Posters in supermarkets all around Kazakhstan implore shoppers these days to “Be a Patriot – Buy Kazakhstani!” Their appearance is a clear sign of Kazakhstani discontent with the Eurasian Economic Union, a Russia-led trade group that was supposed to promote mutual growth but which critics say has so far only inflicted economic pain on Astana.
President Vladimir Putin has said that Western sanctions are aimed at restraining Russia and demanded respect on the world stage, adding that Moscow is not trying to "resurrect the empire" but will never be a "vassal" of the United States.
Financial transfers from Russia to the South Caucasus country of Armenia have dipped by a staggering 56 percent over the past year, leaving the thousands of Armenian families who depend on Russian remittances struggling to make ends meet.
Ilya Ponomaryov is one of just a few opposition members of the Russian State Duma. A left-leaning liberal representing Novosibirsk, Ponomaryov was the only member of the Duma to vote in March 2014 against Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
Kazakhstan has long sought to diversify its economy to make it less dependent on energy exports, a mission that has taken on increasing importance in this age of low oil prices. A state-of-the-art automobile production line situated on the steppes of northern Kazakhstan represents a potentially important step in this direction.
Three months into Armenia’s membership in the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union, the search for work in Russia, a longtime regional employment-hub, has become as much about finding ways around bans on Armenian migrants as about finding an actual job.
Russia’s Central Bank has released new data showing drops as steep as 15 percent in the amount of money transferred by individuals to Central Asia in 2014 versus the year before. Much of that cash – no one can say exactly how much – comprises remittances from labor migrants.