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headlines from the caspian: december 4, 2023

Headlines from the Caspian: December 4, 2023

Author: Caspian Policy Center

Dec 4, 2023

Image source: meganstarr.com

Energy and Economy

 

Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan Join the Global Methane Pledge at COP28

On December 2, on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, Kazakhstan formally joined the Global Methane Pledge, prioritizing the reduction of methane emissions. Turkmenistan has also joined the pledge, bringing the total participation to 155 governments. Now, four of the five Central Asian governments have joined the pledge, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. 

Source: Astana Times, Mirage News

China and Turkmenistan Pledge to Increase Cooperation

On November 29, the Chinese Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang held meetings with Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedov in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. According to statements by Xuexiang, Turkmen-Chinese relations had been upgraded to a “comprehensive strategic partnership” during Berdimuhamedov’s January trip to Beijing. This latest visit reportedly resulted in an agreement to “expand security cooperation, further deepen counterterrorism cooperation, and jointly combat the ‘three forces’” - terrorism, religious extremism, and separatism. 

Source: South China Morning Post

ACWA Power and PowerChina Commence Construction of Green Hydrogen Power Plant in Uzbekistan

On December 1, China’s state-owned PowerChina and the Saudi-owned ACWA Power began constructing the first green hydrogen power plant in Uzbekistan, marking PowerChina’s first overseas green hydrogen project and Central Asia’s first green hydrogen project to move into the construction phase. This power plant, powered by a wind farm, is set to produce 3,000 metric tons of green hydrogen annually and will be used to produce 500,000 tons of ammonia fertilizer per year.

Source: Reuters

Azerbaijan and the EU to Update Their Energy Partnership Agreement

According to Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, Azerbaijan and the European Union (EU) have agreed to amend the implementation roadmap for the Strategic Energy Partnership Agreement signed between the sides in July 2022. The agreement was reached on the sidelines of COP28, where Shahbazov held a meeting with EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson.

Source: Trend News Agency

Azerbaijani Energy Minister Shakhbazov Meets U.S. Assistant Secretary Pyatt in Dubai

On the sidelines of the COP28 summit, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Pyarviz Shakhbazov met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt in the United Arab Emirates. During the meeting, the two representatives discussed the reduction of methane emissions, the production of green energies, and the transmission of green electricity through the green energy corridor, from the Caspian Sea to Europe. 

Source: Haqqin

Security and Politics

 

Azerbaijani and Armenian Deputy PMs Hold Talks

Amid stagnant peace negotiations, the Deputy Prime Ministers for Azerbaijan and Armenia headed a meeting on the border of their two countries on November 30. It was the fifth meeting between the border delineation commissions of the two countries, and both Deputy Prime Ministers reported an agreement to intensify future talks and begin establishing joint practices for the border commissions. 

Source: RFE/RL

Iran Introduces New Warship to Caspian Naval Base Fleet

On November 27, Iran unveiled a new warship to its Caspian Sea fleet. The Deilman, a 1,400-ton destroyer capable of deploying cruise missiles while traveling 30 knots and able to simultaneously detect more than 100 targets, was inaugurated in a ceremony at the port of Bandar Anzali Monday. 

Source: AP News, The Jerusalem Post 

China-Based Hackers Target Uzbek Government

On November 30, Cisco published a report on a malicious hacking campaign allegedly targeting the Uzbekistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and citizens of South Korea. The malware, which uses a variant of Gh0st RAT- a tool infamously used by a range of advanced persistent threat (APT) groups for the past decade - had been reportedly sent to several users in the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Because users last modified the decoy files with names written in simplified Chinese, this attack is believed to have come from a China-based hacking group. 

Source: The Record

Caspian Foreign Ministers to Meet in Moscow 

On December 5, the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Russia will hold bilateral meetings in Moscow. The leaders are expected to discuss Caspian regional security and regional and bilateral cooperation in trade, transportation, energy, and environmental sectors. 

Source: Tehran Times, AzerNews

Kazakhstan Purchases Russian-Made Su-30SM Aircraft

Despite France’s concurrent offers to sell Rafale fighter jets to Kazakhstan, on November 30, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Chief of Air Defense and head of the primary armaments division announced that Kazakhstan has signed a procurement agreement for 10 Russian-made Su-30SMs. Kazakhstan has contracted 23 Su-30SMs since 2015 through three separate procurement agreements, and as the country has already put some of them into service, this decision was likely made to avoid the costs associated with introducing a new aircraft variant. 

Source: Bulgarianmilitary.com

Sources: AP News, Astana Times, AzerNews, Bulgarianmilitary.com, The Jerusalem Post, Mirage News, South China Morning Post, The Record, Reuters, RFE/RL, Tehran Times, Trend News Agency


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