Central Asia faces water shortage due to environmental and political reasons

Water in Central Asia is becoming not just a vital natural resource but a political tool as well. Water security is becoming an increasingly important issue as winter approaches in Central Asia due to both environment and political reasons. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan serve as major sources of water for downstream countries. While lacking the hydrocarbon resources, they are mountainous…

Kazakhstan refutes Russian claim on introduction of common Eurasian currency

Kazakhstan refuted a Russian parliamentary member’s comments that a common currency for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) called evraz is in the works. President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Press Secretary Dauren Abayev stated that the prospect of introducing a common currency with the Union’s four other members, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, is not on the agenda.…

Russia concludes deal with Iran for missile defense system

RIA Novosti reported that Russia has concluded a deal with Iran for the sale of long-range missile systems. Russian-owned Rostec chief executive Sergei Chemezov was quoted at the Dubai Airshow stating that the deal for the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system was already signed. Observers note that the contract has the potential to alter the…

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…

Secretary Kerry begins Central Asia tour

US Secretary John Kerry arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on October 31 to begin his tour of all five countries of Central Asia. He met with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and all five Central Asian foreign ministers in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on November 1, and Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana, Kazakhstan on…

Rail links from Europe to China in development

A report from Dutch bank Rabobank has extolled the possibilities in boosting trade between Europe and China via overland rail link going through Central Asia. The rail networks connections would be collectively known as the Yu-Xin-Ou Railway, and the Radobank report notes that the demand for European fruit, vegetables, dairy, and meat would drive trade…