Monthly Archives: February 2007

07ASTANA522, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, FEBRUARY 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA522 2007-02-26 10:53 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7538
RR RUEHAST RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #0522/01 0571053
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261053Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8592
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1686
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 7874
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 7815
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7116
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2019
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1379
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2180

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000522 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, FEBRUARY 2007 
 
 
1. The "Almaty Notes" series is intended to maintain focus on 
developments in civil society, the media, and the opposition in 
Kazakhstan's "southern capital" following the move of the Embassy to 
Astana. 
 
Trial of True Ak Zhol Leader Bulat Abilov 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2. On February 14, the Almalinskiy district court resumed the trial 
of Bulat Abilov and his two business partners, Baurzhan Karabekov 
and Ualikhan Baybosyn.  Pol FSN attended the hearing.  All three 
defendants pled not guilty.  Karabekov's lawyer requested an 
adjournment until March 10 to allow time to scrutinize the evidence 
in the case.  The judge denied the request, prompting the lawyer to 
move to exclude the judge on the grounds of bias toward the 
prosecution.  The district court chairman rejected the motion. 
 
3. After considering motions, the court questioned two plaintiffs 
out of the twelve present.  The first plaintiff, an 81-year old 
woman, presented documents showing that she was actually a 
shareholder in a different investment fund.  The second plaintiff, 
Aleksander Bogachyev, testified that Almaty Financial Police 
officers had encouraged him to file a claim against Abilov. 
According to Bogachev, they said "Don't you think it would not be a 
bad idea to get 50,000 tenge ($400) by mail.  Otherwise, while you 
will are working hard, Abilov will be relaxing in the Bahamas." 
Both plaintiffs renounced their claims.  The judge and procurators 
appeared confused, and the hearing was suspended until February 20. 
 
 
Events in Memory of Sarsenbaiuly 
--------------------------------- 
 
4. The opposition in Almaty organized a number of events in memory 
of murdered True Ak Zhol leader Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly around the 
one-year anniversary of his February 2006 murder.  Pol FSN attended 
a February 6 hearing of the Public Committee set up a year ago to 
follow the murder investigation.  At the hearing, opposition 
leaders, the lawyers for the victims, and Sarsenbaiuly's brother 
stressed that the crime had not been properly investigated and 
solved and those who organized the assassination had not been 
identified.  The hearing concluded that the case should be 
categorized as an act of terrorism and re-investigated because "the 
crime was aimed at undermining public security and intimidating the 
population." 
 
5. On February 10, a mass gathering in memory of Sarsenbaiuly was 
held in Almaty in front of the Academy of Sciences.  The city 
administration sanctioned the gathering.  Pol FSN attended the 
rally, which was organized by the opposition and attracted about 
1,000 participants.  The opposition leaders and public figures who 
addressed the meeting included Zharmakhan Tuyakbay, Bulat Abilov, 
Oraz Zhandosov, Tulegen Zhukeyev, Tolen Tokhtasynov, Asylbek 
Kozhakhmetov, Rysbek Sarsenbayev, Yevgeniy Zhovtis, and Irina 
Savostina.   Rysbek Sarsenbayev stated "I suspect President 
Nazarbayev and members of his family, Rakhat and Dariga, as well as 
Nurtay Abykayev of being involved in the assassination."  None in 
the crowd appeared shocked by the statement.  Several policemen were 
observing the rally, which proceeded peacefully.  Participants 
approved a resolution demanding the re-investigation of the case, 
the dismissal of the Procurator General and Minister of Interior for 
failing to solve the crime, the disbanding of the "Arystan" special 
National Security Committee unit, and re-naming a street in Almaty 
after Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly. 
 
Trial of the "Shanyrak Defenders" 
-------------------------------- 
 
6. The trial of the "Shanyrak Defenders" continues in the Almaty 
city court.  At a hearing of the case on February 8, the lawyers for 
the defense filed a motion asking the court to call the mayor of 
Almaty City as a witness.  They also asked for the video recorded 
during the riots to be played.  Both motions were rejected.  (TV 
Channel-31, February 8) 
 
Two Young Uighurs of Chilik Convicted of Hooliganism 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
7. On February 8, the court in the settlement of Chilik found two 
young residents guilty of inciting a November 2006 fight between 
young Kazakhs and Uighurs.  Last year some press reports described 
the fight as an interethnic conflict.  However, the court found it 
was hooliganism and sentenced each defendant to 18 months in prison. 
 According to a press report, some residents of the settlement were 
not satisfied with the ruling, saying it was too light.  (TV 
 
ASTANA 00000522  002 OF 002 
 
 
Channel-31, February 8) 
 
Academicians on Kazakhstan-Russia Relations 
------------------------------------------- 
 
8. "Sometimes the Russian elite and the journalists get the 
impression that the Kazakhstani elite is not really interested in 
developing and strengthening our integr
ation relations," said 
Professor Vlasov of Moscow University at a round table on 
Kazakhstan-Russia relations held in Almaty on February 7.  Vlasov 
also raised the issue of ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan.  Burikhan 
Nurmukhamedov of Ak Zhol party responded by saying that "Russia is 
currently impeding Kazakhstan's development."  Nurmukhamedov cited 
the energy sector as an example.  "Kazakhstan failed to answer the 
German Chancellor's question about our readiness to diversify energy 
flows going to the European Union, because of the fear of damaging 
relations with its northern neighbor."  A journalist reporting on 
the event wrote that the harsh reaction was triggered by the fact 
that Professor Vlasov raised the issue of Russians in Kazakhstan. 
(Panorama, February 9) 
 
Almaty District Akim Accused of Bribery 
--------------------------------------- 
 
9. On February 7, the Turksib district court in Almaty examined the 
case of the former akim of the district, Vladimir Vasilyev.  In 
September 2006 Vasilyev was accused of bribery under Article 311 of 
the Criminal Code.  The procurator in the case asked the court to 
sentence Vasilyev to nine years in prison with confiscation of his 
property.   However, the court found Vasilyev guilty of only abuse 
of power (Article 307 of the Criminal Code) and gave him a 
three-year suspended sentence.  (Rakhat TV channel, February 7) 
 
New Monthly Newspaper 
--------------------- 
 
10. Respublika weekly has launched a new project called "Respublika 
in the Regions," a monthly newspaper that will focus on events and 
developments in the regions.  It is believed that Turan-Alem Bank 
chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former opposition leader, is behind 
Respublika. 
 
Centers for Teaching Kazakh Language 
------------------------------------ 
 
11. Central Asian University in Almaty has set up a center for free 
teaching of the Kazakh language.  In the future there will be a net 
of 16 centers all over the country.  (Yuridicheskaya Gazeta daily, 
February 8) 
 
Suspended Sentence for Hizb ut Tahrir Member 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
12. On February 8, the city court in Almaty handed down a one-year 
suspended sentence to accused Hizb ut Tahrir member Rustem 
Masimbayev .  Masimbayev was detained in September last year while 
distributing leaflets at the central market.  (TV Channel-31, 
February 8) 
 
Two Well-known Public Figures Pass Away 
--------------------------------------- 
 
13. On February 20, two well-known public figures, Sabit Zhusupov 
and Bolatkhan Tayzhan, passed away of heart attack.  Zhusupov was 60 
years old.  He was a sociologist, political scientist and the 
president of Kazakhstan Institute of Social-Economic Information and 
Prognostication founded in 1998.  From 1997 to 1998 he was the 
deputy director of the Presidential Institute for Strategic Studies. 
 Previously, he worked for Information-Analytical Center at the 
Presidential Administration headed by Marat Tazhin.  Tayzhan, 66 
years old, was a retired career diplomat who served as Kazakhstan's 
ambassador to a number of countries: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, 
Algeria, Syria, Libya and Malaysia.  Since 2005, Tayzhan had headed 
a patriotic-nationalist movement, "Ult Tagdyry - Yel Tagdyry" 
(Future of the Nation - Future of the Country). 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA515, KAZAKHSTAN: DEMOCRATIZATION COMMISSION COMPLETES ITS WORK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA515 2007-02-26 01:19 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7130
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0515/01 0570119
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260119Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8588
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0041
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1684
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000515 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/CEN (M. O'MARA, T. PERRY), DRL/PHD (C. 
KUCHTA-HELBLING) 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL OSCE KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: DEMOCRATIZATION COMMISSION COMPLETES ITS WORK 
 
REF: A) 06 Astana 22, B) 06 Astana 27, C) Astana 48 
 
ASTANA 00000515  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: During the final meeting of Kazakhstan's 
Democratization Commission on February 19, President Nursultan 
Nazarbayev accepted many of the democratic reform proposals put 
forward by the Commission's five working groups and announced the 
formation of a new working group designed to mold these proposals 
into specific legislation.  Nazarbayev did not make a clear 
commitment to any specific reform, but signaled that Kazakhstan 
should transfer additional power to the parliament while still 
maintaining a strong presidential system.  In addition, he indicated 
support for increasing the size of the Senate, strengthening the 
role of political parties in elections, and providing state support 
for political parties which gain over 5% of the popular vote in 
parliamentary elections. On February 21, President Nazarbayev 
chaired the first meeting of the working group, which is expected to 
finish its work in three to four months.  End summary. 
 
 
 
-------------------------------- 
THE DIRECTION OF REFORMS TO COME 
-------------------------------- 
 
2.   (SBU)   On February 19, President Nazarbayev chaired the final 
meeting of Kazakhstan's Democratization Commission ("Commission"), 
created amid much fanfare in March 2006 (Refs A, B, C).  At the 
meeting, the president accepted many of the democratic reform 
proposals produced by the various working groups of the Commission 
and announced the formation of yet another working group designed to 
mold these proposals into specific legislation.  The president did 
not make a clear commitment to any specific reform, but offered 
several possibilities and signaled the direction that the working 
group should take as it drafted specific legislation and 
constitutional amendments. 
 
3. (U) The president made it clear that Kazakhstan's fundamental 
constitutional arrangement should not change, and that "everyone 
agrees" that Kazakhstan should remain a presidential republic with a 
strong president. Nevertheless, he declared that parliamentary 
powers should be increased.  Specifically, he proposed that the 
Mazhilis (lower house of parliament) should approve the Prime 
Minister, and should be responsible for the formation of the 
Constitutional Council (which interprets the Kazakhstani 
Constitution) and the Central Election Commission.  In addition, he 
proposed that the Mazhilis should bear full responsibility for 
budget issues, including the formation of the committee charged with 
the annual audit of expenditures. 
 
4. (U) President Nazarbayev also welcomed the idea of increasing the 
size of the Senate.  (Note: The Senate is the upper house of 
parliament, and currently consists of 39 members; seven are 
appointed directly by the president, and 32 are selected through 
indirect elections at the oblast [regional] level.  End note.) He 
indicated support for appointing additional senators from the ranks 
of the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan, a presidentially-selected 
advisory body with members representing all of the various ethnic 
groups in Kazakhstan. 
 
