Looming Generational Change in Central Asian Leadership

By Paul Goble

Not for the first time, a website has reported the death or incapacitation of a Central Asian leader only to have the report swiftly taken down and denied (see the blanked out “story” at dallol.ru/news-i1221.html). Up to now, these reports have not been accurate at least since the death of Turkmenistan’s Saparmurat Niyazov (“Turkmenbashi”) in 2006. Their increasing frequency surely reflects the fears or hopes of some in the region. But just as importantly, such stories highlight the aging of the two most important leaders in Central Asia and the certainty that, at some point, they will pass from the scene.

Kazakhstan Prepares to Sign Eurasian Union Treaty Despite Lingering Problems

By Georgiy Voloshin

On April 28, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev paid a working visit to Russia’s capital, where he delivered a lecture at the Moscow State University, twenty years after his first similar speech there in 1994. Rather expectedly, the president’s speech was dedicated to the issue of post-Soviet integration, as Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus are preparing to sign on May 29 in Astana the founding treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Since the mid-1990s, Kazakhstan has been a staunch supporter of various integration initiatives in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In 2000–2001, it played an instrumental role in the creation of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), which would later serve as a springboard for a trilateral Customs Union with Russia and Belarus (Forbes.kz, April 28).