VimpleCom to allocate $900 million for Uzbek bribery probe

Dutch-headquartered telecom company VimpleCom said in a press release that it will set aside $900 million to cooperate with a US and Dutch-lead probe into allegations of bribes paid to Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s daughter. The money was purportedly used to secure wireless licenses in Uzbekistan for VimpleCom’s Russian branch. US authorities have reported that…

Immobile Capital and the Politics of Corruption: An Interview with Lawrence Markowitz

In April 2015 we had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Lawrence Markowitz, Assistant Professor of Political Science & Economics at Rowan University. Dr. Markowitz has researched and published extensively on the politics of state failure and authoritarian rule in Central Asia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of State Erosion: Unlootable Resources…

Afghanistan: Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Gains Foothold

Radio Free Europe reports on the growing presence of Uzbek extremist group The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Afghan combat zones. The group has reportedly gained a foothold in at least eight different Afghan provinces, where it has established training and logistical operations. The group had previously found refuge in Northern Pakistan after being forced…

Power and Change in the New Great Game: An Interview with Alexander Cooley

Dr. Alexander Cooley is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, as well as Deputy Director for Social Sciences Programming at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. Professor Cooley has researched and written extensively on the impact of external actors on the Former Soviet Union, and is the author of Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great…

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…

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…