Daily Archives: July 23, 2007

07ASTANA1991, KAZAKHSTAN: A LITTLE PRE-ELECTION SPIN

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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. #07ASTANA1991.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA1991 2007-07-23 08:11 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTA #1991/01 2040811
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230811Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0158
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1792

UNCLAS ASTANA 001991 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
SCA/CEN FOR O'MARA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV OSCE KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: A LITTLE PRE-ELECTION SPIN 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  During the July 13-14 nodel visit of 
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, the GOK highlighted its 
preparations for the August parliamentary elections, 
arranging two separate trips for her to local polling 
stations.  Domestic media coverage was extensive, and 
pro-government media outlets emphasized Congresswoman 
Berkley's most flattering comments on Kazakhstan's democratic 
development and election preparations. Kazakhstan's 
arrangements for the visit appear to be part of a larger 
pre-election public relations push. End Summary. 
 
Congressman Berkley Shown to the Polls (Twice) 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
2. (U) Congressman Shelley Berkley of Nevada visited Almaty 
on January 13-14.  The Congresswoman traveled to Kazakhstan 
at the invitation of the United Jewish Congress of Kazakhstan 
and on the recommendation of State Secretary Kanat 
Saudabayev, the former Kazakhstan Ambassador to the United 
States. Her main purpose for the trip was to support Mark 
Seidenfeld, a jailed constituent. Seidenfeld was found not 
guilty of embezzlement after spending eighteen months in jail 
prior to the verdict. 
 
3. (U) During her two days in Almaty, Berkley (accompanied by 
Charge) met with State Secretary Saudabayev, the Almaty 
Oblast Akim, the Almaty Vice-Akim, and representatives of the 
Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan.  She also visited a local 
synagogue and the Kazakhstani Jewish Community Center. 
Because she missed a connecting flight to Kazakhstan, 
Congressman Berkley's schedule was truncated and a meeting 
with Senate Speaker Kasymzhomart Tokayev canceled. 
 
4. (SBU) In addition, her Kazakhstani hosts organized two 
separate trips to polling stations, one a modern poll in 
Almaty with electronic voting equipment, the other a 
traditional ballot box poll on the outskirts of the city. On 
her July 14th visit to a suburban polling station, she was 
greeted by the Akim of the Almaty Oblast, at least 75 invited 
guests, and a host of media.  The polling facility was 
decorated with banners and various instructions on how to 
submit paper ballots.  Following several rounds of picture 
taking and welcoming speeches, Representative Berkley held an 
impromptu news conference.  Although most of the questions 
pertained to her impressions of Kazakhstan, when she stated 
"according to the U.S. Embassy, relations between the U.S. 
and Kazakhstan are strong and point to a fruitful future," 
sustained spontaneous applause broke out. 
 
5. (U)  Berkley's visit received extensive domestic press 
coverage.  The four national television stations, the Almaty 
and Astana municipal stations, and two cable channels devoted 
4-5 minutes of their evening primetime news broadcasts to her 
visit.  Three of the country's four daily newspapers managed 
to file stories for their Saturday editions.  All stations 
reported that the purpose of her visit was to observe the 
preparations for the Mazhilis elections. The official 
television stations highlighted Berkley's comments made at a 
polling station, where she said (translated from Russian 
transcript) "I am convinced that the system of electronic 
voting is simple, transparent, and elicits confidence that 
the vote will be counted correctly."  The newspapers, 
official and pro-government, reported her positive assessment 
of Kazakhstan's political and economic reforms.  She was not 
asked one question about the Seidenfeld trial during any of 
her press events. 
 
Kazakhstan's Embassies Active 
----------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) Kjetil Hestad, Security Advisor for the OSCE/ODIHR 
election monitoring mission, told Poloff that when he applied 
for a visa to Kazakhstan in Oslo, Kazakhstan's Ambassador met 
with him for ninety minutes to discuss Kazakhstan's progress, 
how Kazakhstan is trying to do the "right thing" in the 
elections, and how CIS countries suffer from a double 
standard in the OSCE.  During the meeting, the Ambassador 
presented Hestad with several small gifts, including a 
leather-bound book on Kazakhstan filled with pictures of 
President Nazarbayev meeting foreign dignitaries.  According 
to Hestad, some of his OSCE colleagues from other European 
countries had similar experiences.  In Washington, Ambassador 
Idrissov sent a letter to "friends of Kazakhstan" in the 
United States soliciting volunteers for the OSCE observer 
mission through the U.S. quota. He wrote that "a personal 
knowledge of Kazakhstan and the understanding of building new 
institutions and political culture in a young society are 
important to be an objective observer." 
 
