• KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 441

First NPP Reactor in Uzbekistan May Start Before 2033

Spot.uz reports that the first reactor of the Small Nuclear Power Plant is planned to be operational in five years. The project will be built near Tuzkon Lake, Farish District, Jizzakh Region. The cost has yet to be disclosed. “The cost of the low-power nuclear power plant construction project based on six RITM-200N reactor units with an installed capacity of 330 MW is confidential information and will not be disclosed,” Uzatom told Spot.uz. The small nuclear power plant's first reactor will be commissioned 60 months after the completion of priority works, which should begin this summer. Each subsequent reactor will be commissioned within six months. The full commissioning will occur before 2033. “During the construction of a low-power nuclear power plant, local general industrial equipment, products, and components are used by the specifications specified in the project documents. Considering the long service life of the small nuclear power plant, it is necessary to use local raw materials,” Uzatom stated. The Times of Central Asia previously reported that the contract for the construction of the NPP was concluded on May 27th, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Tashkent, between the Directorate for NPP Construction under the Atomic Energy Agency and the Atomstroyexport joint stock company (Rosatom’s engineering department).

Central Asian Public Opinion is the Latest Battle Front Between Putin and Zelenskiy

The settings were starkly different. An Uzbek honor guard in elaborate uniform greeted Russian President Vladimir Putin after he arrived at Uzbekistan’s Tashkent airport on May 26 for a state visit. Two days earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave an interview to Central Asian media in his signature army-green combat-ready t-shirt, sitting in the ruins of a Kharkiv printing house destroyed by Russian missiles.  With the war in Ukraine into its third year, Putin’s trip to Uzbekistan represents part of his broader mission to nurture long-standing trade and security ties with Central Asian countries, who have been trying to walk a delicate line in their relationships with Russia. Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev welcomed Putin with a literal embrace. Their official meeting the next day was scheduled to address bilateral issues and views on “current regional problems,” reported Russia’s state-run news agency Tass.  While in Uzbekistan President Putin had boasted that Russia was Uzbekistan’s biggest trading partner with export growth by 23% this year and had invested over $13 billion in the country. He called Uzbekistan to be the biggest state in Central Asia; praised Mirziyoyev’s language policy that protects Russian language in schools and as an official language in Uzbekistan. Russia has started exporting gas to Uzbekistan through Kazakhstan, with some of the gas staying in Kazakhstan. Some analysts argue that Russia can circumvent sanctions by partly relying on imports, mainly from Europe, that come through Central Asia.  Over in the war-torn Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, President Zelenskiy’s interview with six journalists from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, some openly affiliated with Radio Free Europe and the Soros Foundation, included a discussion on how to deepen solidarity between the people of Central Asia and Ukraine over a shared anti-Russian sentiment. Zelenskiy tells Central Asians to drop their balancing act towards Russia In the interview, President Zelenskiy challenged Central Asian countries to overcome their economic dependencies and security vulnerabilities and adopt Ukraine’s hardline posture against Russia. The region’s leaders “are still [positioned] more in the Russian direction because of fear of the Kremlin. We [the Ukrainians] have made our choice, we are fighting,” Zelenskiy said, according to a Russian transcript of the interview published by Kazakh media outlet Orda.kz. Zelenskiy told Central Asians and others who are “trying to balance” their relationships with Russia to "not wake the beast" that this strategy will not work because “the beast does not ask anyone: he wakes up when he wants”.  Zelenskiy warned Central Asian people that alongside the Baltic states and Moldova, they, too, face a risk of being invaded by Russia given their Russian populations, which the Kremlin may decide to intervene to protect, as it did in Ukraine. He also added grimly, “if you, your people, resist becoming part of Russia, you will inevitably be waiting for a full-scale invasion, death and war.” Calling on the world to unite against Russia, President Zelenskiy recommended that Central Asians isolate Russia economically and diplomatically, arguing that “balancing acts” to help their economy in the...

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,...

