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headlines from the caspian: february 26, 2024

Headlines from the Caspian: February 26, 2024

Author: Caspian Policy Center

Feb 26, 2024

Energy and Economy

 

Oil Flow Between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan Through BTC Pipeline Increases

In January 2024, oil transport between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan through Azerbaijan's Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline saw a significant uptick. Kazakh and Turkmen oil transfers accounted for about 17.3% of the total volume of oil transport via the BTC pipeline last month, with the remaining 82.7% of oil shipped originating from Azerbaijan. The increase comes after last year’s agreement between Azerbaijan’s SOCAR and Kazakhstan’s KazMunayGas to transit 1.5 million tons of oil annually.

Source: Caspian News

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Open Water-Monitoring Station

On February 23, Tajikistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources released a statement describing the establishment of border water flow monitoring stations on the canals that mark the border between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The stations, which will take and transmit data, are hoped to be the groundwork for more comprehensive regional water management. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have a bilateral working group on the topic of water management in Tajikistan's northern districts.

Source: EurasiaNet

World Bank Approves $92.43 Million for Kazakh Broadband Initiative

The Digital Acceleration for an Inclusive Economy (DARE) project, which seeks to provide internet access to over 1 million Kazakhs in rural regions of the country, will receive $92.43 million in investments from the World Bank, according to a February 22 statement released by the bank. The DARE project began as part of Kazakhstan’s 2025 National Development Plan and the Digital Kazakhstan State Program, which seeks to build out the country's digital infrastructure and diversify the economy.

Source: Astana Times

Security and Politics

 

French Defense Minister Travels to Armenia, Increases Security Cooperation

On February 23, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu visited Yerevan, Armenia, and met with his Armenian counterpart. The meeting focused on the purchase of surface-to-air defense capabilities, cooperation in military training and education, and the purchase of missile systems. In recent months, France has increased its security cooperation with Armenia, providing defense systems and equipment. Baku sees this development as counterproductive since it is coming amidst ongoing peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

Source: Politico, RFE/RL

Armenia Claims It’s Freezing Participation in Russian-led CSTO 

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that Armenia has “frozen” its participation in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization. "We have now in practical terms frozen our participation in this treaty. As for what comes next, we shall have to see," Pashinyan stated in an interview with France24 last week. Although the Kremlin said it has not received official confirmation that Armenia is leaving the alliance, Armenia has grown increasingly discontent with its ties with Russia in recent months.

Source: Business Insider 

Kazakhstan to Dispatch Peacekeeping Forces to Golan Heights

Kazakhstan is preparing to deploy its first independent peacekeeping contingent, consisting of 139 military personnel, to the Golan Heights under the United Nations (UN). The departure of the peacekeepers will take place in phases, with the first group of the contingent having left on February 22 from Kazakhstan to the Golan Heights through Damascus. On March 14, accompanied by a UN special unit and Syrian police, the final convoy will depart from Almaty and arrive at Camp Faouar.

Source: Astana Times

Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers to Meet in Berlin

On February 26, the spokesperson of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Facebook the date and location of the coming meeting between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia. Talks will be held February 28-29 in Berlin. The spokesperson also stated that the talks were the direct result of the tri-lateral meeting at the Munich Security Conference early this month hosted by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The talks will come after recent weeks saw stagnation and tension between the two countries.

Source: Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Georgian Defense Minister Meets with the U.S. European Command General

On February 26, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Chikovani met with the Director of Planning, Policy, Strategy, and Capabilities of the U.S. European Command General Daniel Lasika. During the meeting, cooperation between the United States and Georgia in the defense sector was discussed. The two sides stressed the importance of conducting multinational defense exercises in Georgia.

Source: Agenda.ge

Sources:  Agenda.ge, Astana Times, Business Insider, Caspian News, Eurasianet, Facebook, Politico, RFE/RL


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