By Ahmed Rashid (7/19/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: President Jiang Zemin's visits to Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, his participation in the Shanghai Five summit meeting in Dushanbe, and the hard hitting Dushanbe Declaration to which China signed on demonstrates a new and more expansive Chinese foreign policy in the region. Only two weeks earlier, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami's visited China and was allowed an unprecedented visit to Xinjiangs Islamic mecca Kashgar - the first foreign Muslim leader privileged to visit volatile Xinjiang. Despite China's repressive campaign against the Uyghurs and Iran's previous foreign policy of supporting oppressed Muslims everywhere, Khatami chose to praise Chinese policies in Xinjiang.
By Dr. Louise Shelley (7/19/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: According to the information released, the Justice Department has asked the Swiss authorities to provide information on suspicious bank accounts in their country that are thought to contain payments from western oil companies for Kazakh oil, diverted to the private accounts of Nazarbayev and two close associates. Allegedly $60 million dollars passed in the mid to late 1990s to accounts in Switzerland controlled by Nazarbayev, former Kazakh Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin and Nurlan Balgimbayev, the former prime minister and now head of Kazakhstans state oil company.
Exxon Mobil corporation, the largest publicly traded oil company, is cooperating in the investigation but their other partners in Offshore Kazakhstan International Oil Co.
By Hooman Peimani (3/12/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Since the Soviet Union\'s fall, the inability of the five littoral states (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan) to agree on a legal regime for the Caspian Sea has created uncertainty about the ownership of many Caspian offshore oilfields and prevented their development, while creating a situation ripe for tension and hostility among the littoral states. This reality has created a major obstacle to their acceptance of a legal regime. Until 1999 Iran and Russia opposed dividing the Caspian Sea into national zones, in favor of dividing it based on the condominium principle.
By Robert M. Cutler (3/12/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Iran has been seeking since the mid-1990s to undertake oil swaps with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as a way to increase its own exports. Such swaps involve Iran’s importing oil in the north on its Caspian Sea coast for domestic refining and consumption, while exporting compensatory quantities to the world market from its southern ports on the Persian Gulf. This has been part and parcel of Iran’s strategy not only for developing its own energy sector but also for situating itself as an important transit country for international trade flows in general.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.