By Sudha Ramachandran
March 27, 2023
In July 2022, reports emerged of a “new” militant outfit in northern Afghanistan. A Taliban-affiliated group, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Tajikistan is reportedly in charge of the security of five districts in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province. It has in its crosshairs the anti-Taliban resistance based in Tajikistan, the secular Tajik government and the Islamic State-Khorasan Province. So how “new” is the TTT? And what are the implications of its rising presence and profile in Afghanistan’s border districts for the region?
By Natalia Konarzewska
March 10, 2023
Isolated but natural gas-rich Turkmenistan has recently become a subject of geopolitical competition owing to the energy crisis in Europe and Western energy sanctions imposed on Russia as a consequence of its invasion of Ukraine. During a mid-December 2022 tripartite meeting in Turkmenistan between the presidents of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to make the case for Ashgabat to join the Organization of Turkic States and to start exporting its gas via the Caspian Sea and Turkey to Europe. Turkmenistan, however, prefers to remain neutral and maintain positive relations with Moscow, which would be at risk if the country decided to export its gas to Turkey bypassing Russia. Moreover, Russia’s plans to divert its trade and gas export routes towards Asian markets potentially offers a prominent role for Turkmenistan.
By Stephen Blank
February 7, 2023
At the end of 2022 Armen Grigoryan, Secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, announced on television that Armenia is under strong pressure, presumably from Moscow, to join the union state of Russia and Belarus and open an “extraterritorial (trade) corridor” to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan province through its own Syunik province. While Armenia’s acute security predicament provides an opportunity for this Russian move, the question is why Moscow has chosen this particular timing and what it portends for the future of the Caucasus.
By Selçuk Çolakoğlu
January 31, 2023
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West‑led sanctions regime against Russia, coupled with Russian counter-sanctions, has affected everything from energy resources and logistics to banking transactions and customs procedures. Western countries have realized that Moscow can weaponize its geopolitical position and logistic networks. Strategic over‑dependence on Russia’s energy, markets, and logistics has created significant challenges to neighboring countries due to increasing political tensions between the West and Russia. This development is undermining the Northern (Russian) Corridor’s position as the main overland East-West corridor. In turn, the alternative Middle Corridor is currently facing its best opportunity ever to take a leading position in connecting Europe and Asia.
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.