Uzbekistan: Gas supplies resume to Kyrgyzstan

After roughly eight months, Uzbekistan has renewed gas supplies to Kyrgyzstan’s southern region. It is unclear what caused the reversal in policy, as the original grievance back in April 2014 was the lack of a new contract and when Kyrgyzstan sold its state gas company Kyrgyzgaz to Russian Gazprom for exactly $1 and commitments from…

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Russia: Economy Recesses, Ruble Falls Additional 6%

The Russian economy retracted for the first time since 2009, registering a fall of 0.9% in November. The lack of growth exacerbated the ongoing crisis surrounding the ruble, reducing the currency’s value by an additional 7%. Emergency stimulus injected into the currency by the Russian central bank seemingly stopped the currency free fall in weeks…

Azerbaijan: Prosecutors raid RFE/RL offices in Baku

A raid on Friday of last week of the Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) news service offices in Baku by Azeri prosecutors has created an uproar in the news media. RFE/RL representatives reported that armed police ordered employees to leave the radio headquarters building “Azadliq” in the capital of Baku, said the station’s director,…

Ukraine Repays Gazprom, Remains Dependent on IMF

Russian energy giant Gazprom confirmed yesterday that Ukraine has at long last settled a debt of nearly $2bn USD. The Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz has similarly published that it transferred a sum totaling $1.65bn USD to Gazprom accounts in Moscow. The payment comes as the second of two commiserate payments made to Gazprom over…

Uzbekistan: Elections debated by observer organizations

Elections to the Legislative chamber of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan took place yesterday, and international organizations are thus far having a hard time coming to an agreement on whether they are legitimate or not. Two organizations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Commonwealth of Independent States, both hailed the elections as legitimate and genuine, boasting the…

Kazakhstan: President Declares Readiness for $40/Barrel

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his government’s readiness for oil prices as low as forty dollars per barrel. The Kazakh leader convened a press conference which was broadcast across the country seemingly to reassure anxious Kazakhs that the company does indeed “have a plan” should oil prices continue to drop. The speech, while replete…

Russia: Ruble stabilizes after Putin’s speech

After Putin’s speech yesterday, the Russian ruble’s precipitous decline has stabilized somewhat. The President of Russia tacitly endorsed the central bank’s policy of interest rate inflation and kept outlook relatively focused on the currency crisis rather than declining government revenues and sanctions. The currency is holding steady right now at 61 rubles on the dollar,…

Iran Deal: Talks proceed despite uncertainties, new date set

Iran announced yesterday that bilateral negotiations with the United States proceeded “in good atmosphere” despite lingering gaps on Tehran’s uranium enrichment and uncertainty over economic sanctions being lifted with a new US Congress in play for the coming year. The P5+1 powers and Iran failed to strike a deal by the self-imposed deadline last month…