• KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01138 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00221 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09353 0.97%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 138

Radicalism Attracts Disenfranchised Youth in Tajikistan

On June 11th, eight natives of Tajikistan were detained in the United States suspected of attempting to organize terrorist attacks and belonging to ISIS. Previously, citizens of Tajikistan were arrested in Russia, accused of participating in the attack on the Crocus City Hall near Moscow. In just the past few years, natives of Central Asian states have been involved in ten attempted terrorist attacks. Zamir Karazhanov, a Kazakhstani political scientist and director of the Kemel Arna Public Foundation, believes that the deteriorating economic situation in the country is behind such radicalization. As reported by TCA, eight citizens of Tajikistan taken into custody in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia are suspected of having links to the terrorist group, ISIS. The detentions were made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in close coordination with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. Initially, it was stated that those arrested were Russian citizens of Tajik origin, but now their nationality has now been clarified. Citing sources from law enforcement agencies, media in the U.S. has reported that officially the migrants were held in connection with the violation of immigration laws. At the same time, they have not yet been charged with making preparations for a terrorist attack. According to sources, FBI agents have been following those detained for several months, and audio picked up by a bug allegedly has one of the suspects talking "about bombs.” Several days have now elapsed, but the U.S. authorities are still to release an official comment. The authorities in Tajikistan, meanwhile, are glossing over the incident. However, a Radio Ozodi source in New York said that the detentions of citizens from Central Asian countries began two months ago, since when 20 people have been detained, including 16 natives of Tajikistan, though “some of them were later released,” the source stated. According to the political scientist and Russia expert, Malek Dudakov, 50,000 Central Asians illegally entered the U.S. in 2023 alone: 17,000 from Uzbekistan, 7,000 from Kyrgyzstan, and 3,000 from Tajikistan. "Republicans blame Biden for artificially creating an explosive situation inside the United States, which could lead to a wave of terrorist attacks. And U.S. law enforcers fear that the U.S. may also expect an October 7th scenario in Israel with simultaneous attacks by Islamists in different cities,” he wrote on the Telegram. Following the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall, several countries, including Russia and Turkey, have tightened their migration policies toward people from Tajikistan. Kazakhstani political scientist, Zamir Karazhanov, told The Times of Central Asia that terrorist movements are influencing Tajik citizens because of the dire economic situation in the country. "During the 1990s and the civil war, a severe Islamicization of society began. Families were Islamiziced, and the economic factor, poverty, was superimposed on this. Similar processes were observed in all Central Asian countries, where religious young people began to come into contact with various radical extremist organizations. They are then processed and brainwashed into believing that everything they do is for the good...

Mass Brawl Between Citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh Reported in Bishkek

Bishkek police have detained 36 foreigners after a mass brawl, as reported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. According to law enforcement, on June 11th, a mass brawl was reported between Pakistani and Bangladeshi citizens after a verbal altercation, following which participants involved in the scuffle were taken to a police station to clarify the incident's circumstances. Administrative protocols were drawn up for 16 foreigners who violated the rules of residence in Kyrgyzstan. One of the participants in the brawl was found guilty under the article “Petty Hooliganism.” The court fined him 5,500 KGS ($60). Two more people were arrested for three days for being in a state of alcoholic intoxication. TCA previously reported that on May 17th, riots occurred in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, provoked by a conflict between residents and medical students from abroad. Since these tragic events, the authorities have been employing a dual approach of attempting to sooth relations abroad whilst conducting raids on places where foreigners reside.

