Headlines from the Caspian: January 31, 2023
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Jan 31, 2023
Energy and Economy
Turkmenistan Signs 50 New Business Deals With Russia Following Ashgabat Meetings
Turkmenistani President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin met in Ashgabat last week for a two-day bilateral business forum. Russian and Turkmenistani companies signed over 50 deals worth almost $2.2 billion dollars. The deals mainly concern transport infrastructure like railways and export facilities. Both leaders reaffirmed strong bilateral ties, and Russia announced it would invest $3.5 billion for projects in Turkmenistan.
Source: Caspian News
Uzbekistan to Increase Russian Gas Imports
Under a new agreement signed on January 25, Russian state-owned Gazprom and Uzbekistan will begin considering options to reverse the flow of gas through the Central Asia-Center pipeline. As early as March 1, Uzbekistan will begin trial gas deliveries from Russia. With recent gas shortages resulting from technical difficulties in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan is hoping to secure an alternative gas supplier for next winter.
Source: Upstream Online
Chevron to Begin Operation at New Facilities in Kazakhstan
As part of a multibillion-dollar production-capacity expansion project, Chevron has begun bringing newly built facilities online at Kazakhstan’s Tengiz oilfield. A sour gas injection facility is already in the early commissioning stage, and in a few days the system will be incorporated into the first gas turbine generator. Next in line will be the pressure boost compressor, and then the conversion of the Tengiz field from high to low pressure.
Source: Upstream Online
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan Will Temporarily Halt Some Food Exports Due to Winter Inflation
Harsh winter weather and high food costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic have created a food shortage and high inflation across Central Asia. On January 20, Uzbekistan's agriculture minister announced a halt on onion exports for the next four months. At the same time, the country is dealing with weather-related power outages and an inability to transport food from the capital which has contributed to storage problems and shorter supplies of food for some communities. Kazakhstan also announced that it will stop the export of root vegetables.
Ministries of Energy of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan Sign Hydroelectric Agreement
In Bishkek, the ministers of energy of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan signed a memorandum outlining the construction of the Chatkal grouping of hydroelectric power stations. The Chatkal Hydro Power Plant, once built, is set to have a capacity of 1,800 MW.
Source: AKI Press
Turkmenistan’s Turkmennebit Announces Tenders for Purchase of Chemical Products
On January 30, Turkmenistan’s national oil company Turkmennebit announced two international tenders for the purchase of “chemical products and auxiliary materials.” The company’s responsibilities include oil works including searching and exploration of hydrocarbon deposits to the production and transportation of oil, gas, and gas condensate.
Source: Business Turkmenistan
Security and Politics
Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Iran Attacked
On January 27, a man wielding a Kalashnikov rifle broke past the armed security at the Azerbaijani embassy in Iran, killing the chief of security and leaving two others injured. This comes as Iran leads a strong anti-Azerbaijan campaign throughout the country. However, Tehran claimed the attack occurred due to “personal and family problems.” On Sunday, January 29, Azerbaijan announced 53 diplomats and their family members have been evacuated from the country, including the body of Orkhan Askerov, the chief of embassy security who was killed in the attack.
Source: Anadolu Agency
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan Announce Conclusion of Border Delimitation Talks
The Presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan met in Bishkek for bilateral discussions over the 1,400 km of the contested borderland between the two countries. At the conclusion of the meetings on January 27, the two leaders announced that they had reached an “historic” resolution that would promote “peace and tranquility” between the two nations.
Russian Duma Representatives Visit Turkmenistan
On January 29-30, a delegation of Russia’s State Duma, headed by the Chairman of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, visited Ashgabat to discuss increasing cooperation. This visit is the first of its kind in 11 years. The delegation held discussions at Turkmenistan’s Parliament, reportedly to discuss increased prioritizing of strategic cooperation between Turkmenistan and Russia. Volodin’s visit comes after last week’s Russian government delegation visit to Ashgabat, led by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
Source: Trend News Agency
Sources: AKI Press, Anadolu Agency, Business Turkmenistan, Caspian News, Eurasianet, Upstream Online, Trend News Agency