Latest Articles about Central Asia

Succession Appears Less Clear as Kazakhstan’s Former President Nazarbayev Formally Takes on Vast Powers

On October 21, the Kazakhstani media space went into a frenzy following the publication of a presidential decree that endows the now-former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, with extensive executive responsibilities. More specifically, Nazarbayev’s successor, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, signed off on Nazarbayev’s de facto veto power over high-level... MORE

Central Asian Perspectives of the Tsentr 2019 Military Exercises

Tsentr 2019, this year’s largest Russian strategic-operational exercise, involving both Russian troops and seven regional allies and partners, was a highly promoted event by Russia’s state-owned news outlets. According to Sputnik News, the maneuvers (September 16–21) “demonstrated to the world the unprecedented defensive capabilities of... MORE

Russia Claims Uzbekistan Will Soon Join Eurasian Union

On October 2, while on an official visit to Tashkent, the chairperson of Russia’s Federation Council (upper chamber of parliament), Valentina Matviyenko, unexpectedly announced Uzbekistan’s supposed intention to join the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) (RIA News, October 2). Days later, another Russian politician, Farid Mukhamedshin,... MORE

Turkmenistan’s Gas Exports Hampered by Geopolitical Realities

On August 12, during the Caspian Economic Forum in Turkmenistan, Russia and Iran expressed their discontent regarding the long-proposed Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCP) project (see EDM, September 4). Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stressed that all “major Caspian Sea projects should undergo an impartial environmental... MORE

Russia Tests Network-Centric Warfare in Tsentr 2019

The Russian Armed Forces staged their annual strategic-level military exercise this past week (September 16–21), alongside units from seven partner countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, India and Pakistan—all of them Moscow’s allies in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This year’s strategic command-staff exercise (strategicheskiye komandno-shtabnyye ucheniya—SKShU), Tsentr... MORE

Anti-Chinese Protests Spread Across Kazakhstan

Residents of six major cities in Kazakhstan took to the streets last week (September 3) to protest their government’s decision allowing China to open 55 factories in their country, a move the protesters say will deepen Kazakhstan’s dependence on its large eastern neighbor and lead... MORE