07ASTANA3206, KAZAKHSTAN: MINISTRY OF ENERGY EXPLAINS DELAYS ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA3206 2007-11-28 06:07 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7921
RR RUEHWEB
DE RUEHTA #3206 3320607
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280607Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1266
INFO RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC

UNCLAS ASTANA 003206 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR ISN, SCA/CEN (M. O'MARA), SCA/RA (A. 
CUMMINGS) 
DOE/NNSA FOR BIENIAWSKI/CUMMINS/KENNEDY 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER KGIC MCAP KNNP KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: MINISTRY OF ENERGY EXPLAINS DELAYS ON 
BN-350 COMMUNIQUE, SPENT FUEL RETURN IMPLEMENTING AGREEMENT 
 
REF: ASTANA 1730 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: In a meeting with Poloff on November 21, 
Bakhit Shaikhislamova, Chief of the Ministry of Energy and 
Mineral Resources External Relations Office, stated that 
several government agencies oppose signing the Communique on 
BN-350 Spent Fuel Permanent Disposition.  As a result, 
Shaikhislamova expressed doubt that the Government of 
Kazakhstan will ever approve the communique.  She also told 
Poloff that Kazakhstan has prepared its own proposed 
Implementing Arrangement (IA) on the removal of 
Russian-origin HEU spent fuel in response to the Department 
of Energy proposal from 2004.  The draft IA has received 
interagency approval and now awaits the Ministry of Justice's 
blessing.  End Summary. 
 
2. (SBU)  On November 21, Poloff met with Bakhit 
Shaikhislamova, Chief of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral 
Resources (MEMR) External Relations Office, to discuss the 
status of the Communique on BN-350 Spent Fuel Permanent 
Disposition and of the Department of Energy's proposed 
implementing arrangement for the project to transport Russian 
origin HEU spent fuel from the Institute of Nuclear Physics 
(INP) to Russia.  The Ambassador had raised the same issues 
with Timur Zhantikin, Chairman of Kazakhstan's Atomic Energy 
Committee, on November 9.  Zhantikin had suggested the 
Embassy conta#t Shaikhislamova. Shaikhislamova told Poloff 
that several government agencies have refused to endorse the 
BN-350 Communique.  The Ministry of Justice believes the 
Communique on Permanent Disposition is in conflict with the 
Implementing Agreement on BN-350 Spent Fuel, because the time 
frame for the IA is only fifty years. 
 
3. (SBU) Kazatomprom and the Committee for National Security 
(KNB) also oppose the communique, according to Shaikislamova. 
 Both feel that all obligations under the current agreement 
should be fulfilled before permanent disposition is 
discussed.  Shaikislamova told Poloff that because of the 
lack of interagency consensus the Security Council is now 
reviewing the Communique.  When asked by Poloff if she 
foresees Kazakhstan ever signing the Communique, 
Shaikislamova admitted that she is skeptical. "Even in 
January," she said, "we saw problems with the Communique." 
 
4. (SBU) Turning to the Implementing Arrangement for 
activities at the INP, Shaikhislamova informed Poloff that 
Kazakhstan had reviewed the Department of Energy's proposed 
Agreement and found "the interests of the two countries not 
equal in the agreement." As a result, MEMR has drafted as a 
counterproposal a separate Implementing Arrangement.  The 
draft has already received interagency approval and now 
awaits only the Ministry of Justice's review.  MEMR is 
pushing for a response from the MOJ, which received the draft 
several months ago.  Shaikhislamova believes that the MOJ 
will approve MEMR's proposed IA. 
 
5. (SBU) Comment: Shaikhislamova's negative assessment of 
Kazakhstan's stance on the Communique on BN-350 Spent Fuel 
Permanent Disposition is a surprise after months of 
reassurances from MEMR that the Communique would ultimately 
be approved. Post will purr5e the issue further to gauge 
whether opposition to the Communique is as stiff as 
Shaikislamova indicated.  End Comment. 
Milas

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