Uzbekistan's expatriate oligarchs have been welcomed back by President Mirziyoyev as part of his bid to open the country to foreign investment. Personalities including Usmanov, Makhmudov and Shodiyev have been offered many lucrative projects, circumventing open competition. Viewed as agents of influence, they are aligning their personal interests with those of Moscow, with concerns that they will soon be in a position to influence decision-making in Tashkent.
This is Part II of a two-part series reviewing Russia's recent green energy boost as an emerging investment opportunity. In today's analysis, we look at the key corporate players involved in the nascent renewable energy market, assess its investment potential, and forecast if the trend of green energy is likely to last in Russia.
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This is Part I of a two-part series looking at Russia's recent green energy boost as an emerging investment opportunity. An evolving economic and international context has pushed the Russian authorities into paying attention to the country's green energy potential. In part I, we examine the country's renewable energy capacity and existing support programmes for prospective investors.
An obscure provision tucked inside the CAATSA sanctions law, signed in August 2017, is sending many Russian oligarchs into a tail spin as they wait – with bated breath – to see if their names will appear on an official US Treasury blacklist due to be published next week. Although largely a subjective exercise, certain metrics have been stipulated to identify oligarchs favored by Putin. Whatever the result, the impact is already becoming evident.
To further consolidate his position, President Mirziyoyev has replaced much of Karimov’s old guard with his own loyalists. Cutting powerful Security Chief Inoyatov from the picture, however, has taken more effort. The more the new President cements his own (absolute) power base, the less of an obstacle the once powerful Inoyatov becomes.
As Ukraine enters the penultimate year of Poroshenko’s presidency, it teeters on the brink of revolutionary failure. Despite Western assistance and policy advice, the influence of the country’s oligarchs and associated systemic corruption has yet to be dislodged. A lack of political will is placing pressure on Ukraine, with indications that civil society and a coalition of populists may potentially shift the balance.
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While there is little intrigue about the outcome of 2018 presidential elections in Russia, there is less certainty about what will come after the 2024 transition of power. What is the importance of Putin’s 4th presidential term? Which elite structures stand to gain or to lose over the next 6 years? What are the likely successor scenarios? The answers to these questions – answered during Shadow Governance Intel’s first webinar on 14 December - will define Russia’s stability for the years to come.
Although only 65 years old, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon is looking towards succession. His son, now Mayor of Dushanbe, has emerged as the heir apparent; but, that is not to say that other family members are vying for influence. There are three main power bases in the country, each tied to one of Rahmon’s children. Whether these three power bases can find a balance will dictate the stability of Tajikistan.
Although nepotism, like corruption, has been a fixture of the Kazakh elite, there are no obvious presidential candidates in the Nazarbayev family itself. Succession plans, as such, have been turning into an art of guesswork, as Nazarbayev is guarding discussions from public consumption. Although the family has its own candidates, the future of Kazakhstan’s political leadership may well fall to individuals who are a degree, if not two, removed from the family.
Tajikistan’s kleptocratic system is characterised by government critics as one in which the ruling elite would rather have 100% of a $1 million pie, rather than 10% of a $100 million pie. This sentiment highlights the risks associated with doing business in a country where business and politics truly are inseparable.
Reforms have brought a degree of transparency to Ukraine’s political system. A legacy of oligarch interference over political institutions, however, is not so easily disrupted; evident in media revelations that President Poroshenko has prioritised the security and growth of his business interests over the promises he made to the electorate. As Ukraine’s future balances between progress and regression, will the balance tilt towards further reform, or will the road towards a new oligarch class and influence be opened?
Although the life expectancy of Kazakh opposition parties is usually brief, rising social discontent is changing the equation. Disaffection with political governance is no longer limited to the grassroots, but increasingly resounding within the middle and business classes, and within elements of the ruling elite itself. This is feeding a resurgent opposition; but will change be orderly or chaotic.