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CrisisWatch Database

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Uzbekistan

  |  2 Mar 2015

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Amid ongoing rumours about his health and ahead of presidential elections set for 29 March, President Karimov 11 Feb approved new cabinet: Muzraf Ikramov appointed justice minister, replacing Nigmatilla Yuldashev, now chairman of Senate and substitute to president if he is unable to fulfil his duties.

Turkmenistan

  |  2 Mar 2015

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Army and border service reservists being called up since Jan for three months’ training; students graduating secondary school who want to attend university to serve two-year military service following recent changes to conscription law. Russian and opposition media report extensive call-up is due to reports of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) operation in Afghanistan close to Turkmen border.

Tajikistan

  |  2 Mar 2015

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Deputy head of State Committee for National Security said Pakistan early Feb handed over six Tajik citizens alleged to be Jamaat Ansarullah members. Supreme Court 17 Feb sentenced thirteen alleged Jamaat Ansarullah members to jail.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  2 Mar 2015

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Arrests on extremism and terrorism charges continued: 26-year-old arrested in Kara-Suu, Osh province 3 Feb; four alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir members arrested in Issyk-Kul province in east 9 Feb; homes of twenty other alleged members raided in Osh next day. Head imam of largest mosque in south Rashod Kamalov arrested 9 Feb in Kara-Suu on extremism charges, family said to have links with Hizb ut-Tahrir. Kamalov denied charges; observers fear arrests will aggravate ethnic Uzbek tensions in south. Officials 19 Feb claimed they detained suspected Hizb ut-Tahrir leader in Karakol. Protest at U.S. embassy 27 Feb against appointment of new chargé d’affaires.

Kazakhstan

  |  2 Mar 2015

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Ethnic violence erupted in south after ethnic Tajik 4 Feb allegedly stabbed ethnic Kazakh man; around 200 ethnic Kazakhs rioted next day, attacked ethnic Tajik property. Unrest spread to nearby Bostandyk village 6 Feb; authorities launched large-scale police operation. Parliament’s upper chamber 19 Feb approved early presidential elections, stating President Nazarbayev needs another term “to ensure the continuity of the current policy”. Nazarbayev’s former son-in-law and later political opponent Rakhat Aliyev found dead in Austrian jail 24 Feb.

Uzbekistan

  |  2 Feb 2015

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President Karimov 12 Jan said Uzbekistan will not join Eurasian Economic Union or any “alliance similar to USSR”. U.S. Deputy Asst Sec State for Central Asia Daniel Rosenblum 21 Jan confirmed U.S. transferring hundreds of military vehicles to Uzbekistan, said transfer conditional on govt making “substantial and continuing progress” on rights, freedom of expression, genuine multiparty system.

Turkmenistan

  |  2 Feb 2015

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Afghan senator 21 Jan reported presence of Islamic State fighters in Faryab province, near country’s border with Turkmenistan.

Tajikistan

  |  2 Feb 2015

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Tajik citizens fighting for Islamic State in Syria released video 4 Jan threatening Tajikistan with jihad. Ten suspected members of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan arrested 7 Jan near Dushanbe with alleged cell leader. New army base to monitor militants near Afghan border reportedly being built in Kulyob district. Two border guards wounded 18 Jan while preventing armed group crossing over Afghan border.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  2 Feb 2015

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Growing concerns over recruitment to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL); Interior Ministry directorate in southern city Osh 12 Jan said IS recruitment in south rising. 21-year-old Osh resident questioned on suspicion of recruiting 60 young men from city to fight in Syria; six suspected terrorists arrested in Osh province mid Jan, alongside discovery of weapons cache. Chui province resident arrested 28 Jan on suspicion of persuading relatives to fight in Syria.

Kazakhstan

  |  2 Feb 2015

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President Nazarbayev continued mediation attempts in Ukraine crisis, 9 Jan met German Chancellor Merkel in Berlin. Planned 15 Jan meeting in Astana between Ukrainian, Russian, French and German leaders called off as fighting in Ukraine escalated. Nazarbayev held phone conversations seeking peaceful solutions to crisis with U.S. and Russian presidents. Five sentenced 15 Jan for membership of banned Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat. Prosecutor general’s office reported over 700 websites determined to be “extremist” and blocked during 2014.

Uzbekistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

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President Karimov and Russian President Putin met in Tashkent 10 Dec; agreed on enhanced military technical cooperation, Moscow wrote off $865m in Uzbek debt. Karimov met U.S. Asst Sec State Nisha Biswal in Tashkent 2 Dec; Biswal’s visit criticised by rights groups. Parliamentary elections 21 Dec saw reported turnout of 89%: victorious candidates all from parties supporting President Karimov.

Turkmenistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

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Concerns after Khamyab district in Afghanistan’s Jowzan province adjacent to border fell under Taliban control 14 Dec. Also in Jowzan province, villagers 17 Dec threatened to attack Turkmen border guards who they claimed were moving border posts and depriving them of grazing pastures.

Tajikistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

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Four Tajik border guards taken hostage 21 Dec by Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, where they were reportedly collecting firewood. President Rahmon mid-Dec expressing increasing concern about Islamic State (IS) recruitment among young Tajiks; reportedly called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) “modern plague”. 46 men arrested in Sughd province on suspicion of joining IS. Tajikistan 23 Dec assumed presidency of Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  5 Jan 2015

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During 1 Dec interview President Atambayev insisted Kyrgyzstan no longer a poor country; also said some NGOs may pose threat to national security. Atambayev 23 Dec signed agreement in Moscow to join Eurasian Economic Union. Depreciation of Russian rouble causing increasing difficulties for families reliant on remittances from relatives working in Russia. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan held border cooperation talks 9 Dec in Batken.

Kazakhstan

  |  5 Jan 2015

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President Nazarbayev 22 Dec met with Ukrainian President Poroshenko in Kyiv, agreed to restore economic ties, resume military-technical cooperation. Nazarbayev 21 Dec said Kazakhstan could become mediator between Russia and Ukraine, during Kyiv visit reportedly called on Moscow and Kyiv to find compromise and “preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity”. Russian, Ukrainian, French and German leaders to meet in Astana 15 Jan. Kazakh citizen sentenced to five years jail 12 Dec for fighting alongside pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine. Nazarbayev’s grandson Nurali Aliyev appointed deputy mayor of Astana 19 Dec.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Dec 2014

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President Karimov’s grandson Islam Karimov 15 Nov gave BBC interview on house arrest of his mother Gulnara Karimova, previously seen as possible successor to her father as president, now detained on corruption charges after falling out of favour with members of her family.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Dec 2014

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Authorities 12 Nov arrested twelve men in Sughd province, charged with organising criminal group, recruiting for IS. National Security Committee reported 300 Tajik citizens fighting alongside IS in Syria.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Dec 2014

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With winter coming, President Atambaev visited Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan early Nov to confirm energy cooperation. Border tensions continued: in Batken region Uzbek border guard 10 Nov shot and wounded one Kyrgyz man, detained one; in Jalal-Abad region Uzbek border guard 13 Nov shot dead Kyrgyz citizen. Speaking at Security Council Atambaev 3 Nov compared extremism to cancer, said IS a threat to Kyrgyzstan identity.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Dec 2014

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Anti-extremist bill signed into law 3 Nov aiming to simplify procedures to define groups as terrorist/extremist. National Security Committee 18 Nov announced more than 300 Kazakh citizens fighting alongside IS in Syria and Iraq. Former PM and recently resigned Defence Minister Serik Akhmetov charged with embezzlement 19 Nov, placed under house arrest.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

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Russian news agency RIA Novosti 6 Oct claimed to have evidence that Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan militant group was working with Iraq’s Islamic State.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

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Authorities continued digging 5-meter trenches along Afghan border, installing barbed wires, fences. President Berdymukhammedov 23 Oct met with Uzbekistan counterpart, discussed Afghanistan security implications.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

