The new year has already established two new trends in Caspian Sea geo-economics as well as confirmed an old one. Two important new trends are an improvement in Turkmenistan's finances and the refusal of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline to vanish from the drawing board. The old trend, which is accentuated, is Iran's economic isolation.
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When Nursultan Nazarbaev was re-elected president of Kazakhstan earlier this month, there was little surprise in the West and some disappointment. The disappointment was not that he won the election—the result was never really in doubt—but rather that he held the election at all, on short notice and ahead of schedule.
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