Foreign Investment in Central Asia is Following Demographic Trends

The population growth in Central Asia, combined with worsening demographic situations across the rest of the post-Soviet space, means a gradual shift in power and investment toward the regional powers of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Thanks to their growing markets – unlike Belarus and Russia, where the population is slowly declining, and especially Ukraine – Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are starting large projects with the participation of foreign investors. In particular, Russia is showing increased interest in Central Asia, with the US and the EU also keen to engage financially. Recently, Kazakhstani political scientist Marat Shibutov noted on social media that politicians have realized the benefits of investing in countries with major population growth. He argued that power dynamics across the post-Soviet space are changing in line with that. Shibutov quoted an article that he co-authored with Yuri Solozobov in May 2019: “according to statistics, in 1991 there were 20 million people in Uzbekistan and 51 million in Ukraine. Now, there are officially 32.6 million in Uzbekistan (experts say about 34 million) and 42 million in Ukraine (the real figure is unknown). But soon, everything is set to change dramatically. In fact, in 2-5 years, Uzbekistan will equal or surpass Ukraine in population – this will be a turning point in the post-Soviet space. First and foremost, Uzbekistan's investment and trade position will improve, especially in the consumer goods segment. Considering the nuclear power plant project being implemented with the help of Russia and the Ustyurt oil and gas fields, Uzbekistan will become a more promising country for foreign investors than Ukraine, whose development will be entirely about defense spending and internal political issues.” Due to the war that started in 2022, Shibutov’s forecast has materialized even faster. According to UN estimates, Ukraine's population this year is barely 37 million. No one has accurate data since the last census in this country was carried out in 2001. As of 2023, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine put the figure even lower than the UN, at 36 million. Thus, after Russia (with a population of over 140 million), Uzbekistan is likely the second most populous country of the former USSR. In Kazakhstan the population is growing even faster than in Uzbekistan. Russian and Kazakh businesses are implementing 135 projects worth $26.5 billion. Additionally, 67 joint projects worth $14 billion are being planned across key economic industries, including machine building, metallurgy, and chemicals. They are expected to create 11,000 jobs. According to Russian ambassador to Kazakhstan Alexei Borodavkin, there are more than 18,000 enterprises with Russian capital in Kazakhstan and about 4,000 joint ventures with Kazakh partners. Overall, Russia and Kazakhstan have investments totaling $33.5 billion across 143 projects. In November last year, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the countries’ ministries of energy to build three thermal power plants (TPP) in Kazakhstan – Kokshetau TPP, Semey TPP, and Ust-Kamenogorsk TPP. The combined capacity of the new coal-fired facilities will be about 1 GW (Kokshetau TPP 240 MW, Semey TPP 360 MW,...

Kazakhstan Changing Its Labor Laws to Better Reflect the Country’s Needs

Kazakhstan has recently adopted regulations that make it more difficult for migrants and citizenship-seekers to enter the country. Urazgali Selteyev, a political scientist and director of the Institute for Eurasian Integration, told The Times of Central Asia that the legislation is being streamlined rather than tightened. According to some experts, Kazakhstan is the most attractive country in Central Asia for migrants. For many years, foreign workers have been entering the country, and illegal migration is high, as residents of neighboring countries are hired in the agricultural and construction sectors and are involved in transportation and services. In recent years, cases of detection and deportation of illegal migrants from the farthest regions, including Africa, have become more frequent. In addition, since 1991, more than one million 'kandas' (formerly known as oralmans) have arrived in Kazakhstan -- persons of Kazakh nationality resettling in the country according to established quotas. Often, kandas arrive from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, China, and Russia. Also, after the partial mobilization for Russia's war in Ukraine announced in September 2022 by Russian president Vladimir Putin, an unspecified number of draft evaders and their family members entered Kazakhstan. This situation forces the Kazakh authorities to take a stricter approach to regulating migration flows. Just the other day, the website “Open Normative Legal Acts” (“Open NLA”) posted a document highlighting the discussion that began two years ago. The document states that Kazakhstan will develop rules to determine whether kandas have a right to claim Kazakh nationality. In May this year, Kazakhstan's president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed the law “On introducing amendments and additions to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the improvement of legislation in the field of migration and penal system.” This law provides new grounds for refusal of admission and restoration of Kazakh citizenship, such as ignorance of the state language at the elementary level, the basics of the Constitution of Kazakhstan, and a certain level of national history determined by an authorized body in the field of science and higher education. Simply put, applicants for citizenship will have to pass the exam. As explained by the Minister of Science and Higher Education Sayasat Nurbek, the test will include three components: the first is knowledge of the Kazakh language, the second is the basics of the Constitution, and the third is the basics of the history of Kazakhstan. “These tests will be required to be taken by persons who apply for citizenship. There are reservations on a separate list of honored: on the presidential list, minors and people with disabilities will be exempted,” explained Nurbek. According to the new migration rules, EAEU citizens can stay in the country for no more than 90 days within 180 days; other foreigners can stay for no more than 30 days, and a maximum of 90 days in six months. In the previous version of legislative acts, there were no restrictions concerning the 180 days, thus, foreigners lost the opportunity to repeatedly renew the terms of stay, leaving the country for...

