Eurasia Center

  • Nazarbayev’s Resignation is a Sign of Strength

    On March 19, Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, made a brief statement on television declaring that he would resign the next day. Why prompted his decision and what will be its consequences?

    Nazarbayev has discussed his possible resignation aloud for the last couple of years, so it appeared to have been well-prepared. He is seventy-eight, has ruled Kazakhstan since 1989, and is considered to be in frail health, so his decision to resign makes perfect sense. He sets a good example for the region, where leaders have been ousted or other former colleagues in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan have died in office. His voluntary and well-planned resignation shows that Nazarbayev remained in full control and by no means was forced out.

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  • Nazarbayev’s Gift to Kazakhstan: An Orderly Transition?

    President steps down after almost thirty years in office

    By resigning from the presidency after almost thirty years, Nursultan Nazarbayev may have given his greatest gift to Kazakhstan: a peaceful transition to a new generation following nearly three decades of stability—a stability that was likely solidified by Nazarbayev’s willingness to commit human rights abuses and corruption.

    Nothing should be taken for granted. In general, transitions in the former Soviet Union have proved difficult, sometimes involving revolutions, internal coups, and last-minute changes in the succession before the new leader takes control.

    But although Nazarbayev effectively became president-for-life in 2007 when he secured a right to contest presidential elections indefinitely, he has in fact been planning carefully for at least twelve years to ensure a smooth transition in the event of his retirement or death in office.

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  • Nazarbayev Begins Uncertain Transition in Kazakhstan

    Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has served as the president of Kazakhstan for nearly thirty years, on March 19 abruptly announced his decision to step down from the presidency, but also said he would retain several important posts. The resignation goes into effect on March 20.

    “Nursultan Nazarbayev has been an effective leader for Kazakhstan since before independence,” according to John E. Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, but after resigning his position as president, the question now becomes whether Nazarbayev “and the various clans and other interest groups in the country can come to some sort of understanding on the new leadership.”  

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  • Theresa May’s Brexit Deal May Still Win Over a Highly Fractured Parliament

    MPs vote to seek to delay departure from the European Union

    British Prime Minister Theresa May finally secured a key parliamentary victory on March 14 that strengthened the prospect she will eventually be able to get parliamentary approval for her deal to take Britain out of the European Union.

    But the price she has had to pay is that Britain will seek a three-month extension to its planned exit date on March 29. And in that time, not least as a result of an impassioned intervention by Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn, pressure to hold a new referendum on whether Britain should end its forty-six-year membership of the world’s biggest trading block is expected to grow.

    Moreover, while the government will now formally seek an extension to Article 50, the mechanism that sets the withdrawal date, it is for the twenty-seven remaining EU member states to decide whether to agree such an extension, and even one rejection would be enough to veto it.

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  • COhen in Forbes: Making Sense Of Cheniere's $18 Billion LNG Deal With China

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  • Herbst Quoted in Newsweek on Russian-Ukrainian Relationship Deterioration

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  • Kalensky Quoted in EU Observer on Estonia Warning EU of Russian Security Threat

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  • Aslund Quoted in Bloomberg on Upcoming Ukraine Presidential Election

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  • #DisinfoWeek Madrid 2019

    Atlantic Council

    #DisinfoWeek Madrid 2019


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  • Karatnycky in Politico Europe: Why the West loves Poroshenko again

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