The Hill
December 10, 2019

By Mamuka Tsereteli

 

It is in American interests to deter an increasingly assertive Russia. One way of doing this is to strengthen the independence and sovereignty of the countries around Russia, most of which face growing pressure from Moscow. The Black Sea states of Ukraine and Georgia, as well as Moldova and Belarus, are primary targets of Russian power. Other countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia also face assertive Russian policies. All these nations have suffered the collateral damage of changing ideologies of various administrations in the United States. American disengagement from different parts of the world over the last decade has created a large geopolitical vacuum now filled by Russia, China, and other adversaries.

The Caucasus and Central Asia: IMF Economic Outlook and Policy Challenges

The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute held a forum on IMF engagemtn in the CCA region. The forum discussed trade tensions, oil price volatility, and geopolitical tensions are weighing on the world economy. The speaker addressed what the region’s policy makers should do to make their economies resilient and promote higher and more inclusive growth. 

Speakers: 

Juha Kähkönen, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund

Moderator:  Svante Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the American Foreign Policy Council

Where: Middle East Institute: 1763 N Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20036

When: Wednesday, November 21, 2019 from 3:00 - 4:30 pm, 

Scroll down to watch the event. 

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 Economic Outlook for the Caucasus and Central Asia

Growth remains broadly stable in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA), but it is still well below the long-term potential for the region — and too low if the region is to raise living standards to the level of other emerging economies in Europe and Asia. The challenge is to leverage good domestic policies, increased economic diversification, and stronger international cooperation to generate higher and more inclusive growth that lifts up the prospects of all CCA citizens. This task is complicated by global uncertainties, weaknesses in the banking sectors, and elevated public debt. This event coincides with the launch of the IMF's Departmental Paper: Promoting Inclusive Growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia presented by one of the authors, Mercedes Vera-Martin.

Speakers: 

Juha Kähkönen, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF

Mercedes Vera Martin, Deputy Division Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF

Moderator: S. Frederick Starr,Chairman Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the American Foreign Policy Council

 

Where: Middle East Institute: 1319 18th Street NW, 20036

When: Wednesday, June 4, 2019 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm, 

The PowerPoint Presentations from both speakers are available below.

Promoting_Inclusive_Growth_in_the_CCA.pdf

Economic_Outlook_for_the_CCA_Presentation.pdf

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Azerbaijan in a Changing Caucasus: Developments in Foreign and Domestic Policies

Azerbaijan has recently embarked on a series of reforms to modernize the country’s economic and social policies. In foreign relations, Azerbaijan is in the final stages of negotiating an enhanced cooperation agreement with the European Union, and continues to work toward the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor. Increased diplomatic activity has intensified expectations surrounding the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, while U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton's visit to the South Caucasus in October also suggests growing U.S. engagement. The American Foreign Policy Council's Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and the Center for Strategic & International Studies held a discussion with three senior Azerbaijani parliamentarians, who provided an update on developments in Azerbaijan and the region.

Speakers: 

Mr. Samad Seyidov – Chairman of the Committee on Foreign and Interparliamentary Relations of Parliament, Head of Azerbaijan-USA working group on interparliamentary relations 
Ms. Sahiba Gafarova – Member of the Committee on Foreign and Interparliamentary Relations of Parliament
Mr. Asim Mollazada – Member of the Committee on Foreign and Interparliamentary Relations of Parliament

Introduction: Svante Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

Moderator: Jeff Mankoff, Deputy Director, Russia & Eurasia Program, CSIS

 

Where: Center for Strategic and Intenational Studies: 1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Concourse Level, Washington, DC 20036

When: Friday, March 29, 2019 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm

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 Caucasus and Central Asia: Economic Outlook and Policy Challenges

The growth momentum in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) is expected to stabilize in 2018 and the medium term. Still, it will take almost two decades to raise CCA living standards to the current levels of their peers. What does it take for countries in the region to move to a private-sector-led growth model? How can they build buffers, address weaknesses in the financial sector, and tackle high public debt? And how can growth be made more inclusive—so that it benefits all through job creation, higher incomes, and more opportunities?

Speaker: Juha Kähkönen, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF

Moderator: S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the American Foreign Policy Council

 

Where: American Foreign Policy Council: 509 C Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

When: Friday, December 14, 2018 from 12:30 - 2:00 pm, 

RSVP: Click HERE to register

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