7. (SBU) Comment: With the international community keenly 
interested in the conduct of the Mazhilis' elections, 
Kazakhstan's public relations efforts are not a surprise. 
Despite its public relations efforts, however, the GOK 
remains aware that there will be a serious, substantive 
evaluation of its election related conduct, and thus far has 
been cooperative with the ODIHR election observation mission. 
 In a July 20 meeting with Charge, Lubomir Kopaj, the head of 
the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission, sai
d that he has 
been pleased with his team's reception from the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs and the Central Election Committee, and he 
believes that the mission is on track thus far for an 
effective evaluation of the election.  These early reports of 
cooperation and transparency signal that the ODIHR election 
observation mission will be allowed to do its job, and will 
be able to distinguish "spin" from reality.  End Comment 
MILAS

Wikileaks

Advertisements

07ASTANA1988, KAZAKHSTAN: COUNTER NARCOTICS DONOR MEETING

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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. #07ASTANA1988.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA1988 2007-07-23 05:10 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9485
PP RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #1988/01 2040510
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230510Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0153
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ5/
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ5
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/APSA-CA
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/GSA-CN

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001988 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN (OMARA), INL/AAE (BUHLER) 
CENTCOM FOR MALCOM AND ROESNER 
DHS FOR CBP - GLYNCO 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PGOV KCRM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: COUNTER NARCOTICS DONOR MEETING 
 
ASTANA 00001988  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary:  On July 16, the International Narcotics and Law 
Enforcement Section of the US Embassy in Kazakhstan hosted another 
in a series of Counter Narcotics Donor Coordination meetings.  Major 
General Nukenov, Chairman of the Committee on Combating Drug 
Trafficking (KBN) briefed participants on the drug situation in 
Kazakhstan and spoke frankly about the material shortcomings of the 
KBN.  He described the concept for strengthening internal 
"Rubezh-Narkotiki" (Narcotics Frontier Posts).  Securing funding for 
the interdiction checkpoints was a focal point of the meeting. 
Donors noted that while resources are limited and preclude 
commitment to fund expensive equipment, e.g. UAVs, much can still be 
achieved through joint effort.   Participants appeared ready to fund 
additional projects,including development of a counter-narcotics K-9 
breeding/training program and equipment for public affairs work to 
enable KBN to establish public outreach and demand reduction 
programs In addition, INL has $1.1 million to assist in the 
development of the checkpoints.  End summary. 
 
---------------------- 
NUKENOV SETS THE SCENE 
---------------------- 
 
2.  (SBU) For the first time since assuming  leadership of the 
Committee on Combating Narcotics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs 
(MVD) in March, Major General Maratkali Nukenov participated in a 
counter-narcotics donor community meeting.  At the July 16 meeting 
hosted by INL officer at Embassy Astana, Nukenov said that between 
January 1 and June 30 the MVD initiated approximately 5,600 drug 
cases and seized 6,660 kilos of drugs including 75 kilos of heroin 
and 200 kilos of opium.  He reported that 55,000 drug addicts are 
registered in the country.  He noted the KBN works closely with 
Kazakhstan's drug addiction treatment centers and has a demand 
reduction program that he would like to expand.  The MVD is planning 
to add staff and purchase additional equipment to counter the 
projected increase in narcotics transit and sale in Kazakhstan. 
 
3.  (SBU) Regarding interdiction, Nukenov outlined his committee's 
plan for improving results.  Using the limited number of highways 
and the immense open spaces of Kazakhstan to the best advantage, the 
MVD established seven "Rubezh-Narcotiki" checkpoints (Narcotics 
Frontier Posts) to stem the flow of narcotics transiting Kazakhstan. 
 The posts are Kargaly in Aktobe oblast; Post Arasan in Akmola 
oblast; Post Ayagoz in Eastern Kazakhstan oblast; Post Syrdarya in 
Kyzylorda oblast; Post Ulken in Almatinskya oblast; Post Kyzyltu in 
South Kazakhstan oblast; and Post Leninskiy in Pavlodar oblast. 
(Note: To more effectively combat drug flow the Committee plans to 
move the post from the Akmolinskaya oblast to Karagandinskaya oblast 
which is now considered to be as more vulnerable area. End note.) 
 
4.  The checkpoints are located at intersections of major 
north-south traffic arteries in the interior of the country where 
readily available alternate vehicle routes are not possible.  The 
desert surrounding the posts prevents smugglers from detouring 
around the posts.  The bottlenecks serve as excellent locations to 
monitor the passage of vehicles and passengers.  Currently, 19 MVD 
counter-drug officers work at each post. 
 
5.  (SBU) Nukenov presented his vision of the overall functioning of 
the posts.  He described a future with established posts, fully 
staffed and operational 24/7.  The staff will be a team of 
professional counter-narcotics officers.  They will have received 
advanced professional training from foreign experts (including 
Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Agency) to 
develop their skills.  Training will include courses for 
counter-narcotics operations officers, profiling, vehicles, and 
personnel search techniques.  The officers will use modern drug 
detection devices for which they will have also received training. 
The officers' detection and investigation skills will be 
supplemented by a high pedigree K-9 corps trained to locate 
narcotics. 
 
