased by five trillion cubic meters after the discovery of 149 gas and gas condensate fields, and this purchase will open the new fields to investments from China, Russia, and Europe.
Kazakhstani Holding Company Purchases Sber Bank Subsidiary
Baiterek National Managing Holding has signed an agreement with Sber Bank to purchase the entire stake of the latter’s Kazakhstani subsidiary branch. Previously, several Kazakhstani Banks stopped accepting payment from Sber Bank Kazakhstan to avoid running afoul of international sanctions.
Source: Fergana News Agency
Security and Politics
Armenia and Azerbaijan Leaders Agree to Meet
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have reportedly agreed to meet in Brussels on August 31. The meeting will be mediated by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. This will be the first meeting of the two heads of state since May 22.
Control of Lachin City and Villages Handed Over to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan received control of Lachin City and several villages. This falls in line with the provisions of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement that gives Azerbaijan control of the Lachin corridor “within the next three years.”
United States Appoints New Co-Chair to the OSCE Minsk Group
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that he was appointing Ambassador Phillip Reeker to serve as the U.S. OSCE Co-Chair to the Minsk Group and Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations. Ambassador Reeker has previously served as Charge d’Affaires to the United Kingdom, Acting Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia, and Ambassador to North Macedonia.
Source: Department of State
Kazakhstan Announces a Halt of its Arms Exports
Kazakhstan has announced the decision to halt arms exports for a year. Kazakhstan produces artillery vehicles, machine guns, night visors, grenades, protective gear, and a wide range of other military equipment. Kazakhstan’s government gave no immediate reason for the suspension of its military exports
(Sources: Caspian News, Department of State, Eurasianet, Fergana News Agency, Report.az, Reuters, RFE/RL, Silk Road Briefing, Turkmenistan News Gazette)