5. (U) President Nazarbayev explicitly rejected the idea of 
increasing the size of the Mazhilis.  Nevertheless, he supported a 
number of electoral reforms which would impact the Mazhilis, 
including a proposal to strengthen the role of political parties in 
the parliamentary election process by increasing the number of 
Mazhilis deputies elected through a party-list system.  (Note: 
Currently, 10 out of the 77 members of the Mazhilis are elected 
through a party-list system, with the remainder elected from 
single-mandate districts. End note.)  Furthermore, he expressed 
support for public financing of political parties which receive over 
5% of the popular vote during parliamentary elections. 
 
6. (U) The president also expressed support for judicial reform and 
modernizing Kazakhstan's judicial system.  However, he did not 
elaborate on specific reform proposals in this sphere, other than to 
note that removing the authority of procurators to issue arrest 
warrants was overdue. 
 
--------------------- 
THE NEW WORKING GROUP 
--------------------- 
 
7. (U) At the final Commission meeting, President Nazarbayev 
announced the formation of a new working group designed to mold 
these proposals into specific legislation and constitutional 
amendments.  The president is chairman of the working group, and 
chaired the first meeting on February 21.  Igor Rogov, chairman of 
 
ASTANA 00000515  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
the Constitutional Council, was appointed deputy chairman. 
According to media reports, the remaining members consist of 
government officials, parliamentarians, and academics.  Ro
gov stated 
that the working group began discussing many of the proposals that 
the president supported at the final Commission meeting, and that 
the group plans to finish its work in three or four months. 
 
---------------------------------- 
EARLY REACTION FROM THE OPPOSITION 
---------------------------------- 
 
8. (U) The final Commission meeting was held with little advance 
notice and little fanfare.  The media reported that several 
Commission members, including opposition leader Zharmakhan Tuyakbay 
and presidential daughter/Mazhilis deputy Dariga Nazarbayeva, were 
unable to fly to Astana for the meeting due to poor weather 
conditions. (Note: Although Tuyakbay had previously refused to 
participate in the Commission, citing concerns such as its 
pro-government composition, he agreed to participate after his party 
was registered. End note.) 
 
9. (U) Tuyakbay's National Social Democratic Party and the True Ak 
Zhol party issued a joint statement describing the potential reforms 
as overly cautious but positive, and noting that many of them stem 
from previous proposals by the democratic opposition.  The two 
parties called on Nazarbayev and his majority Nur-Otan Party to pass 
reforms before the maslikhat (local legislative bodies) elections 
this year.  The parties stated that the president could prove the 
sincerity of his interest in political reform by passing legislation 
to guarantee access to true information about developments in the 
country (by de-monopolizing the television market), protect the 
freedom of assembly, and guarantee the right to vote and run for 
office. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
10. (SBU) Comment:  President Nazarbayev's comments on the work of 
the Democratization Commission provide an encouraging indication of 
the direction of future political reforms.  It will not be possible 
to fully evaluate the significance of these proposals until they 
crystallize into actual legislation and constitutional amendments, 
however.  President Nazarbayev did not discuss key issues such as 
the absence of free and fair elections, difficulties in registering 
political parties, and restrictions on freedom of speech and 
assembly.  It remains to be seen whether the working group will 
address these crucial issues in addition to the tasks that 
Nazarbayev laid out.  On the bright side, President Nazarbayev's 
timetable for implementing reforms is much more ambitious than 
previously expected, with both legislative and constitutional 
changes under consideration by the new working group. Previously, 
the government planned to phase in the reforms over several years, 
with the constitutional changes slated for 2009-2011.  Nazarbayev's 
desire to accelerate the pace is a welcome development, provided 
that the process allows for real dialogue and outside input.  End 
comment. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA457, KAZAKHSTAN ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, January 29 –

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA457 2007-02-22 05:23 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4227
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0457/01 0530523
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220523Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8514
INFO RUCPCIM/CIMS NTDB WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0033
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 2021
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0293
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0425
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000457 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
DEPT PASS TO OPIC - BALLINGER 
DEPT PASS TO TDA FOR STEIN, EXIM FOR GLAZER 
DEPT PASS TO AID - EE-PHILLIPS/RUSHING 
TREASURY FOR OASIA/VELTRI 
USDOC FOR 4231/ITA/MAC/MLONDON, 4201/BISNIS 
USDOC FOR 6110/ITA/TD/BI/RHALPERN 
ANKARA FOR CFC 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON EIND ENRG EPET EFIN KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, January 29 - 
February 11, 2007 
 
 
ASTANA 00000457  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  Summary: This information is drawn primarily from the 
K%'

Wikileaks

07ASTANA454, KAZAKHSTAN: SPECIAL 301

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA454 2007-02-21 09:41 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2949
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHTA #0454/01 0520941
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210941Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8507
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000454 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN (O'MARA) AND EB/TPP/IBE (JBOGER) 
STATE PASS USTR FOR JCHOE-GROVES 
COMMERCE FOR ITA/MAC/OIPR (CPETERS) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN ECON ETRD KZ
 
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: SPECIAL 301 
 
REF: A. 06 ASTANA 009, B. STATE 7944 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: In 2006, Kazakhstan made further progress in its 
efforts to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).  Legislation 
passed in November 2005, combined with stepped-up enforcement 
efforts, further tipped the economic scales against piracy. 
President Nazarbayev underscored the importance of IPR protection in 
his annual address to the nation, providing critical high-level 
impetus to IPR enforcement efforts.  In other positive developments, 
the civil courts emerged as an effective force in protecting IPR 
rights, and the IPR Commission has clearly embraced the need to 
grant ex officio status to customs officials.  Enforcement efforts 
have succeeded in eliminating storefront distributors of pirated 
materials; ironically, however, this success has spawned 
Kazakhstan's "next generation" enforcement concern: the 
proliferation of sidewalk vendors of pirated materials.  While 
Kazakhstan retains certain broad, institutional deficiencies in the 
IPR domain - including a puzzling lack of jail sentences to date for 
convicted IPR criminals -- the Government of Kazakhstan (GOK) has 
demonstrated its resolve to confront piracy, and has generated 
significant momentum in implementing reform.  For that reason, post 
recommends keeping Kazakhstan off the Special 301 Watchlist.  End 
summary. 
 
2006 - ENFORCEMENT GAINS MOMENTUM 
--------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) The past year served as a testing ground for the November 
2005 amendments (Ref A) that markedly toughened the penalties for 
IPR infringement and closed significant loopholes.  Several key 
indicators point toward the efficacy of this legislation in further 
improving the situation on the ground. 
 
3. (SBU) First, official statistics demonstrate an increasingly 
robust enforcement effort on the part of the authorities.  According 
to government data, in 2006: 
 
-- 2101 administrative inspections were conducted (compared to 1765 
in 2005 and 1697 in 2004); 
 
-- 121 million tenge ($975,806) worth of goods was administratively 
confiscated (compared to 72 million tenge in 2005 and 75 million in 
2004); 
 
-- 1729 persons were subject to administrative action (compared to 
1407 in 2005 and 1365 in 2004); 
 
-- 14,385,725 tenge ($116,013) was collected in administrative fines 
(compared to 10.5 million tenge in 2005, and 6.7 million in 2004); 
 
-- 268 criminal cases were initiated (compared to 92 in 2005 and 64 
in 2004). 
 
4. (SBU) Unfortunately, Post could not obtain aggregated 2006 data 
on criminal convictions.  (Both the IPR Commission and our private 
sector contacts suggest that the number of convictions likely 
trended upwards, roughly in parallel with the number of cases 
initiated.) Informally, the IPR Commission acknowledged the IIPA's 
point that few, if any, convictions have resulted in jail sentences. 
 Rather, the courts have to date preferred to either suspend 
sentences upon payment of compensation to the damaged parties, or 
oversee a reconciliation of the parties with a corresponding payment 
of damages.  (Comment: While the lack of jail sentences for IPR 
crimes remains something of a mystery -- and a cause for concern -- 
it may be that the courts view the small-scale of most pirating 
operations as insufficient to justify incarceration.  See para. 6. 
End comment.) 
 
5. (SBU) Ironically, there is reason to believe that official data 
may actually understate the government's success in combating 
piracy.  A prominent distributor of copyrighted material in 
Kazakhstan reports that, in at least one region, local authorities 
have been so effective in eradicating sales of pirated discs that 
their enforcement data (e.g. number of arrests) have begun to 
"suffer."  While this is clearly not the case in all of Kazakhstan's 
markets, it does suggest that, in the future, additional measures of 
the GOK's effectiveness in combating IPR crimes may be needed. 
 
6. (SBU) Available evidence points to the "miniaturization" of 
pirated product distribution in Kazakhstan.  Distributors of pirated 
DVDs, CDs, etc., have increasingly been pushed to the margins of the 
marketplace, as enforcement efforts have succeeded in shutting down 
large, fixed distribution points.  In the words of a well-informed 
private sector observer, Kazakhstan's piracy problem now consists of 
"micro-sellers" -- "mom-and-pop" operations which function with a 
single computer or VCR, and sell their products out of a box on 
 
ASTANA 00000454  002 OF 003 
 
 
major city streets, ready to shift locations or abandon their goods 
altogether upon the approach of law enforcement. 
 
7. (SBU) Clearly, the problem of "micro-sellers" is far from 
insignificant.  Too small, nimble, and ephemeral to constitute good 
targets for government bodies traditionally responsible for IPR 
enforcement (the Justice Ministry's IPR Committee, the General 
Procura
cy, and the Financial Police), these operators seem to have 
developed, at least to some extent, successful "cat and mouse" 
strategies for dealing with local police.  Making the regular police 
a more effective actor in controlling "micro-pirates" may require 
time and broader institutional changes. 
 
PROTECTING IPR THE CIVIL WAY 
---------------------------- 
 
8. (SBU) Key private sector observers inform Post that civil 
litigation is emerging as a highly effective tool in IPR protection. 
 Civil courts are increasingly willing to rule in favor of the 
plaintiff-licensee in civil disputes with alleged infringers, and 
are becoming a substantial deterrent to trade in pirated goods.  A 
related weakness, however, can be identified -- law enforcement 
officials often fail to inform the aggrieved party (i.e. the 
copyright holder or licensee) of administrative actions against 
pirates, thus denying the licensee an opportunity to open a parallel 
civil claim against the defendant. 
 
