Trending Headlines from the Caspian, November 22, 2021
Author:Caspian Policy Center
Nov 23, 2021
Energy and Economy
Iran and Azerbaijan Agree to Discuss Oil and Gas Cooperation
Azerbaijan and Iran have agreed to discuss cooperation on the possible gas transit from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan via Iran, development of oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea, and the supply of gas from Iran to Nakhchivan. A November 21 meeting between Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev and Iran’s Petroleum Minister Javad Owji concluded with them jointly announcing "the signing of new documents on oil and gas cooperation in the near future.
Turkic States Support Opening of Zangazur Corridor
As the Summit of the Organization of Turkic States, leaders of the Turkic states unanimously supported the opening of Zangazur corridor, which could help integrate the Turkic economies and strengthen economic and trade cooperation among Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. “I think that the opening of the Zangazur corridor in terms of transportation will usher new opportunities for the whole region,” President Ilham Aliyev said at the Summit, held in Istanbul on November 12. The Zangazur corridor will connect mainland Azerbaijan with its southwestern exclave of Nakhchivan and further with Turkey through Armenian territory.
China-Kazakhstan Venture to Begin Nuclear Fuel Production
The Russian energy company Rosatom made its first delivery of low-enriched uranium to the Kazakh-Chinese factory Ulba-TVS LLP in Oskemen on November 16. Ulba-TVS LLP is 51 percent owned by Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom and 49 percent by China's largest state-owned nuclear company, China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC). Ulba-TVS LLP will manufacture ready-to-use rods loaded with processed uranium fuel pellets to be shipped to China, where they will be used in nuclear reactors.
Russia and Uzbekistan Approved Five Year Program of Economic Cooperation
Russia and Uzbekistan signed a new comprehensive plan of economic cooperation over the 2022-2026 period, replacing the current agreement. “The new document takes into account the need to develop economic cooperation in the post-pandemic period using relevant tools, including e-commerce, digitalization of the economy, new energy and water-saving technologies, as well as improving approaches in the migration sphere,” the statement from Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development said. The parties also agreed to exchange information on COVID-19 vaccine production, as well as treatment of patients.
First Inclusive Business Forum To Be Held in Tashkent
On November 23, Tashkent will hold its first inclusive business forum aimed at expanding the employment of people with disabilities in Uzbekistan. During the forum, entrepreneurs and experts will discuss the successful implementation of inclusive labor practices in business and entrepreneurship as well as the impact of a barrier-free work environment. The forum is organized by the Uzbek association "Sharoit Plus," the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations, and the OSCE, with grant support from UNICEF, UNDP and the International Labor Organization.
Security and Politics
Armenian and Azerbaijani Leaders are Set to Meet in Brussels
Azerbaijani President Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan have set a meeting for mid-December to discuss the recent border clashes, promote stronger diplomatic ties aimed at resolving regional tensions, and increase security cooperation in the South Caucasus. This meeting, supported by the European Union, is set to occur alongside the European Union’s Eastern Partnership summit on December 15th. This would be the third talk that will occur between the leaders face-to-face after last year's Nagorno-Karabakh war.
EU Delegation Meets With the Central Asia to Discuss the Situation in Afghanistan
A delegation from Europe led by the EU’s high representative traveled to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to hold a meeting with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. This meeting was held in order for the EU and Central Asia to discuss new security policy options in regards to the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the regional response to COVID-19, and other issues, such as trade, energy, and economics. The meeting is set to last until November 24.
Forum Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Independence of Central Asian States Focused on Discussions about Afghanistan
A forum held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of independence for Central Asian states was focused on discussion of regional responses to the security and political situation in Afghanistan. The forum was attended by various think tanks from the Central Asian republics and China and was centered on discussions calling for the need to strengthen cooperation between Central Asia and China in terms of policies towards economics, politics, and security.
Saakashvili Makes an Appeal to Washington as His Health Declines
The former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili has been on a hunger strike for 49 days, with his condition worsening over the weekend. Saakashvili has urged the United States Department of State to offer defense and demand that he be treated in a civilian hospital instead of a prison. The debate over Saakashvili’s medical treatment has continued since his imprisonment on October 1.
U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan Delivers First Piece of Equipment to Kyrgyz Armed Forces since 2017
The U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan has delivered an X-ray machine to the Military Hospital of Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Defense. This machine was received by the Kyrgyz Armed Forces at a ceremony at the Military Hospital. This marks the first delivery of equipment by the U.S. since 2017. This was meant to assist in Kyrgyz peacekeeping operations, as well as signify the continued U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Kyrgyz cooperation on security issues in the region.
(Sources: Akipress, Caspian News, Eurasianet, Fergana News Agency, RFE/RL)