All Posts (84)

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Indian Army Staff (COAS) visited Kazakhstan & Turkmenistan from 01-06 Aug 2017 with a high level military delegation.

In Kazakhstan from 01-03 August 2017, General Rawat met Defence Minister, Chairman of the National Security Committee, Vice Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry along with Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces of Kazakhstan. He also visited the elite Air Assault Brigade and National Defence…

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Political Developments - August 2017

Kazakhstan has stated that Russia, Turkey, and Iran have agreed to restart Syria peace talks in Astana at the end of August. The fifth round of negotiations on 4-5 July,2017 ended without an agreement. In spite of failure of negotiations, Moscow said that the basic framework had been “essentially agreed”. Moscow said that details of proposed zones, such as the territory covered by them and what forces would participate still “need finalising” because Turkish…

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Economic Developments - August 2017

Moody has raised Kazakhstan’s sovereign rating to Baa3 and improved its prognosis from negative to stable. It cited the economy’s increasing adaptiveness to low oil prices as a decisive factor for the decision. Kazakhstan has used funds to help lenders with huge bad debt portfolios address their liabilities before international creditors. The country’s low debt burden and accumulation of financial reserves has permitted the government to apply effective measures to stimulate…

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Political Developments - July 2017

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani visited Turkmenistan on 3rd July and held discussions with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov on trade and investment, the Turkmenistan-Afghan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, regional safety and bilateral cooperation. Another important project discussed was railway from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan. The leaders agreed to continue cooperation to combat international terrorism, extremism, illegal drug trafficking,…

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Kazakh Embassy in New Delhi organized a Reception dedicated to 25th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Service of Kazakhstan. Speaking on the occasion, Joint Secretary Srinivas from Ministry of External Affairs noted the current high level of bilateral relations as well as importance of recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Astana to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. This year also marks the 25th Anniversary of establishment of…

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Economic Developments - July 2017

World Bank approved two loans totaling $294.9 million to Uzbekistan for projects in land reclamation and livestock sector. These funds will be allocated for 20 years, including a five-year grace period. 

Turkmen President invited business community of Uzbekistan to participate in the TAPI gas pipeline project. Uzbekistan was also offered to develop oil and gas fields on the Caspian shelf.

Inflation in…

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Economic Developments - June 2017

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev launched a program to develop hydropower energy in Uzbekistan. The program aims at constructing 18 new hydro-power plants (HPPs) and modernizing 14 existing HPPs by 2021 at a cost of $2.65 billion. Reports also mentioned other hydropower projects to be realized by 2030 that would cost an additional $1.7 billion. This will increase share of hydroelectric power from the current 12.7% to 15.8%.

Kazakhstan was placed at…

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During his visit to Astana on 8th-9th June, 2017 to participate in the SCO Summit, Prime Minister Modi met Presidents of Kazakhstan, China, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

Prime Minister Modi and Kazakh President Nazarbayev held discussions on a number of issues and reviewed progress of agreements signed between two nations including supply of uranium to India. Kazakhstan has emerged as the number one supplier of uranium to India. Two…

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Political Developments - June 2017

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Astana:

India and Pakistan became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at its 17th Summit in Astana on 9th June, 2017. Both countries had become Observers in the Organisation in 2005. This was the first expansion of the 6-member body which was established in 2001. SCO members now include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. With this…

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India and Kazakhstan held the fourth Meeting of Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism in New Delhi on 03 May 2017. Both sides assessed and exchanged views on prevailing terrorist threats in their respective regions including state-sponsored, cross-border terrorism in the Af-Pak region. They discussed current challenges posed by various terrorist entities, radicalisation, foreign terrorist fighters, drug trafficking and misuse of cyber-space for terrorist…

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Uzbekistan and China signed around 100 contracts worth a total of US$23 billion during the 5-day visit from 11th-15th May, 2017 of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Beijing at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Sectors encompassing energy to oil refining, electricity to agriculture, chemicals to transport and communications were covered. This was Mirziyaev’s first visit to China since his election in December, 2016 after the death of Islam…

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Economic Developments - May 2017

In his statement at BRF, Mitziyoyev expressed hope that China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway network (including Afghanistan), could be integrated into the Belt and Road, via connections to ports in Pakistan and Iran. 

Speaking at the Summit, Nazarbayev stressed that Central Asia has regained its strategic importance and has become the main bridge between the world’s largest markets.

Xi Jinping said China is…

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Economic Developments - April 2017

On April 10, 2017, Areva and Kazatomprom signed a major agreement to strengthen their long-standing cooperation in the uranium mining sector in Kazakhstan. The agreement will open up new opportunities for further development and enhancement of the joint-venture Katco (Areva (51%) and Kazatomprom(49%)).

Moscow-based Expert Center for Eurasian Development has studied Central Asian and Caucasian countries in terms of their attractiveness for investment,…

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Political Developments - April 2017

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan paid his first visit to Russia after being elected to this position, on 4-5 April, 2017. 16 bilateral agreements, contracts and other documents including a US$12-billion package of deals on implementation of major investment projects and US$3.8 billion in trade and economic spheres were signed during the visit. Documents signed included a framework agreement on joint financing of investment projects, joint manufacturing of…

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Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs visited Kyrgyzstan on 16-17 April, 2017. During his visit he called on Kyrgyz President Atambayev, met with Foreign Minister and interacted with State Commission on Religious Affairs and National Institute of Strategic Studies.

Second India-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum was held in New Delhi on 29 March. 18 entrepreneurs from Kyrgyzstan and more than 100 from India attended the forum which was hosted…

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Jaypee Group, the Uttar Pradesh-based infrastructure and energy conglomerate has signed an MoU with Kazakhstan's national agency for export and investment (KAZNEX INVEST) for collaboration in several areas of mutual interest. MoU was signed during visit of a delegation of Jaypee Group to Kazakhstan in end-February, 2017.

The delegation met with several Ministers, Kazakhstan state bodies, national and private companies in Almaty and Astana. Discussions were held on several projects…

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Political Developments - March 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on 27th-28th February, 2017. The visit took place against background of escalation of problems in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), the two Eurasian integration programs. Aim of the visit was to mitigate tensions in Eurasian area and promote new guarantees of stability.

Putin met Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Almaty and…

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Economic Developments - March 2017

Real incomes of Kazakhstan’s population fell by 4.5% in 2016, the largest decrease in living standards over the past 16 years. This is on account of international economic slowdown, decline in global prices of energy and sluggish performance of Russian and Chinese economies, its main trading partners.  

Kyrgyzstan has temporarily suspended meat imports from China pending a joint inspection by EAEU countries to determine whether the imports will be allowed into…

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Political Developments - February 2017

Turkmenistan’s incumbent President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was convincingly re-elected as President for a third term of seven years, securing 98% of the votes polled in a heavily one-sided election on 12th February, 2017. He demolished eight other token candidates that included subordinate regional officials and director of a government-owned oil refinery. Turkmenistan's official news organization reported that international observers found only minor voting problems,…

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Economic Developments - February 2017

Pipeline construction and gas-field development on the 1,680 km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline commenced in Turkmenistan in 2015. Commissioning of the project is likely to be delayed by one year from 2019 to 2020 because of inability of Turkmenistan to achieve financial closure on the project. It was earlier scheduled to attain this by December 2016, but now it has been moved forward to June 2017. The four countries have signed a…

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About the Author

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.