China wants Russia to stop interfering with Kazakh oil exports.
Tricky relations with Moscow and Beijing, a destabilised Afghanistan below the region’s soft underbelly and intra-regional rivalries turned a summit into a curate’s egg.
In my opinion, the macro environment is riskier than before the Dotcom Bubble and before the Great Financial Bubble. Why? A nasty cocktail of factors which may reinforce each other:
Karakalpakstan’s dramatic protests of July 1 thrusted international attention on Uzbekistan’s sole de jure autonomous territory. The publication of Tashkent’s proposed changes to the constitution prompted unprecedented popular protests.
China, India and Iran are pushing the International North-South Transport Corridor, INSTC, as a way to maintain trade relations with Russia.
To the surprise of many, each of the Central Asian Republics has maintained a neutral stance on Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
For the Uzbeks, the strategic relationship helps with the balancing act between the big powers. For the Turks, it builds regional influence in line with the pan-Turkic agenda.
Georgia can become an EU candidate country, but not with Georgian Dream in power.
A new book exposes the hollowness of many Western assumptions about China’s role in Central Asia.
Counter-cyclical fiscal policy needed. Among other things, more modest budget spending would help country combat soaring inflation.
The debate around inflation is centre-stage at present, with headline and PPI inflation soaring globally in response to a range of factors but including climate change/transition and Covid-related supply disruptions.
Every modern constitution claims to speak for the public. “We the People,” the US Constitution famously begins. Uzbekistan’s own Soviet era constitution, passed in 1978, declared grandly that “all power” belonged to the people. It didn’t.
There is a widespread feeling of ‘business as usual’. There is very little sense of impending doom. This confidence is misplaced.
The EU has gradually assumed a key role in the peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which has undermined the Kremlin’s longstanding dominance in the region.