REMAINING GAPS - REAL AND ILLUSORY 
---------------------------------- 
 
9. (SBU) A key outstanding issue for Kazakhstan is the granting of 
ex officio powers to customs officials.  This is particularly 
important for Kazakhstan, given the fact that the market for 
"pirated" goods is dominated by imports.  (An industry source 
estimated that 80% of the  counterfeit goods in Kazakhstan cross 
into the country from Russia.)  The country's extremely long and 
porous border with Russia poses a tremendous challenge.  In 
addressing the ex officio issue, Kazakhstani officials have 
repeatedly expressed concern that granting additional powers may add 
to the institutional corruption of the customs authorities.  Given 
the endemic corruption known to exist in customs structures, Post 
has little reason to question the genuineness and legitimacy of 
these concerns.  The customs ex officio issue has featured 
prominently in Kazakhstan's bilateral WTO accession negotiations 
with the U.S.  In post's view, the IPR Commission, at least, has 
fully accepted the necessity of granting ex officio powers; delays 
in passing the necessary legislation appear to be driven by concerns 
over funding the necessary training programs, and efforts to develop 
mechanisms to minimize the opportunities for abuse of the authority. 
  A draft law incorporating ex officio powers (reportedly consistent 
with TRIPS) is currently being reviewed by the Prime Minister's 
office. 
 
10. (SBU) The IPR Committee raised a parallel argument in regard to 
the IIPA's suggestion that the ex officio authority of the police be 
extended to the administrative arena.  This, the GOK officials said, 
would also exacerbate corruption by opening a door for the police to 
accept bribes in return for downgrading charges from criminal to 
administrative.  Granting ex officio powers to the police in 
pursuing administrative-level violations may certainly prove a 
useful tool in combating the "micro-sellers" discussed above. 
Still, it is useful to consider that, given the corruption-prone 
reality of many of Kazakhstan's post-Soviet institutions, extending 
the police powers may lead to unintended consequences.  As in the 
case of granting ex officio powers to customs officials, the 
solution may lie in combining the grant of new powers with 
appropriate safety mechanisms or institutional reforms - a process 
which, realistically, may take time. 
 
11. (SBU) GOK officials have told Post that they view the 
introduction of civil ex parte searches as unnecessary and 
irrelevant to the situation in Kazakhstan.  The reason, they 
explain, lies in the nature of Kazakhstan's legal process, wherein 
all civil cases based on property issues must be based on claims 
from damaged parties.  Notably, private sector industry 
representatives also told Post that they did not see the potential 
benefit of such provisions in Kazakhstan. 
 
12. (SBU) The IIPA's assertion that the 2004 statutes only provide 
for a 50-year term of copyright protection is inaccurate, as  the 
November 2005 amendments specifically provide for the extension of 
copyright protection to 70 years, in keeping with international 
standards (Ref A).  The IIPA repeats another error from its 2006 
report, overstating the minimum damages threshold for criminal 
prosecution (currently about $9) by a factor of 35. 
 
 
ASTANA 00000454  003 OF 003 
 
 
13. (SBU) The IIPA also cites Kazakhstan's need to establish a legal 
basis for the confiscation and destruction of equipment used in the 
criminal manufacture of pirated goods.  The IPR Committee has 
repeatedly assured post that a combination of statutes in the 
Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code constitutes an 
adequate provision for the confiscation of such equipment. 
Moreover, the IPR Committee has stated, such confiscations are 
routinely carried out and do not require a court order.  A court 
order is necessary only to destroy such equipment -- a procedural 
requirement which the IPR Committee defends as necessary to preserve 
potentially material evidence. 
 
14. (SBU) The IPR Committee recently told Post that the GOK plans to 
draft amendments implementing WIPO digital treaties this year; 
following public and parliamentary debate, enactment would likely 
occur in early 2008.  A regulatory scheme for the production and 
distribution of optical disc material and equipment is slated for 
development in 2008.  There remains a strong consensus among both 
government and industry observers that no large manufacturers of 
pirated discs operate in Kazakhstan. 
 
EVIDENCE OF STRONG POLITICAL WILL 
--------------------------------- 
 
15. (SBU) The past year witnessed a remarkable political impetus in 
favor of IPR protection in Kazakhstan.  In his annual address to the 
nation on March 1, President Nazarbayev explicitly mentioned IPR. 
Most notably, he linked the need to protect IPR to the development 
of a domestic high-tech industry and the diversification of 
Kazakhstan's economy away from the extractive sector -- both 
cornerstones of Kazakhstan's current economic policy.  This was, by 
some accounts, a breakthrough in presenting IPR protection as a 
policy driven by Kazakhstan's national interests.  In conversation 
with Econoff, a leading distributor of copyrighted materials 
credited Nazarbayev's speech for spurring law enforcement agencies 
to increase their anti-piracy efforts, as well as for discouraging 
potential Russian criminal syndicates from attempting to enter the 
Kazakhstani market. 
 
16. (SBU) Political support for IPR protection takes a variety of 
forms.  A "Patent Palace" will be constructed in Astana by 2009; it 
will house all government agencies involved in IPR issues, including 
the IPR Committee and the National Intellectual Property Institute. 
GOK officials often cast effective IPR protection as a precondition 
for the development of a flourishing Kazakh (or Kazakhstan
i) 
culture. Furthermore, much attention is currently being devoted to 
reforming Kazakhstan's patent system.  A draft law modernizing the 
framework and bringing it closer to Western norms was passed by 
Parliament in February 2007, and awaits the President's signature. 
 
17. (SBU) In 2006, Kazakhstani IPR officials, their hand 
strengthened by Kazakhstan's removal from the Special 301 Watchlist, 
welcomed opportunities to cooperate with the USG.  Officials from 
the IPR Committee, the General Procuracy, the Financial Police, and 
the Patent Institute participated in training programs organized by 
the USPTO and the Department of Justice.  GOK IPR experts 
constructively engaged their USG counterparts during bilateral WTO 
accession talks, and remain willing and open Embassy interlocutors. 
 
 
COMMENT AND RECOMMENDATION 
-------------------------- 
 
18. (SBU) Keeping Kazakhstan off the Special 301 Watchlist remains 
the best tool for encouraging continued progress on IPR protection. 
While much remains to be done, the past year has seen steady 
improvement on the enforcement, legislative, and institutional 
fronts.  Crucially, the political climate for fostering IPR 
protection is positive.  An appropriate acknowledgement of 
Kazakhstan's efforts -- keeping Kazakhstan off of the Special 301 
Watchlist -- will help preserve the current momentum and create the 
best climate for ongoing U.S.-Kazakhstani cooperation in this area. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

07ASTANA447, KAZAKHSTAN: PARLIAMENTARIAN CLAIMS NUCLEAR DEVICE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA447 2007-02-21 03:00 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Astana

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTA #0447 0520300
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 210300Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8501
INFO RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 1376
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 0010
RUEASWA/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DTRA CT WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

S E C R E T ASTANA 000447 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN M'O.MARA, SCA/RA: A. CUMMINGS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/20/2017 
TAGS: MNUC PREL PTER KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: PARLIAMENTARIAN CLAIMS NUCLEAR DEVICE 
"UNGUARDED" ON TEST RANGE 
 
 
Classified By: CDA Kevin Milas, reasons 1.4 (D) and (F). 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  A Kazakhstani parliamentarian created a 
short-lived controversy by alleging that there was an 
unexploded nuclear device lying unguarded on the "Azgir" test 
range in western Kazakhstan.  The new Deputy Minister of 
Energy and Mineral Resources threw fuel on the fire when he 
confused Azgir with the Semipalatinsk test range and referred 
to trilateral efforts with Russia and the U.S.  The 
Kazakhstani government acted quickly to set the record 
straight, with both the Ministry of Energy and Mineral 
Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issuing 
statements refuting the allegation and reaffirming 
Kazakhstan's status as a nuclear-free state.  End summary. 
 
2. (U) On February 14 in the lower house of the Kazakhstani 
parliament, Mazhilis member Tokhtar Aubakirov alleged that 
there was an unexploded nuclear device at the Azgir test site 
in western Kazakhstan.  (Azgir is just north of the Caspian 
Sea, on the border with Russia.)  Aubakirov, who was a 
cosmonaut during Soviet times, reportedly said that he had 
seen the 6-meter diameter object from space. He claimed it 
was a "nuclear device, just sitting outside" unguarded. 
Aubakirov made his comments during a hearing on an agreement 
with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. 
 
3. (S) Channel 31 television reported that evening that in 
responding to Aubakirov's comments during the hearing, new 
Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Almasdam 
Satkaliyev referred to the trilateral agreement with Russia 
and the U.S. and said that the "kolba" would be removed. 
(Note: Since there are no ongoing CTR programs at Azgir, it 
appears that Satkaliyev confused Azgir with Semipalatinsk in 
eastern Kazakhstan, where work is underway to remove material 
left over from the Soviet nuclear program.  End note.) 
 
4. (SBU) On February 15, Channel 31 ran another story on 
Aubakirov's allegations.  The reporter stated that the object 
Aubakirov referred to in Azgir was actually a 12-meter 
diameter metallic sphere which had formerly been used for the 
production of artificial diamonds.  Channel 31 ran a picture 
of a structure matching that description.  (Note: According 
to the NTI website, the Azgir test site houses "a laboratory 
for the synthesis of superstrong materials, which includes 
the Yava-1M installation for producing artificial diamonds." 
End note.)  Satkaliyev -- presumably under the gun to correct 
what he had said the previous day -- was shown saying "There 
is a trilateral agreement between Kazakhstan, Russia, and the 
U.S. regarding the discovery of nuclear objects and their 
removal from the territory of Kazakhstan.  There is no 
nuclear warhead in the abandoned installation ...  MP 
Aubakirov's suspicions that for more than 10 years 
Kazakhstanis and the international community were misled are 
unfounded." 
 
5. (U) The MFA also issued a statement on February 19 
refuting Aubakirov's assertions, reaffirming that Kazakhstan 
possesses no nuclear weapons, and denying the existence of 
any fissile material at the Azgir test site. 
 
6. (SBU) Other than the two reports on Channel 31, the 
Kazakhstani press has so far not focused on the issue.  Post 
declined Channel 31's request to comment, given that the U.S. 
has no role in Azgir and the GOK had already debunked 
Aubakirov's claims. 
 
