Since the independence of Kazakhstan, the media sector has been controlled by the Nazarbayev clan, creating more space for the government to exert influence.
The new appointment of Azerbaijan’s First Lady as Vice-President is meant to preserve political stability, but this strategy very well may backfire.
The recent visit of EBRD’s President to Uzbekistan signals a new phase in the relationship between the two entities; but may very well prove to be a litmus test for informal networks in Tashkent.
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Destined to be a source of controversy, the layers of the Rosneft privatisation deal are slowly being pulled away. It should be watched closely by foreign investors, as it provides insight into international power plays and their impact on the investment environment.
Over the last weeks, Ukrainian media outlets have frequently reported on the possibility of early Rada elections. Political forces have linked the necessity of new elections to pursuing reforms, while the authorities oppose it for the sake of stability.
The appointment of Tasmagambetov as Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Russia is another example that the country is in the midst of a major elite reshuffle. Has he been sent to Moscow as a trusted lieutenant to oversee political transition with the Kremlin, or is he being sidelined?
In Kazakhstan the epoch of Nazarbayev is reaching its end. The issue of transition has gained momentum once again, leading to the re-emergence of succession scenarios. There are strong indications that Nazarbayev’s nephew will be the one to watch.
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Although 2016 was a successful year for Russia, to tackle recurrent domestic issues and to ensure a smooth transition in 2018 the Kremlin must capitalise on the favourable status-quo.
The fossil-fuelled character of the Azerbaijani economy experienced serious problems in 2016 on the back of low oil prices. It is anticipated that this crisis will deepen in 2017.
While 2016 was a difficult year for Kazakhstan, the political and economic environment in 2017 will be marked by economic recovery and political continuity.
Being squeezed by a variety of political, economic and regional challenges, Ukraine experienced a dynamic period but managed to survive it in political and economic terms. The task for the upcoming year is to reform the system to maintain the political stability.
Over the past couple of months, accusations been levied against Poroshenko by former allies accusing him of using various informal mechanisms to exert his influence in an opaque manner. Onishenko’s recent statements make Poroshenko’s position more fragile.