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As COVID-19 spreads around the world, the states of Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, are taking their individual paths in combating the pandemic. The governments of these countries must now attempt to manage extraordinary stresses previously reserved for wars, economic collapses, and natural disasters. The repercussions of the global economic downturn will likely be amplified in Central Asia, where healthcare resources are limited, supply chains are vulnerable, and government revenues are dependent on commodity prices.
The resilience of the region—its ability to bounce back from disaster and be better prepared to face future challenges—will be put to the test. The International Tax and Investment Center report Post-COVID 19: Building Resilience in Central Asia contains a number of short and long term policy recommendations for the leaders of Central Asia to execute a sustainable recovery from the novel Coronavirus.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia Affairs, Public Diplomacy and Press at the US Department of State, Jonathan Henick; H.E. Erzhan Kazykhanov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States; Dr. Ariel Cohen, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and director of the International Tax and Investment Center’s Energy, Growth, and Security Program; and Frauke Jungbluth, practice manager for Europe and Central Asia at the World Bank, join for the discussion. Ambassador John Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center will moderate.
Between East and West
The Central Asian Republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan—are located at the nexus of Russia, China, South Asia, and the Middle East. Leveraging their critical geography, these nations are renewing their role as the crossroads of trade between the West and Asia—resulting in significant economic development, especially in the sectors of energy and natural resources. While moves toward reform and democracy have been made since independence in 1991, corruption and human rights issues remain prevalent throughout the region.
UkraineAlert Mar 28, 2023
Russia’s Ukraine invasion is eroding Kremlin influence in Kazakhstan
The invasion of Ukraine was meant to advance Vladimir Putin’s vision of a revived Russian Empire. Instead, it is forcing other neighboring countries like Kazakhstan to urgently reassess their own relationships with Moscow.
New Atlanticist May 20, 2023
The US can help Central Asia avoid China’s awkward embrace
By John E. Herbst, Andrew D’Anieri
China just wrapped up a summit with Central Asian countries, but the US should not cede the territory. Washington should energize economic and security cooperation.
Report Apr 28, 2023
Kazakhstan could lead Central Asia in mitigating the world’s energy and food shortages
By Margarita Assenova, Ariel Cohen, and Wesley Hill
The five Central Asian states can make a meaningful contribution to mitigating the world’s energy and food deficits, but this will require determination by local governments and the commitment of Western government and business partners.
The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.