In Unequal Relationship, Trade Turnover Between Tajikistan and Russia Increases

From January to April 2024, Russia retained the status of Tajikistan's leading trade partner, with trade between the countries increasing by 24.2% compared to the same period last year and reaching $636.8 million, according to the Statistics Agency under the President of Tajikistan. Symptomatic of the deeply unequal relationship is that during this period, Tajikistan bought Russian goods worth $600.7 million, while the Russian Federation only bought $36.1 million from Tajikistan. According to the Statistics Agency, Tajikistan's other top trading partners are China (+19.7%, up to $548.7 million), and Kazakhstan ($441.6 million). From January to April, Tajikistan's total foreign trade volume exceeded $2.7 billion, an increase of 28.7% compared to last year.

Almaty Hosts Russia’s Defense Head Belousov in First of a Series of CSTO Events

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is holding several events in Almaty, Kazakhstan's biggest city, between 30 May and 6 June. The CSTO is a regional organization in the field of collective security. It comprises six states: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. On May 30 a meeting was held between the defense ministers of Kazakhstan and Russia, Ruslan Zhaksylykov and Andrei Belousov. According to a statement from the Kazakh defense ministry, the parties discussed bilateral military cooperation, touching on training and joint activities, including exercises within the CSTO. “Its practical realization is carried out, among other things, within the framework of multilateral exercises. Colonel General Ruslan Zhaksylykov informed the interlocutor about holding the exercise “Birlestik” (Unity) in July this year in western Kazakhstan. According to its plan, military contingents of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan will jointly work out training and combat tasks related to the localization of armed conflict and countering illegal formations,” the ministry said. Almaty's police have warned that given the scale of the events and the number of participants, the city will be partially restricted to traffic until 6 June.

Nuclear Power in Uzbekistan Has a Political Aspect – Economist Behzod Hoshimov

A Russian-built and managed nuclear power plant (NPP) is under construction in Uzbekistan's Jizzakh region. However, some experts are not convinced about the project's feasibility. One of them is Uzbek economist Behzod Hoshimov, who has been speaking recently about the economic and political aspects of Rosatom's foray into Uzbekistan. According to Hoshimov, the problem is not the lack of reform in the electricity and energy sectors, but rather poor policy and management. “Even now, without any nuclear power plants, we can import electricity or fuel for its production, and we can attract companies that produce solar energy at fairly normal prices. Therefore, the problem of "lack of electricity" results from artificially created, mismanaged, and wrongly constructed electricity policy. The construction of NPP is not a technological problem that can be solved,” the economist writes on his Telegram channel. He raises questions such as whether the decision to build a nuclear power plant was economically feasible, and how much money the Uzbek government will spend on its construction. “Will it be financed from other financial sources, including the state debt, and most importantly, if the state is building, how much will it cost the people of Uzbekistan?" The amounts intended to be used from all state and non-state financial sources must be fully and completely disclosed. This fiscal requirement is also defined in our constitution,” Hoshimov adds. “But more importantly, there are other conditions in the deal, which are more important than the station's price. We need to talk about them. It is very important who manages the station and at what price electricity is sold. In Turkey, Russia has built entirely at its own expense and made a deal for 12.5 cents per 1 kilowatt hour of energy. There is a reasonable question about whether we should take it under the same conditions. Today, if there are cheaper generation sources in Uzbekistan, how much more expensive nuclear energy is necessary?” Hoshimov has noted that there are also political aspects to the issue: “The second thing that applies to all state expenditures, especially large and important ones, is choosing a contractor. Did companies other than "Rosatom" participate in the tender? Countries like France and Japan have highly developed atomic energy, and they also build excellent stations. What did their companies offer to our government? Why "Rosatom?" The reason I ask this question is, of course, that there is no place for politics in such a thing. Europe has almost completely abandoned Russian energy – the reason for this was the full-fledged war in Europe. Once upon a time, Germany decided that Russian energy was cheap, not considering political calculations but relying only on economic calculations, and this decision cost a lot. But for a much smaller country like ours, the fact that the main contractor in the NPP is the Russian state and a state-owned enterprise should be a very big question.” He also points out: "If the Japanese and the Russians offer the same price, I would say that the Japanese should be...

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