7. (S) Comment:  It is not clear why MP Aubakirov chose to 
make such a wild allegation during the hearing, but he is 
known for his grandstanding.  It was unfortunate that 
Satkaliyev raised the trilateral agreement rather than simply 
refuting Aubakirov's allegations.  Satkaliyev was appointed 
Deputy Minister on January 24 and has obviously not yet 
mastered all aspects of his brief.  At this point it appears 
that the press has not picked up on his "kolba" slip and 
asked about trilateral programs underway in Semipalatinsk. 
Should that happen, post will seek guidance from Washington. 
End comment. 
MILAS

Wikileaks

07ASTANA443, KAZAKHSTAN: OIL AND GAS AMENDMENTS SLIGHTLY TIGHTEN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA443 2007-02-20 12:18 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1965
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0443 0511218
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201218Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8495
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0032
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS ASTANA 000443 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON ENRG EPET KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN: OIL AND GAS AMENDMENTS SLIGHTLY TIGHTEN 
GOVERNMENT CONTROL 
 
REF: A. 05 Almaty 3857, B. 06 Astana 927, C. 06 Astana 501 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  On January 12, Kazakhstan adopted new amendments 
to its "Petroleum" and "Subsoil" laws, the most notable of which 
prohibits the transfer of subsoil rights for two years following 
signature of a subsoil contract.  While this amendment has received 
considerable attention in the press, a prominent oil-and-gas 
attorney told Energy Officer that, in her opinion, the amendment was 
a justifiable response to considerable "speculation" in Kazakhstan's 
onshore market; further, as the amendment was not retroactive, it 
would have no effect on existing contracts.  The new amendments also 
strengthen Kazakhstan's "local content" requirements in the 
procurement process, and -- in what is likely a response to fears of 
growing Chinese ownership of Kazakhstani oil assets -- define the 
Energy Ministry's right to refuse a company's participation in a 
tender in the interests of "national security."  End summary. 
 
Two-Year Moratorium on Rights Transfer 
-------------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) On January 12, President Nazarbayev signed into law a 
series of amendments to both the 1995 "Petroleum Law" and the 1996 
"Subsoil Law."  Most notably, the amendments prohibit the 
re-assignment of subsoil use rights within two years of a contract's 
effective date.  KazMunaiGaz and its subsidiaries are exempted from 
this proscription. 
A Kazakhstani senator explained in the press that the amendment had 
been adopted in order to reduce "speculation," or an increasing 
tendency of contract signators to transfer their rights without 
making any investments or attempting to fulfill their contractual 
requirements.  Marla Valdez, a leading oil and gas attorney, 
applauded the change in a February 16 conversation with Energy 
Officer, explaining that, with high oil prices, the sector had 
become fraught with speculation.  The government was justified in 
seeking some continuity of ownership, she argued, adding that "in 
the oil business, two years is a very short time."  Valdez also 
commended the fact that the law was not retroactive. 
 
"National Security" Interests in Tenders 
---------------------------------------- 
 
3. (U) A new Subsoil Law amendment grants the Energy Ministry the 
right to refuse an applicant's participation in a tender if awarding 
the subsoil rights to that applicant would compromise Kazakhstan's 
national security.  The amendment repeats language originally 
legislated in the fall 2005, in response to the Chinese National 
Petroleum Company's (CNPC) bid to purchase PetroKazakhstan (Ref A), 
defining the "concentration of rights" as a possible threat to 
national security.  The media has linked this provision to the 
recent sale of Nations Energy's Karazhanbasmunai field to the China 
International Trust & Investment Corporation (CITIC Group), and to 
the public debate which ensued about China's increasing share of 
Kazakhstan's oil producing assets (Ref B). 
 
Local Content 
------------- 
 
4. (SBU) The new amendments also tighten the GOK's local content 
regulations, requiring companies to meet local content benchmarks 
annually, rather than on average over the lifetime of a project. 
Subsoil users are also required to submit an annual procurement 
program.  Valdez suggested that the local content amendments "had 
not turned out nearly as bad as investors had feared" in the wake of 
the October 2006 "Tengiz brawl" (Ref C), which focused national 
attention on the issues of local content and pay equity for 
Kazakhstani workers, especially in large oil and gas projects. 
Valdez explained that the law stipulated that local companies be 
granted contracts if they met "state regulations," rather than 
"international standards," as desired by Western oil majors. 
However, she noted, as part of the WTO accession process, 
Kazakhstan's "state regulations" were themselves being amended to 
prescribe "international standards," thus yielding the same result. 
 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

07ASTANA372, COOL ME DOWN: KAZAKHSTANI CENTRAL BANK’S DEPUTY CHAIRMAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA372 2007-02-13 01:10 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5456
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0372/01 0440110
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130110Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8424
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0029
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000372 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN ECON ETRD KZ
 
SUBJECT:  COOL ME DOWN: KAZAKHSTANI CENTRAL BANK'S DEPUTY CHAIRMAN 
DISCUSSES OVERHEATING 
 
REF: 06 ASTANA 492 
 
ASTANA 00000372  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  In a January 19 meeting, Medet Sartbayev, Deputy 
Chairman of Kazakhstan's Central Bank,  discussed with Charge 
d'Affaires the current state, the risks, and the outlook of the 
Kazakhstani economy.  Sartbayev expressed his concern with 
persistent inflationary pressures, the real estate bubble, the 
strength of the tenge, and risks arising from the remaining 
weaknesses in the country's financial institutions.  He emphasized, 
however, that the government is pursuing policies designed to 
address these problems.  End summary. 
 
THE HEAT IS ON 
-------------- 
 
2. (SBU) Sartbayev, one of four Deputy Chairmen of the National Bank 
of Kazakhstan (NBK), supervises the management of the National (Oil) 
Fund's assets and issues of international cooperation.  Speaking to 
the Charge, he readily acknowledged the inflationary pressures 
present in the Kazakhstani economy.  Inflation, he said, reached 
8.5% in 2006, and the NBK clearly recognized the real estate bubble 
as an issue.  He cited a number of contributing factors, including 
burgeoning oil revenues, rapidly expanding borrowing by the 
commercial banking sector (which, he noted, stood at about $20 
billion at the end of 2006), corporate borrowing (roughly $30 
billion at the end of 2006), and an expansionary fiscal policy, 
particularly a 30% increase in government salaries over the course 
of 2006. 
 
3. (SBU) Sartbayev concurred with the Charge's observation that wage 
growth was outpacing growth in productivity.  This, he suggested, 
relates to a difficult structural problem, with the service sector 
dominating growth and industrial production (outside extractive 
industries) weakening.  While industrial production rose 4.5% in 
2005 and is expected to increase 6% in 2006, its rate of growth 
remains well below that of wages. 
 
4. (SBU) Sartbayev emphasized that, given these pressures, the NBK 
will continue its policy of inflation targeting.  He also expressed 
the hope that the new government would be more proactive in managing 
the budget's contribution to inflationary pressures.  Sartbayev made 
it clear, however, that serious challenges remain.  A key risk 
factor for 2007, he said, is the strong growth of unhedged 
short-term tenge positions taken by a number of financial sector 
actors (banks, hedge funds, etc.).  He drew a parallel with the 
combined role of property and currency bubbles in Southeast Asia's 
financial meltdown of the late 1990's. 
 
HOLD THAT TENGE 
--------------- 
 
5. (SBU) Sartbayev turned to the NBK's role in the currency market. 
(Note: the tenge's steady rise has posed a particular challenge to 
the NBK.  The domestic currency's strength presents a major obstacle 
to the cornerstone of President Nazarbayev's stated economic policy: 
diversification away from the extractive sector.  End note.)  He 
described the August-October 2006 events (when the tenge sharply 
reversed its steady climb and gave back some ground to the dollar, 
falling from its peak of about 118 KZT / $1  to around 128 KZT / $1, 
as a "learning curve."  Both the market and the NBK, he said, gained 
experience and understanding of the NBK role in managing the new 
mechanism for the National Fund (NF) (see reftel). 
 
6. (SBU) The new mechanism, Sartbayev explained, compels the NBK to 
be quite active in the foreign exchange markets as it 
re-intermediates tenge receipts back into dollars and other 
currencies for investment in the NF.  (Note:  According to another 
NBK official, all but three or four "oil majors" with special 
agreements with the GOK are required to pay their taxes and fees to 
the government in tenge.  End note.)  Sartbayev cited the current 
softening of oil prices as a factor putting downward pressure on the 
tenge in the coming months, although he foresaw no significant 
depreciation in the first half of 2007. 
 
7. (SBU) Note:  The sudden tenge reversal of August-October 2006 
attracted significant public attention in Kazakhstan.  In December 
2006, an NBK official cited to Econoff two causes behind the shift: 
the July 1, 2006 advent of the new NF mechanism (which "captures" 
and converts into foreign currency more of the GOK's oil revenues 
than the more leaky old mechanism did), and the NBK's open-market 
operations aimed at breaking the tenge's rise.  The latter 
explanation dovetails with another insider's assertion that the NBK 
has been trying to "flush out offshore speculators" who are betting 
on the tenge's appreciation.  Yet another well-informed observer 
told Econoff that the NBK was following the IMF's advice to "break 
the predictability" of the tenge's strengthening.  The observer saw 
this policy as futile: as the NBK takes increasingly drastic 
measures to counteract the growing oil revenues' upward pressure on 
the tenge, the currency's future rise "is more predictable than 
 
ASTANA 00000372  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
ever."  End note. 
 
HO
ME IS WHERE YOUR MONEY IS 
--------------------------- 
 
8. (SBU) Sartbayev was frank in addressing the issue of the housing 
bubble and responding to the Charge's remark that spiraling costs 
make housing unaffordable to many.  (Note:  Based on one estimate, 
at the end of 2006, mortgages comprised one-third of Kazakhstani 
banking system's credit portfolio.  Prices for both residential and 
commercial property in Astana and Almaty now rival those in many 
Central European cities, in some cases approaching as much as $2,000 
per square meter. End note.)  He observed that in addition to the 
need to restrain liquidity, the government should review its 
subsidies and other policies stimulating the construction industry. 
He also noted that the Anti-Monopoly Agency could act more 
effectively against oligopolistic behavior in the construction 
industry. 
 
9. (SBU) Note:  Sartbayev appeared to be implicitly underlining the 
linkage between construction, corruption, and the grey economy.  In 
fact, Post has seen ample evidence, albeit mostly anecdotal, of the 
role of real estate in the grey economy.  Astana and Almaty real 
estate is widely seen as a suitable safe haven for "parking" wealth 
away from the eye of the tax authorities.  The public - and the 
press - have noticed that, despite rising rents, a striking number 
of premium apartments in Astana stand unoccupied; apparently, some 
owners simply do not bother renting their "investments" out. 
According to a well-informed westerner, the highest-end apartments 
are appreciating the fastest, another sign of housing being used as 
a speculative investment vehicle.  End note. 
 
A CAPITAL FOR YOUR CAPITAL 
-------------------------- 
 
10. (SBU) Sartbayev emphasized the lack of alternative financial 
instruments as a key factor inflating the real estate market and 
noted that there had been gaps and weaknesses in regulation.  While 
reiterating the current risks to the financial sector, Sartbayev 
cited several factors that he expects will help mitigate these 
risks, particularly the initial phase of the realization of the 
"Almaty Financial Center," and the development of non-bank financial 
intermediaries.  The emergence of these institutions, he said, could 
broaden and deepen the types and volumes of financial instruments 
available for trading, helping to alleviate the real estate bubble. 
 
