Headlines from the Caspian: March 22, 2022
Author:Caspian Policy Center
Mar 22, 2022
President Biden Sends Letters to Heads of State of Central Asia and Azerbaijan Celebrating Nowruz
In celebration of the holiday, President Biden has sent letters wishing the leaders and people of Central Asia and the South Caucasus a happy Nowruz. In a public statement, President Biden also wished everyone celebrating the holiday across the globe his best.
Energy and Economy
Azerbaijan and Iran Sign Transport Deal
Iranian Minister of Roads and Transport Rostam Ghasemi signed a memorandum in Baku with his Azerbaijani counterparts to promote trade and communication between East Zangezur and Nakhichevan.
Pandemic Continues to Harm Georgia Financially
Georgian households are struggling with the ongoing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The high number of dollar-denominated loans coupled with the Georgian lari's slump have made the last two years especially painful, pushing more people into poverty and threatening more with homelessness.
Kazakhstan Will Use Ruble with Russia and Belarus
Kazakhstan has decided to use Russian rubles for the payment of customs fees in bilateral trade with Russia and Belarus. Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine made it incredibly difficult to use other foreign currencies.
Uzbekistan’s Foreign Trade Reaches U.S. $8.73 Billion For January and February
According to authorities, the foreign trade turnover (FTT) of Uzbekistan reached $8.73 billion in January and February 2022, marking an 84.9 percent increase over the same period a year before.
Security and Politics
Russia Strikes Ukraine with Cruise Missiles from the Caspian
Russia struck Ukraine with cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and launched hypersonic missiles from Crimean airspace, the Russian defense ministry said on Sunday. Russia hit a Ukrainian military preparation center where foreign fighters joining Kyiv's forces were based.
Yerevan is Host to Pro-Russian Invasion Rally
On Saturday, Armenians gathered, sporting Russian and Soviet flags as well as the letter “Z” now widely seen as a symbol Russia’s war against Ukraine. The protest was widely covered in Russian media.
Source: Open Caucasus Media
Yerevan Hosts Anti-War Gathering
On Sunday, a few hundred of Armenians, Russians and Ukrainians in Yerevan hosted an anti-war protest in Yerevan. This has been the largest anti-war rally since the Russian invasion on February 24.
Source: Open Caucasus Media
Uzbekistan Calls for an End to the Aggression in Ukraine
Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov stated in an address to the Senate that Uzbekistan supported a peaceful resolution to the situation in Ukraine and "[f]or that to happen, it is necessary first to bring an end to the military activities and aggression.”
UN Votes to Establish Formal Presence in Afghanistan
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution to secure a formal presence in Afghanistan. The resolution—which avoids using the word Taliban—will allow the UN to continue work in the country. The vote was 14 in favor, with one abstention, by Russia. The UN has not yet recognized the Taliban’s pick of envoy to the body, and the resolution does not give the new government international recognition.
(Sources: Eurasianet, France24, Open Caucasus Media, Reuters, RFE/RL, UzDaily)