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Central Asia Geopolitical Watch – From April 16 to April 22, 2022

Central Asia Watch Team : Aliya Yechshanova, Elisabeth Nagy, Mathieu Bailly et Denis Lavaud

04/17/2022: Électricité de France (EDF) has shown interest in the construction of hydroelectric power plants in Kyrgyzstan – Aliya Yechshanova – 

Negotiations between Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Bakyt Torobayev and Director of the branch of Électricité de France (EDF) in Russia and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States Laurent Paganon took place in Bishkek. The parties discussed cooperation in the field of energy, including in the field of renewable energy sources (RES).

“We have the ability to generate 142 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Our priority is the construction of the Kambar-Ata hydroelectric power plant (HPP-1) , small HPPs, as well as solar and wind power plants. We are interested in developing green economy projects,”- said Bakyt Torobayev.

Paganon announced the company’s interest in the construction of large hydroelectric power plants on the territory of the republic. The parties decided to create a working group to further study the issues of relevant cooperation.

Électricité de France (EDF) is a French multinational electric power company that manages a diverse portfolio of 120+ gigawatts of generating capacity in Europe, South America, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In 2009, EDF was the largest electricity producer in the world.

On the same day, the Deputy Prime Minister Bakyt Torobayev  met with representatives of Masdar from the UAE. The businessmen expressed their willingness to partner in the implementation of projects for the construction of a solar station with a capacity of 200 megawatts at the first stage.

04/18/2022: The President of Tajikistan participes in the opening of a new gold mine – Aliya Yechshanova – 

On April 17, Head of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon put into operation the gold mining enterprise «TWA Dushanbe Mining» in the village of Kumargi Bolo of Ainu district of Sogd region. Emomali Rahmon and the representative of the Chinese company TWEA Zhan Xin pressed the button to start the factory. The ceremony took place in an online format. It was noted that the plant plans to produce 4 tons of gold and 1 ton of silver per year. The working staff is 30 people. The project, which was launched in 2017, cost 180 million dollars. The ore concentrate is extracted from the deposits «Kumargi Bolo» and «Duobai Sharki». The «Duobai Sharqi» field, which consists of 7 tunnels, is used for tunnel drilling, production and processing plant construction, road construction and other necessary infrastructure. To date, 4 tunnels have been dug with a length of 3,000 meters.

The construction work involved 170 people, about 100 of whom are Tajik citizens.

04/18/2022: Islamic State affirms the launch of missile at Uzbek territory, governments official denies the claims – Mathieu Bailly –

On Monday, April 18th, Islamic State’s branch based in the Khorasan province (IS-K) claimed to have launched multiple missiles, targeting a military Uzbek base, near the city of Termez.

The next day, Tuesday April 19th, Minister of Defense and President’s spokesperson of the Uzbek government denied the claim, affirming that the missiles never crossed the Afghan-Uzbek border.

Deputy spokesperson of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, Inamullah Samangani, also denied the allegation, declaring that: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will not allow anyone to threaten the security of neighboring countries from our territory.”

04/20/2022: President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev orders reform of the party “Amanat” – Denis Lavaud – 

On April 20, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev received the executive secretary of the presidential party “Amanat”, Askhat Oralova, in order to share about the transformations of the party, decided during its exceptional XXII Congress.

Askhat Oralov presented to the President the main points of the reform of “Amanat”: the updating of the party program, the strengthening of its various bodies, the launch of a dialogue platform within the framework of the design of “open party”…

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reminded his interlocutor of the need to strengthen the link with the population, to improve the role of fractions of deputies in the regions, as well as to launch the youth branch of the party. The President also recalled that the “Amanat” party has all the necessary resources to respond to these demands, which are the keys to the reform desired for the presidential party of Kazakhstan, and which is necessary for the reforms undertaken this year in the country.

04/20/2022: Conflicts of interest undermine Uzbekistan’s transparency policy  – Elisabeth Nagy –

At the International Investment Forum in Tashkent on 25 March 2022, Uzbek officials launched a privatization campaign based on transparency to attract new investors. Since holding offshore accounts is not prohibited in Uzbekistan, the involvement of relatives of senior officials in the Pandora Papers scandal, such as the wife of Sardor Umurzakov, deputy prime minister and minister of investment and trade, raises questions about whether Uzbek officials are sincere about transparency in future investments. Several other people close to the government have appeared on similar lists, which could harm the country’s economic project. 

04/21/2022: Former Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan appointed Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to CSTO – Denis Lavaud –

On April 21, the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, thanked the former permanent representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the CSTO, Janybek Imanaliev, and appointed Marat Syzdykov, former foreign minister, to replace him, according to the official website of the presidency of Kazakhstan.

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