Historically, Azerbaijan was known as the world capital of black caviar. More recently, in the years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the thorny issue of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been the cause of military conflict with neighbouring Armenia – most recently in 2020 when
As a consequence of its actions, Russia faces potentially stifling isolation. Russia will want to show the limits of this isolation through regional frameworks that also enable the Russian military to act as the dominant power. The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) offers Russia this
It has been more than a month since protests over the fuel price hike broke out in western Kazakhstan and spread across the country as demands grew more political. Protesters chanted “Shal, ket!” (“Old man, out”), a call addressed to Nursultan Nazarbayev, who ruled the country for three
Food shortages, inflation, hundreds of thousands of people without an income, and thousands of shipping containers stuck on the border, not to mention rising Covid-19 cases, job losses, closed businesses, a crippled export sector, and a decimated tourism industry: this has been the situation in
Over the course of barely a week, the normally placid Kazakhstan, best known in the West for being the unwilling object of humour in the Borat films (and perhaps also for being home to approximately 15 per cent of all Bitcoin mining), has endured a maelstrom.
Events began on 2 January with
Once upon a time, parents in Central Asia sent their children to Moscow or St Petersburg for higher education. Now, some of them are opting for China instead. China has become an increasingly popular destination for many Central Asian students after Russia – meaning Chinese-educated Kazak and
Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic seen as Russia’s most loyal ally in Central Asia, has been rocked by unrest after a disputed parliamentary election held on 4 October. Moscow’s reactions to the Kyrgyz crisis have so far been relatively ambivalent, even though the nation hosts a Russian
Last month, US President Donald Trump surprised allies by calling for Russia and Australia to be admitted together with India and South Korea to an expanded G-7.
Writing in support of the idea, federal Liberal MP Dave Sharma has cast the argument as a reversal of Nixon’s 1972 opening to Mao’s
For China, the Covid-19 question is answered by more Belt and Road. As Foreign Minister Wang Yi put it at a press conference during the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing last weekend:
The impact of Covid-19 on the Belt and Road cooperation is temporary and limited. The Covid-
Three months have passed since the United States and the Taliban signed an “Agreement for bringing peace to Afghanistan”. For the Americans, it aims to put an end to the US military intervention in Afghanistan, which has lasted more than 18 years. The provisions of the agreement stipulate a
Over its 18-year existence, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has mostly been in the spotlight as a forum for security cooperation, starting with the 2001 Convention that branded crimes of extremism, separatism, and terrorism as extraditable offences. The region is still facing significant security
Demarcation of the Caspian Sea has been one of the longest lasting casualties of the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The Soviet collapse invalidated the 1940 Irano-Soviet treaty that had demarcated the rights of both countries regarding the Caspian Sea. Thus, after 1991
Central Asia rarely appears in Western media. So many observers have missed Kazakhstan’s steady consolidation of a leading and independent regional role. Kazakhstan is deploying its convening, economic, cultural, and diplomatic power to forge a leading role in Central Asia. The country’s step
A rare summit held at the strategic crossroads of Russia and China last month signalled a welcome thaw between two regional rivals in Central Asia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who has been in power since 1992, will likely use this reconciliation with his Uzbek
Central Asia is experiencing a connectivity boom, with China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ the most dominant vision for the region. Yet this dominance has started to worry Central Asian powers, leading to the emergence of a new narrative – that of diversification. With China becoming the