The European Union has been engaged with the five countries in Central Asia from the very moment they gained their independence in the early 1990s. At the beginning of the 21st century, the globalization process has required a new partnership to be established between them, and Central Asia became one of the objectives of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.
EU CENTRAL ASIA STRATEGY
As is known, in June 2011 Astana will host the jubilee Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. According to Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Yang Jiechi, Chinese side gives special attention to this regional event and intends to contribute to this meeting and promote regional interaction.
In what could be a new fight over export duties, Russia has stopped transporting petrol fuel to Kyrgyzstan as of Feb. 15, after the Kyrgyz government decided to nationalize one of its largest telecom companies.
The U.S. is planning to help Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan develop their navies, emphasizing the increasing importance of Caspian Sea security and the possibility of the sea's militarization, with all five bordering countries (including Iran and Russia) planning to build up their strength in the oil- and gas-rich sea.
Counselor of the President of Kazakhstan Yermukhamet Yertysbayev during a conversation with a reporter of the newspaper “Express K” placed all emphasizes within the subject of the oncoming pre-term elections.
China and Russia are leading a new effort at the United Nations to curb the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia and defeat al-Qaeda-linked terrorists fighting to seize control of the Horn of Africa nation.
Presidential candidates in Kazakhstan have published their political platforms in official press.
As noted in my last post, a new report from the bipartisan Central Asia Study Group, chaired by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and issued by the Project 2049 Institute, offers an action agenda aimed at creating a more effective and enduring partnership between the United States and the nations of Central Asia. I was the principal author of the report. But the paper is a consensus document that reflects discussion, debate, and, ultimately, broad agreement among a distinguished group of former senior U.S. diplomatic and defense officials with responsibility for, or interest in, Central Asia.
Russia looks to be beating out the United States and India to win the use of Tajikistan's Ayni air base.
This April Kazakhstan will see early presidential elections. A relevant decree has been signed by the head of state, Nursultan Nazarbayev. This decision is alternative to a referendum that was suggested to extend his current term in office until 2020.