Wednesday, 04 August 2021
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Kazakstan

On the 8th June the Global Strategy Forum hosted the above lecture given by Dr Shirin Akiner. Outlined below are some of the key points from that lecture.

Overview

The origins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) can be traced to the end of the Cold War. For much of the Cold War era relations between China and the Soviet Union were characterised by antagonism and suspicion. The heavily guarded Sino-Soviet border, for example, was fiercely contested territory prone to sporadic outbursts of conflict. However, in the early 1990s China embarked on a diplomatic initiative to change the status quo.

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In the 'Great Game' of the 19th century, global powers attempt to gain political control of a key region and therefore access to its resources and exploit its geographical position.

The expression was used particularly for what was in effect a confrontation between the Russian empire and the British Empire over the northern approaches to the Indian Raj – India, Pakistan, Afghanistan.

The Caspian Sea Basin (CSB) is currently an arena for geopolitical competition amongst a range of players from both inside and outside the region.

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Part 1 of a series about the Caspian Sea Basin

Held on 11th September, 2009, the Akatu summit was attended by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. According to Robert Cutler, writing in the Asian Times, it has proved difficult to determine what was actually on the agenda - there was a notable lack of official communiqués. However, it was anticipated that the summit would be an informal event to discuss sub-regional cooperation on a wide range of issues. These included the construction of a railway to Iran and the development of gas pipelines to China. The summit was not going to focus on the status of the Caspian Sea and the division of the seabed. These issues can only be discussed with the participation of all five Caspian littoral states. Yet despite the summit considering issues related to Iran, this country was not invited.

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By Lauren Goodrich

Three interlocking crises are striking Russia simultaneously: the highest recorded temperatures Russia has seen in 130 years of recordkeeping; the most widespread drought in more than three decades; and massive wildfires that have stretched across seven regions, including Moscow.

The crises threaten the wheat harvest in Russia, which is one of the world's largest wheat exporters. Russia is no stranger to having drought affect its wheat crop, a commodity of critical importance to Moscow's domestic tranquility and foreign policy. Despite the severity of the heat, drought and wildfires, Moscow's wheat output will cover Russia's domestic needs. Russia will also use the situation to merge its neighbors into a grain cartel.

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