UK sets sights on Kazakhstan – Azerbaijan as gateway to Central Asia’s resources


BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 20. The go to of James
Cleverly, Secretary of State for International, Commonwealth and
Improvement Affairs of the UK, to Kazakhstan led to a number of
thought-provoking developments, which have far-reaching
penalties for numerous states. In the course of the go to, some
attention-grabbing feedback have been made relating to the view of the UK on the
way forward for the Trans-Caspian Worldwide Transport Route (TITR),
also referred to as the Center Hall. Moreover, a matter of
diversification of oil exports from Kazakhstan through Azerbaijan was
additionally mentioned.

The UK official expressed that his authorities will help the
improvement of the Center Hall, in addition to assist the
diversification of Kazakh oil exports by different routes, particularly through

Contemplating that the problems of transportation and vitality are
a few of the precedence areas for Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, the go to
factors to the longer term adjustments that await Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
We are going to attempt to take a look at a number of points in a bid to elucidate how the
go to can remodel a big a part of the post-USSR space.

Uncommon earth mineral deal

The go to resulted in a number of offers being signed between the UK
and Kazakhstan. A very powerful one is the memorandum on uncommon
earth mineral mining. It’s a critically necessary improvement for
Kazakhstan and Western economies.

China and Russia are often called conventional leaders within the discipline
of uncommon earth mineral mining. These nations have been the most important
suppliers of those commodities to Western states. By incentivizing
uncommon earth mineral mining in Kazakhstan, the UK achieves a number of
essential aims.

First, a brand new main participant can be launched to the market. Due
to the restricted nature of those items, Kazakhstan will have the ability to
declare a really ample market share. It will create a requirement for a
extremely certified workforce, create new employment choices and
diversify the economic potential of the Kazakh financial system.

Second, the UK and different Western states will get rid of the
dependence on conventional exporters, i.e. Russia and China. Whereas
Western states try to keep away from any dealings with Russia on account of
geopolitical causes, the connection between them and China is
exhausting to characterize exactly. Western powers stay unconvinced
that China will abide by the foundations, and this notion creates
incentives for the west to hunt different suppliers.

It must be stated that uncommon earth minerals are essential
parts in high-technological navy techniques, along with
getting used extensively within the aerospace trade. Due to this fact, it
mustn’t come as a shock that the West is involved in
unlocking the potential of Kazakhstan.

This might even be a improvement that will enchantment to Baku
as a result of the enchantment and significance of the Center Hall can be
impacted positively.

Center Hall

The latest geopolitical uncertainty led to vital
transformations within the discipline of transportation and logistics.
Impossibility of utilizing established routes led to an pressing want of
discovering beforehand unexplored or underutilized alternatives to
assure uninterrupted commerce. In any case, worldwide commerce has
been the driving pressure for international financial prosperity for many years,
and it’s important to preserving commerce relations between nations due
to the globalized nature of the fashionable financial system. Contemplating the
main disruption of the availability chains within the aftermath of COVID-19,
preserving commerce routes turns into an existential challenge for every and
each international financial system, because the potential socio-economic penalties
of the shortcoming to take action can be devastating.

There are three potential routes to attach western and jap
economies: one through Russia, one other by the use of Iran, and the ultimate
route are by the Caspian Sea from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan. Western
economies see no alternative to maneuver items and providers by the
first two routes, principally, on account of geopolitical concerns.

On this state of affairs, the one possible route remaining is the
Center Hall. The go to of Cleverly was geared toward selling the
additional improvement of the route, because the Secretary of State pledged
the assist of the UK on this endeavor.

The assist of a senior UK official means a number of issues. First,
there isn’t any need or alternative to revive current commerce routes.
That is comprehensible, contemplating that there are not any indications
pointing to an bettering international political local weather. Second, the UK
stays eager to discover new alternatives, which signifies that there
is a big degree of perception within the long-term potential of the
Center Hall. Third, the UK sees Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as
credible companions, which might assure the security and stability of
the route.

There’s one main query remaining within the context of the
implementation of TITR. Will it stay possible when geopolitical
tensions subside? Varied arguments could be made right here, nevertheless, the
most rational and rational argument is that the monetary assets
allotted for the event of logistics and infrastructure of
the route will forestall western decision-makers from abandoning the
mission altogether. Moreover, there’s a query of the
perceived future credibility of a hypothetically restored

The truth that the UK expressed its assist and curiosity in
aiding Kazakhstan’s improvement of the Center Hall is a
vital step ahead for the success of the route. This
improvement signifies that there’s a marketplace for stated
transportation structure, which has been constructed for a lot of
years, and extra international locations could be anticipated to observe swimsuit.

Kazakhstan’s oil export route diversification. An
alternative for broader cooperation with Azerbaijan

One other matter of debate between Cleverly and numerous high
Kazakh officers was the problems of oil and gasoline exports. That is
one other challenge that makes Kazakhstan considerably uncomfortable. A excessive
degree of dependence on one oil export route creates vital
dangers for Kazakhstan, as there isn’t any “plan B” for the Central Asian
nation in a force-majeure state of affairs. Consider it the way in which an
funding analyst would contemplate this challenge. One of many first
issues these specialists study is to “by no means put all eggs in a single
basket”, i.e. at all times diversify dangers to produce other choices
out there. Trying on the matter from this attitude illustrates
the advantages that Azerbaijan can provide to Kazakhstan within the context
of this query.

For a few years, it was a serious false impression that Baku and
Astana are rivals within the discipline of vitality and pure useful resource
exports. In any case, this view can’t be blamed, because it appears
intuitive to counsel so. Nevertheless, that is an incorrect strategy, as
alternatives for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, in
the oil and gasoline sector exist, and so they outweigh the advantages of
following the trail of rivalry.

For Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan can function a secure and dependable oil
transit vacation spot, which might provide a further layer of
reliability ought to different export routes turn into unavailable for
technical or different causes.

Kazakhstan already began exploring the alternatives supplied
by Azerbaijani transit infrastructure by sending the primary batch of
oil, equal to six,900 tons of crude, from Aktau port to Baku.
Alikhan Smailov, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, earlier stated that
Kazakhstan will 1.5 million tons of oil through Azerbaijan.

There are different alternatives for vitality
between Central Asian states, together with Kazakhstan,
Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. The abovementioned alternative is a
potential recreation changer for the Central Asian nations that must be

Concluding ideas on the go to and its

The go to of the Secretary of State for International, Commonwealth
and Improvement Affairs of the UK to Kazakhstan offers
alternatives for contemplating the way forward for the area and the
doable transformations. Cleverly’s go to and feedback made throughout
the discussions with Kazakh officers level to the need of the UK
political institution to see the next degree of cooperation and
integration between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, because it is a component
crucial for the success of the Center Hall.

From the angle of integration, one of many key adjustments that
should be achieved between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan is the
harmonization of customs procedures and laws, which can
considerably lower the time of transit of products.

Moreover, the truth that the UK expressed its assist for
vitality cooperation between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan is one other
useful improvement for Astana and Baku. Apart from, European
companions of each nations will profit from it, because the reliability
of provides can be elevated.

The go to of James Cleverly, Secretary of State for International,
Commonwealth and Improvement Affairs of the UK, was a really
necessary occasion for Kazakhstan, and likewise Azerbaijan. Whereas the
go to was additionally geared toward bettering bilateral relations, it created
further alternatives for systemic cooperation between Astana
and Baku. Contemplating the historical past of partnerships between the
international locations, there’s a excessive likelihood that each nations will use
the momentum to spice up their relations within the transport and vitality

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