• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Kyrgyzstan Looks to Azerbaijan to Replace Russian Fuel

Geopolitical turbulence is forcing Kyrgyz authorities to diversify approaches to securing its fuel and lubricants supplies. Azerbaijan may become one of the sources of oil products. As part of Kyrgyz president Sadyr Zhaparov's recent visit to Azerbaijan, negotiations were held with representatives of the Baku Oil Refinery, which is run by the state oil company, SOCAR.  The two sides discussed the specific details of Azerbaijani oil supplies to the Junda oil refinery in Kyrgyzstan. "Azerbaijan is one of the largest exporters of oil products. In the near future, the Junda oil refinery will also start operating in Kyrgyzstan, the demand of which is more than 1 million tons of fuel per year. In this regard, the issues of oil supplies to Kyrgyzstan were discussed with the management of SOCAR. For their part, they are ready to cooperate," said Kyrgyz energy minister Taalaibek Ibrayev. Earlier, Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of Economy and Commerce discussed various risks in the fuel market. The ministry is preparing a package of measures in case of a sharp increase in prices for crude oil and petroleum products. Kyrgyzstan's economy minister Daniyar Amangeldiev referenced the agreements between Russia and Kyrgyzstan on duty-free supplies of oil products under the customs rules of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). However, the ministry fears a sharp reduction in imports from Russia -- as Ukrainian forces use drones to bomb Russian refining capacity, and western sanctions make repairing and replacing parts more difficult. Currently, Kyrgyzstan's local capacity for refining petroleum products doesn't even cover 5% of domestic demand.

Tajik Nationals Held in Moscow Airports as Russia Tightens Border Controls

More than a thousand Tajik citizens are being held in detention facilities at Moscow airports in unsanitary conditions and without access to hot meals, Tajikistan said on Sunday, a day after the government urged its’ nationals to temporarily refrain from traveling to Russia “unless absolutely necessary.” Over the weekend, Russia disputed Tajik claims that it is targeting people from Tajikistan, saying it is intensifying anti-terrorism measures and that more rigorous checks of foreign citizens seeking entry are carried out “regardless of the nationality of the persons.” The diplomatic back-and-forth, a rare show of discord between Russia and Tajikistan, comes amid a surge in suspicion and harassment among some Russians toward Tajik citizens after gunmen attacked the Crocus City Hall on March 22, killing more than 140 people. Several Tajik suspects were among those initially detained, and Russia’s state-run agency, Tass said on Saturday that a court had ordered the arrest of a 12th suspect, a Tajik citizen living in a Moscow hostel. The Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the attack, has some Central Asian recruits, though their number is disputed. “The situation with Tajik citizens stuck at Moscow airports remains difficult,” and restrictive measures are being applied “exclusively” to people from Tajikistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan said in a statement. By late Saturday, 954 Tajik citizens, including students in Russia on scholarships provided by the Tajik government, were in temporary detention at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, according to the ministry. It said 322 who waited for hours were allowed into Russia, but the Russian authorities reportedly planned to add 306 people to an “expulsion list,” and 27 have already been expelled. Dozens of Tajik citizens are also being held in poor conditions at the Zhukovsky, Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports in Moscow, according to the ministry. Tajik diplomats and members of the diaspora in Russia are delivering meals to their detained compatriots. The embassy in Moscow has opened a 24-hour operational headquarters to help them. Tajikistan expressed its concern in a meeting last week after summoning Russian Ambassador Semyon Grigoryev to the foreign ministry in Dushanbe. On Saturday, in a notice that it described as urgent, Tajikistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged citizens to “temporarily refrain from traveling to Russian territory by all types of transport unless absolutely necessary.” More thorough checks by Russian law enforcement means that “at checkpoints across the state border, including at a number of airports, there are delays during passport control,” said Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The Russian side is taking comprehensive measures to resolve the current situation as quickly as possible. We count on your understanding.” Zakharova said “no changes have been made to the list of grounds for imposing a ban on entry into the Russian Federation; there are no additional obstacles to crossing the state border by foreign citizens, provided they have all the necessary documents.” Meanwhile, citizens of Tajikistan are also experiencing problems with entry at land border crossings. More than...

Kyrgyz Farmers Urged to Supply Agricultural Products to China

The Kyrgyz Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Resources has urged more domestic businesses to establish and expand trade in agricultural produce with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Kyrgyz farmers and processors currently export wheat flour, cherries, melons, grapes and soybeans to China and  to increase food exports, the ministry has issued a series of guidelines. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners must first be registered on the website of the General Customs Administration of the PRC, and to satisfy Chinese demand, ensure that their produce is devoid of  genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and harmful additives. "It should be noted that requirements on the Chinese side differ according to  risks posed by individual plant products," warned the Kyrgyz Ministry of Agriculture, "and conducts a comprehensive inspection of produce provided by first-time exporters." In his address at an earlier  conference in Bishkek, Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Du Dewen confirmed  China's need for imports from organic agriculture vendors and plans to improve trade relations with Kyrgyzstan. According to the General Customs Administration, Kyrgyzstan increased its annual export to China by over two-fold in the first quarter of 2024, and total  bilateral trade turnover stands at  $4.5 billion per year. In a recent list provided by Chinese authorities, Beijing requires  beef, poultry, fish, as well as cowhides, sheep, goats, and washed wool and cashmere.