11. (SBU) Sartbayev also noted that the NBK was in early discussions 
to explore with the government - as well as key private sector 
financial actors - the possibilities for increasing the volume and 
lengthening the maturities of NBK and/or GOK paper in the market. 
He noted that having a suitable volume of government debt would make 
the exercise of monetary policy more efficient, but that in 
principle the NBK can and does plan to increase its issue in 2007. 
 
12. (SBU) Note:  The "Agency for the Regulation of the Almaty 
Financial Center" was established in 2006.  While it has ambitious 
goals to transform Almaty into a regional financial powerhouse, the 
agency remains rather vague about its plans.  In December 2006, it 
announced plans to build a trading platform alternative to the 
existing Kazakhstani Stock Exchange (KSE).  The KSE, its volume 
dominated by block trades and its liquidity painfully low (bid-ask 
spreads, according to an insider, often amount to one-third of a 
listed stock's price), is a stock exchange that never quite managed 
to take off.  By comparison, the Kazakhstani bond market, stimulated 
by government debt (always in high demand and low supply) and 
domestic companies' preference for issuing debt over equity, is 
significantly more developed.  End note. 
 
COMMENT 
--------------- 
 
13. (SBU) Periodic (and limited) lapses in fiscal discipline aside, 
the GOK has traditionally pursued a very sound macroeconomic policy. 
 Still, political interference remains a persistent risk.  Great 
disparities in wealth distribution increasingly add to the pressure 
to raise government wages and pensions.  Furthermore, as the 
National Oil Fund grows dramatically (from $ 8 billion to $14 
billion in 2006), the idea of "investing" some of its assets within 
Kazakhstan is gaining prominence in the political discourse.  Such a 
shift would unquestionably make the NBK's task of controlling 
inflation and holding down the tenge more difficult. 
 
14. (SBU) As the Charge's discussion with Sartbayev  demonstrates, 
GOK policymakers are highly cognizant of these risks as well as of 
the Kazakhstani economy's overdependence on oil.  Indeed, the 
official policies (economic diversification, development of 
financial institutions, relative fiscal discipline) directly address 
these issues.  The principal question lies in the implementation, 
particularly the government's ability and resolve to safeguard its 
 
ASTANA 00000372  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
initiatives from the pressures of politics and patronage.  End 
comment. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA367, KAZAKHSTAN: INL CONDUCTS ANTI-TIP TRAINING COURSE FOR LAW

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA367 2007-02-12 04:28 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4403
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0367/01 0430428
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 120428Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8416
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0027
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC//ICITAP
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000367 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL ALTON, AND CARROLL; EUR/ACE; SCA/CEN FOR OMARA; 
JUSTICE FOR GREG DUCOT 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PINS PGOV PHUM KCRM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: INL CONDUCTS ANTI-TIP TRAINING COURSE FOR LAW 
ENFORCEMENT, PROCURACY, AND JUDICIARY 
 
 
ASTANA 00000367  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
1.  Summary. The International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) 
office, in cooperation with International Organization for Migration 
(IOM), conducted a four day training course for law enforcement, 
Border Guards, the Procuracy, and the Judiciary on prevention of 
trafficking in human beings and protection of victims' rights.  The 
participants discussed best practices of detection, investigation, 
prosecution, and the conduction of hearings in human trafficking 
cases; exchanged real-world experiences; and advocated strengthening 
the dialogue between agencies to effectively combat trafficking. 
End summary. 
 
 
----------------------- 
LESSONS AND DISCUSSIONS 
----------------------- 
 
2.  INL representatives, IOM trafficking in persons experts, NGO 
representatives, lawyers, and a psychologist from the "Rodnik" TIP 
victim rehabilitation center, trained police officers, border 
guards, procurators, and judges from South and West Kazakhstan met 
in Almaty January 23-26 to combat trafficking in persons.  A trainer 
arranged through the International Criminal Investigative Assistance 
Training Program (ICITAP) division of the Department of Justice 
taught the best U.S. practices in combating this crime and shared 
her wealth of international experience in the field. 
 
3.  During the course the participants reviewed national 
legislation, recent anti-trafficking in persons amendments to the 
national legislation, and international protocols and conventions to 
define TIP, slavery and slavery-like conditions and practices; 
discussed difficulties of detection, investigation and prosecution 
of trafficking cases; discussed the links between trafficking in 
persons and other criminal activities as well as legal businesses; 
defined human smuggling cases versus trafficking cases; and studied 
phases of victimization, the behavior of TIP victims, the issues of 
re-victimization and stigmatization, and assistance to and 
protection of victims of trafficking during and after investigation 
and court hearing. 
 
4.  The sessions included lecturing, brainstorming, videos, and 
psychological games.  Role plays such as mock investigation or mock 
court hearings helped the trainees to understand what victims feel 
during the investigation and court hearings.  The participating 
judges made short presentations of TIP cases that they had tried.  A 
case about labor trafficking in Aktobe presented by a representative 
of the Department of Internal Affairs of Western Kazakhstan oblast 
attracted the most participant interest.  Many questions, active 
discussion, and citation of case examples from participants' 
experience followed this case study. 
 
5.  The participants recognized the importance of strengthening 
anti-TIP cooperation between law enforcement, NGOs, and other 
institutions providing assistance to victims, as well as between law 
enforcement agencies of countries of origin, transit, and 
destination. 
 
 
---------- 
NEXT STEPS 
---------- 
 
6.  In the short term, INL will continue to provide refresher TIP 
training to in-service law enforcement officers from all regions of 
Kazakhstan.  These sessions will be conducted in the newly 
rehabilitated Anti-TIP Study Center in the Karaganda Legal 
Institute. 
 
7.  INL will work with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the 
Committee of National Security to provide special Anti-TIP courses 
in their Legal Institute in Karaganda and in the Military Institute 
in Almaty, as supplemental courses for their cadets. 
 
8.  As a long-term goal INL will work with the Ministry of Education 
to introduce TIP into official training curricula to ensure TIP 
awareness and competence of future generation of law enforcement 
officers, procurators, and judges. 
 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
9.  Observation, evaluations, and anecdotal comments show that 
participants receive anti-TIP training most enthusiastically when 
the training material is based on Kazakstani law and reviews cases 
adjudicated in Kazakhstan.  For this reason, INL anti-TIP training 
 
ASTANA 00000367  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
is provided both by local trainers and knowledgeable law enforcement 
officers, as well as by expatriate trainers who can provide a wider 
range of international experience. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA333, EXBS: KAZAKHSTAN ADVISOR’S MONTHLY REPORTING CABLE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA333 2007-02-07 08:13 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0282
RR RUEHAST RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #0333/01 0380813
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 070813Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8384
RUEAORC/US CUSTOMS SERVICE WASHDC
RUEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0001
RUEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC
RUCQAAA/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0405
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 7854
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 7804
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 0746
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2005
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7108
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ASTANA 000333 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC PVANSON, ACHURCH, JHARTSHORN 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC-AMT LSPRINGER 
DEPT FOR EUR/ACE RBUCK 
DEPT FOR SCA/RA JSCHLOSSER 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN MO'MARA 
CBP/INA FOR CDONOFRIO AND RWATT 
USDOE/NNSA CWALKER, TPERRY AND EDESCHLER 
DOC FOR DCREED AND GPETERSEN-BEARD 
USCG FOR BGOLDEN 
AMEMBASSY BERLIN FOR CUSTOMS ATTACHE 
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT, BISHKEK, BAKU, DUSHANBE AND ASHGABAT FOR EXBS 
ADVISORS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETTC MNUC PARM PREL KSTC KNNP KZ
SUBJECT:  EXBS: KAZAKHSTAN ADVISOR'S MONTHLY REPORTING CABLE 
(JANUARY 2007) 
 
I. BROAD ITEMS OF INTEREST TO ADVISORS AND AGENCY MANAGERS: 
 
      1. Aktau Safe-Boat meeting.  EXBS, INL, and OMC will meet with 
the Kazakhstani Border Guard leadership in Aktau February 4-7.  The 
meeting is to establish a clear way-forward on a number of ongoing 
issues associated with the Spring 2006 EXBS donation of the three 
Safe-Boats.  Topics include maintenance and possible DoD monies for 
supporting the Border Guard's maritime mission.  While there, EXBS 
will inspect the state of the boats (including winterization and 
hull painting), assess mission performance, and conduct a Border 
Post Survey at Sagyndy - the site of an EXBS Border Guard shelter 
donated in 2003.  This meeting is essential, as it will not only 
address a number of open issues with all the key players present, 
but also provide an opportunity to deconflict multiple Kazakhstani 
Border Guard requests that have been received by EXBS, OMC, INL, and 
DTRA. 
 
 2.  Department of Energy Software Upgrades.  Kazakhstani Customs 
has approved the dates of March 19-23 and April 9-13, 2006, for the 
Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct necessary software 
installation and upgrades to 3-each portable X-ray Florescence (XRF) 
metal analyzers.  DOE/INECP will send an NTSC representative to the 
three concerned border posts near China to update the software and 
operating system used to power the three x-ray analyzers that were 
provided to Kazakhstan Customs earlier in June of 2006.  EXBS, 
together with the NTSC representative, will also review how the 
units are being used at the ports of entry. 
 
 3.  False kidnapping alert.  The EXBS office responded to a 
potential kidnapping report the week of January 8.  EXBS expended a 
tremendous amount of effort soliciting the Border Guard to alert all 
crossings for the suspected missing individual.  The report turned 
out to be based on a misunderstanding. 
 
 4.  Annual EXBS Financial Plan for Kazakhstan. A tentative meeting 
has been scheduled for February 2 to settle the Plan and obtain 
guidance for Kazakhstan's EXBS 2006 engagement focus and spending 
concept.  This plan will allow the EXBS Advisor to meet with key 
Customs and Border Guard leadership with substantial and value-added 
joint activities and present the EXBS office's Border Survey 
Schedule for 2007, planned to resume in February. 
 
 5. EXBS Presentation.  EXBS Advisor and staff continue to make 
progress in creating a generic EXBS presentation for Kazakhstan. 
This product is intended to be kept perpetually up to date with the 
history of the program in Kazakhstan, accomplishments, mission, and 
future direction.  It is intended to be used on those occasions when 
the EXBS Advisor is asked to speak at various events or when key 
visitors need to be briefed on program efforts. 
 
 6. Award nomination.  EXBS Advisor nominated Gulnara Abildaeva for 
a Superior Honor Award for consistently high performance in her 
position with the EXBS program since its beginning in Kazakhstan. 
The award nomination must be evaluated by an Embassy committee 
before the nomination can ultimately be approved.  Simply put, 
Gulnara has done an excellent job for the EXBS program. 
 
 7. Annual EXBS questionnaire.  The EXBS Advisor will contact the 
appropriate EXBS personnel in Washington to gauge the relevance of 
the perceived annual questionnaire given to the host government to 
gauge the state of Customs and Border Control efforts.  Prior to 
issuing the questionnaire on-hand, a number of questions were noted 
by the EXBS Advisor regarding the methodology associated with 
 
ASTANA 00000333  002 OF 005 
 
 
completing the questionnaire.  Guidance will be sought from 
Washington in February. 
 
II. COMPLETED ACTIONS FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
A. SITE ASSESSMENTS AND MEETINGS CONDUCTED 
 
 1. Volunteer Visitor Program.  On January 17, the EXBS Advisor, 
Mike Seguin, met with the Customs Chairman, Askar Shakirov, to 
discuss the pr
oposed agenda for the upcoming Volunteer Visitor 
Program, tentatively planned for April or May.  Mr. Shakirov liked 
the proposed itinerary and asked that we meet in February to firm up 
dates and settle on the rest of the delegation representatives - 
tentatively set for February 8.  The basic plan is to visit 
operational posts on the U.S. Southern and Northern borders to give 
the Chairman and his staff some examples of how the U.S. conducts 
border operations and the challenges the U.S. faces. 
 
B.  TRAINING DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
 1.  Product Identification Training (PIT), January 16-19.  PIT was 
conducted in the City of Pavlodar January 16-19.  Representatives of 
the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as well as various other 
government and non-government organizations, attended training 
designed to improve Kazakhstan's licensing programs, which control 
the movement of dual-use and other sensitive materials in and out of 
Kazakhstan.  This training focuses on the identification of nuclear, 
biological, and chemical materials, the use of Kazakhstan's software 
and licensing systems to identify materials, what to do if 
questionable materials are suspected at Border Crossings, as well as 
methods of processing licensing applications.  Kazakhstani Customs 
officials requested that two more trainings like this one be 
conducted in the Western and Northern Kazakhstan Oblasts. 
 
C. EQUIPMENT DELIVERED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
      1. No equipment delivered during this reporting period. 
 
D. IMMINENT TRAINING OR EQUIPMENT STATUS UPDATE 
 
 1. Joint Table-Top Exercise. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency 
(DTRA) is conducting a table top exercise the week of February 12 in 
Aktau.  This exercise involves the Border Guard and the MoD working 
together on several different interdiction scenarios that represent 
the type of border security work that these organizations do in the 
Caspian region.  This exercise is significant as the various U.S. 
agencies attempt to bring the Border Guard and MoD together to 
harmonize all their Caspian security missions - EXBS, INL, DoD, and 
DTRA.  It cannot be overstated how difficult it is getting the 
Kazakhstani Border Guard and MoD to nest their missions within one 
another.  Increased cooperation between the Border Guard and the MoD 
would enhance the both organizations' non-proliferation missions, 
thus advancing EXBS interests.   Collective reinforcement of this 
effort by U.S. agencies (EXBS, DTRA, OMC, DoD) is important to 
achieving jointness within Kazakhstani agencies that have Caspian 
non-proliferation security missions. 
 
 2. Administrative Enforcement training postponed.  Administrative 
Enforcement training planned in January has been rescheduled for the 
week of February 28.  This training, in Astana, will be followed by 
Product Identification Training (PIT) on March 5-7.  The training 
was moved from January to February because Kazakhstani Customs did 
not prepare the course materials in time to accommodate the 
 
ASTANA 00000333  003 OF 005 
 
 
training.  Commonwealth Trading Partners (CTP), a Department of 
Commerce contractor, will execute this training, which is highly 
regarded and relevant to enhancing Custom's capacity to support the 
EXBS goal of non-proliferation. 
 
 3. International Seaport Interdiction Training February 9-18. 
Eighteen representatives of the Kazakhstani Border Guard and Customs 
agencies will participate in International Seaport Interdiction 
Training (ISIT) in South Carolina February 9-18 (including travel). 
This training is key to training junior and mid-level officers on 
systems and methods associated with identifying and interdicting 
suspected WMD movement in the vicinity of Kazakhstan's seaports on 
the Caspian Sea.  Gulnara Abildaeva, EXBS Program Manager, will 
accompany the group and report the degree of event success upon her 
return.  The coordination for an event of this magnitude is massive 
and time consuming.  Vetting, visas, and logistics required for an 
event of this size take least two months of preparation before 
execution.  At this time, all preparations have been made and the 
event is scheduled to commence as planned. 
 
 4. Bucharest Export Control Conference.  The EXBS Office sent a Dip 
Note to the Ministry of Foreign affairs inviting a delegation to the 
annual Export Control Conference in Bucharest, Romania, March 6-8. 
EXBS is presently waiting for the names candidate attendees in order 
to make the logistical arrangements and process visas. 
 
 5. Night Vision Goggles.  In support of the U.S. Government's Blue 
Lantern Program, the EXBS office conducted an administrative 
inventory of all Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) previously donated to 
the Kazakhstani Border Guard and Customs Agencies.  Since the NVGs 
are deployed throughout Kazakhstan, a physical inventory was not 
practical.  However, all NVGs were accounted for by serial number 
and reported in accordance with Blue Lantern regulations.  Note that 
this was reported completed in December; however, EXBS subsequently 
received and forwarded an additional request for an official 
front-channel cable. 
 
 6. Task Order 79 Donation.  Task Order 79 for the EXBS donation of 
Ural Trucks and Border Guard Shelters is nearing fruition.  It is 
expected that these donations will occur in March or April; however, 
definite delivery dates have not yet been determined.  The 
Ambassador will be asked to participate in a dedication ceremony at 
an appropriate time.  Additionally, EXBS-DC is investigating the 
possibility of modifying the Task Order to include "complete" 
shelter installation rather than "partial" installation.  Also, EXBS 
has requested the supplying contractor to change the ship point of 
the Ural trucks.  These changes are considered very desirable and 
are recommended by the EXBS office in Kazakhstan. 
 
 7. X-Ray Van Repairs.  A message was sent and reply received from 
Kazahstani Customs for the repair of two Kazakhstani and one 
Uzbekistan-donated X-Ray vans.  EXBS plans to support and conduct 
repairs for the last time in April.  It is important that the EXBS 
Advisor in Kazakhstan not coordinate the government-to-government 
approvals necessary to get the Uzbekistan van into Kazakhstani 
territory.  This should be coordinated at the D.C. EXBS level. 
 
 8.  Preliminary Second Line of Defense (SLD) site survey.  Mr. Erik 
Deschler (DOE) expressed a desire to establish a schedule to conduct 
preliminary site surveys for the SLD program's installation of 
Portal Monitors.  It is expected that this schedule will be approved 
by the Kazakhstani government after the contract has been signed for 
the purchase and installation of the equipment.  Though not 
 
ASTANA 00000333  004 OF 005 
 
 
confirmed at this moment, the EXBS Ad
visor believes the required 
contracts have in fact been signed and Kazakhstan Customs can now be 
approached for the desired schedule. 
 
 9.  Fiber Scope Repairs.  Carla D'Onofrio of DHS/CBP has funding to 
repair various EXBS donated equipment, such as the previously 
donated fiber scopes.  The EXBS Office will contact Carla to gauge 
her capacity to support repairs which Kazakhstani Customs requested 
be conducted in February. 
 
E. SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS IN EXPORT CONTROLS, NONPROLIFERATION, OR 
RELATED BORDER SECURITY 
 
      1. World Customs Conference, January 16-19.  Kazakhstan hosted 
the World Customs Organization (WCO) for Central Asian countries 
January 16-19.  This event was hosted by the Kazakhstani Customs 
Chairman Askar Shakirov.  All Central Asian countries were present, 
as well as special guests, including the Ambassador of Japan, the 
General Secretary of the WCO, as well as delegations from the rest 
of the world customs community.  Many Kazakhstani officials spoke 
from every corner of Kazakhstan's Customs Organization.  The most 
important outcome of the event was Kazakhstan's pronouncements 
regarding corruption.  The Customs speakers uniformly acknowledged 
that Kazakhstan has much work to do on this issue, and stated their 
commitment to adhere to internationally accepted conventions and 
procedures to fight corruption.  The speakers also communicated 
clearly why corruption is counter-productive to Kazakhstan's 
interests.  The underlying message of the conference was that 
Kazakhstan understands why corruption needs to be attacked.  A very 
good event.  Kazakhstan wants to be seen as a leader and model in 
Central Asia in managing regional customs affairs. 
 
      2.  UNSCR 1718.  William Tobey, Deputy Administrator, National 
Nuclear Security Administration, and accompanying delegation, 
visited with the Kazakhstani Customs leadership January 24 to 
discuss UNSCR 1718 and reinforce the urgency of interdicting North 
Korean attempts to proliferate WMDs.  The meeting was set up with 
very little lead-time and, unfortunately, the Customs Chairman, 
Askar Shakirov, was unable to attend the meeting.  However, the 
Chairman's Deputy, Baurzhan Abdishev, and the rest of his staff 
attended the meeting.  Since Mr. Shakirov was unable to attend this 
meeting, the EXBS office will reinforce Mr. Tobey's message to Mr. 
Shakirov during a February 8 meeting regarding the Volunteer 
Visitors Program for Customs officials. 
 
      3.  Article about Georgian seizure of suspect carrying Highly 
Enriched Uranium (HEU).  An associated press story, released January 
24, described a Summer 2006 Georgian sting operation which, using 
intelligence and law enforcement officials from the U.S. and 
Georgia, captured a Russian man carrying a small amount of HEU. 
According to the Associated Press, the story was released publicly 
because of the Minister's frustration with the Russian government 
and their lack of cooperation in identifying where the suspect 
obtained the HEU.  This story underscores the many facets of the 
international threat that continues to exist and why programs such 
as EXBS are important to global security interests. 
 
      4. Ms. Gulnara Elegabayeva's visit to Washington D.C. EXBS is 
awaiting a trip report and debrief from Chris Walker (DOE) on the 
workshop's success.  Ms. Elegabayeva is a nuclear export control 
specialist with the Atomic Energy Committee of Kazakhstan. The 
purpose of her visit with the DOE was to discuss nuclear export 
control systems with U.S., Russian, and other Kazakhstani 
 
ASTANA 00000333  005 OF 005 
 
 
counterparts. 
 
F. CASPIAN SECURITY INFORMATION 
 
      1. None. 
 
III. RED FLAG ISSUES. 
 
      1. None. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA309, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, FEBRUARY 2, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA309 2007-02-05 09:40 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7712
RR RUEHAST RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #0309/01 0360940
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050940Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8367
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1682
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 7850
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 7798
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7103
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 1998
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1374
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2178

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000309 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, FEBRUARY 2, 2007 
 
REF: A. 06 ALMATY 2564, B. 06 ALMATY 2302 
 
1. (U) The "Almaty Notes" series is intended to maintain focus on 
developments in civil society, the media, and the opposition in 
Kazakhstan's "southern capital" following the move of the Embassy to 
Astana. 
 
