State Secretary: U.S. strongly supports idea of TAPI gas pipeline construction

The United States strongly supports the idea of construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. At the same time, Washington strongly opposes meeting of Pakistan's needs in energy resources by constructing pipeline to purchase "blue fuel" from Iran, ITAR-TASS quotes U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as saying on Wednesday. READ MORE

Ablyazov Sentenced to Prison in UK for Contempt of Court

By Margarita Assenova

The fugitive Kazakh banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling $5 billion from Kazakhstan’s BTA bank, was sentenced on February 16 to 22 months in prison for failing to disclose his assets and lying under oath to the High Court of England and Wales. Justice Nigel Teare concluded that Ablyazov had breached a court-ordered freeze on his assets, presented “untrue” evidence about property ownership and provided evidence “with the intention of interfering with or impeding the course of justice.” The Justice qualified Ablyazov’s breaches as “deliberate” and “substantial,” describing his conduct as “brazen.” The court has issued arrest warrants, but lawyers of BTA bank believe that Ablyazov, who failed to appear at the hearing in London, may have already fled England (Financial Times, The Guardian, Press Association, February 16). READ MORE

Kremlin Seeks to Alarm Southern Neighbors About Cooperating with the Pentagon


By Richard Weitz

It is well-known that the aggressive foreign policy of Iran’s clerical regime makes Central Asian governments uneasy. Most obviously, Iran and its Caspian neighbors have a longstanding dispute over Tehran’s expansive claims to offshore energy resources. In addition, the Central Asian states have repeatedly rejected Tehran’s application to elevate its observer status within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to that of a full member. Furthermore, they have limited educational and cultural exchanges with Iranians that could give Tehran opportunities to proselytize radical versions of Islam in Central Asia. READ MORE

President of Tajikistan and Minister of Armed Forces of United Kingdom discuss withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan

The use of the territory of Tajikistan for the withdrawal of British troops in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF) in 2014 was discussed in Dushanbe on Friday by President of Tajikistan Emomalii Rahmon and State Minister for the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom Nick Harvey. READ MORE

President Islam Karimov Meets with UK Defense Secretary

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with State Secretary for Defense of the United Kingdom Philip Hammond MP at the Oqsaroy. READ MORE

Human Rights & Disarmament Should Be UN Priority, Kazakh FM Says in Geneva

The international community, with the UN at the forefront, should keep human rights and disarmament at the top of its agenda, while Kazakhstan stands ready to help in every way it can. Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov delivered this message as he spoke at the meetings of the UN Human Rights Council and the Disarmament Conference in Geneva on February 27 and 28. READ MORE

Turkish, Azerbaijani, Iranian FMs to gather for tripartite meeting

By Servet Yanatma

The Turkish, Azerbaijani and Iranian foreign ministers are planning to meet on March 7 in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic in Azerbaijan as part of a series of meetings regularly held between the three states. READ MORE

India Military Modernized With China In Mind

By Nirmala George

India has decided to buy 126 fighter jets from France, taken delivery of a nuclear-powered submarine from Russia and prepared for its first aircraft carrier in recent weeks as it modernizes its military to match China's. READ MORE

Kazakhstan, UK Sign Accord on Transit to Afghanstan

This week’s visit to Astana by British Secretary of Defence Philip Hammond resulted in the signing of an agreement guaranteeing the transit of British military property and personnel across the territory of Kazakhstan. READ MORE

Uzbekistan’s Quest for Oi Aral Seal May Weaken Kazakhstan’s Position in the Caspian

By Farkhad Sharip

As a part of its incessant attempts to consolidate its presence in the energy sector of Central Asia, on January 17, the board of executives of the Russian company, Lukoil, endorsed the purchase by its daughter company, Lukoil Overseas, of 6.6 percent of shares in transnational Aral Sea Operating Company. The Aral Sea Operating Company was set up in 2006 to explore and develop Uzbekistan’s oil and gas fields in the Aral Sea on a Product Sharing Agreement basis. With the additional acquisition, Russian shares in the transnational Aral project joined by Uzbekistan’s Uzneftegaz national holding, Chinese CNPC International, South Korean KNOC Aral and Russian Lukoil Company totals 26.6 percent. The 6.6 percent of shares purchased by Lukoil earlier belonged to Malaysian Petronas Company, which abandoned the project in 2011. READ MORE