As Jihadi Trial Ends, Kazakhstan Blurs Lines Between Opposition and Extremism

by Joanna Lillis Three men in Kazakhstan have received long prison sentences on terrorism charges at the end of an ill-tempered trial that supporters of the accused say was unjust and politically motivated.

New Caspian Accord Resolves Some Issues, Not All

by Mark N. Katz Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the five states bordering the Caspian Sea (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran) have been unable to reach agreement on a legal regime for the body… Continue Reading  

Central Asians Cautiously Chart Course Independent of China

by James M. Dorsey China’s brutal crackdown in its north-western province of Xinjiang and growing questions about the dark side of some of its Belt and Road investments is fueling anti-Chinese sentiment, prompting some countries to explore ways to chart… Continue Reading  

Resolution of Caspian Sea Status Closer Than Ever

by David O’Byrne A new draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, allowing for the laying of pipelines on the seabed and banning foreign military forces, has reportedly been agreed by the five bordering states. Officials also have… Continue Reading  

What Does Kazakhstan’s New Military Doctrine Reveal About Relations With Russia?

by Deirdre Tynan  Without much ado, Kazakhstan adopted a new military doctrine in September, replacing a 2011 document that had become dated. The new document states that Kazakhstan does not have enemies. Yet, Astana seems alarmed enough by Russia’s aggressive… Continue Reading