By Huseyn Aliyev
April 3, 2019, the CACI Analyst
On December 20, 2018, Grozny city court ruled that the regional branch of Gazprom, Mezhregiongaz, should write off most of the republic’s gas debt. The court’s unprecedented ruling has caused four other indebted federal Russian regions to file similar appeals to their regional courts. The Chechen Prosecutor’s Office explained that it filed the appeal to the court due to concern over the threat of popular protests. Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov insisted that Chechnya’s gas debts are due to Gazprom’s long-term mismanagement and miscalculations. While the Federal Attorney Office is currently investigating the issue, neither Kadyrov nor Gazprom have made any concessions. Since the start of scandal, the Kremlin has kept its distance from both sides.
By Ilgar Gurbanov
March 27, 2019, the CACI Analyst
In parallel with their peace talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan and Armenia seek to diversify and deepen their partnerships with major arms suppliers. By diversifying its arms purchases from several different partners, Azerbaijan seeks to multiply its arsenal and retain a military advantage against Armenia, whose corresponding efforts aim to cement the status quo through military occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories. Both countries aim to maximize the tactical efficiency of their arsenals on the potential battlefield.
By Ruth Ingram
March 25, 2019, the CACI Analyst
Official reassurances that Xinjiang's internment camps are only "temporary" fly in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. Faced with incontrovertible data that now up to 1.5 million Uyghurs and Kazakhs are extra-judicially interned, Beijing is refusing to bow to international criticism and continues to justify its counter-terrorism strategy. Calling on the world to support its methods, Beijing is mounting an all-out public relations drive to persuade critical voices that in fact the camps are benign and successful in achieving their objectives. But the "experiment" already two years in operation shows no sign of abating. World leaders are calling it a cultural genocide and stepping up their demands to inspect the facilities.
By Natalia Konarzewska
March 22, 2019, the CACI Analyst
In February 2019, Kazakhstan saw a wave of protests triggered by various social and economic grievances. Rallies burst through the country in multiple locations, indicating that popular distress is strong and unlikely to fade soon. In an attempt to placate social discontent, President Nursultan Nazarbayev fired the government, citing its inability to improve living standards and announced his own plan to provide social relief for the families. Kazakhstan’s hydrocarbon-dependent economy is struggling to recover after the 2014 plunge in oil prices and the spillover effects of Western sanctions against its largest trade partner Russia. On March 19, president Nazarbayev announced his immediate resignation after ruling Kazakhstan for thirty years.
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.