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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA66 2008-01-14 11:34 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana


DE RUEHTA #0066/01 0141134
P 141134Z JAN 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 000066 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/14/2018 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR ORDWAY FOR REASONS 1.4(B) and (D) 
 1. (C) Summary:  During his January 9-11 visit to Astana 
Senator Richard Lugar discussed energy, non-proliferation, 
regional security, and economic cooperation issues in a 
series of meetings with high-ranking officials. Kazakhstani 
officials praised Senator Lugar for his long support of 
Kazakhstan, particularly through the Nunn-Lugar act, and 
described U.S.- Kazakhstan relations as healthy.  Several 
interlocutors assured Senator Lugar that the recently signed 
 amendment extending and broadening the Cooperative Threat 
Reduction (CTR) agreement will be quickly ratified.  Prime 
Minister Masimov expressed interest in participating in an 
event with Senator Lugar in Washington this year to 
commemorate cooperation under the Nunn-Lugar Act.  End 
2. (C) Senator Richard Lugar met with Prime Minister Karim 
Masimov, Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin, State Secretary 
Kanat Saudabayev, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources 
Kauat Mynbayev, Minister of Health Anatoliy Dernovoy and 
KazMunayGaz First Vice President Maksat Idenov during his 
January 9-11 visit to Astana.  Senator Lugar thanked his 
interlocutors for their efforts to extend and broaden the 
Cooperative Threat Reduction Agreement and asked for their 
assistance to ensure that the amendment is quickly 
ratified.  Energy Minister Mynbayev told the Senator that 
Kazakhstan will accelerate the ratification process and 
that he does not foresee any problems.  Senator Lugar 
emphasized to Mynbayev and others that time is of the essence 
 because of political pressures within the U.S. to 
demonstrate that the program is on track.  He also reminded 
the Kazakhstanis that the U.S. has an additional $64 
million it is prepared to spend in Kazakhstan on CTR 
3. (C) Senator Lugar made a strong push for a decision from 
Kazakhstan on the location of a national human-veterinary 
central reference laboratory, funded by the United States. 
Foreign Minister Tazhin and Health Minister Dernovoy both 
replied that the construction of the U.S.-proposed joint 
veterinary lab may not be possible for Kazakhstan.  Senator 
Lugar's delegation noted that a separate plan forwarded by 
Ministry of Health would add two years to completion of the 
project.  Tazhin said that Kazakhstan is still looking to 
a compromise solution with the Department of Defense. 
4. (C) Senator Lugar also focused on Kazakhstan's energy 
strategy in his discussions.  Prime Minister Masimov told 
Senator Lugar on January 11 that he was having talks on the 
same day with Chevron about the construction of a joint 
Chevron-Kazakhstan pipeline that would send Kazakhstani oil 
westward to the BTC pipeline (see septel).  He added that 
Kazakhstan had considered building the pipeline with the 
Kashagan consortium, but that it would mean too many 
partners in the project.  Masimov also admitted that CPC 
(Caspian Pipeline Consortium) expansion still remains a 
problem, despite the latest agreement in principle between 
President Nazarbayev and President Putin to proceed with 
expansion.  Energy Minister Mynbayev presented a detailed 
account of the status of Kashagan negotiations (reftel), 
reserving heavy criticism for ExxonMobil. Aside from 
Kashagan, said Mynbayev, Kazakhstan's major oil and gas 
projects are proceeding smoothly and Kazakhstan is satified 
with its U.S. partners.  In contrast to Masimov, Mynbayev 
stated that CPC expansion "looks settled." The extra oil 
from expansion would likely be sent to the 
Bourgas-Alexandropolis pipeline. 
5. (C) In several meetings, Senator Lugar emphasized the 
importance of Kazakhstan's links to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan 
pipeline. State Secretary Saudabayev claimed that support 
for the BTC is a political decision, because it is not 
economically justified. (Comment: This is simply not true. 
There is no other route for the additional Kashagan oil 
volumes to get to market.  End comment.)  Energy Minister 
Mynbayev said that Kazakhstan is very interested in 
diversified transportation routes. He noted that President 
Aliyev came to Kazakhstan in August to sign an MOU on 
transportation and that Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will 
examine infrastructure on both sides of the Caspian.  The two 
 countries are developing a government to government 
agreement.  When the big oil comes, said Mynbayev, we believe 
we will have something ready. He added, however, that a trans- 
Caspian pipeline remains a legal problem because of the 
undefined status of Caspian Sea delineation.  Foreign 
Tazhin reported that a meeting on regulation of the Caspian 
will be held in October in Baku, with Kazakhstan hopeful for 
positive outcome. Some progress was made during talks in 
Iran, and the Russian position is pragmatic, according to 
Regional Security and Cooperation 
6. (C) Senator Lugar thanked his interlocutors for 
Kazakhstan's efforts in Iraq and as a regional leader. 
State Secretary Saudabayev told Senator Lugar that the 
United States is a critical element of Kazakhstan's foreign 
policy.  He characterized Kazakhstan as America's most 
and loyal partner of the U.S. in the region despite pressure 
from China and Russia.  Kazakhstan, said Saudabayev, will 
in Iraq until the end and maintains a similar approach to 
Afghanistan.  Kazakhstan wants regional integration and is 
preparing a serious program for Afghanistan.  Kazakhstan 
also wants to expand its participation in peacekeeping 
operations, added Saudabayev. 
7. (C) Tazhin also spoke to Senator Lugar at length about 
Afghanistan. He affirmed that Kazakhstan is trying to be 
more active in Afghanistan, but complained about the 
country's unsuccessful commercial efforts to bid  on the 
Aynak copper mine tender. According to Tazhin, Kazakhstan 
made a favorable offer, but the mine was instead give to 
China.  President Karzai's "excuse" when President Nazarbayev 
raised the issue with him at the SCO summit in Bishkek was 
that Afghanistan was "inexperienced" in such transactions. 
Kazakhstan will stay involved in Afghanistan.  The 2008 
has funds for an assistance program that includes a hospital, 
schools, and road construction., Kazakhstan also has 
offered to train Afghan police in Kazakhstan. After the 
copper mine, however, Kazakhstan is unsure about economic 
investment, said Tazhin.  Tazhin concluded that he is not 
optimistic about Afghanistan; he sees the situation getting 
8. (C) Tazhin expressed trepidation about Iran. He said 
that despite the absence of visible evidence of an Iranian 
nuclear program, including the recent U.S. NIE, Kazakhstan is 
still concerned. Kazakhstan has told Iran of its misgivings. 
Regionally, Tazhin said that Kazakhstan is stressing 
"partnership and friendship," not "leadership," which its 
Central Asian neighbors resent.  He described President 
Berdimuhamedov as more open and receptive.  Nevertheless, 
Tazhin called Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan big questions. 
Kazakhstan is looking to invest in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. 
Finally, Tazhin thanked the Senator for U.S. support on WTO 
membership and OSCE chairmanship and said that Kazakhstan 
views the OSCE as a serious responsibility, not a public 
relations opportunity. 
Prime Minister to the U.S. 
9.  (SBU) Prime Minister Masimov and Senator Lugar 
discussed the Prime Minister's possible trip to Washington 
in 2008 for the launch of the Public-Private Partnership 
Initiative (PPPI).  Prime Minister Masimov said besides 
PPPI he would like the trip to focus on three issues - 
energy, Nunn-Lugar activities and food processing.  The two 
agreed that if Masimov does come to the U.S. they would 
participate in an event highlighting U.S. - Kazakhstan 
cooperation under the Nunn - Lugar act. 
10. (U) Senator Lugar has not cleared this cable. 


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