Central Asia

Central Europe 05-07-2018

Silk Road financial hub inaugurated in Kazakhstan

The “Astana International Financial Centre” or AIFC, was inaugurated today (5 July) at a lavish ceremony in the Kazakh capital.
04-07-2018

China’s Belt and Road initiative, explained by Kazakhstan

Roman Vassilenko, deputy minister of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan, met on Wednesday (4 July) with a group of international journalists from around the world to field questions about his country's development and the China-promoted Belt and Road initiative.
03-07-2018

Mayor of Astana announces big ambitions

The population of Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, is set to double, yet Mayor Asset Issekeshev insists that quality of life and ability to attract visitors will improve too.
03-07-2018

‘Super Grids Silk Road’ takes shape in Kazakhstan

A series of conferences dedicated to the China-promoted One Belt One Road initiative are taking place in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana. Plans to launch a gigantic renewable energy project with the potential to supply the EU were also mooted.
20-06-2018

EBRD ‘excited’ about Kazakhstan’s modernisation

Europe's reconstruction and development bank is excited about investing in Kazakhstan under the announced third stage of the country’s modernisation, always looking to combine investment with policy reform and technical advice, the head of the bank’s Brussels office said on Tuesday (19 June).
07-06-2018

Major plans for Hong Kong-style hub in Central Asia revealed

Wheels are in motion to set up a Hong Kong-type financial hub in Kazakhstan, following the unveiling of plans by the governor of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) at an international conference marking the 20th anniversary of Astana, on 5 June.
06-06-2018

Astana praised as the ‘capital of Central Asia’

An international conference was held in Astana on Tuesday (5 June) to mark the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan's new capital. Dubbed Tselinograd during Soviet times, it was renamed Astana (meaning capital city in Kazakh) in 1998 and is now rebranding itself as a go-to venue for international mediation talks.
29-05-2018

Minister: Developing digital economy is matter of national security for Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is developing its digital technologies in many fields, such as the economy, agriculture or administration, and the Central Asian country also wants to become a pioneer in digital innovation, with the creation of technology hubs and parks.
China 25-05-2018

Europe raises transparency issues with China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China's massive Belt and Road Initiative is seen as a unique chance to strengthen economic cooperation between Beijing and Europe and a way to spur trade and the economies of the countries involved. But some consider it a strategic and self-interested tool for China to extend its sphere of influence.
Energy 08-05-2018

Turkmenistan to tap into Southern Gas Corridor

Gas swaps in which Iran plays a central role could open the door for Turkmenistan, a Central Asian country with ample gas reserves, to become an important player on the EU gas market, according to media reports.
13-04-2018

New Kyrgyzstan president sails through first EU visit

The leaders of the EU institutions received the new Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on Thursday (12 April) for talks that focused on steadily improving relations between the countries of Central Asia and the negotiation of a new Kyrgyzstan-EU agreement.
27-03-2018

Mogherini discusses future of Afghanistan at Central Asia forum

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini arrived in the Uzbek capital Tashkent yesterday (26 March) and met with the foreign ministers of the five Central Asian countries, ahead of a conference on Afghanistan under the heading "Peace process, security cooperation and regional connectivity" which takes place today.
16-03-2018

Astana meeting on Syria takes place without Western oversight

Kazakhstan and Russia urged the US on Friday (16 March) to engage "in a constructive dialogue" in the context of the unfolding tragedy in Syria. But no US or Western diplomats were present at the eight edition of the Syria talks, held in the framework of the so-called Astana process.
16-03-2018

Astana hosts little-publicised Central Asia summit

Only a couple of years ago, a summit of the five Central Asia countries would have been absolutely unthinkable. But the leaders came together on Thursday (15 March) and decided to hold such meetings annually, always at the same time of the year, which is a major holiday in the region.
01-03-2018

EU officials: Central Asia is trusted to define its regional interest

Speaking at a public event organised by EURACTIV in Brussels, EU officials shed light on the Union’s relation with Kazakhstan, saying it was increasingly becoming a model for the wider region of Central Asia.
22-01-2018

Guterres highlights cooperation potential of Central Asia with Afghanistan

UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted on Friday (21 January) the potential of the five countries of Central Asia for addressing the threats of violent extremism and transnational organised crime in Afghanistan. For its part, Kazakhstan has suggested building an economic and security partnership with Afghanistan.
Politics 19-01-2018

Kazakhstan likely to host future Ukraine talks

One of the major highlights of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarayev's visit to the US was an exchange of remarks with Donald Trump that suggested the Minsk talks on Ukraine may be moved to the Kazakh capital, Astana.
17-01-2018

President of Kazakhstan meets Trump ahead of key UN appearance

The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazabayev is in the US where he met on Tuesday (16 January) with US President Donald Trump. But the main purpose of his visit is a speech at the United Nations where Kazakhstan holds the Presidency of the Security Council for January.
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.