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media highlights of the week

Media Highlights of the Week

Author:Caspian Policy Center

Oct 8, 2019

Politics & Security

German President Meets with Georgian President and Prime Minister German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier held meetings with Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili and Prime Minister Georgi Gakharia during his official visit to Tbilisi. The parties discussed the current situation in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, and bilateral cooperation in various spheres. As Gakharia said, the visit confirms that Germany sees Georgia “as a reliable partner.” 16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club Held in Sochi The 16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club – a high-level international affairs forum – was held in Sochi, Russia, from September 30 to October 3 with the participation of prominent political and government figures, representatives of international organizations, and regional experts. The topic of this year’s forum was “The Dawn of the East and the World Political Order,” which was chosen to reflect Russia’s desire to strengthen its foreign policy agenda in the eastern direction. Russia Helps China Build Missile Warning System Russia is helping China build a system warning about ballistic missile launches, Russian President Putin said at the Valdai Discussion Club Meeting. Since the Cold War, only Russia and the U.S. have had such systems. This signals a new level of Sino-Russian military and defense cooperation. President of Uzbekistan to Participate in Summit of Turkic Council in Azerbaijan The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev will visit Azerbaijan in October, where he will take part in the 7th summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, as stated by First Deputy Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Uzbekistan Sadyk Safaev. This will be Mirziyoyev’s first visit to Azerbaijan as the head of Uzbekistan.

Energy & Economy

New Solar Park to be Built in Kazakhstan's Turkestan An auction on a project for construction of a solar park (the capacity of which will be 50 MW) is to be held in Shaulder settlement of Kazakhstan’s Turkestan region. The Kazakh Ministry of Energy and the regional akimat held a seminar in order to clarify the system of auction and holding of bidding with documentation. Investors were acquainted with the auction for the selection of renewable energy sources projects in 2019. Tajik National Bank Takes Hold Over Cash Transfer Business  Tajikistan’s financial regulator has created a clearing house for international cash transfers, in effect making itself the conduit for all money sent home by migrant laborers. The National Bank said in a statement on October 3 that the processing center is intended to insure against money transfer companies being unable to repay money to the banks in Tajikistan that hand out the cash to recipients. To illustrate its point, the regulator referred to the case of money transfer company Lider, which was commonly used by Tajik clients before going broke and owing Tajik banks around $1.7 million. OECD Shows Interest in Turkmen Market A meeting with the head of the Eurasia Division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) William Thomson was held in the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan (UIET). The OECD's interest in studying the Turkmen market and the role of private business in it were noted during the meeting. The OECD delegation was informed about the structure and main economic indicators of the UIET, as well as the achievements of the organization in the implementation of large projects in various industries. ADB Appoints New Country Director for Georgia The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Shane Rosenthal as its new Country Director for Georgia, joining ADB’s Georgia Resident Mission on September 25. Rosenthal will handle ADB’s operations in Georgia, manage ADB’s relationship with the government and stakeholders, and oversee the implementation of ADB’s recently approved Country Partnership Strategy of 2019–2023. EBRD Plans to Boost Green Energy Financing in Uzbekistan The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched its Green Energy Financing Facility (GEFF) in Uzbekistan in mid-September. “This facility channels EBRD funding to local small and medium sized enterprises that are interested in implementing energy efficiency improvements in their operations through partner financial institutions,” an EBRD official said. “We hope that more banks will join soon. In addition to GEFF, the EBRD will promote renewable energy (solar and wind) separately through large scale projects benefiting from open international tenders.” BP Names New Group Chief Executive The Board of BP announced today that, after a 40-year career with BP and over nine years as group chief executive, Bob Dudley, 64, has decided to step down as group chief executive and from the BP Board following delivery of the company’s 2019 full year results on February 4, 2020 and will retire on March 31, 2020. The Board also announced that Bernard Looney, 49, currently chief executive, Upstream, will succeed Dudley as group chief executive and join the BP Board on February 5, 2020. Looney will continue in his current role until this date. Turkey-Japan Joint Project in Uzbekistan to Save Up to 500 mcm of Gas Up to 500 million cubic meters of natural gas can be saved after commissioning the second combined cycle gas turbine at the Navoi Thermal Power Plant (TPP) in Uzbekistan, Director General of Navoi TPP Kakhromon Ganiev stated during a press tour at the construction site of Navoi TPP JSC. "The first power generating unit of a combined cycle gas turbine was built in Uzbekistan from 2009 to 2012,” he noted. “The second power generating unit has been constructed since 2017. The construction and commissioning is nearing completion. The second combined cycle gas turbine will be fully commissioned on a turnkey basis by late September.” Eco-Friendly Transportation May Be The Next Big Thing In Kazakhstan Kazakhstan’s second-largest city of one million people may introduce its first fleet of 100 electric buses by the end of this year, according to Altai Kulginov, Nur-Sultan’s mayor. “We are moving to a green economy, the number of people [residing] in the city is growing annually, and so is the number of cars,” Kulginov said earlier this year. “It is necessary to reduce emissions into the environment. By the end of the year we will purchase 100 electric buses, and this is only the beginning.” President Mirziyoyev Adopts Protections of IPRs with CIS Countries President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev approved two international agreements this past week. In particular, the president approved an agreement between the governments of Uzbekistan and Belarus on inter-regional cooperation. The presidential decree also adopted a document on the interaction of customs authorities in the protection of intellectual property rights with the CIS countries. The document had been previously signed at a meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of Government on May 31, 2019 in Ashgabat. (Sources: Azer News, Caspian News, Eurasianet, Human Rights Watch, RFE/RL, Trend News Agency, and The Washington Post.)


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