Headlines from the Caspian: October 11, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Oct 12, 2022
Security and Politics
Azerbaijan and Armenia Take Further Steps Towards Peace Agreement
President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended two meetings with European Council (EUCO) President Charles Michel and President of France Emmanuel Macron. The meetings, which took place in Prague on October 6, were part of the European Political Community Summit. Both leaders reiterated the importance of reaching a final peace agreement. By reaffirming their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration, the leaders agreed to proceed with negotiations to recognize each other’s sovereignty and territory. The next meeting for peace talks is set to take place at the end of October.
Source: Caspian News, Elysee
Kyrgyzstan Cancels CSTO Exercises
On October 9, Kyrgyzstan announced the cancellation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) military exercises which were scheduled to occur in Kyrgyzstan this week. These “The Indestructible Brotherhood -- 2022 exercises” were supposed to happen October 10-14 with all six CSTO member countries participating. Previous CSTO exercises happened in Kazakhstan last week and concluded October 8. No reason was provided for the cancellation.
Azerbaijan Discusses Potential Mutual Cooperation with Kyrgyzstan
At the First Interstate Council of Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan on October 11, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev expressed interest in investment trade and economic projects in Kyrgyzstan, stating “I think that the plans that we have laid out will allow us the opportunity to increase the volume of mutual trade in a short time.”
Georgia and Türkiye to Increase Cooperation in the Sphere of Tourism
Georgia and Türkiye held their first working meeting in Istanbul on October 11th to discuss economic cooperation. They announced plans to bilaterally develop their tourism industries, increase tourism products, and increase the frequency of flights between the two countries.
CIS Countries Gather for an Informal Summit in Russia
On October 7, the heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) gathered in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for an informal meeting. President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov reportedly did not attend the event, with the press service of the administration refusing to provide any comments on the matter. Presidents of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as the Prime Minister of Armenia, all attended the event. The leaders discussed priority areas of the organization’s work and further plans to develop mutually beneficial cooperation.
Sources: The Diplomat, The Astana Times, 24 KG
Secretary Blinken Speaks with Azerbaijani President, Armenian Prime Minister
On October 10, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, and the Prime Minister of Armenia about the "positive steps" the two countries are taking toward a sustainable peace agreement. In his discussion with Aliyev, Blinken welcomed Azerbaijan’s release of 17 prisoners of war to Armenia. In his talks with PM Pashinyan, Secretary Blinken also welcomed plans for a civilian EU mission along the border with Azerbaijan to build confidence. He reiterated U.S. support, including for “clear border delimitation, transportation linkages, recovery and identification of missing persons, return of detainees, and other issues”.
Sources: U.S. State Department, Reuters.
Azerbaijan and Israel Sign a MoU on Establishing a Desalination Plant in the Caspian Sea
On October 10, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov tweeted that Israel’s I.D.E. Water Assets Ltd Company and Azerbaijan Investment Company OJSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation for the establishment of the plant in Azerbaijan for the desalination of the Caspian Sea water.
Energy and Economy
Russia and Iran Meet to Discuss Gas and Oil Deal
First Vice President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin met to discuss plans to fast-track oil and gas deals, with the goal of transporting about five million tons of oil and 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year. In the Second Caspian Economic Forum in Moscow on October 6, the leaders reevaluated logistical hurdles including transportation and activating the North-South Corridor. Ultimately, continued cooperation and more prominent energy trade relations are intended to bolster the Iranian-Russian alliance as the West continues its sanctions against Moscow.
Source: Caspian News
Azerbaijan Unveils Four-Year Plan to Increase Energy Exports to Europe
On October 10, the Azerbaijani government released its four-year plan to increase bilateral trade with the European Union (EU), specifically focusing on non-oil trade. This announcement was made by Tural Hajili, the advisor to the chairman of the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of Azerbaijan (AZPROMO), at the presentation of the digital trading platform of the European Union for the Eastern Partnership countries participating in Baku. Hajili added, “Within the framework of this strategy, trade turnover is expected to grow by 86 percent to $5 billion by 2026.”
Source: Caspian News
Iran Proposes a Common Economic Area on the Caspian Sea
On October 9, at the Second Caspian Sea Forum held in Moscow, Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber addressed the potential to create a free-trade and tourism zone with simplified customs regulations, known as a “green corridor.” At the same forum, Russia reported that Azerbaijan and Iran were looking to jointly promote tourism ventures on the Caspian Sea.
Source: Silk Road Briefing