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Central Asia Digest | July 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on June 15 that Kazakhstan has no intention of breaking Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In an interview with Russia’s Rossiya-24 TV channel, Tokayev said that previous comments by Kazakh officials that the sanctions would be respected were correct. “Sanctions are sanctions,” he said. "We cannot violate them

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Central Asia Digest | June 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

The new constitution of Kazakhstan proposes to exclude provisions on the status of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev. According to members of the constitutional working group, the historical role of the first president is ‘’well known’’ and does not require a separate provision in the constitution.

The present constitution accords considerable space to Nazarbayev and his role as

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Central Asia Digest | May 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

In his state of the nation address, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined major political initiatives and programs to contribute to a consistent democratization, and ensure the stability of the country. The implementation of the initiatives will require approximately 30 amendments to the Constitution and the adoption of more than 20 laws before the end of the year. The ten

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Central Asia Digest | April 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

Kazakh President Tokayev in an Article wrote: ‘’As states that share the longest border in the world, Kazakhstan and Russia enjoy special relations of mutual cooperation. Meanwhile we also have deep traditions of friendly relations with Ukraine. We respect its territorial integrity—as the overwhelming majority of the world does. We hope for a swift and just resolution of the conflic

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HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

The beginning of 2022 witnessed unimaginable events in Kazakhstan. That the largest and most prosperous among the central Asian nations would be suddenly wracked by violent protests and demonstrations of students and young people was farthest from the thoughts of the common people in the country and the world.

The trigger for the crisis that ripped the country apart starting 2nd Jan

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Central Asia Digest | January 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

During the visit of Uzbek President to South Korea, the two countries signed a joint statement on deepening the special strategic partnership, and some agreements related to health care, development, and foreign affairs cooperation for the 2022-2024 period, as well as memoranda related to developing dialogue on energy, smart city and smart farm developments, ICT, electric vehicles, a

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Central Asia Digest | December 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan embarked on his second term of office with a pledge to reform Uzbekistan’s constitution. He did not specify what changes he had in mind, as he made the announcement when he was sworn into office on November 6, following his landslide re-election victory on 24th October. Mirziyoyev embraced an ambitious economic reform agenda since he came to

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Central Asia Digest | November 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

Presidential elections were held in Uzbekistan on 24th October. Voter turnout was strong at 80.8%: over 16 million out of a total of 20 million eligible voters exercised their franchise. Incumbent President Shavkat Mirziyoyev won more than 80% of votes cast. The other candidates got: 6,6% — Vorisova; 5,5% — Qodirov; 4,1% — Oblomurodov; 3,4% — Abduhalimov. The result was an emphatic a

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Central Asia Digest | October 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

The Taliban have released multiple statements assuring neighbours in Central Asia of safety, security and peace, promising a change in leadership despite their history of violent rule in 1990. However, the international community, especially in Central Asia, remains extremely skeptical. The Taliban pose a direct threat to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, which may

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Central Asia Digest | September 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

Russia pledged to provide military support to Central Asia allies as security deteriorated in neighboring Afghanistan. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu voiced Moscow’s readiness to bolster Tajikistan’s military with weapons, equipment, and training. Shoigu made this statement at a meeting of Defense Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member nations in Tajikis

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Central Asia Digest | August 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

Few could have foreseen the rapid advances Taliban fighters have made in northern Afghanistan since the start of May. The fighting has spread swiftly to Afghanistan's northern borders and involved Central Asia. The earlier isolated cases of Afghan government troops seeking refuge across the border in neighboring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are becoming a commonplace occurrence.

The def

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Central Asia Digest | July 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

As United States withdraws its last forces from Afghanistan, it is eyeing Central Asia more closely than at any other time since the early 2000s as a potential launching pad for residual counterterrorism operations in the region. But planning is complicated by these countries’ skepticism of Washington, which some in the region view as an unreliable partner. And also because Russia an

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Central Asia Digest | June 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his counterparts from the five Central Asian countries (C5) to discuss a range of issues, including prospect of peace in Afghanistan, COVID-19 recovery and climate change. The C5+1 format was created in 2015 to increase communication and engagement between United States and five Central Asian states on issues in the region. During the talks, B

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Central Asia Digest | May 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments

● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

Voters in Kyrgyzstan granted sweeping powers to President Sadyr Japarov on 11 April in a constitutional referendum that will also allow him to run for re-election. The vote to change the Constitution to make it a Presidential form of government was approved by the people with a huge margin of 79% in favour. In addition to directly strengthening the presidency, the new constitution en

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Central Asia Digest | April 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations
 

Political Developments

Kyrgyzstan’s foreign debt is reportedly around US$5 billion and more than 40% (US$1.8 billion) is owed to Export-Import Bank of China for a series of infrastructure projects over the last decade under the guise of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Bishkek is grappling with a contracting economy whose gross domestic product dropped 8.6% in 2020, prompting fears the country will be una

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Central Asia Digest | March 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● India-Central Asia Relations

 

Political Developments

Sadyr Japarov officially took over as the new Kyrgyz president on 28th January, 2021, becoming the sixth president of Kyrgyzstan. Japarov defeated his 16 opponents, receiving more than 79% of votes polled, second highest total in Kyrgyzstan’s history after Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s 89% in the 2005 presidential election. Some 81% of voters approved the referendum reverting to a presidenti

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Central Asia Digest | February 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments

● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

Sadyr Japarov who took over as prime minister and also as acting president of Kyrgyzstan in mid-October, soon after the parliamentary elections, resigned his posts on 14th November, 2020 in order to run for president. Soon thereafter Kyrgyzstan’s parliament, which had ceased to exist, published for public review a draft constitution that kicked up a new tempest within Kyrgyzstan’s a

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Central Asia Digest | January 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

● INDIA-UZBEKISTAN PARTNERSHIP: TOWARDS NEW HEIGHTS

Introduction

PM Modi held a virtual Summit with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan on 11th December, 2020. This is the first Summit in virtual format that PM Modi has conducted with any leader of Central Asia. PM Modi was earlier scheduled to travel to Uzbekistan in July, 2020 but because of the coronavirus pandemic, this visit could not be undertaken. Rather than wait indefinitely for the global health situation to normaliz

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SPECIAL ISSUE III

● INDIA CHAIRS THE SCO SUMMIT

Introduction

India Chaired the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (CHG) (Prime Ministers) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on a virtual platform on 30th November, 2020. This was the first Summit level interaction that was hosted by India since it became a full member of the Organization at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State in 2017 in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) in Kazakhstan. Prior to this meeting, India has hosted s

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Central Asia Digest | December 2020

H I G H L I G H T S

 Political Developments

● Economic Developments

● India-Central Asia Relations

Political Developments

Transformation of Kyrgyzstan from an authoritarian state to a semi-parliamentary form of government has been short-lived. Since 5 October 2020, Kyrgyzstan was torn apart by the third revolution leading to widespread protests following elections which were alleged to be rigged. Kyrgyzstan has been heavily impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its economic implicat

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About the Author

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar

Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia; President, Institute of Global Studies and Distinguished Fellow, Ananta Centre

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar belongs to the Indian Foreign Service and has acquitted his responsibilities in the diplomatic service for 34 years. He was Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia and has worked in senior diplomatic positions in Indian Embassies/Missions in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Geneva, Tehran, Dhaka and Bangkok and also at Headquarters in India. He negotiated for India in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and in negotiations for India-EU, India-ASEAN and India-Thailand Free Trade Agreements.

He contributed significantly to strengthening strategic ties and promoting cultural cooperation between India and USA, EU, Russia and other countries.Ambassador Sajjanhar worked as head of National Foundation for Communal Harmony to promote amity and understanding between different religions, faiths and beliefs. Ambassador Sajjanhar has been decorated by Governments of Kazakhstan and Latvia with their National Awards and by Universal Peace Federation with Title of ''Ambassador of Peace.'' Currently Ambassador Sajjanhar is President of Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi. He writes, travels and speaks extensively on issues relating to international relations, foreign policy and themes of contemporary relevance and significance. He appears widely on TV panel discussions. Ambassador Sajjanhar is interested in reading, music and travelling. His wife Madhu is an economist and an educationist. They have a son and a daughter both of who are accomplished singers. Their son passed out of Yale University and their daughter is pursuing her PhD at University of Minnesota.