Kazakhstan to Host Offshore Yuan Center

By John C. K. Daly

Many observers both inside and outside Central Asia have noticed China’s rising economic influence there, supplanting the region’s traditional hegemon, Russia. In yet another sign of China’s growing economic clout in Eurasia, Astana International Financial Center governor and former National Bank chairman Kairat Kelimbetov announced, on February 29, that Kazakhstan will build an offshore yuan center. According to Kelimbetov, the offshore Chinese currency center will serve the entire Central Asian region in anticipation of rising regional trade and investment with China (The Shanghai Daily, February 29). He added that Kazakhstan will also expand its cooperation with the Shanghai stock and gold exchanges as part of a broader effort to encourage more Chinese financial institutions to assist his country in developing Astana as an international financial center. The choice of Astana is not accidental: Kazakhstan has Central Asia’s most dynamic economy, far ahead of neighboring Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan.

Immunity from all sorts of shocks

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By Kim Shtern

Kazakhstan prepares for early elections to the parliament. The solution dissolve the lower house and hold a vote under difficult not only for the country but for the world economic situation has caused a lot of questions and disputes. Nevertheless, the election still be. The list of those who will now influence the fate of the Central Asian States, will be known after March 20.

Agreement on systematic controls of EU external borders

EU migration ministers agree that everyone, including EU citizens, will be systematically checked at the EU’s external borders. All member states will be obliged to check that no one entering or leaving the EU represents a threat to public order and security. The ministers reached agreement on the controls in Brussels thursday during a meeting chaired by the Netherlands Presidency.

New GUAM?

By Anna Magda

Turkish diplomacy has intensified contacts with the former Soviet Union countries. February 15 visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu in Kiev, during which he stated that "the formation of an anti-Azerbaijani alliance between Russia and Armenia has become a fait accompli, threatening the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan."

Secretary General: NATO and the EU working closer together than ever before

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Calling the European Union “an essential partner for NATO,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed closer cooperation between the European Union and NATO. Addressing the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Sub-Committee on Security and Defence on Tuesday (23 February 2016), he noted that 90% of the European Union’s citizens are also citizens of NATO Allies, which underscores the importance of the relationship.