Georgia reaches out to Turkey on energy, US on defense

Georgia has accused Russia of violating its airspace as it discusses ramping up work on a railway project with Turkey and lobbies for the US to store weapons inside its borders. Its Ministry of Defense stated on December 10 that a Russian military helicopter had crossed the border with South Ossetia, calling the incident “provocative.”…

Kazakhstan seeks to develop nuclear energy

Kazakhstan, ranked first in the world in terms of uranium reserves, is now undertaking  a transition to nuclear power.  Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom and Kazakhstan´s Energy Ministry are on the move to sign an intergovernmental agreement on constructing nuclear plant in Kazakhstan. Drop in oil prices, energy and environmental reasoning are believed to be pushing Kazakhstan…

Exploring the Kazakh Economy: An Interview with Sabit Khakimzhanov

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Sabit Khakimzhanov,  the head of research at Halyk Finance, a leading Kazakh investment bank focused on Central Asia. Khakimzhanov is an authority on the Kazakh economy and investment climate, and has written and spoken widely on Kazakh monetary policy. Dr. Khakimzhanov has a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from…

Turkmenistan’s gas exports under pressure

Turkmenistan’s export options are steadily shrinking despite being one of the world’s largest natural gas reserve holders. Geopolitical conflicts, security and financing issues as well as lack of sufficient infrastructure are acting as constraints for market diversification. According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Agency, Turkmenistan has natural gas reserves of 265 trillion cubic feet,…

Russia expands military presence in Syria

Russia is expanding its presence in Syria, adding a second airbase as well as other command posts. Currently, Moscow has four operating bases in Syria including recently added bases in Hama and Tiyas. But now the West is most concerned about the second airbase in Shayrat capable of supporting fixed-wing aircraft which greatly expands Russia’s…

Tajik government increases pressure on NGOs, Islamist groups

Tajikistan’s government is seeing human rights activists and others leave the country after it passed a law on NGOs similar to those of Russia and Azerbaijan. The amendments to an existing law on non-governmental organizations stipulate that NGOs must report the sources and amounts of their funding to the central government, and expanded the powers…

Russia imposes sanctions on Turkey over downed jet

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree enforcing economic sanctions against Turkey in retaliation for the downing of a Russian military jet near the Syrian-Turkish border. The statement posted on the Kremlin’s website cites national security, listing a ban on chartered flights between Russia and Turkey, and ordered tour operators to refrain from offering trips…