The Geography of Labor: Where Do Central Asian Migrants Travel To?

Since February 2022, international observers have been predicting changes in labor migration in Central Asia. It is no secret that for 30 years Russia was the main attraction for labor resources in the region, and in the "noughties," Kazakhstan joined as a viable alternative. Over the past two years, the geography of labor migration from Central Asia has expanded somewhat, but still not to the extent that one could say that the region is slipping away from Moscow's economic influence. In Russia itself, despite growing anti-migrant sentiment after the terrorist attack at the Crocus City concert hall, the country's leadership has no intention of refusing to accept migrants from Central Asia. The current phase of Russia's economic development requires a constant inflow of labor resources, so Moscow is even talking about expanding the geography of sources of labor on an industrial scale, particularly to African countries. However, the movement of labor resources from Central Asia to the outside world is a process that benefits both the countries of origin of migrants and those who receive them. The region's countries shed their excess population, thus avoiding possible social explosions, while the receiving countries get workers willing to do low-paid and low-skilled labor. This is true for three of the five Central Asian countries. We do not consider Turkmenistan -- a republic closed to the outside world -- but labor migration from Kazakhstan is more like a "brain drain," which puts it on a par with Russia, which is experiencing similar problems. In the Central Asian republics, the topic of labor migration is still victimized, and the pejorative term "gastarbeiters" remains in common use. Thus, research on these processes is not permanent, which makes it difficult to work with statistical data. And since the largest receiving country is Russia, where chaos reigns regarding labor migration, we can only operate with approximate data. Uzbekistan Let us start with Uzbekistan, the most populous republic in Central Asia. Uzbekistan does not have the same opportunities as Kazakhstan with mineral resources, primarily oil. In Uzbekistan, the rate of labor migration abroad remains the fastest; only the pandemic has been able to affect it. Before the pandemic, in 2019, according to official data, more than 2.5 million Uzbek citizens were listed as labor migrants. In 2021, this number dropped to 1.67 million people, but now, the number of those who left for work has recovered. The main labor migration flows come from Russia - 71%, Kazakhstan - 12%, South Korea - 4% and Turkey - 3%. In the first quarter of 2024, cross-border remittances to Uzbekistan increased from $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion. Russia's share dropped to 68% (78-87% in previous years). Kyrgyzstan Russia, Turkey, and Kazakhstan are also the main destinations for migrants from Kyrgyzstan. South Korea and the UK have been added to the list recently. According to open-source data, in 2022, 1.2 million labor migrants from Kyrgyzstan were registered in Russia, with about 30,000 in Turkey and Kazakhstan. In Kyrgyzstan, labor migration has become important...

Tajikistan and Russia Discuss Labor Migration, Security

Tajikistan's president Emomali Rahmon met recently with the Russian minister of internal affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev in Dushanbe. The statesmen discussed cooperation between two countries' law enforcement agencies, as well as labor migration from Tajikistan to Russia. Rahmon spoke about the countries' joint efforts to combat terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, and other forms of transnational organized crime. His press service quotes him as saying: "With satisfaction, it was pointed out the aspiration of the parties to the practical realization of the agreements reached recently at the highest level regarding the resolution of the problems that have arisen in the migration sphere. The leader of the nation emphasized the importance of taking all necessary measures to strengthen the legal and social protection of Tajik labor migrants staying in Russia." Kolokoltsev arrived in Dushanbe as part of the next round of negotiations between Russia and Tajikistan on the issue of migration.

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