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Nursultan Nazarbayev ruled Kazakhstan in patriarchal
fashion since 1990 and is widely regarded as one of the ablest politicians in
the post-Soviet sphere, winning respect even from his powerful neighbor, Vladimir Putin. Now that the moment has come to hand over
presidential power, it appears that he has prepared with his typical caution
and astuteness. Odds are that the gradual leadership transition will be
successful, although plenty of things could still go wrong.
Dr. Pawel Kowal
The five independent states of Central Asia that
emerged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union are being courted and
pressured by the globe’s key powers in a contemporary version of the 19th
century’s Great Game in the region – this time over their vast energy resources.
Russia was once a military superpower. It now strives instead to be an energy superpower and at its heart is one of the world’s largest companies – Gazprom. In the post-Soviet era, Gazprom has enjoyed preferential treatment from the Kremlin and wielded huge influence over neighbouring countries. As the role of oil declines, and that of gas increases, the financi...
Professor Stefan Hedlund