Headlines from the Caspian: June 26, 2023
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Jun 26, 2023
Energy and Economy
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Georgia Set Up Joint Logistics Company to Upgrade Transport Process
On June 22, the Prime Ministers of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia signed an agreement to establish a joint logistics company that will unify tariff agreements and handle cargo in the Middle Corridor. This company will help cut delivery times from China to Europe to 18 days this year and 10-15 days further on.
Source: Astana Times
Eurasian Economic Commission Held an Online Meeting on June 23
On June 23, the Eurasian Economic Commission, the executive body of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), held an official meeting and adopted new policies, including harmonization of the financial market, amendments on the regulation of foreign electronic businesses, changes on the public procurement of goods, and standardization process in the use of, and compliance with, technical regulations and in the interaction of standards agencies within the countries of the EAEU.
Source: Eurasian Economic Commission
Kazakh Oil Production to Increase by 7% in 2023
Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy announced that oil exports will increase to 90.5 million tons this year—about a 7 percent increase from 2022. The increase comes as part of a greater initiative to cooperate with China on energy resource exploration, and transport and refining research.
Source: Astana Times
Georgia Leads the Region in terms of SDG Performance
According to the latest Sustainable Development Growth (SDG) report released in June, South Caucasus and Central Asia show positive performances. Georgia ranks first among the regional countries with 42nd place internationally, followed by the Kyrgyz Republic at 45th, Azerbaijan at 53rd, Armenia at 56th, Kazakhstan at 66th, Uzbekistan at 69th, and Tajikistan at 85th.
Source: Sustainable Development Report
Security and Politics
Putin Reaches Out to Central Asian Leaders Amid Russian Power Struggle
On June 24, while the Wagner mercenary army marched toward Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, expressing the need to return to “law and order.” The Kremlin also released a statement adding the Putin also spoke with Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The other leaders of Central Asia have yet to comment about the situation in Russia.
Maritime Traffic Increases Across the Caspian Between Iran and Russia
Maritime trackers reported an increase in maritime traffic across the Caspian Sea, between Russia and Iran, amid the political chaos in Russia. Most of the vessels are old “river-sea” vessels that were built over 40 years ago. Reporters are unsure what cargo was being transferred between the two states.
Source: Ukraine Front Lines
Azerbaijan Announces Monetary Contribution in Worldwide Effort to Restore Ukraine
Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov announced that Azerbaijan will contribute $10 million to a worldwide funding effort to reconstruct areas of Ukraine that have been destroyed in the Russian invasion. Bayramov made this announcement at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London and added that Azerbaijan is also willing to provide mining equipment and host Ukrainian children that have been affected by the war.
Source: Caspian News
Kazakhstan President Tokayev Chairs Emergency Meeting Over Situation in Russia
On June 25, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev chaired a Security Council emergency meeting over the situation in Russia with Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister, Prosecutor General, and the National Security Committee Chairman, as well as the Ministers of Defense, Internal Affairs, and Foreign Affairs. The meeting stressed the importance of maintaining political and economic stability. Tokayev used this meeting to establish instructions on how the state can respond to possible threats and crisis situations.
Source: Astana Times
Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers to Hold Talks in Washington
On June 27, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to host Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan and Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov for the next round of talks on the draft peace agreement. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, the negotiations could be extended for several days.
Sources: Astana Times, Azernews, Caspian News, Eurasian Economic Commission, Eurasianet, Sustainable Development Report, Ukraine Front Lines.