Close to four million tons of cargo are to be transported along the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor in 2024, Kazakhstan’s national railways, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, announced on January 27th. In 2023, 2.7 million tons of cargo was transported along the Trans-Caspian route, 86% more than the previous year. The Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor – also known as the Middle Corridor – starts in South-east Asia and China, and runs through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia, before reaching the countries of Western Europe. The geopolitical significance of this route has dramatically increased since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The European Commission has said that it underlines the urgency to find alternative trade routes between Europe and Asia which do not pass through Russia. On January 29th and 30th, the Investors Forum for EU-Central Asia Transport Connectivity took place in Brussels, Belgium. At the forum, the nations of the European Union and Central Asia took the first steps towards creating a fast-track route along the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor, which will take only 15 days. The European Commission’s Executive Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis announced that European and international financial institutions are to commit €10bn ($10.9bn) in support and investment towards sustainable transport connectivity in Central Asia. Addressing the forum on January 29th, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell emphasized the importance of the EU’s partnership with Central Asia. “In this very much complicated geopolitical environment, Central Asia has become a crucial partner for us. Four years ago, Central Asia was a little bit in the middle of nowhere – and now, you are in the middle of everything. You are the cornerstone between Europe and Asia. Everything that matters between Europe and Asia goes through you,” Mr Borrell said, adding that the EU has to invest much more in physical connections between Europe and Central Asia in order to diversify and find new alternatives for transport, energy, and supply chains. “It will breathe new life into the ancient Silk Road, [also] linking up with our partners in Turkey and the South Caucasus,” he stated.
Viewing results 1 - 6 of 2
At the regular plenary session held on January 17 this year, the European Parliament supported the adoption of the resolution "EU Strategy for Central Asia: New Opportunities for Strengthening Partnership". One of the MEPs Carsten Lücke wrote in his Instagram that the resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority. More specifically, the voting results were divided as follows: "for" voted 54 deputies, "against" - 42, "abstained" - 44. Aydos Sarymna, a deputy of Kazakhstan's Majilis, noted in a message on his Telegram channel that this resolution is a planned document of the European Parliament, according to which the deputies gave their own assessment of the implementation of the "New EU Strategy for Central Asia". The opinion of both government officials and ordinary citizens of the Central Asian countries was taken into account when drawing up the "papers". In addition, the official emphasized the distinctive tone felt in the updated resolution. Central Asia, he said, is seen in it as no other than a region that has successfully shaped its regional identity. Among other things, it has managed to unite its capabilities in trade, investment, business and other spheres. Among other things, Sarym writes that the European Parliament recognizes the unity of global and regional challenges for both the European Union and the Central Asian region. And this, in turn, creates new opportunities for long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation. In this regard, the EU Parliament strongly encourages its countries to strengthen cooperation and promote strategic, political and economic partnership with Central Asia, especially given its geopolitical importance.