Kazakhstan and the Taliban Discuss Transport Links

Members of Kazakhstan's government and representatives of the Taliban have discussed expanding transportation links between Astana and Kabul, according to the Kazakh government's press service. The Kazakh side has said it's ready to participate in projects to develop the Trans-Afghan corridor: the construction of the railroad routes Termez - Mazar-e-Sharif - Kabul - Peshawar and Herat - Kandahar - Spin - Buldak. The projects, say Kazakh officials, will make it possible to reduce the cargo-transit time between the countries of the region almost 90%, as well as reducing the costs. Kazakhstan is ready to participate in the construction of a Trans-Afghan highway by supplying sleepers and fasteners to Afghanistan. Representatives of the national rail carrier Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, or KTZ, spoke about the new cargo delivery route. "Today we launched a pilot project to organize a new multimodal export route from Kazakhstan through Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and further by sea to the port of Jebel Ali in the UAE. The new route is organized with the participation of KTZ Express. The exporter is Kazakhstan's Bio Synergy, and the shipping partner is Pakistan's National Logistics Cell (NLC). The loading of cargo has already started in Pavlodar region. That cargo is aluminosilicate hollow microsphere. In Almaty, the cargo will be reloaded into containers and transferred to the cars of the Pakistani partner. From there by motor transport it will pass through Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to the port of Karachi in Pakistan. From there, two containers will be sent by sea to the port of Jebel Ali in the UAE," commented KTZ's managing director Bauyrzhan Urynbasarov. The parties also discussed the possibility of arranging more flights between the countries. Under earlier agreements, air carriers from Kazakhstan and Afghanistan have the right to perform three regular passenger/cargo flights per week. Kazakhstan is ready to consider accepting more flights from Afghan airlines. Over the past three years the volume of exports from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan has been steadily growing. In 2023, the volume of transportation by rail amounted to 2.7 million tons, of which 1.5 million tons was flour and grain. In December 2023 Kazakhstan removed the Taliban from its list of banned organizations. According to the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Taliban was no longer classed as a banned organization "in accordance with the practice of the UN [United Nations]."

Russian Comments Put Kazakhstan’s Oil Transit to Germany Under Threat

Russia has warned Kazakhstan about the possible suspension of Kazakh crude oil transshipment to Germany through the Druzhba oil pipeline system. The stated reason is the debt of Polish pipeline operator PERN, according to a report by Reuters. Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, claims that Russia's Transneft has warned its Kazakh partner KazTransOil about the suspension of oil deliveries to the Schwedt refinery. The reason for this demarche is the outstanding debts of Polish state pipeline operator PERN. If the Polish company doesn't pay for the services of oil acceptance and transfer at the Polish transit point Adamova Zastava on the border with Belarus by June, the transit will be stopped. The amount of the debt is unknown. PERN explained its version of the situation by citing western sanctions against Russia. Payment of money to the Russian side can lead to violations of the sanctions regime. According to comments made by the Kazakh Ministry of Energy, the Kazakh government itself looks at the possibility of transit suspension very negatively. KazTransOil said that the plan of deliveries to Germany remains unchanged, and that negotiations with all participants of the process are underway. Curiously, the Ministry of Energy denied the Reuters report, claiming that "the information does not correspond to reality." In early April it was reported that the Kazakh side intends to supply 1.2 million tons of oil to the Schwedt refinery by the end of the year. This would not be the first case involving a cessation of Kazakh oil transiting Russian territory. Earlier, there were repeated problems with the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) terminal in Novorossiysk, Russia, on the Black Sea. Some analysts believe that Russia uses oil transportation as an instrument to apply pressure to the Kazakh government.

Samarkand to Host Asian Women’s Forum Next Month

The Asian Women's Forum will be held in Samarkand this May, where participants will discuss the situation surrounding women's rights in the countries of Central and Southeast Asia. The forum will discuss issues related to expanding women's rights, and reducing poverty in the region by involving women in entrepreneurship. Sessions will pay special attention to the role of parliaments in stimulating women's participation in business, gender-oriented budgeting, elimination of gender disparity, and eradication of all forms of violence against women and children. The participants will also focus on modern approaches and best practices in promoting the green economy, the impact of climate change on gender issues in the region -- as well as protection of women's rights and interests. Women are now a driving force in all aspects of life in Central Asia. Addressing the 78th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, Chairwoman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis (bicameral parliament) of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbayeva said that "the attitude towards women has fundamentally changed in the country. Much attention is [being] paid to their education, mastering professions and foreign languages -- as well as to the development of women's entrepreneurship." To date, Uzbekistan has adopted more than 40 legal and regulatory acts to improve the status of women in society, established the National Agency for Social Protection, which, among other things, provides targeted assistance to women and works specifically on the social adaptation of women returned from conflict zones in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.