6.  (SBU) The posts will launch from 3-6 mobile teams each who will 
deploy randomly on paths and desert tracks to detect and deter those 
who try to skirt the main highways to avoid the fixed checkpoints. 
The checkpoints and mobile teams will be equipped with unmanned 
aircraft capable of working twenty-four hours a day and will be able 
to communicate with data and voice channels throughout the country 
via satellite connectivity. 
 
7. (SBU) Nukenov outlined the government of Kazakhstan's 
contribution to establishing, staffing, and equipping the 
 
ASTANA 00001988  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
"Rubezh-Narcotiki."  He said the government had allotted
funding for 
construction of staff offices, erecting inspection hangars, and 
establishment of dog kennels.  He pointed out that given the 
checkpoints' remote locations establishing them was neither easy nor 
inexpensive.  The locations are usually far from existing electrical 
lines and cell phone towers, communication by land-line is limited, 
if available at all, and the travel time from population centers is 
lengthy.  Nukenov said that the Committee will perform the necessary 
engineering work, construct inspection hangars, provide staff, and 
construct office space.  He requested donor assistance to complete 
the "picture" with equipment such as fixed and mobile X-ray 
machines, unmanned aircraft, communications for data and voice. 
(Note: a scanned copy of the complete list of the requested 
equipment has been forwarded to INL/AAE.  End note.) 
 
 
-------------------------- 
HALF A LOAF IS NOT TOO BAD 
-------------------------- 
 
8. (SBU) Budget limitations preclude the assembled donors from 
sponsoring the expensive items the MVD requested such as UAVs or 
x-ray machines.  However, some of the less expensive items were of 
interest to the attendees.  Hardy Roehling, Team-Leader of the 
European Union-sponsored Border Management for Central Asia (BOMCA) 
and representative of Central Asia Development Assistance Program 
(CADAP)noted that the equipment and other assistance requested by 
the Nukenov to create an Public Information Section seemed like a 
good fit with three CADAP projects scheduled for the next year.  He 
said EU programs on raising awareness of drug consumption, drug 
abuse prevention, and drug abuse monitoring systems could fit with 
Nukenov's desire to produce press clips, training films, and 
information pamphlets for public outreach campaigns on demand 
reduction. 
 
9. (SBU) Jean-Francois Puel, Attach of Internal Security of the 
French Embassy reported that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of 
France is ready to provide training for K-9 experts and to train 
agents on shadowing techniques.  Mike Welch, newly arrived Deputy 
Chief of Mission of the British Embassy stated that most UK funds 
are allotted for regional programs involving Afghanistan.   He said 
that cooperation with the Kazakhstani MVD may therefore be 
considered only within a regional framework. 
 
 
10.  (SU) INL Officer noted State's substantial $1.1 million 
dedicated funding for the Rubezh-Narcotiki checkpoints and 
encouraged other donors to contribute.  U.S. funding is split 
between an $860,000 grant to UNODC to purchase equipment and 
training and $300,000 managed at post to purchase specialized 
training from U.S. sources.  The funds will be used to purchase a 
portion of the communications system to connect checkpoints and HQ, 
professional training, and expand K-9 capacities.  In addition, 
UNODC is considering training MVD officers under one or more of its 
regional programs. (Note: technical specifications of the 
communication equipment to be purchased have been provided to 
INL/AAE and OMC/CENTCOM via email.  End note.) 
 
11.  The head of the Office of Military Cooperation briefly 
described CENTCOM's Counter Narcotics Program.  He noted ongoing 
cooperation with the Border Guards and expressed interest in the GOK 
Counter-Narcotics Strategy 2006-2010. Nukenov promised to provide 
the strategy to all attendees including representatives of the 
British Embassy, French Embassy, UNODC, BOMCA/CADAP, OSCE. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
12. (SBU) Persuading Nukenov to come to the embassy for a 
counter-narcotics coordination meeting was not difficult - he is an 
engaging, open fellow - but it is a big milestone in INL's 
relationship with the MVD.  Generally, there is a strong reluctance 
by security service officials to visit, much less conduct business, 
in the chancery.  The donor and quasi-donor turnout at the meeting 
(most, but not all, now reside in Astana) and the active 
participation of the MVD is a strong indication that a quorum can be 
achieved in the new capital city to create multilateral cooperation 
to assist the GOK to counter the drug trade. 
 
13. (SBU) The MVD request was ambitious but the equipment and 
 
ASTANA 00001988  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
training fit into an overall development plan which is a marked 
improvement from requests received as recently as last year. 
Nukenov's can-do approach is a welcomed change.  To present the 
request to the donors, the MVD had to admit gaps in its current 
approach; this was a sign of openness and a new serious approach of 
the Committee to improving interdiction capability.  It is obvious 
that Nukenov is going to actively participate and closely oversee 
the work of his Committee.  Proof of this was his invitation to 
donor meeting participants to visit the MVD posts and see how the 
KBN works behind the scenes. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks