Prepared by Joseph Urbanas, Director of company Kazakhstan Newsline
General and Politics
Xinhua News Agency (June 6, 2006)
President Hu to attend CICA summit in Kazakhstan
Chinese President Hu Jintao has been invited by President Nazarbaev to attend the second Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to be held in Almaty on June 17… CICA is a forum for increasing security in Asia, and was first proposed by Mr. Nazarbaev at the 47th UN General Assembly in 1992. Its 17 members include China, Russia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Israel, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Palestine…The first ever CICA summit took place on June 4, 2002.
KLAS TV – Nevada (June 2, 2006)
Las Vegas Forges Friendship with Kazakhstan
The legacy of the Nevada Test Site is well known, but across the world there’s another test site that irradiated residents without their knowledge….In Las Vegas, the Kazakhstani ambassador joined Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D) Nevada, and an expert panel Thursday to compare notes from the Cold War testing programs and to forge a friendship to bring Las Vegas casinos to Central Asia….Atomic testing in Nevada ended many years ago, but Congresswoman Berkley’s office deals with test site related issues every day, either helping site workers who’ve been denied compensation or assisting down-winders exposed to fallout….Ms Berkley said, “I’m not sure our fellow citizens fully appreciate the suffering that continues in this country because of atomic testing at the Nevada Test Site in the 50s and 60s.”…It should be no surprise that Berkley has formed a friendship with Kanat Saudabayev, ambassador from Kazakhstan, the site of the U.S.S.R.’s atomic testing program. More than 450 tests were conducted there, exposing millions of people to radiation, causing bizarre genetic effects that are still being seen. Unlike Americans, the Kazakhs were told almost nothing about the tests.…The world has done little to help the Kazakhs recover, but they’ve done plenty for themselves. Even before breaking away from the U.S.S.R., they shut down the test site. They later dismantled a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons they inherited and have been moving toward democracy ever since. They might be America’s staunchest ally in Asia, all the more fortunate since their newly proven oil reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia…. The Kazak delegation was also in Las Vegas, because, as Mr. Berkley explains,” There are 200 casinos in Kazakhstan, and one of the reasons they are here is to speak with industry leaders about bringing Las Vegas-style gaming to Kazakhstan. It’s a wealthy nation in a strategic area. There’s a lot of money there and nowhere to spend it. We’re going to see if we can help them acquire those resources.”…Ambassador Kanat Saudabayev said, “There is no better place to learn the experience of Las Vegas than Las Vegas. We have solved the issue of bread, now we are looking for entertainment.”…
Forum 18 News Service (June 1, 2006)
KAZAKHSTAN: “Why register yet another group of believers?”
Two Protestants in western Kazakhstan are facing prosecution and large fines for belonging to an unregistered religious community, which has tried to register five times in five years…. This is the latest instance of Kazakh official intolerance of religious freedom, in which new “national security” amendments are used against unregistered religious activity. Salobek Sultanov, of the Committee for Relations with Religious Organisations, told Forum 18 that “this small handful of people constantly kicks up a fuss. My personal view is why register yet another group of believers when we already have so many churches here? There’s an Orthodox and a Catholic church in Atyrau. We respect believers of all denominations.” He was unable to explain to Forum 18 why Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as Protestants are repeatedly denied registration….In 2006, the Kulsary police have launched two raids on private flats where Protestants were meeting. The town Prosecutor’s Office initially filed a case under Article 375 of the Code of Administrative Offences, which punishes refusal by a religious community to register. “But we succeeded in showing the court that this was just absurd,” Taraz Samulyak of the group told Forum 18, “since we had tried five times to register ourselves.” He said the prosecutor’s office had then brought a case under Article 374-1….The group has tried five times since 2001 to register with the Atyrau Justice Administration, but each time it has found a reason to refuse…The police feel free to insult Protestants, Samulyak complained, and demand they sign documents saying that they belong to an illegal religious organisation. The head of the local school has called in the Protestants’ children and has demanded that they leave their “sect”, accusing them of being “Wahhabis.”
Communications and Transportation
Xinhuanet (June 6, 2006)
China Increasing Routes to Kazakhstan
The Deputy Director of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Regional Bureau of Communications has said that China will add twenty-two additional passenger and cargo road transport routes between it and Kazakhstan by Sept.1st …After this, the total number of highway routes between the two countries will reach 64…Kazakhstan will become best-linked nation in Central Asia with China, in terms of the number of highway transport services, the official added…Hghways between China and Kazakhstan will total 33, while there will be 31 road cargo transport routes between the two countries.
