Headlines from the Caspian: December 5, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Dec 5, 2022
Energy and Economy
Tajikistan Announces Green Economy Development Project
Tajikistan’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade introduced the ‘Strategy for the Development of the Green Economy for 2023-2037,’ which aims to implement environmental regulations, attract investment, fortify international cooperation in the green economy, and introduce modern technologies to the energy sector. The Ministry stated that the project will cost around $2.1 billion. However, it is intended to help Tajikistan achieve a GDP growth of 7% annually.
Source: Silk Road Briefing
ADB to Finance Kyrgyzstan's Electricity Imports
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has promised to provide $50 million worth of loans and grants to support electricity imports. Kyrgyzstan’s Deputy Finance Minister, Ruslan Tatikov made the announcement at the meeting of the Parliament Committee for International Affairs, Defense, Security and Migration.
Source: AKI Press
First Freight Train from Türkiye to Uzbekistan Arrives in Tashkent
On December 5, the first cargo train on the Türkiye-Iran-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan route arrived in Tashkent, holding 40 wagons. Covering 4,500 km in 25 days, this freight train will run once a month. This kicks off the new transport route for Uzbekistan, giving it access to European markets through the İzmir destination point.
Source: Railly News
EDB Forecasts Economic Growth for Armenia
According to the Eurasian Development Bank’s (EDB) Macroeconomic Outlook for 2023 report, Armenia’s GDP is expected to increase by 4.2% next year. The report states that Armenia’s economic growth in the months of January-September was largely due to growth in the services and exports sectors. Considering the tourism flows to the country, the inflation rate is expected to be at 4.6% by the end of 2023.
Source: Caucasus Watch
Security and Policy
Azerbaijan and Türkiye Hold Joint Military Drills in Light of Tensions with Iran
On December 5, in several districts along the Iranian border, Azerbaijan and Türkiye held joint military drills as part of the agreement on cooperation in the military sector aimed at ensuring combat coordination, improving control, and increasing professionalism. With drills conducted around the Araz River and dam, these exercises have been interpreted as a message to Iran, which has recently waged threats against Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani and Russian Foreign Ministers Meet in Moscow
On December 5, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Moscow to discuss diplomatic and economic relations. As part of the agenda, pressing international issues were also addressed, such as the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Lavrov expressed interest in “the delimitation of borders and the conclusion of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
Foreign Minister of Greece Visits Kazakhstan
The Foreign Minister of Greece, Nikos Dendias, arrived in Astana on December 4 to meet with high-level officials and the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. In their meeting, Dendias and Tokayev discussed the advancement of bilateral relations, and both leaders reaffirmed a commitment to strengthening ties. The Foreign Ministers of both countries are expected to conclude meetings with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation of the Diplomatic Academies.
Source: The Astana Times, The National Herald
Armenia and Hungary Renew Ties
On December 1, Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ararat Mirzoyan, met with Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó in Lodz, Poland. There, the officials announced the intention to appoint non-resident ambassadors to start the process of renewing bilateral ties. This move comes after a 10-year break in ties.
Source: Eurasianet, Mfa.am
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan Meets with President Aliyev
On December 5, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Rashid Meredov, met with President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, in Baku. During the meeting, the two officials discussed bilateral cooperation in areas of economy, transport, and humanitarian issues.
Source: Trend News Agency
NATO Allies Seek to Support Georgia
Following the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova with their NATO counterparts on November 30, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance members agreed to further support the three countries from Russian aggression by helping train and improve their security and defense institutions.
Source: AP News
Azerbaijan MFA Sends Note of Protest to Iran
On December 3, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a note of protest to the Embassy of Iran in Azerbaijan concerning the reported illegal crossing of Iranian citizens into territories of Azerbaijan. The Head of the MFA’s Press Service Department stated that Azerbaijan is seeking clarification about the alleged crossing of 14 Iranian citizens to the territories of Azerbaijan temporarily guarded by Russian peacekeepers.
Source: Caucasus Watch
Azerbaijan to Establish a Customs Checkpoint on the Lachin Corridor
During his interview with journalists from Azerbaijan on December 5, commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces stationed in Nagorno Karabakh, Major General Andrey Volkov, stated that there has been an agreement reached with Azerbaijan on setting up a mini customs post at the entry point of the Lachin Corridor on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. He also added that the checkpoint will be provided with modern equipment for inspections.
Sources: AKI Press, AP News, APA.az, Astana Times, Azernews, Caucasus Watch, Eurasianet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, The National Herald, Railly News, Silk Road Briefing, Trend News Agency