Outbreaks of plague have become all too common over the last year in the Central Asian parts of the former Soviet Union. At last, one of those nations is determined to be a source of the solution, rather than a target of the problem. According to National Geographic — one of the few Western outlets […]
This is a hopeful sign for energy security in the region, as the increase in nearby oil reserves makes reliance on Middle Eastern states almost as unnecessary as it is undesirable.
The Central Asian republics’ future depends in large part on their ability to reconstruct their civil society as much as to distribute broad-spectrum antibiotics.
The EU needs to do more to make Astana earn its keep in the area of political and media freedoms before showing Nazarbayev the money.
Yelling at Astana for failing to bring in UN representatives to tell these people what to do is not actually going to turn them into Switzerland. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The Kazakh government sees its future in the West. Political reform in Kazakhstan is necessary not only for its own sake, but also for Astana to take full advantage of expanding economic opportunities.
Kazakhstan’s shortcomings as a democracy have not stopped a basic desire by Kazakhs that the world should appreciate what they’ve done since the Soviet Union died.
As long as these former Soviet republics maintain a Soviet-era view of private property, their future in the modern world will be more than a few nodes away.
Kazakhstan, despite early position as a returned-to-the-fold Soviet satellite, relies implicitly on playing a balancing game between Moscow and Washington. For Astana’s sake, let us hope that this investigation turns out to be so much misinformation.
Astana has embarked on a campaign to shut down independent media outlets critical of the government. The government cannot ban enough newspapers and Internet domains to make its violent suppression of peaceful protests and denial of basic political freedoms acceptable.