CSTO Rift Grows Between Moscow And Astana

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Samuel Ramani – Aug. 6, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/qishloq-ovozi-csto-kazakhstan-russia-nazarbaev/28661553.html) Samuel Ramani is a DPhil candidate in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, specializing in post-1991 Russian foreign policy. He is also a journalist who contributes regularly to The Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and Diplomat […]

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NEWSLINK: “Beijing stirs up Russia’s backyard” – bne Intellinews

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

“An invisible wedge has been growing between Russia and its Central Asian neighbours since Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine …. The unease is most particularly tangible in Astana. Any statements made by Russian officials that appear to put in question the statehood Kazakhstan gained after it was granted independence from the USSR prompt collective gasps. At the same time, China […]

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Russians believe Belarus, China, Kazakhstan are the friendliest to them

Eurasia Map

(Interfax – April 9, 2016) As many as 68% of Russian respondents interviewed by the Public Opinion Foundation and asked to name three countries they believe are the closest and the friendliest ones to Russia mentioned Belarus, 56% China and 50% Kazakhstan. These very three countries have remained on top of the list since April 2014. The April poll of […]

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Kazakhstan down to 56th position, Russia climbs to 58th place in Prosperity Index

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

ASTANA. Nov 3 (Interfax) – Kazakhstan occupies 56th place in the Legatum Institute’s 2015 Prosperity Index, being one position down since the previous year. Norway retained the leading position; its first runner-ups are Switzerland, whose position was also changed, and Denmark. The top ten prosperous countries of the world also include New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland and […]

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Kazakh, Uzbek leaders reignite talk of succession

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Naubet Bisenov in Almaty and Olim Abdullayev in Tashkent – September 17, 2015) The issue of succession has become topical again in Central Asia’s largest countries – Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – after the Kazakh leader appointed his daughter as deputy prime minister, while the Uzbek president was reported to have openly nominated his second […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Islamist threat to Russia looms large at Central Asia security summit

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

The Kremlin is increasingly concerned about an Islamist uprising in one of the weak autocracies along its southern flank, all of which will be attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit today in Ufa, Russia

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Kazakh president ends speculation by announcing will stand for re-election

File Photo of Nursultan Nazarbayev and Barack Obama with Flags

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Naubet Bisenov in Almaty – March 11, 2015) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled the Central Asian nation with an iron fist for more than a quarter of a century, has agreed to his Nur Otan party’s nomination to stand for another term. The 2007 amendment to the Kazakh constitution abolished term limits […]

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The Great Succession Game: Central Asian leaders’ silence on succession plans poses a growing threat to stability in this volatile region.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, Central Asian States

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Naubet Bisenov in Almaty – January 23, 2015) In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where ageing leaders run one-man shows that suppress any hint of opposition, the issue of succession resurfaces every time the autocratic presidents are reported to have travelled abroad for medical treatment. That these leaders hide succession plans under a veil of secrecy […]

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Meet the EEU family (Eurasian Economic Union)

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 5, 2015) Members: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia Prospective member: Armenia Potential members: Kyrgyzstan (likely), Tajikistan (unlikely) Population: 173mn (Russia, including Crimea, 146mn; Kazakhstan, 17mn; Belarus, 10mn) Total GDP: $2.7tn Share of world gas reserves: 20% Share of world oil reserves: 15% On January 1, the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty governing what […]

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Nazarbayev Weighs New Run to Extend Longest Ex-Soviet Tenure

File Photo of Nursultan Nazarbayev and Barack Obama with Flags

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nariman Gizitdinov and Torrey Clark – February 12, 2014) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said he may extend the longest reign of any former Soviet leader by running for a fifth term in 2016. “There definitely will be a transition of power — there’s nothing frozen, it will be changed,” Nazarbayev, 73, said in an interview last […]

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Russian Influence in Central Asia a Greater Threat than Chinese, Kazakh Nationalist Says

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 12, 2013) Despite the hysteria about it whipped up in Russian language outlets in Kazakhstan, one commentator says, the growth of Chinese influence in Kazakhstan is far less a threat to the survival of the Kazakh people than the past and present impact of Russian influence on that Central Asian nation. […]

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The motivation of the Boston Bomber: The ethnic background of the Tsarnaev family must provide some clues to mass murder.

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(opendemocacy.net – Susan Richards – April 23, 2013) Susan Richards is a non-executive director and founder of openDemocracy. She has produced a number of feature films and written a prize-winning book, Epics of Everyday Life, about the lives of ordinary Russians in the transition from communism. Lost & Found in Russia, Encounters in the Deep Heartland, which covers the period […]

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Presidents Agree to End Baikonur Dispute

Kazakhstan Baikonur Cosmodrome file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – February 11, 2013) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, said Friday that they had agreed to end their dispute over the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which Russia rents from the Central Asian nation. Putin, who received Nazarbayev in the Kremlin, said that amid  increasing cooperation between the two countries, there […]

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Eurasian Integration No ‘Reincarnation of USSR’ – Nazarbayev

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

ASTANA, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – Former Soviet states’ involvement in Eurasian integration does not herald a return to the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Friday. “We will continue to strive toward our common goal, and I want to stress once again that Eurasian integration, which is proceeding under my personal initiative, has never been, and never […]

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Domestic Stability to Remain Kazakhstan’s Main Priority in 2013

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 8 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Georgiy Voloshin – January 16, 2013) The year 2012 was certainly rich in events for Kazakhstan. In mid-January, the early parliamentary elections brought two more parties to the country’s legislative body, although none of them gained enough seats to break Nur Otan’s monopoly. While the diversity of […]

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NEWSLINK: Kazakhstan seeking to withdraw the Baikonur cosmodrome from Russian jurisdiction

International Space Station file photo

[Kazakhstan seeking to withdraw the Baikonur cosmodrome from Russian jurisdiction – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – Dec. 11, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/596443.html] Itar-Tass covers plans by Kazakhstan to end its lease to Russia of the the Baikonur space port: The legendary Baikonur complex which Moscow is operating on lease from Kazakhstan, may be withdrawn from Russian jurisdiction. The resounding statement […]

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Europe-Western China Corridor to Become Shortcut Between Europe, Asia-Pacific – Putin

Map of Russia

PAVLODAR. Sept 19 (Interfax) – Innovations will help make transportation systems more reliable and effective, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The introduction of innovations will help significantly enhance the reliability and effectiveness of transportation systems, first of all under the project to build a transportation corridor between Europe and Western China. It will run from St. Petersburg to the border […]

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