• KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 7

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to Export Green Power to Europe

On 1 May , Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan’s ministers of energy gathered in Tashkent to sign a memorandum of cooperation aimed at connecting their countries’ energy systems. The focus of the initiative is to explore means of connecting energy systems via a high-voltage cable embedded in the Caspian Sea to enable further export of green energy from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan to European Union countries. Referencing the parties’ earlier draft technical specification for the deep-sea cable, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy Almasadam Satkaliev stated, “A proposed business model will be prepared for the development of international transmission corridors - financing, revenue, ownership - and the sale of green energy to European Union countries.” Meanwhile, Asiaplustj.info reports that Tajikistan is still not being envisioned as a part of the system. As that publication notes, Uzbekistan's energy system currently operates in parallel with the energy systems of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan within the framework of the United Energy System of Central Asia (UES CA), which was created under the Soviet Union. This system was abandoned by Turkmenistan in 2003 because Uzbekistan refused to allow transit of Turkmen-produced electricity through its infrastructure. "In November 2009, after a major accident in Tajikistan's energy system, Uzbekistan unilaterally left the UES CA, which automatically left Tajikistan out of this system as well. In 2018, Uzbekistan restored parallel operation within the regional system. Since 2019, with financial support from the Asian Development Bank, work has been underway to bring Tajikistan back into the unified energy ring of Central Asia. The Ministry of Energy of Tajikistan last summer reported on its intentions... to join the regional system by the end of 2023. but this has not happened so far," the report noted.  

EU Project SCAFFOLD Set to Empower Central Asian Educators

Over 250 educators from five Central Asian countries are currently participating in training events organized by the European Union in Astana, Kazakhstan. Running from 15 – 19 April, the event organized by the European Training Foundation (ETF) in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan, and the Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan, focuses on SCAFFOLD, an EU-developed tool that assists educators in creating effective learning activities. The innovative tool comprises a deck of 102 cards, available in all Central Asian languages, aimed to enable educators to design and implement learning activities from planning to assessment. The initiative is part of DARYA (Dialogue and Action for Resourceful Youth in Central Asia), the EU's flagship regional project to support education, youth employment, and inclusive skills development in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Opening the week’s events, Ms Arai Urazova, Vice-Minister of Education of Kazakhstan, stated: “We would like our young people to have competences for life and the labour market. DARYA and SCAFFOLD can support this. Let us create a better future for our young people and our educational community. We are confident that our joint work and dialogue will lead to concrete action plans and measures that will help make our education system more effective, accessible, and adapted to the needs of our time.” In his welcome speech, Mr Kestutis Jankauskas, EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan, stated that the “DARYA programme is the European Union's investment in the human capital of Central Asian countries and the future of their young generation. From now on, educators of VET schools in Central Asian countries will have access to the newest and most modern teaching methods, such as SCAFFOLD. Dynamically developing relations between the European Union and Central Asia and potential investment projects will require qualified workforce. In turn, these investments will contribute to mutual prosperity and economic development.”

Tajikistan and EU Enter Third Round of Negotiations on Partnership and Cooperation

On April 8 and 9, Luc Devigne, Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia at the European External Action Service, and Ismatullo Nasredin, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan convened in Dushanbe for a third round of negotiations on a new comprehensive framework for strengthening their bilateral relations. According to the Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan, the negotiations for an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), launched in February 2023, represent an important milestone in the EU’s relations with Tajikistan. In line with the EU-Central Asia Strategy, it aims to strengthen cooperation regarding political relations, trade, key economic sectors, as well as the rule of law and human rights. The EU Delegation reported that substantial progress had been made during the third round of negotiations between European Union and Tajikistan, and in the future, the EU-Tajikistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, in place since 2010, will be known as the EPCA.

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...

EU Supports Renovation of Agricultural College in Bukhara

The Gijduvon Technical College of Agro Technologies recently opened its newly renovated facilities in Bukhara at an event attended by representatives of UNESCO, local government officials, the college's staff and students, and members of Gijduvon’s community. Integral to the 'Skills Development for Employability in Rural Areas of Uzbekistan' project, the renovations were funded by the European Union. Since its inception, Gijduvon College has been committed to providing vocational education for rural youth. Supported by the European Union, UNESCO’s extensive renovations have modernized workshops, classrooms, and laboratories through the installation of new flooring, ceilings, and enhanced lighting. In addition to revitalizing learning spaces, the project has also provided essential tools and resources, including tractors, greenhouses, refrigeration units, and contemporary furniture. By contributing to the College’s success in equipping students with the skills necessary for work in agriculture and irrigation, the improved facilities will help further sustainable development and enhanced living standards in rural Uzbekistan.

Trans-Caspian Corridor Receives Boost

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.

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