"Shanyrak District Defenders" Stand Trial 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) On January 12, the city court in Almaty began hearing the 
case of the 25 people accused of participating in the July 14, 2006, 
riots in the Shanyrak district of Almaty, popularly referred to as 
the "Shanyrak district defenders."  (See Ref A for details. 
Residents clashed with police when local authorities attempted to 
demolish illegal residences; a policeman who was taken hostage and 
set on fire later died.)  Seventeen of the accused have been in 
custody since July.  Another eight were free on bail.  The trial is 
expected to be lengthy, with the participation of 25 defendants and 
175 victims.  Four of the defendants, including the primary 
defendant Aron Yedigeyev (aka Atabek), have been charged with 
hostage-taking, murder, and organizing a riot. 
 
3. (U) The January 12 hearing was held in the largest city 
courtroom.  Many observers, including relatives and activists from 
opposition parties, were present.  The court rejected motions 
requesting a jury trial and challenging the membership of the 
three-judge panel hearing the case.  The chief judge questioned the 
accused about their party affiliation.  Some observers alleged that 
this was done in an attempt to prevent the participation of public 
defenders in the proceedings. 
 
4. (SBU) Alga party activist Alikhan Ramazanov told Pol FSN that, 
although they had denied it when questioned by the judge, some of 
the defendants were members of Alga.  Alga hired seven lawyers to 
defend them and was trying to get permission for other 
representatives to participate in the case as public defenders.  It 
also appears that some of the defendants are affiliated with 
national-patriotic movements, as well-known national activist Dos 
Koshim is also seeking  permission to participate in the trial as a 
public defender. 
 
5. (SBU) The second hearing was held on January 23.  After their 
motion for a jury trial was denied for the second time, two of the 
accused -- Aron Atabek and Ayat Temirbay - cut their own abdomens 
with knives in protest. (According to Alikhan Ramazanov, the two 
suspects suffered only minor injuries.)  The hearing ended when 
bailiffs were unable to restore order in the courtroom.  Proceedings 
resumed on January 25, amid increased security.  Only journalists 
were allowed in the courtroom, but taking pictures and videotaping 
was prohibited. 
 
Hizb ut Tahrir Members in Almaty Detention Center 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
6. (U) On January 23, a group of women picketed the Almaty pre-trial 
detention center demanding permission to see their husbands and 
brothers.  The protesters, who said that they were members of Hizb 
ut Tahrir, said their relatives were among 70 members of the 
organization who had been detained six weeks earlier.  The facility 
administration denied the request, and the local department of the 
National Security Committee declined to comment publicly on the 
case. 
 
Opposition Presents Awards to Active Members 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
7. (U) On January 19, opposition activists, mostly from the Alga 
Party, held a celebration in Almaty to announce the 2006 winners of 
the Freedom Prize established by the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan 
movement in 2002.  2006 winners included Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly 
(murdered February 2006), Nurbulat Masanov (died October 2006), 
Kazis Toguzbayev (see para. 10), Yevgeniy Zhovtis (KIBHR chairman), 
Irina Savostina ("Pokoleniye" leader), and Alibek Zhumabayev (jailed 
FJK activist, Ref B).  Independent journalist Yermurat Bapi, himself 
a winner of the prize in 2003, expressed regret that noone came to 
receive the prize on behalf of Sarsenbaiuly.  Bapi stressed that, 
while the ceremony was organized by the Alga Party, former laureates 
had selected the 2006 winners. 
 
8. (SBU) In conversation with Pol FSN, who attended the event, Bapi 
expressed his indignation over the failure of True Ak Zhol leaders 
to attend the ceremony.  Bapi said they failed to show up because of 
 
ASTANA 00000309  002 OF 002 
 
 
the split in the opposition camp and differences between the True Ak 
Zhol leaders and Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is behind the Alga leader 
Asylbek Kozhakhmetov.  Bapi also complained that other opposition 
leaders such as Zharmakhan Tuyakbay, Galymzhan Zhakiyanov (a 
co-founder of the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan movement), and 
communist leader Serikbolsyn Abdildin also failed to show up.  Only 
Ak Zhol Deputy
 Chairman Burikhan Nurmukhamedov attended the 
ceremony, which Bapi saw as an indicator of good relations between 
Mukhtar Ablyazov and Alikhan Baymenov. 
 
True Ak Zhol Wants to Name Almaty Street after Sarsenbaiuly 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
9. (U) According to a True Ak Zhol party press release, on January 
18 the party's co-chairmen Bulat Abilov, Oraz Zhandosov, and Tulegen 
Zhukeyev met with the head of the Presidential Administration, 
Adilbek Dzhaksybekov.  In his comments on the meeting, Tulegen 
Zhukeyev stressed that the only question raised in Astana was their 
request to rename a street in Almaty after the murdered opposition 
leader Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly.  Zhukeyev added that because a year 
had passed since his death, the party activists had asked for a 
permission to hold a meeting in memory of Sarsenbaiuly in front of 
the Academy of Sciences in Almaty.  "However, Dzhaksybekov expressed 
his doubts about the requests," Zhukeyev said. 
 
Journalist Toguzbayev Receives Suspended Sentence 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
10. (U) On January 22, the Bostandyk district court in Almaty found 
opposition journalist Kazis Toguzbayev guilty of insulting President 
Nursultan Nazarbayev's dignity and honor and gave him a two-year 
suspended sentence with two-year probation period.  The court also 
found that in his articles, Toguzbayev gave a negative estimate of 
the political situation in the country and the actions of the 
president, and defamed the president by publishing false 
information.  The false information included the following 
statement: "The President wants to suppress the case of Altynbek 
Sarsenbayev and he did it before this time.  In a way, he is the 
killer." 
 
11. (SBU) Opposition activists who came to the court to support 
Toguzbayev were quite happy with the ruling.  Some of them 
characterized the decision as a victory, because in issuing its 
ruling the court criticized the textual analysis performed by the 
National Security Committee.  Tulegen Zhukeyev of True Ak Zhol told 
Pol FSN, who observed the trial, that they had expected a mild 
sentence due to the upcoming political reforms.  He also added that 
they hoped for good results in the case with Bulat Abilov. 
 
12. (U) In her comments to the press on the ruling, Tamara Kaleyeva 
of the AdilSoz media freedom NGO said "It is good that he will 
remain free, but it is not a victory.  It is bad that the court 
decided to convict.  In this way not only Toguzbayev, but also many 
other journalists will be muzzled.  Through this ruling we have been 
told that there are some taboos, and the taboo number one is the 
president's activities." 
 
Social Democratic Party Registered 
---------------------------------- 
 
13. (U) On January 25, the Ministry of Justice registered the 
Social-Democratic Party founded by a former speaker of Parliament 
and opposition presidential candidate Zharmakhan Tuyakbay.  On 
January 29, Tuyakbay held a press conference in Almaty to brief 
journalists on the registration.  Tuyakbay stressed that the Social 
Democratic Party would continue to position itself as an opposition 
party.  In his answer to a question about the Democratization 
Commission, Tuyakbay said the party could theoretically participate 
as an observer; he thought that the Commission had  completed its 
work once  it passed its recommendations to President Nazarbayev, 
however. 
 
14. (SBU) After the press conference, Pol FSN talked to political 
scientist Andrey Chebotaryev about the registration decision. 
Chebotaryev said Kazakhstan was still seeking the OSCE chairmanship, 
and this was the main reason why the Social-Democrats were 
registered. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

07ASTANA295, KAZAKHSTAN MEDIA NEWS

WikiLeaks Link

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Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07ASTANA295.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA295 2007-02-04 05:07 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7250
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHTA #0295/01 0350507
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040507Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8360
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1680
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000295 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN (MO'MARA), SCA/PPD (JKAMP), DRL/PHD 
(CKUCHTA-HELBLING), INR/R/MR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KPAO KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN MEDIA NEWS 
 
Ref:  06 Almaty 2074 
 
1.  (U) "Kazakhstan Media News" is a reporting series tracking 
events and developments affecting Kazakhstan's media. 
 
DRAFT LAW ON REGISTERING PRINT HOUSES RAISES CONCERN 
 
2.  (U) In December the Ministry of Information submitted to the 
Mazhilis, Kazakhstan's lower house of parliament, a draft law "On 
Publishing Activity" which would require licensing for printing 
presses.  Media advocacy groups publicly protested the draft as an 
attempt to make media dependent on state structures and called on 
Mazhilis deputies to "show their objectivity and fidelity to 
principles" and refuse to pass it.  The draft was part of the 
package of media law amendments tightening government control over 
media and submitted by the ministry to the Mazhilis last July (see 
reftel).  The deputies excluded it from the package ultimately 
signed by President Nazarbayev on the grounds that it added a 
bureaucratic burden to media entrepreneurs.  The draft has again 
been accepted by the Mazhilis for consideration, but has not yet 
been debated. 
 
3.  The package of amendments approved by the president in the 
summer entered into force January 1, 2007, and no media have yet 
been charged with violating the new law.  The most controversial 
provisions ban anyone who previously lost a libel judgment from 
being a director of any other medium; allow media organizations to 
be closed down for technical violations; require re-registration 
upon any changes in editor, address, or frequency of publishing or 
broadcasting. 
 
LAW "ON ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVELOPMENT" SIGNED 
 
4.  (U) On January 11 President Nazarbayev signed the law "On 
Electronic Communication Development" and related amendments.  The 
law provides the legal framework for the development of Kazakhstan's 
information technology infrastructure, the creation of electronic 
government at the national and oblast levels, and the introduction 
of a clearly defined "vertical management structure" in electronic 
communications at all levels.  The law also regulates the creation, 
use, and protection of electronic information resources and systems, 
and access rights of individuals and legal entities to information 
technology resources. 
 
MEDIA CRITICIZE BROADCAST FREQUENCY AUCTION 
 
5.  (SBU) On January 15 the state frequency commission allocated TV 
and radio frequencies in a tender that drew criticism from several 
media representatives about Information Minister Yermukhamet 
Yertysbayev's handling of the auction.  Astana TV, which received 
several frequencies during the last auction in the fall of 2005, 
picked up another six, Ria Arna TV received seven, and Radio NS got 
three.  Channel 31 and Era TV wrote to the Presidential 
Administration Head Adilbek Dzhaksybekov asking him to annul the 
results of the tender and to conduct another "conforming to 
Kazakhstani law."  They complained that Yertysbayev held the meeting 
without a quorum; only eight of the 17 members were present and 
three of them left after the first four of 18 presentations.  They 
also said it was obvious the minister had pre-determined which 
companies would receive the frequencies, and that he rushed through 
the meeting without giving applicants a chance to defend their 
proposals. 
 
