Major protests have sprung up across Kazakhstan. What began as a response to rising fuel prices has snowballed into huge demonstrations against President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and his government. Tokayev attempted to calm protests with economic concessions, but has since increased tensions by calling for military assistance from Russia and its partners.
Will the protests lead to substantive change in Kazakhstan? What policy implications might the unrest have for Beijing, Moscow, and Washington?
Dr. Edward Lemon, president of the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, provides introductory remarks. Dr. Ariel Cohen, nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, Ambassador William Courtney, adjunct senior fellow at the RAND Corporation and former US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Dr. Nargis Kassenova, senior fellow with the Program on Central Asia at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and Dr. Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, associate professor and director of the Center for Governance and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh, join to discuss recent developments in Kazakhstan and what they might mean for the country’s future. Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Eurasia Center, moderates. This event is co-sponsored with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs.
This event will not feature an in-person audience. You will be able to join via desktop or mobile app, through your web browser, or by phone. To join the question and answer period, you must join by app or web.
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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.
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