Eurasia

The third anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of NRGI advisory council member Ilgar Mammadov comes at a grave inflection point for Azerbaijan. The government, made wealthy by Caspian oil deposits, is now on its knees due to cratering oil prices.

In this era of low commodity prices, oil- and mineral-rich governments in Eurasia are under acute financial pressure.

In June NRGI’s regional office in Eurasia brought together more than 25 multi-stakeholder group (MSG) members from five countries for a collaborative training session on analysis of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) report data. The training took into account a number of EITI reports expected by the end of year.

Since its launch in 2002, the EITI has improved revenue transparency in many regions. So far, nearly 40 countries have released some 140 EITI reports detailing the receipt of extractive revenues by governments from oil, gas and mining companies. In 2013, implementing countries adopted a new reporting standard, releasing even more detailed information.

In 2013, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) adopted a new standard that would, among other things, help civil society organizations communicate and collaborate with government on extractive sector issues, especially in regions with weak dialogue among stakeholders. One of those regions is Eurasia, which has a number of EITI implementing countries.

Recently CSOs from eight Eurasian countries gathered in Istanbul for a regional meeting of extractive sector governance stakeholders, preceded by a two-day training organized by the NRGI and the Publish What You Pay secretariat...

In April the Revenue Watch Institute [now the Natural Resource Governance Institute] organized a three-day workshop with Khazar University, in Baku, where stakeholders gathered from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine to strengthen their networks and knowledge of extractive issues.

Since the massive Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine opened in the Gobi Desert in 2010, billions of Mongolian tugrugs have poured into the government’s coffers in Ulaanbaatar...

In mismanaged economies, the path to government accountability and sustainability begins with transparency—but there is often resistance along the way. After all, power is at stake...

Hon. Ilya Ponomarev sat down with Revenue Watch at the December 2013 regional parliamentary workshop on extractives in Istanbul to discuss his views on the state of transparency in Russia as well as international transparency initiatives.

Oil, gas and mineral revenues are incredibly important for the Eurasian region, where several resource-rich states depend heavily on extractive resources. With an average of 40 percent of government income coming from oil, gas and mining, it is important that citizens have a say in how these resources are spent.

Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) and other organizations held regional workshops and trainings for CSOs, government, and companies preparing for the New EITI Standard adopted in Sydney this year.

The training was held in Almaty, but researchers from Astana, Shymkent and Semipalatinsk also attended...

The Kosovo Foundation for Open Society organized a training session with corporate, civil society and media representatives, along with members of parliament, in Durres, Albania.

Eurasia Knowledge Hub training in Azerbaijan draws representatives of various sectors from six countries.

Last week, Khazar University’s Eurasia Knowledge Hub held its routine training session entitled “Hydrocarbon and minerals: From extraction to sustainable development” for about 20 members of civil society, media representatives, representatives of government agencies, and universities.

Caspian countries have some of the most authoritarian and least diversified economies.

RWI found there to be little or no publicly available data on transit tariffs and state transit revenues in Bulgaria, Georgia, Ukraine and Turkey.