Energizing Central Asia: Caspian Partnerships Will Pay Off

The Caspian Basin’s large oil and gas reserves have not only been long coveted by the United States, Europe, China and India, but are also seen as the means by which the region can be lifted out of poverty. At the same time, the desire for influence in the Trans-Caucasus…

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Energy nexus: Russia and Central Asia

MOSCOW. (Ian Pryde for RIA-Novosti) – Last Thursday, Russia’s President Putin arrived in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, for the start of a week-long visit to Central Asia, which will focus on energy. But the visit is not just about oil and gas. Electricity generation and transmission and atomic energy…

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Central Asia – the distorted reality

MOSCOW. (Ian Pryde for RIA Novosti) The inauguration of Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov on February 13 as the new president of Turkmenistan was notable for his speech announcing greater access to the Internet and mobile telephony – a welcome breath of fresh air after Saparmurat Niyazov’s outdated personality cult. But in an…

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Supply and Demand: China’s Growing Industrial Sector Looks to Russia for Energy

The steadily improving relations between Russia and China reached a new high earlier this year when the two countries signed 29 bilateral agreements on energy, telecommunications, IT, banking and money laundering during President Vladimir Putin’s March visit to Beijing. In some quarters, these new agreements cemented fears of a strategic…

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No Simple Case of Allegiance: Debunking the Radical Islam Stereotype in Central Asia

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – The bomb attacks in the Uzbek capital Tashkent in August once again appeared to raise the spectre of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism in Central Asia. But to see Islam as the only – or even the driving – force in Central Asia is a grave error to…

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