• KGS/USD = 0.01140 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09314 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01140 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09314 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01140 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09314 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01140 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09314 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01140 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09314 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01140 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09314 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01140 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09314 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01140 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09314 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 211

The Fight Against Corruption Allowed Kyrgyzstan to Increase the State Budget

The head of the Kyrgyz Cabinet of Ministers, Akylbek Zhaparov, has said that thanks to the fruitful work of the government, “a new era in the financial sector of the Kyrgyz Republic has begun.” During a conference, which was attended by ministers, deputies, officials of various levels, representatives of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other international organizations, Zhaparov spoke about the new monetary policy. According to him, in 2020, the consolidated budget amounted to 247.8 billion KGS ($2.8 billion), whereas in 2024, the budget is estimated at 670 billion KGS ($7.6 billion). In four years, the authorities were able to increase the state budget by almost 400 billion som ($4.5 billion). “The reason for such achievements was the elimination of corruption. The main disease was the Kumtor deposit. Dividends received from it from 1994 to May 2021 amounted to $100 million. Over the past two and a half years, we have made a profit of $300 million,” Zhaparov said. The head of the Cabinet emphasized that Kyrgyzstan's GDP has reached 1.4 trillion som ($15.9 billion), while at the time of the collapse of the USSR and independence, the republic's GDP was only 100 million som ($1.1 billion). “The growth of state budget revenues has become a solid basis for the implementation of policies to improve the socioeconomic situation of citizens,” Zhaparov summarized.  

Three Kazakh Officials Suspected of Taking Large Bribes

Three high-ranking officials from Kazakhstan's Ministry of Emergency Situations have been accused of receiving bribes amounting to around 40 million tenge ($90,000). The country's Anti-Corruption Service is conducting an investigation into the conduct of the chairman of the ministry's fire fighting service, and the heads of the emergency situations department of the city of Shymkent and the region of Zhetisu. The service commented: "The officials are suspected of receiving bribes on a systematic basis from a representative of business for a total amount of more than 40 million tenge. The investigative court authorized a measure of restraint in the form of detention against the suspects. The criminal case is considered on the merits by the military court of Akmola garrison." No further information concerning the investigation has been published.

Real Estate Worth $8 Million Found in Dubai Belonging to Son of Ex-Prosecutor General of Uzbekistan

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and 75 media partners worldwide have released an investigation, Dubai Unlocked, which uncovers the foreign owners of real estate in Dubai. According to the report, the son of former Uzbek Prosecutor General, Alisherbek Kadirov, has commercial real estate in Dubai with an estimated value of approximately $8 million. According to Gazeta.uz, the investigation is based on leaked data on real estate in Dubai from 2020 and 2022, mostly from the Dubai Land Department, as well as from state-owned utility companies. The authors note that they only included people whose identities are of public interest. "Among the participants of the list is one representative of Uzbekistan. This is Alisherbek Kadirov, son of former Prosecutor General Rashitjon Kadirov. In 2018, shortly after the detention of Rashitjon Kadirov, the Interior Ministry declared Alisherbek Kadirov a wanted man. According to the investigation, he owns four offices in the business center, Marina Plaza, the total cost of which is estimated at $ 7.97 million," stated the report. Rashitjon Kadirov headed the Prosecutor General's office of Uzbekistan from 2000-2015, and was then elected judge of the Constitutional Court (2015-2017). In February 2018, the initiation of criminal proceedings against him became known. In June 2019, he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment on charges of bribery, incitement to bribery, fraud, willful evasion of taxes and other mandatory payments, interference in investigation, and other crimes. He was released on parole in January 2023.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: the EU’s Indecisive Strategy Towards Eurasia

