Headlines from the Caspian: October 17, 2022
Author:Caspian Policy Center
Oct 17, 2022
Energy and Economy
Putin Proposes Rerouting Gas Supplies to Europe through Türkiye
At the 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan on October 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Türkiye should be the new “hub” for gas exports to Europe after the Nord Stream gas pipelines were damaged from explosions in September. In the meeting, Putin also discussed the issue of “determining the price” of gas, since they increased due to supply halts. He proposed that "we could easily regulate [them] at a normal market level, without any political overtones." Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made no immediate reply to these proposals.
Source: Caspian News
Kazakhstan’s Kashagan Oil Field to Resume Production by end of October
According to Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Bolat Akchulakov, Kazakhstan’s offshore oil field, Kashagan, will resume its production of oil at a level of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of October. Kashagan was shut down in early August after a gas leak was detected on the site. In the last several months, Kazakhstan’s oil exports have dropped due to the repairs at the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s (CPC) terminals on the Black Sea and the outage experienced at Kashagan.
Uzbekistan’s Central Bank Reports Shortage of Cash Currency
On October 14, a Central Bank specialist in Uzbekistan reported a shortage “of foreign currency in cash ... associated with the logistics of cash banknotes to remote branches of commercial banks." This follows a drastic increase in cross-border currency exchanges, caused by the war in Ukraine and increased currency exchange regulations.
Security and Policy
Foreign Ministers of Türkiye and Armenia to Normalize Future Talks
At a joint press conference in Istanbul between Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Çavuşoğlu announced that Türkiye and Armenia will work to further normalize relations. He told reporters that in the future, talks between the two states will be held within their countries, rather than through a third-party country.
Source: Daily Sabah
President of Tajikistan Delivers Strong Message to Russia
On October 14, during the Summit for former Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) heads of State in Astana, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon delivered a speech in which he directed a specific message to Russia. With Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in attendance, Rahmon demanded that Russia respect former CIS countries. “I was there in those meetings in the room when the Soviet Union collapsed....Then like now -- and you have to forgive me for saying this -- not enough attention was paid to the small republics, the small nations,” Rahmon said.
The EU Bans Russian Visas Issued in Breakaway Regions
On October 12, the Council of the European Union (EU) announced its plan to stop accepting Russian travel documents that were granted in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and other breakaway regions in Georgia and Ukraine. The statement said, “Russian travel documents issued in these regions are already not recognized, or in the process of not being recognized, by EU member states.”
First Cohort of EU Monitors Arrive in Yerevan to Observe Border Conflict
The first cohort of European Union (EU) monitors arrived in Yerevan on October 14. On October 17, the European Council made the decision to send up to 40 EU experts on the Armenian side of the border conflict between Azerbaijan. Their immediate goal is to analyze and report on the conflict in support of efforts for border delimitation. The EU experts will continue to send individuals from the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia); however, monitoring initiatives are not set to exceed two months. This decision comes after the October 6 peace talks between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, French President Emmanuel President Macron, and EU President Charles Michel.
President of Uzbekistan Set to Visit Turkmenistan this Month
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev will visit Turkmenistan October 20-21. The first and most recent visit of President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov to Uzbekistan was in July 2022 where joint government documents and import-export contracts between companies were signed. In this upcoming visit, the leaders are expected to sign more bilateral agreements at the conclusion of discussions.
Sources: AKI Press, Caspian News, Daily Sabah, EU Reporter, Eurasianet, Oil Price, Public Radio of Armenia, Reuters, RFE/RL