Headlines from the Caspian: November 21, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Nov 21, 2022
Security and Policy
President Tokayev Wins Election
According to Preliminary data from Kazakhstan’s Central Election Commission, incumbent President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has secured another seven-year presidential term. According to the Commission, he won the November 20 snap-election by 81.3% of the vote. Voter turnout for the election was 69.4%.
Source: Al Jazeera
Uzbekistan’s Senate Approves Law on Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Border
The senate of Uzbekistan voted unanimously to approve the delimitation of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan border and the agreement of joint management of the Andijan water reserve. Uzbekistan will gain 19.5 hectares of land near the Kempir-Abad dam, and 1,019 hectares of agricultural land will be transferred to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan had already voted to ratify this law.
Source: AKI Press
EU-Central Asia Connectivity Conference Hosted in Samarkand
On November 18, the conference took place to “develop intra- and inter-regional dialogue to achieve sustainable connectivity in accordance with the European Global Gateway strategy, which was launched on December 1, 2021, as well as to present Team Europe cooperation initiatives in Central Asia.” Participants included government delegations of Central Asian countries as well as leading figures in European political and financial sectors. During the conference, participants discussed fostering regional cooperation in the areas of energy, water, transport, and environmental conservation.
Source: AKI Press
President Mirziyoyev Departs to Paris for Visit with President Macron
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has left for an official visit with President of France Emmanuel Macron in Paris, November 21-22. His visit will include high-level meetings at the National Assembly of France, bilateral discussions, and talks with heads of leading French companies and banks.
Source: AKI Press, The Asia Today
Türkiye and Turkmenistan Discuss Cooperation During High-Level Ashgabat Meeting
On November 18, Former President of Turkmenistan and current Chairman of the Upper House of Parliament of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye, Mustafa Şentop, met in Ashgabad to discuss strengthening ties between the two countries. During the meeting, Berdimuhamedov mentioned Ashgabat’s intentions to host a trilateral summit with Azerbaijan, Türkiye, and Turkmenistan. Berdimuhamedov cited an increase in high-level meetings between the three counties as preparation for the summit.
NATO Secretary General Emphasizes Need for Greater Cooperation with Georgia and Neighbors
At the annual NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NPA) held on November 21, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gave remarks in which he stated a need to “step up” cooperation with countries "affected by Russian aggression,” naming Moldova, Georgia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He stressed a need for NATO to continue and to bolster cooperation with “like-minded” governments around the world that have shared security concerns and values.
Source: Georgia Today
Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate Holds a Hearing on Assessing U.S. Policy in the Caucasus
On November 16, the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate held a hearing on “Assessing U.S. Policy in the Caucasus.” Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried and Senior Adviser on Caucasus Negotiations of the State Department Philip Reeker delivered speeches at the hearing. Donfried emphasized that supporting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is “both the right thing to do and in our national security interest.” Reeker stated that the OSCE Minsk Group “no longer operates in the form it was known before” and that Washington deals with the arrangement between Azerbaijan and Armenia only with direct relations with Baku and Yerevan.
Sources: Foreign Relations Committee, Caucasus Watch, Mediamax.am
Azerbaijan Opens Embassy in Israel
On November 18, the Azerbaijani Parliament approved bills on “the establishment of the embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the State of Israel (in Tel Aviv city)" and on “the establishment of the representative office of Azerbaijan in Palestine (Ramallah)."
Energy and Economy
New Agreement Allows the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to Import Urea from China and Azerbaijan
On November 18, the Economic Trading Committee (ECC), headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, summarized a new agreement involving the procurement of 200,000 tons of urea to “replenish strategic reserves.” The ECC gave the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) the green light to import 125,000 tons of urea from China and 35,000 tons from Azerbaijan. The Ministry of Industries also announced negotiations with Chinese firms and their commitment to supply urea “at the lowest rate.”
Source: Dawn News
Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz Establishes the Caspian’s First Crewless Operation Compression Platform
British Petroleum (BP) has selected U.S.-based KBR to construct the first unmanned offshore compression platform in the Caspian region. This project aims to integrate the platform into the existing system, reduce operating costs, eliminate personnel risks, and reduce the carbon footprint as part of BP’s net-zero carbon emissions project.
Source: Upstream Online
KazMunayGaz Tripled Shares to be Available for Investors
As part of its IPO process, Kazakhstan’s state-owned energy producer, KazMunayGaz, has tripled the shares it offers to investors, bringing the total share offer to 15.4% at the fixed share price of USD $18.40. Kazakhstan's authorities have announced that over the next three years, USD $437 million will be guaranteed to public and private shareholders. There is speculation that this is an attempt to bring in more Western investors and to "share the national wealth."
Source: Upstream Online, Tengri News
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan Stock Exchanges Discuss Cooperation and Development in Financial Market
On November 21, delegations of Azerbaijan’s Baku Stock Exchange (BSE) and partnered investors met with a delegation from the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange. They held several meetings to discuss increased cooperation and market intelligence-sharing, along with financial market development.
Source: Azer News
Gazprom Starts Gas Shipments to Azerbaijan
Russian energy company Gazprom started supplying gas to Azerbaijan on November 15. According to the agreement, Gazprom is set to supply up to 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Azerbaijan until March 2023. Azerbaijan is expected to use gas received from Russia for its domestic use, since it’s supplying Europe with natural gas through the Southern Gas Corridor.
Sources: Nasdaq, Anadolu Agency
Sources: AKI Press, Al Jazeera, The Asia Today, Azer News, Dawn News, Georgia Today, Tengri News, Upstream Online