Oil and Gaz
Wiadomosci onet.pl Poland (Jun 1, 2006)
KazMunayGas Targeting Chinese Markets with Pipeline Projects
KazMunayGas plans to commission two new pipelines to tap the rapidly growing Chinese gas market.”The Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline will facilitate deliveries of Kazakhstani and probably Turkmen and Uzbek gas to rapidly growing markets in China,” the KazMunayGas First Vice President, Zhaksybek Kulekeyev said during the Eurasian Energy Forum…The company expects to commission the first section the first pipeline, designed to have a total capacity of 10 bcm, to China in 2009. The second pipeline, which should be commissioned in 2012, should have a total capacity of 30 bcm. The two sides are considering three options. The first scenario is an extension of the existing Bukhara-Tashkent-Almaty pipeline to Taldy-Kurgan. This line would then continue to Alashankou….A second would be the construction of a new pipeline from Ishim in Russia to Astana, which would continue through Karaganda to Lake Balkhash and Alashankou. This project would supply both Russian and Kazakh gas. KMG is also considering a new pipeline from Chelkar through Kyzyl-Orda to Shymkent, where it could intersect with the existing Bukhara-Tashkent-Almaty pipeline. By the year’s end, KMG and CNPC plan conclude a feasibility report on the project.
Trade and Consumer Goods
Trend (June 6, 2006)
Georgia to increase Wine Exports to Kazakhstan
Georgia is increasing wine exports to Kazakhstan, Zurab Nogaideli, Georgian prime minister said, following talks with Daniyal Akhmetov ….”Georgian wine has been present on the Kazakhstani market for a long time, the wine exports to Kazakhstan are growing, and it is my belief that they will continue to grow. Kazakhstani people know and appreciate Georgian wine, and we appreciate our Kazakhstani consumers,” he stressed….The Georgian Prime Minister said, “Georgia will to continue its co-operation with Kazakhstani structures to prevent falsified Georgian wine from entering the Kazakhstani market,” he assured.
Business Standard, India June 12, 2006
Texprocil inks MoU with Kazakhstan
The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil) has signed a MOU with Kazakhstan to promote textile exports from India. It is also expected to help Indian companies establish joint ventures in the country…The MOU was signed during a visit lead by the Special Envoy of the RK Prime Minister, Berdibek M Saparbayev. Mr. Saparbayev said there was a lot of potential for the textile trade between the two countries; as there is a stable resource base, good logistics, and banking infrastructure in Kazakhstan…The Ontustik Special Economic Zone in south Kazakhstan is established for for cotton textiles, and has advantageous tax laws, a free customs zone, infrastructure and government support. Mr. Saparbayev said that the memo would facilitate an information exchange on textiles and trade. Expert delegations with Indian participation will follow up to develop the Kazakhstani textile industry. “Kazakhstan is organizing a textile exhibition in October this year to showcase its potential and attract investments,” he added.
St. Petersburg Times (June 13, 2006)
Kazakhstan Turns the Tide in The Aral Sea Eco-Catastrophe
In this dusty village, camels wander among forlorn ships on tides of sand. A camel herder dreams of what once was, and what might again be. “They say that maybe there will be water here again,” Dosym Kutmambetov, the 27-year-old grandson of a fisherman, said as he paused from rounding up his family’s herd. “We’re dreaming that the water will be here very soon. It makes my heart glad. If the sea is full, more people will come back to the village and life will be richer. If the sea comes back, I’ll catch fish, too.”…The hope is not just wishful thinking. The Aral Sea has shrunk to less than half its original size and turned salty as result of irrigation diversion. The landlocked sea split in two in the late 80s. This not only wiped out the fishing industry, but blanketed the area with toxic saline dust….Now, thanks to a new 8-mile-wide dam and other projects by the government and the World Bank, the northern section is again filling with water. That in turn is restoring hope and some prosperity…The southern part lies mostly in Uzbekistan and continues to shrink. It is too salty to sustain even ocean fish, and instead of trying to reverse the process, the Uzbek government is seeking to find and develop gas and oil deposits in the dry seabed. Kazakhstani residents take pride in the reversal of one of the world’s greatest man-made environmental disasters. “There are seven wonders of the world, and the eighth is the dam on the Aral Sea,” said Kolbai Danabayev, vice mayor of Aral, a former fishing harbor known in Soviet times by its Russian name, Aralsk... “No one has done something like this before.”