Headlines from the Caspian, December 13, 2021
Author:Caspian Policy Center
Dec 13, 2021
Energy and Economy
Asian Development Bank Provides Uzbekistan with $100 Million Dollar Loan
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided Uzbekistan with a $100 million dollar loan for market reform and building a better business environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country. The ADB is also providing $250,000 in technical assistance to Uzbekistan’s government to encourage government agency business reform.
Source: Market Screener
Kazakhstan’s First 5G City
One of Kazakhstan’s largest mobile networks, Kcell, announced that it will set up a fully 5G city in Turkistan in partnership with a multinational networking telecommunications company, Ericsson. This will increase connectivity in the region and encourage artificial intelligence development.
BP and SOCAR Buy Petronas’ shares in the Shah Deniz Field
BP and SOCAR have exercised their preemption rights in the Shah Deniz field to buy, from Petronas, a further 1.2 and a 4.4 percent stake in the joint partnership respectively. The original deal between Petronas and Lukoil would have increased the Russian firm’s share of the field to over 25 percent. Now, after BP and SOCAR exercised their preemption rights, Lukoil will have a 19.99 percent share in Shah Deniz.
Source: Energy Voice
Armenia’s Minister of Economy Meets with France’s Ambassador to Armenia
A meeting on December 10th between Armenia’s Minister of Economy, Vahan Kerobyan, and France’s Ambassador to Armenia, Anne Louyot, focused on reinforcing economic cooperation. Earlier this year, the Armenian-French economic cooperation plan of 2021-2026 was signed by both parties, deepening the economic ties between the two countries and creating a five year action plan.
Tajikistan’s Ambassador Meets with Turkey’s Minister of Trade
Tajikistan’s Ambassador to Turkey, Ashrad Gulov, and Turkey’s Trade Minister Mehmet Mush met on December 11. The creation of a roadmap to increase trade between the two states between 2022-2025 was proposed, and strategies to increase investment, banking, energy, and transportation were discussed.
Security and Politics
Released Detainees Arrested in Armenia
On December 4, Azerbaijan released a group of Armenian detainees to Armenia. After their return, charges were filed against 5 of the detainees. The servicemen are charged with breaching the rules of on-duty combat service.
Secretary General of NATO to Meet Azerbaijan’s President
President Aliyev of Azerbaijan will meet with NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg during a visit to NATO Headquarters on December 14. The meeting comes as President Aliyev travels to NATO and will also attend a meeting of the North Atlantic Council.
3+3 Peace Summit Talks Occur in Moscow
On December 10, the deputy foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Russia, and Turkey met in Moscow to kick off the first meeting of the 3+3 Regional Advisory Platform. The 3+3 format of talks are meant to include the three South Caucasus states, as well as Iran, Russia, and Turkey to promote conflict resolution and regional integration. Both subjects were discussed during this meeting. Georgia refrained from participating in the meeting on December 10.
Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS
Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of provocations and breaking the ceasefire agreement in the most recent round of clashes. On December 9, fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces was reported.
Secretary Blinken Says NATO Doors Open to Georgia, Ukraine
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed that NATO doors remain open to Georgia and Ukraine, referencing the 2008 Bucharest Summit decision that the two countries will eventually become members of the Alliance. The comments came after Moscow insisted the Alliance “formally disavow” the Bucharest Summit decision.
Kyrgyzstan Detains Suspected Perpetrator of 2017 Istanbul Nightclub Attack
In a statement on December 10, Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security announced it had detained a suspect for their involvement in the 2017 New Year’s Eve attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey. The attack, which the Islamic State claimed responsibility for, killed 39 citizens from 18 countries and wounded dozens more.
President of the European Council to Host Armenian Prime Minister and Azerbaijani President for Trilateral Talks on December 15
On the sidelines of the EU Eastern Partnership summit, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, will host Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels for talks on December 15. Michel will first hold bilateral talks individually with the two leaders and then a trilateral meeting between President Aliyev, Prime Minister Pashinyan, and Michel.
(Sources: Armenpress, Azernews, Asiaplus, AstanaTimes, Civil.ge, Energy Voice, Eurasianet, Foreign Policy, Market Screener, NATO, News.am,RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty)