Eurasia / Features

Uzbek energy reforms focus on energy saving, high efficiency in the first phase

Ben Aris in Tashkent December 10, 2021

Uzbekistan under its new president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, is a country gearing up for a bright future – in that the president wants to make sure there is enough power to keep all the lights on as both the economy and the population are growing fast.

Uzbekistan privatisation: “There is no other way”

Ben Aris in Tashkent December 8, 2021

Uzbekistan's privatisation programme has been in development for several years, and now the first wave of candidate companies have been prepared the number of auctions is snowballing.

DEATH OF THE SOVIET UNION: A green revolution brought the USSR down

Ben Aris in Berlin, Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius, Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 8, 2021

The green agenda is dominating the debate today, but the importance of environmental issues is nothing new: 30 years ago it was a green revolution that brought the Soviet Union down.

Uztelecom digitising Uzbekistan

Ben Aris in Tashkent December 7, 2021

Nothing says “transformation” like mobile phone ownership and in five years Uzbekistan has seen an explosion of smartphone sales and telecoms services as the state-owned national champion Uztelecom has invested heavily into its infrastructure.

Uzbekistan’s Mahalla democracy

Ben Aris in Navoi December 7, 2021

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was roundly criticised in September after he won re-election with a landslide, standing unopposed. But rather than ignore democratic values, the president has turned to the ancient system of Mahalla instead.

New American company seeks to realise Trans-Caspian pipe dream

David O'Byrne for Eurasianet December 3, 2021

The new proposal’s modest scope, and new diplomatic developments, could finally make the pipeline feasible.

Tajikistan press-gangs an army to defend long Afghan border

Kamila Ibragimova for Eurasianet December 3, 2021

The conscripts, generally Tajikistan’s poorest young men, are brutalised into service. And they are the country’s first line of defence.

Have Georgia’s crypto glory days passed?

Clément Girardot for Eurasianet November 30, 2021

More expensive electricity means global cryptominers are avoiding Georgia.

Ready for war at any time in southern Armenia

Neil Hauer in Sisian November 27, 2021

After last year's war, Armenia’s southernmost province of Syunik is now bordered by Azerbaijan on two sides. Local people fear they are next.

Kazakhstan looks to nuclear amid crypto-driven energy shortage

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet November 26, 2021

The country no longer has a choice, the president says.

Uzbekistan’s multi-coloured textile revolution

Ben Aris in Tashkent November 25, 2021

Uzbekistan has a very long history of making luxury textiles and today the country is trying to revive them.

Uzbekistan’s golden giant, the Navoi Mining & Metallurgy Kombinat

Ben Aris in Navoi November 21, 2021

The Muruntau gold mine located in the Qizilqum (aka Kyzyl-Kum) desert in Uzbekistan is the world’s biggest open-cast gold mine. Discovered in 1958, some $3bn has been invested into modernisation, and the plan is to privatise it in the next years.

Uzbekistan’s cement giant Qizilqumsement on a roll

Ben Aris in Navoi November 16, 2021

Qizilqumsement (QZSM) is of Soviet vintage and is the biggest cement maker in Central Asia. Its business is booming as demand is outstripping demand. A new production line is due online in December that should make the company even more profitable.

Uzbekistan central bank focuses on inflation targeting, but rising prices remain a problem

Ben Aris in Tashkent November 15, 2021

The Uzbek economy was one of only two major economies in the world that didn't go into recession in 2020. While the macroeconomic fundamentals are solid, the main headache remains inflation.

Savitsky’s museum, the Louvre of the Steppe

Ben Aris in Nukus November 14, 2021

The small town of Nukus in the wastes of Uzbekistan’s Qizilqum (aka Kzyl-Kum) desert is the “Louvre of the Steppe.” The new building houses an Aladdin’s cave of lost Russian impressionist art, rescued from Stalin's terror of the 30s.

Digital divide adds to multi-speed recovery from coronavirus finds EBRD

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 13, 2021

New EBRD Transition Report warns there is a widening gap between economies that have stepped up their use of online and digital services and those that have fallen further behind.

Uzbekistan: People no longer in the dark about power shortages

Eurasianet November 12, 2021

Until now, officials had been silent about ongoing power cuts, even calling them a thing of the past.

bneGreen: Development banks ADB, EBRD, EDB up the ante at COP26

Theo Normanton in Moscow November 10, 2021

The UN’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow has seen development banks from around the world come together to outline their contributions to a low-carbon future. Robust financial infrastructure is key to a just and efficient transition.

Perspectives | Islamic State using China to vilify Taliban

Lucas Webber for Eurasianet November 8, 2021

Since the Taliban took Kabul, Islamic State sympathisers across South Asia have increased attacks on the movement over its ties to China.

The hoovers of Nukus

Ben Aris in Nukus November 6, 2021

Nukus in Uzbekistan's far west used to be an ecological disaster zone, but the worst of its problems are fixed. The country's leading white goods manufacturer Artel has set up a flourishing hoover production facility in the desert town.