Times of Central Asia Editorial Marking the next chapter in the geopolitical re-balancing competition between Russia and the West, the European Parliament (EP) on 13 March passed a resolution on deepening ties between the EU and Armenia. The document puts forth the possibility of granting Armenia candidate status for EU membership. Shortly after, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister stated that a new cooperation agreement with the EU could be signed by July 2024. The EP’s “Renew Europe” block, at the forefront of some of the harshest motions and resolutions against Central Asian republics in the EU, endorsed this outreach towards Armenia. This comes a few weeks after Armenia froze its participation in the Russian-led military alliance of six post-Soviet states, known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), after citing the Organization’s failure to fulfill its obligations towards Armenia in its conflict with Azerbaijan. These recent developments should be considered in the wider context of the EU’s eastward outlook, which has not always been evenhanded. Previously, on 17 January 2024, the EP had passed a resolution detailing the EU’s strategy on Central Asia, which recognized that the region is of “strategic interest to the EU in terms of security and connectivity, as well as energy and resource diversification, conflict resolution, and the defense of the multilateral rules-based international order”. European leaders ostensibly want to bring the Caucasus and Central Asia into the Western fold and away from Russia, China and other competing regimes or ideologies. Economic and security considerations may indeed pull European and Eurasian interests closer. Nonetheless, Central Asian states will likely, and understandably, choose to implement a multi-faceted foreign policy to diversify their trade and security alliances as they continue to transact and maintain working relationships with their powerful regional neighbors. Note that Chinese, Russian and other non-Western investment promises in Central Asia outweigh similar engagements from the EU. There remain other potential obstacles to further cooperation. Not surprisingly, the EU seeks to have a degree of “values alignment” before establishing economic and security partnerships in the region, such as strengthened rule of law, human rights, and freedoms. On the other hand, the EU is sometimes perceived as giving conflicting and even insincere messages. Examples with regard to Central Asia include instances where the EU has asked for progress in certain areas, but then failed to acknowledge policy implementation, or even doubled down on its criticisms despite positive steps taken by the targeted country’s leadership. Take, for instance, the discussions in the EU around the violent unrest in Kazakhstan in January 2022. The EU has called on Kazakhstan to investigate the events and to undertake reforms. In the last two years, Kazakhstan’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has overseen a batch of ambitious reforms, including enhanced political participation and representation as well as a stronger legal system and improved human rights, which are essentially unprecedented in the region. The progress made, however, does not seem to have materially swayed the EU’s outlook on the country. In terms of the investigations and...

Kazakhstan’s Improving Corruption Score Leads Central Asian Peers

Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2023 has been published, with the global anti-corruption organization ranking 180 countries using a 100-point system. On the CPI scale, the higher the score, the lower the degree of corruption. Kazakhstan achieved the highest ranking  -- i.e. the highest score, and the lowest degree of corruption -- among Central Asian states, taking 93rd place with a score of 39. The republic improved its ranking by three places compared to 2022, meaning that the level of corruption has improved. With 33 points, Uzbekistan ranked 121st out of 180 countries in the new ranking, a gain of five places on its ranking for 2022. In 2023's CPI rating Kyrgyzstan scored 26 points and took 141st place, a rise of one place. Kyrgyzstan now has the same score as Russia. The lowest absolute CPI scores in the Central Asia region were observed in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Tajikistan took 162nd place with 20 points, and Turkmenistan took 170th place with 18 points. Compared to last year, Tajikistan improved by four places on the list, and Turkmenistan gained one spot.

Kyrgyz Authorities Confiscate $35 Million of Oligarch Matraimov’s Assets – Plan to Nationalize Another $50 million of Property

Kyrgyzstan's State Committee of National Security (GKNB) has stated that following an investigation aimed at returning embezzled property into state ownership as part of a criminal case against former deputy chairman of the Customs Service, Raimbek Matraimov, the government has seized real estate worth $34,810,000. At the end of January 2024, the authorities placed the infamous oligarch Matraimov, who has bounced in and out of custody since 2020, on a wanted list. Matraimov, who is popularly known as "Raimbek-million" for his multi-million dollar fortune has already pleaded guilty to embezzlement, and is now charged under the article "illegal deprivation of liberty" on suspicion of abducting and illegally incarcerating unnamed individuals. The former deputy head of the Customs Service previously had extensive connections in the Kyrgyz parliament and government, and went unpunished for years. In 2021, the U.S. authorities banned Matraimov and his family members from entering the country. Head of the GKNB, Kamchibek Tashiev, accused Matraimov of creating a mafia clan. "Raimbek Matraimov has been put on a wanted list. All of his property... throughout Kyrgyzstan will go into the ownership of the state. We will not leave even a [plot] of land. He will no longer be Raimbek-million as he used to be. There will be no such thing as a clan. To destroy this clan, in the Osh region [alone] we fired about fifty people from state bodies," Tashiev stated. In 2019, the State Service for Combating Economic Crimes launched an investigation into corruption in the Kyrgyz Customs bodies. Earlier, documents had found their way into the hands of journalists showing that Matraimov had withdrawn about $700 million from the country through various banks over a period of seven years. However, investigators didn't find Matraimov's property abroad. In 2021, Matraimov was found guilty of corruption and convicted, but after paying a $22.5 million fine to the state, he was released. Law enforcement has since uncovered more of the oligarch's assets worth another $50 million. The GKNB is continuing to search for more assets obtained by criminal means in order to later transfer them to the state, according to the agency's press service. Matraimov's whereabouts are currently unknown.

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