Headlines from the Caspian: July 31, 2023
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Jul 31, 2023
Energy and Economy
Georgia and China Establish a Strategic Partnership
On July 29, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Chinese President Xi Xinping in the capital of China’s Sichuan Province to discuss the expansion of their partnership. The Georgian PM also thanked Xi for the Belt and Road Initiative, which has implemented infrastructure projects in Georgia and across the region since 2013.
SOCAR Starts Injecting Gas into Hungarian Storages
On July 28, SOCAR began transporting its first deliveries of gas to Hungary. This development comes following MVM CEEnergy, Hungary’s largest gas seller, and SOCAR, Azerbaijan’s state-owned energy company, signing a contract on June 2, 2023, to transport 100 million cubic meters of gas into Hungarian storage beginning in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Source: Caspian Barrel
Kyrgyzstan to Build a $20 Million Crypto Mining Facility
On July 27 Kyrgyzstan’s President Sadyr Japarov approved the construction of a hydro-powered crypto mining facility at the Kambar-Ata-2 Hydro Power Plant. The plant currently creates an excess of 30 MW of energy annually which cannot be utilized. This project hopes to use this surplus energy to reach the country’s crypto potential.
Source: The Crypto Times
Security and Politics
Secretary Blinken and President Aliyev Discuss Developments in Phone Call
On July 29, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke over the phone with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. In their discussion, Blinken and Aliyev discussed the tension surrounding the Lachin Corridor. Further, Blinken “stressed the need for all parties to keep up positive momentum on peace negotiations.”
Source: U.S. Department of State
Astana Held C5+1 Special Session on Afghanistan
The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, visited Kazakhstan to attend the C5+1 Special Session on Afghanistan at Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry on July 27-28. During the session, the five Central Asian countries and the United States discussed plans for providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in protection of human rights and security and prevention of terrorism. To achieve these objectives and foster regional development, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister, Kairat Umarov, presented the initiative to build a United Nations Regional Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty.
Source: Astana Times
Kyrgyzstan and Türkiye to Strengthen Military and Technical Ties
On July 31, Kyrgyz ambassador to Türkiye, Ruslan Kazakbaev, met with the Vice President of Türkiye Cevdet Yılmaz at the Presidential Palace in Ankara. During the meeting, the two sides discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation in trade, economy, military, culture, humanitarian affairs, and the medical sector.
Source: AKI Press
Azerbaijan’s SU-25 Jet Passes First Test
On July 29, Azerbaijan’s SU-25 jet, which was modernized by Turkish Aerospace Industries, conducted its first successful test flight. The test flight included a test of the jet’s newly installed Turkish-made smart bombs and missiles. These jets were modernized under the Lachin project, sent to Türkiye for upgrades, and brought back to Azerbaijan to be added to the military inventory.
Source: Daily Sabah
Sources: Agenda.Ge, Astana Times, AKI Press, Caspian Barrel, The Crypto Times, Daily Sabah, U.S. Department of State