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Govt early Oct blocked websites, disabled SMS-messaging, deployed armoured vehicles to city gates ahead of planned opposition protest in Dushanbe 10 Oct; Supreme Court 9 Oct declared organiser “Group-24” extremist group. Interior Ministry spokesperson 18 Oct announced 13 Islamists returning from Syria detained for planned terror attack. High-ranking border officer arrested 22 Oct on drug trafficking accusations.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Nov 2014

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Amid rolling blackouts in Osh, Interior Minister Melis Turganbaev 2 Oct deployed armed public order units to Osh region. Five arrested 15 Oct during protest in Bishkek against energy price hikes. Authorities launched investigation following further reports Kyrgyz citizens fighting in Syria. President Atambayev 17 Oct suggested constitutional change to allow judicial reform prompting fears of additional changes. Respublika party 20 Oct merged with Ata Jurt nationalist party.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Nov 2014

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Man sentenced in Almaty for allegedly propagating terrorism and religious extremism. President Nazarbayev 9 Oct signed Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with EU. Govt 15 Oct outlawed Islamic group Takfir wal-Hijra.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

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National armed forces from Turkmenistan were reported to have entered into Afghanistan in early September in an effort to push back Taliban forces following a series of attacks on multiple border posts.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Oct 2014

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Series of high level meetings between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan officials culminated in 12 Sept meeting between Presidents; talks failed to produce practical measures to diffuse tensions between states, delineate border. Spokesman for the Interior Affairs Directorate 29 Sept confirmed 8 Kyrgyz nationals reported killed in Syria, fighting along Islamist forces. Govt 30 Sept said 7 women in southern Jalal-Abad province detained for allegedly recruiting for Islamist militant group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

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President Rahmon 18 Sept said 200 Tajik jihadis fighting in Syria and Iraq. Regional Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) Sec Gen Bordyuzha 17 Sept said spillover from Afghanistan serious regional problem; Tajik-Afghan border remains very porous. Two Uzbeks arrested June sentenced 26 Sept to 9 years imprisonment for fighting alongside Taliban in Afghanistan. Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Emomali Rahmon early Sept launched Iran-funded Sangtuda-2 hydropower plant. Fatwa issued 27 Sept by Tajik mufti against govt critics.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Oct 2014

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Russian President Putin and Nazarbayev met 30 Sept in Atyrau (Kazakhstan) to discuss inter-regional cooperation following late-Aug tensions after Putin insinuated that, prior to Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan had no statehood. Kazakh FM Erlan Idrisov 22 Sept met U.S. Sec State John Kerry, discussed counter-terrorism, post-election period in Afghanistan.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

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An anti-terror exercise was held on the Afghan border in early September. The prosecutor general’s office 23 September acknowledged the president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova’s house arrest on corruption charges.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Sep 2014

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President Nazarbayev 6 Aug announced govt reshuffle, reduction of ministries from 17 to 12, creation of super-sized Energy Ministry. Nazarbayev 13 Aug discussed with Russian President Putin and Belarussian President Lukashenko Russia’s sanctions on goods from EU, U.S., Canada and Norway; authorities 13 Aug announced after Kazakhstan will not take part in sanctions. Uzbek-Kazakh clashes erupted 27 Aug in Madani village, south; Interior Minister Qasymov 29 Aug said clashes not ethnic.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Sep 2014

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Energy situation continued to deteriorate: Uzbekistan has not resumed gas experts to southern Kyrgyzstan following cuts 14 April; PM Otorbaev 7 Aug expressed concern over Russian petrol deliveries stuck in Kazakhstan (500 wagons); Toktogul reservoir attached to hydropower station that supplies 90% of country’s electricity unusually low. 1 Kyrgyz killed 9 Aug in reported incident in Jirgatol on eastern Kyrgyz-Tajik; officials met 11 Aug to discuss shooting; shootings reported 25 Aug in Gafurov Tajik district between Kyrgyz border guards and Tajik protesters against highway project, 4 reportedly wounded.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

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Minister for Internal Affairs 11 Aug said Syria-trained jihadists pose threat; some 200 Tajiks reportedly fighting in Syria. Crackdown continued, including by using 26 July law criminalising recruitment and participation of citizens in armed conflicts; at least 88 detained on terrorism charges since beginning of year including 7 ethnic Uzbek Tajik citizens sentenced 12 Aug to 18 to 22 years jail for allegedly plotting terrorist attack against TALCO aluminium plant. Local media 9 Aug reported Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) planning return to Ferghana Valley from Waziristan, Pakistan.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

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Increased fighting along Turkmen-Afghan border; source of violence unclear, some indicate IMU and Chechen involvement, others suggest Taliban. Rare public protest 23 Aug in Ashgabat.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Aug 2014

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Kazakh air force 10 July conducted large-scale military exercises along Kazakh-Chinese border. 4 sentenced 22 July to 6-12 years prison for recruiting fighters for Syria’s rebel army. Same sentence for similar charges pronounced 21 July in Shymkent against a group of four.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Aug 2014

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Water and energy tensions with neighbours continued: Tajikistan 10 July launched mortar attack against Kyrgyzstan following tensions over water in Vorukh enclave (Tajik territory surrounded by Kyrgyzstan’s Batken province); Kyrgyz and Tajik vice PMs met 11 July to discuss conflict, agreed on joint commission to investigate events. Kyrgyz and Tajik govts 28 July agreed to joint patrolling of common border to avoid more clashes. Kazakh PM Masimov visited Bishkek 12 July, discussed possible reduction of scheduled water released from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan following 70% shortfall in water for irrigation in Chui province, northern Kyrgyzstan. Interior Minister Suranchiyev 3 July warned religions extremism on rise, at least 80 Kyrgyz citizens fighting alongside rebels in Syria. Ousted President Bakiev sentenced in abstentia 25 July to life in prison for 2010 killing of protesters.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

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Alexander Sodikov, Tajik national resident in Canada, arrested 16 June on spying accusations, released 22 July, asked to remain in Dushanbe while investigation continues. Opposition leader from Gorno-Badakhshan province, Saodatsho Adolatov, sentenced 30 July to 5 years jail for inciting hatred.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

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Aman Sagidullaev, leader of separatist movement Alga Karakalpakstan and former minister on Karakalpakstan Agricultural Department, declared wanted 3 July; Sagidullaev accused of stealing over $1mn. Uzbekistan’s National Security Forces purged early July; 40 officers reportedly arrested or dismissed. 6 alleged Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) members reportedly sentenced 7 July to 9-15 years jail for terrorism.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

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Kazakh FM Erlan Idrissov 16 June said no evidence Kazakh citizens fighting alongside separatists in Ukraine; local initiatives to support civilian populations in SE Ukraine shut down by govt early June.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

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Tensions with Uzbekistan over gas and water continued: govt 9 June threatened to close vital canal to Uzbek Namangan agricultural region; Russian-owned Gazprom, owner of KyrgyzGas and developer of Uzbek gas fields, 10 June sent representatives to Tashkent in attempt to mediate: both Kyrgyz and Uzbek govts unwilling to compromise. Public discontent over lack of gas in southern Kyrgyzstan grew: Uzbek authorities 17 June reportedly agreed to resume gas supplies to southern Kyrgyzstan if land corridor to Sokh enclave opened and construction of hydropower plants stopped.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

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Canadian resident Alexander Sodikov arrested 16 June, accused of espionage after meeting with opposition leader Alim Sherzamonov in Khorog to discuss civil society role in Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Province; EU 27 June released statement expressing concerns, urging Tajik govt to provide information on arrest. British ambassador early June attempted to meet Sherzamonov in Khorog; authorities insisted he leave, citing firefight on Tajik-Afghan border.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

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President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov 2 June threatened to dismiss Turkmenistan's border police chiefs after three border guards were shot by Taliban militants at Afghan frontier late May.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

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Uzbek-Russian relations continued to deteriorate following Uzbekistan’s ongoing condemnation of Russian actions in Ukraine: Uzbek President Islam Karimov 6 June warned of growing Russian domination and loss of political independence for Kazakhstan and Belarus following their late-May signing of Eurasian Economic Union. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan claimed 8 June attack on Karachi airport (see Pakistan).