6.  (SBU) The official criterion for being awarded a frequency was a 
company's competitiveness in the media market and compliance with 
the law.  Channel 31 Executive Director Nurzhan Mukhamedzhanova was 
at the tender and told emboff that Yertysbayev said Channel 31 did 
not comply with the 50/50 Russian/Kazakh language ratio required by 
law.  She said he turned down Era TV for having "the worst news in 
Kazakhstan."  The opposition website kub.kz and pro-government 
weekly Megapolis claim the allocations reflected Yertysbayev's 
political bias.  They allege that Astana TV received frequencies to 
placate reputed owner Timur Kulibayev, who is supposedly allied with 
Prime Minister Karim Masimov, and Masimov in turn retained 
Yertysbayev as information minister after the government shuffle. 
The outlets also allege that Ria Arna belongs to Eurasia Group 
billionaire Aleksandr Mashkevich, who is purportedly Yertysbayev's 
patron.  Several sources reported that Ria Arna, a small company in 
Pavlodar, has been charged with copyright violations by a number of 
Russian television stations and does not conform with the language 
law. 
 
MEDIA ADVOCATES PROTEST PRESSURE ON WEST KAZAKHSTAN PAPER 
 
6.  (SBU) The Committee to Protect Journalists, the Adil Soz media 
advocacy NGO, and several Kazakhstani and international media 
reported the week of January 29 on attempts by regional authorities 
 
ASTANA 00000295  002 OF 002 
 
 
to silence Ural'skaya Nedelya (circulation 13,000), an independent 
weekly in Uralsk.  A judge for the Uralsk special economic court 
ruled January 11 that the paper had to pay 300,000 tenge ($2,350) in 
mo
ral damages to the Metalloizdelia company for the article "Neither 
Money, Nor Factory," alleging the company used government funds for 
an unauthorized project.  Ural'skaya Nedelya filed a formal protest, 
but the fine was withdrawn from the newspaper's bank account before 
their protest could be resolved.  On the same day as the court 
ruling, the printing company Poligrafservis canceled its contract 
with the paper.  Editor-in-chief Tamara Yeslyamova was quoted in 
reports saying the printer told her that he was pressured by the 
oblast administration into canceling the printing contract. 
Yeslyamova also said the paper had aroused the "rage" of the local 
administration with their reports on collusion in the sales of 
public land in the city center and the distribution of public 
housing intended for low income families to government workers.  Two 
other printing houses had previously cancelled their contracts with 
the paper, which is currently being printed by the Ak Zhayik 
printing house in Atyrau. 
 
7.  (SBU) The paper has a history of struggle with authorities. 
Yeslyamova founded the newspaper in June 2001 after being fired from 
her reporting job at another paper for her articles critical of the 
local administration.  Fellow reporters quit in protest and invested 
with her to start publishing Ural'skaya Nedelya.  In April 2002 
Yeslyamova took out a 24% loan to finance a mortgage for the paper's 
editorial offices, after they were evicted from their previous 
premises.  In previous conversations with emboff, she said 
advertisers had been scared off after being warned by security 
structures not to engage in business with the paper.  The paper has 
received a series of grants from the Soros Foundation, and 
correspondents have participated in USAID-sponsored training 
seminars. 
 
Ordway

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07ASTANA293, KAZAKHSTAN ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, January 15 – 28,

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07ASTANA293 2007-02-04 02:16 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7232
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0293/01 0350216
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040216Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8357
INFO RUCPCIM/CIMS NTDB WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0025
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 2017
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0291
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0423
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000293 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
DEPT PASS TO OPIC - BALLINGER 
DEPT PASS TO TDA FOR STEIN, EXIM FOR GLAZER 
DEPT PASS TO AID - EE-PHILLIPS/RUSHING 
TREASURY FOR OASIA/VELTRI 
USDOC FOR 4231/ITA/MAC/MLONDON, 4201/BISNIS 
USDOC FOR 6110/ITA/TD/BI/RHALPERN 
ANKARA FOR CFC 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON EIND ENRG EPET EFIN KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, January 15 - 28, 
2007 
 
 
ASTANA 00000293  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  Summary: This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press, and has not been checked for accuracy.  The 
opinions and policies expressed in this report are those of the 
authors, not the U.S. Government. 
 
-- New Halyk Bank Shareholders 
-- Development of Textile Cluster 
-- Economic Statistics 
-- KMG, Agip KCO, TCO Sign Kazakh Caspian Transport  System MOU 
-- KMG Critical of Agip KCO Performance 
-- Agip KCO Faces Labor Problems 
-- Kazakhstan 2006 Oil Exports 
-- Kazakhstan Oil Production Forecast for 2007 
 
New Halyk Bank Shareholders 
--------------------------- 
 
2.  After a successful December 2006 IPO on the London Stock 
Exchange, Halyk Bank acquired new foreign investors.  Consequently, 
the bank's shareholders have changed: Almex Holding, controlled by 
Dinara and Timur Kulibaev (the second daughter of President 
Nazarbayev and her husband) holds 58.05% of Halyk's common stock; 
Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas and Merix International 
Ventures Ltd hold 17.38% and 6.4% respectively; and Halyk Bank's 
Pension Savings Fund, 5.28%.  (Respublika Business Review, January 
26) 
 
Development of Textile Cluster 
------------------------------ 
 
3.  Within the framework of the development of the "Ontustik" Free 
Economic Zone, a new state cotton-processing plant was launched in 
South Kazakhstan oblast.  According to  Agriculture Minister Esimov, 
the opening of this facility brought an end to the previous cotton 
processing monopoly in the region and allowed local farmers to earn 
an additional KZT 900 million (about $7.1 million) during the 2006 
harvest. The plant has a processing capacity of 60 thousands tons of 
raw cotton per year.  ("Liter" newspaper, January 23) 
 
Economic Statistics 
------------------- 
 
4.  According to the Financial Supervision Agency (FSA), as of 
January 1 2007, the total assets held by Kazakhstani mutual funds 
reached KZT 48.66 billion (about $385.9 million); this represents a 
395% increase since January 2006.  Assets of equity investment funds 
increased 385% last year, to KZT 67.35 billion (about $534.1 
million). Currently, there are 86 mutual funds and 14 equity 
investment funds in Kazakhstan.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, January 26) 
 
 
5.  FSA reports that Kazakhstani insurance organizations collected 
premiums of KZT 120.2 billion (about $953 million) in 2006, a 79.1% 
year-on-year increase.  Voluntary property insurance constituted 
74.5% of the overall volume of premiums, at KZT 89.5 billion 
(approximately $709.8 million).  Life insurance was the most dynamic 
insurance sector; insurance premiums of this type grew 2.6 times and 
reached KZT 3.7 billion in value (about $29.3 million).  Total 
assets of insurance companies grew to KZT 135.5 billion (about $1.1 
billion) in 2006, and total insurance reserves amounted KZT 67.6 
billion (approximately $536.1 million).  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, 
January 26) 
 
KMG, Agip KCO, TCO sign KCTS MOU 
-------------------------------- 
 
6.  On January 24, the national oil company KazMunayGaz, the Agip 
KCO consortium, and the TengizChevrOil joint venture signed a 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Kazakhstan Caspian Transport 
System (KCTS).  The KCTS will transport  Kashagan and Tengiz oil 
through a planned Eskene-Kuryk pipeline to a terminal on the 
Kazakhstani Caspian coast, from which the oil will be carried by 
tanker to Baku, for onward shipment through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan 
pipeline.  Initial KCTS capacity will be 25 million tons of oil, 
which will eventually be increased to 38 million tons.  The cost of 
 
ASTANA 00000293  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
KCTS is estimated at $3 billion, with completion scheduled for 
2010-2011.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, January 26) 
 
KMG Critical of Agip KCO Performance 
------------------------------------ 
 
7.  The national oil company, KazMunayGaz, has serious complaints 
about the performance of North-Caspian project contractor Agip KCO 
because of delays in Kashagan oil production, KMG President 
Karabalin stated on January 23.  KMG plans to hire independent 
consultants to conduct an investigation into the delays; the results 
are to be reported to State Holding Company "Samruk" and the GOK. 
Agip KCO shareholders include Eni, Total, ExxonMobil, Shell, 
ConocoPhillips, Inpex, and KMG.  Initially, Kashagan development was 
to start
in 2005.  It was then delayed until 2008.  According to 
current official estimates, commercial operations are to start in 
2008-09.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, January 24) 
 
Agip KCO Faces Labor Problems 
----------------------------- 
 
8.  On January 18, more than 200 Kazakh workers employed by the 
Turkish construction company "GATE Insaat Taahut Sanayi ve Ticaret" 
went on strike, demanding to be paid the same wages as foreign 
workers.  ("GATE," an Agip KCO subcontractor, is constructing an oil 
processing facility in Karabatan, near offshore Kashagan.) After 
conducting an audit, the Atyrau Oblast Committee for Compliance with 
Foreign Labor Law suspended the foreign labor work permits for both 
"GATE" and another Agip KCO subcontractor, "Bonatti S.p.A" for one 
month.  Beginning on February 1, both companies are ordered to find 
Kazakhstani replacements for all foreign specialists whose actual 
positions deviate from those approved by the Kazakhstani 
authorities.  The Committee also announced its intention to conduct 
audits of all of Agip KCO's contracting organizations for compliance 
with foreign labor legislation. 
 
9.  In a January 20 meeting with the Atyrau Oblast Administration 
Chief, ENI Vice President Guido Michelloti announced that Agip KCO 
would establish a worker trade union at the oil processing project 
in Karabatan, and would consider increasing wages paid to Kazakh 
workers involved in the project.  Agip KCO Regional Director Luciano 
Vasques announced at a January 24 press conference that "Agip KCO 
will continue to monitor workers' living and working conditions, in 
order to ensure that high standards are maintained without any 
ethnic discrimination."  He also promised that the consortium would 
organize professional skills training for its 1,500 workers, in 
order to reduce the need for foreign labor in the middle and long 
term.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, January 29) 
 
Kazakhstan Oil exports in 2006 
------------------------------ 
 
10.  In 2006 Kazakhstan exported 57.1 million tons of oil, 9% higher 
than in the previous year, the Energy Ministry reported.  The 
principal export route was through the CPC pipeline - 24.4 million 
tons of oil.  Other export routes include: Atyrau-Samara - 15.6 
million tons, Aktau port - 9.9 million tons, Orenburg - 2.4 million 
tons, Atasu-Alashankou - 2.2 million tons.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, 
January 18) 
 
Kazakhstan Oil Production Forecast for 2007 
------------------------------------------- 
 
11.  According to Energy Minister Izmukhambetov, Kazakhstan will 
produce the same level of oil and gas in 2007 as in 2006 - about 65 
million tons.  "Most of the oil is produced onshore at old fields, 
the recovery rate of which is declining," the Minister explained, 
adding that "a considerable increase in production is expected in 
2008 after TengizChevrOil's new production facilities are onstream". 
 (Interfax - Kazakhstan, January 22) 
 
ORDWAY

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