Central Asia

Global Europe 11-12-2017

Erdogan and Macron take lead in urging US to turn back on Jerusalem decision

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and France's Emmanuel Macron will work together to try to persuade the United States to reconsider its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a Turkish presidential source said on Saturday (9 December).

29-11-2017

‘Central Asia Spring’ hailed after Uzbekistan changed leadership

A leading MEP said on Tuesday (28 November) that regional cooperation in Central Asia was benefitting from “a new beginning” thanks to democratisation in Uzbekistan flowing the death of its first leader Islam Karimov in 2016.

06-11-2017

EU hesitates to recognise Kazakhstan as European

Kazakhstan is searching for a post-Soviet identity somewhere between its traditional Kazakh and Turkish cultures, Europe and multiculturalism, diplomats have told EURACTIV. But Europe has been slow to forge closer ties with the young country, despite its strategic location and potential.

03-11-2017

Kazakhstan, a fledgling democracy bent on ‘stability’

The ruling elite in Astana acknowledges that continuous efforts are needed to tackle corruption – recognised as “systemic” – and bolster press freedom in Kazakhstan. "But it’s a very subtle balance between democracy and stability”, local politicians argue.

02-11-2017

Kazakhstan hosts Jordan king in flurry of diplomatic activity

A flurry of diplomatic activity continued in Astana on Wednesday (1 November), marked by the visit of the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, who was awarded a prize for fighting against nuclear proliferation.

31-10-2017

Russia to hold Syria ‘congress’ in Sochi despite Syrian opposition’s concerns

The seventh round of Syria talks in Astana ended on Tuesday (31 October) with an agreement between the three “guarantor states” (Russia, Iran and Turkey) for a “congress of national dialogue” to be held in Sochi, despite reservations from the Syrian opposition. EURACTIV reports from Astana.

31-10-2017

Kazakhstan minister: Our international mediation capacity is growing

Kazakhstan is ready to continue its role as a facilitator of international dialogue and mediation, Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Kazakhstan’s deputy foreign minister, said as he briefed reporters in Astana on Tuesday (31 October) and answered many questions about the ongoing Syria talks, North Korea and eastern Ukraine.

06-10-2017

Commission: Kazakhstan proves good relations with both EU and Russia are possible

A Commission official said on Wednesday (4 October) that Kazakhstan was “the living proof” for Central Asia and the EU's neighborhood that it should be possible for those countries to have good relations both with Brussels and Moscow.

08-09-2017

Water resources management: West Africa and Central Asia

A panel discussion at the Bled Strategic Forum highlighted the experience of West Africa in the common management of the water resources over a large area and progress in improving cooperation in an even larger Central Asia.

04-09-2017

EU invisible at EXPO 2017 in Astana

A majority of EU countries have national pavilions at EXPO 2017 in Astana, dedicated to the theme “Future energy”. But the action of the EU in terms of energy choices for the future and the Union’s leadership in tackling climate change are not visible in national pavilions, EURACTIV has seen.

Languages & Culture 01-09-2017

Kazakhstan steps up reform efforts but says Europe still keeping distance

Ask the average European what the world's biggest landlocked country is, or was the last to leave the Soviet Union, and chances are they will not know it's Kazakhstan.

30-08-2017

EU hails inauguration of international uranium bank in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan inaugurated a Low Enriched Uranium Bank on Tuesday (29 August), backed by the IAEA. The EU, one of the project's biggest donours, hailed it as a “success for international cooperation” on non-proliferation. EURACTIV.com reports from Ust-Kamenogorsk and Astana.

Energy 25-08-2017

EU bank invests in Mongolia’s green future

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to help finance a large-scale wind farm in Mongolia, as part of the East Asian country’s plans to embrace renewable energy.

Global Europe 17-08-2017

Turkey proposes free movement of workers with Kazakhstan

Central Asian countries are exploring forms of integration resembling those of the European Union, the latest one being the establishment of free movement of people and workers between Turkey and Kazakhstan.

Energy 03-08-2017

Kazakhstan’s geopolitical tightrope: Between Russia and the West

Recent remarks by Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, who called on oil producers to show greater discipline in adhering to agreed-upon output cuts designed to raise the price of oil, have caught the attention of Kazakhstan.

MEPs back Commission’s opinion-dividing land use proposal

The European Parliament’s environment committee on Tuesday (11 July) adopted a proposal on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). But the draft report has provoked criticism across sectors, as it now moves towards a full plenary vote and trialogue.

NGOs say Italy’s ‘code of conduct’ threatens migrants’ lives

Thousands more refugees could be at risk of dying at sea if a proposed ‘code of conduct’ for NGOs conducting search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean is put into practice, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday (12 July).

Transport 07-06-2017

Azerbaijan moves forward with ‘5-star’ free-trade hub

A draft law on the creation of a free trade zone in Azerbaijan will be submitted to the country’s parliament before the end of 2017, Taleh Ziyadov, director general of Baku International Sea Trade Port CJSC (Port of Baku), told reporters in Baku.

Politics 02-06-2017

Report: Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to war over Nagorno-Karabakh

The former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan are closer to war over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region than at any point since a ceasefire brokered more than 20 years ago, the International Crisis Group said.

Economy & Jobs 11-05-2017

China champions globalisation with new Silk Road summit

China hosts on Sunday (14 May) a summit showcasing its ambitious drive to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes and lead a new era of globalisation, just as Washington turns inward in favour of "America First" policies.

Defence policy 27-04-2017

Beijing picks Berlin to announce first ‘Made in China’ aircraft carrier

China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier yesterday (26 April), amid rising tensions over North Korea, regional concerns about Beijing's assertiveness in the South China Sea and the country's broader military modernisation program.

Europe's East 04-04-2017

Russia and Belarus heal ties in shadow of metro bombing

The presidents of Russia and Belarus said yesterday (3 April) they had resolved all disputes over energy, signaling a rapprochement at a time when both leaders are grappling with street protests and the threat of new Western sanctions hangs over Minsk.

Freedom of thought 14-03-2017

Amnesty warns ECJ headscarf ban ruling ‘panders to prejudice’

A landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJK) that EU companies can ban employees from wearing religious symbols, such as the Muslim headscarf, panders to prejudice, Amnesty International warned today.

Slovakia continues to allow discrimination against Roma children

Despite threats of fines from the European Union, Slovakia still discriminates against Romani children by placing them in segregated schools.