Russian economic and military power is heavily dependent on high oil and natural gas prices. Cut the floor beneath those prices and a Communist superpower crumbles, and a revanchist Empire buckles.
Baku used its oil wealth as a source of venture capital for other industries and to help the refugees of Armenia’s illegal occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and upward of 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory.
The Financial Times reports that a few funds are balancing remaining corruption issues with Baku’s reform programs and the enormous financial liftoff the country has experienced for the last decade and more.
Kazakhstan stands astride Europe and Asia, reaching from the Caspian Sea to China. Firmly planted between West and East, Kazakhstan endures something of an identity crisis owing not only to its geographical location, but to its political climate as well.
Turkmenistan is, by any measure, one of the worst dictatorships on Earth. Now is not the time to use enriching its political class as a tool to bring Turkmenistan kicking and screaming into the nineteenth century.