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

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Central Election Commission 12 May approved election plan and schedule: parliamentary and local elections to be held 21 Dec 2014, presidential elections May 2015. NATO liaison office opened 16 May in Tashkent; SRSG James Appathurai confirmed cooperation on defence, military and counter narcotics initiatives. Karakalpakstan independence groups claimed to have formed militia group.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

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Commission formed by President Berdymukhamedov 17 May tasked with modernising constitution in line with international norms. Berdymukhamedov 14 May visited Beijing, discussed continued cooperation including on gas exports from Turkmenistan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

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Tajik authorities continued crackdown on local networks sending citizens to fight in Syria; bill adopted mid-May to allow prosecution of Tajiks for taking part in military conflicts abroad. 3 killed in clashes in Khorog, Gorno-Badakhshan region, following police offensive against suspected criminals 21 May; protesters 24 May attacked security forces building, 1 killed; civil society and authorities 25 May agreed to investigation.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Jun 2014

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Kyrgyz-Tajik border tensions continued: some 60 injured 7 May in mass brawl in Vorukh, Tajik enclave; mob same day attacked Kok-Terek village in Kyrgyzstan, burned vehicles, shops and petrol station; Kyrgyz citizens 9 May blocked Isfara-Vorukh road, accused Tajiks, demanded prosecution of those responsible. Crowds same day gathered in Batken, demanded governor’s resignation, said if govt fails to resolve border issue residents would do it. Both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan govts said they would accelerate border delimitation and demarcation. Kyrgyz parliament committee suggested limiting water supply from Toktogul reservoir to Uzbekistan, risking increased tensions with Uzbekistan. Kyrgyz security 17 May arrested Uzbek intelligence agent, said he was under orders to kill Rashod Kamalov, influential imam and alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir leader.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2014

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President Nazarbayev 7 May met U.S. Deputy Sec State William Burns instead of attending Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) meeting in Moscow as scheduled. Kazakh Senate 15 May ratified agreement with Russia to create unified regional air defence system. Nazarbayev 19-22 May visited China, discussed bilateral cooperation. Founding treaty of Eurasian Economic Union (EES) signed by Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus 29 May in Astana, due to come into force 1 Jan 2015; dozens of protesters demonstrating against EES arrested 29 May in Astana.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 May 2014

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Turkmen and Azerbaijani officials 2 April met in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku to discuss bilateral cooperation on possible gas transport routes for gas exports to Europe.

Tajikistan

  |  1 May 2014

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Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers met in Dushanbe 1 April, discussed Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, military-technological cooperation and joint anti-terrorism military exercise to be held in China. Deputy head of U.S. Special Operations Command Central same day met with high-ranking officials, discussed bilateral security cooperation. During visit to Kabul President Rahmon 26 March signed cooperation agreements with Afghanistan including on customs, transport. In 23 April annual address president stated political and economic ties with Russia a priority; vowed to continue construction of Roghun Dam, opposed by Uzbekistan. Security services said they prevented terrorist act against aluminium plant in Tursunzade early April.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 May 2014

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Amid worsening energy and food insecurity, agriculture minister warned food security at critical point; energy minister 2 April said country will be unable to export energy in 2015 due to low water levels. Uzbekistan shut off gas to Osh and Jalalabad provinces after Russia’s Gazprom 10 April took over state-owned Kyrgyzgaz. Kyrgyz-Tajik border tensions over water and land continued; tensions also reviving around Kyrgyzstan’s Sokh enclave in Uzbekistan. Opposition protest in capital 10 April passed peacefully; violent anti-mine protest in Talas early April prompted president to visit province. Parliament 16 April approved amendments to criminal code outlawing spreading of false information via media, raising concerns about freedom of press. Newly-appointed PM Otorbayev 17 April said joining Russia-led Customs Union will help country tackle economic and social challenges. Osh regional TV station sold to Russian businessman.

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