EU CENTRAL ASIA STRATEGY

Some questions of the Chinese "Marshall Plan"

By Arthur Dunn

The "One belt and one way" initiative focuses on transport and logistics. China has the world's largest network of high-speed and high-speed railways with a length of more than 19,000 km (this is more than the length of the railways of Japan and Europe combined). One of the announced projects is the construction of a single high-speed passenger railroad Beijing-Kazakhstan- Moscow with the expansion to the south and east (Beijing and the Pacific) and to the west (Rotterdam and the Atlantic Ocean). It is also planned to reconstruct the old railway lines, including in the CIS.

In Central Asia, Strategic Partnerships Growing Ascendant

By Umida Hashimova

It takes three separate diplomatic efforts for three countries to sign three bilateral strategic partnership agreements. That is exactly what happened over the past four years in Central Asia: first Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan signed a strategic partnership in June 2013; then Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan concluded one during Uzbekistani President Shavkat Mirziyaev’s first foreign trip to Turkmenistan on March 6, 2017; and a little over a month later, the latest agreement was signed between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Cumulatively, these two-way agreements have led to the emergence of a Central Asian strategic triangle—a first for the region (Kun.uz, April 22). What exactly does it mean for these countries to have elevated their cooperation to the strategic level, and why did they take such a step at this time?

Memorandum on Syria de-escalation zones signed in Astana 

The two-day talks in Astana ended with signing the memorandum on establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria. The document was signed by the guarantor states - Russia, Iran and Turkey. “In the past two days, the participants of the Astana Process have reviewed the implementation of the ceasefire regime agreements. As a result, the guarantor states agreed to sign the memorandum on establishment of the de-escalation zones in Syria,