Monthly Archives: February 2009

09ASTANA371, KAZAKHSTAN: MEDIA REACTION, FEBRUARY 21-27

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. #09ASTANA371.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA371 2009-02-27 10:47 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4816
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0371/01 0581047
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271047Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4775
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1277
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0838
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0754
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2179
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2507

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000371 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EFIN MARR SOCI KPAO KMDR KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MEDIA REACTION, FEBRUARY 21-27 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  During the week of February 21-27, the Kazakhstani 
media continued to speculate about the regional ramifications of 
Kyrgyzstan's decision to close the Manas airbase, as well as about 
the future of both the U.S. dollar and the Kazakhstani tenge amidst 
the continuing global economic crisis.  Analytical commentators 
focused on U.S.-Russia relations and their effect on Kazakhstan, 
particularly in light of the Kazakhstan's decision to join the CSTO 
joint rapid reaction force.  END SUMMARY. 
 
RUMINATIONS ON A POST-MANAS WORLD 
 
2.  Speculation continued in the local press about a post-Manas 
world after the Kyrgyz parliament's February 19 vote to close the 
base.  Independent "Delovaya Nedelya" was harshly critical of the 
Kyrgyz decision, claiming "it was obvious that he (Bakiyev) sold the 
base" in return for $2 billion from Russia.  The paper opined that 
"Americans now have nowhere to go.  Tajikistan might be open to them 
but Dushanbe is susceptible to Russian influence, and a base close 
to the Afghan border could easily be penetrated by Taliban spies. 
The U.S. can't count on Uzbek President Karimov's loyalty as he 
already closed a base, Turkmenistan cannot host a base on its 
territory due to its policy of neutrality, and Astana will not risk 
its relations with Russia through any step viewed as a possible 
betrayal."  The paper then asserted that Azerbaijan is the most 
probable candidate to host a future U.S. base, but outlined a 
dramatic scenario in which this will ignite a new arms race, 
increase tensions, lead to renewed war between Armenia and 
Azerbaijan, and force Kazakhstani soldiers to fight against their 
Azerbaijani "brothers" as a result of the CSTO agreement recently 
signed in Moscow. "Delovaya Nedelya" placed blame for this 
"pessimistic" post-Manas scenario explicitly on the shoulders of 
Kyrgyz parliamentarians 
 
3.  In less dramatic articles, a second "Delovaya Nedelya" piece and 
pro-government "Komsomolskaya Pravda" speculated that Tajikistan, 
motivated by its painful economic situation, was a likely candidate 
to offer the United States an alternative to Manas, and cited 
pro-NATO Georgia as another possibility.  This "Delovaya Nedelya" 
article argued that Tajikistan has a unique opportunity to seek 
investments from the United States in exchange for assisting with 
the operation in Afghanistan, but noted that pressure from Russia 
was to be expected. 
 
"ARMAGEDDON" IS COMING 
 
4.  Talk of a new "world currency" suggested by President Nazarbayev 
in January has faded somewhat, with local media reporting instead on 
the challenges facing the U.S. dollar. The Kazakhstani government 
also continued to refute rumors that the Kazakhstani tenge will be 
devalued a second time.  Pro-government "Liter" cited increased 
trade conducted in local currencies around the world as "a sign of 
the forthcoming Armageddon of the American dollar" and asserted that 
the "myth" that U.S. bonds are the most reliable is now being laid 
bare.  The article also argued that the fall of the dollar would be 
a blow to developing economies, and opined that "the American 
government continues issuing unsecured dollars to increase 
liquidity, in order to come out of the crisis at the expense of 
others." 
 
AMERICA ISOLATING RUSSIA? 
 
5.  Pro-government Argumenty I Fakti cited negative U.S. actions as 
an explanation for why President Nazarbayev's decision to join the 
CSTO rapid reaction force on February 4 was "timely and pragmatic." 
The article charged that the United States has sought, somewhat 
successfully, to isolate Russia via a "cordon sanitaire" from the 
Baltics to Georgia and to build a negative view of Russia in 
Kazakhstan via "American 'public centers.'"  The Director of the 
Kazakh Institute of Strategic Studies, Bulat Sultanov, stated that 
Kazakhstan, surrounded by economically backward countries and 
possessing a small army, stood to gain from the support offered by 
the regional rapid reaction force. 
 
TO NOMINATE, OR NOT TO NOMINATE? 
 
6.  The opposition-oriented news website www.zonakz.net reported 
that a Chechen organization called "Children of Kazakhstan" is 
collecting signatures to nominate President Nazarbayev for the Nobel 
 
ASTANA 00000371  002 OF 002 
 
 
Peace Prize "for his humanity toward the peoples deported during 
Stalin's regime."  However, the follo
wing day, the opposition 
"Taszhargan" newspaper reported that a cultural center is not, 
according to Nobel rules, eligible to nominate candidates.  The jury 
is therefore still out on the nomination. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

Advertisements

09ASTANA369, KAZAKHSTAN: OPPOSITION PROTEST FIZZLES

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. #09ASTANA369.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA369 2009-02-27 10:10 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4744
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0369/01 0581010
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271010Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4773
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1275
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0660
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1363
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0355
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2177
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2505
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0836
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0752
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000369 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  OPPOSITION PROTEST FIZZLES 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The opposition Azat party organized an 
anti-government protest rally on Saturday, February 21 in Almaty, 
but it did not draw a large crowd, despite Azat's active efforts to 
publicize the event.  The protest's participants called for the 
resignation of Prime Minister Karim Masimov and his government for 
their "mismanagement of the economic crisis."  Azat's plan to hold 
similar rallies nation-wide did not materialize because the party 
was denied permits for public gatherings in every one of the 
capitals of Kazakhstan's twelve oblasts (regions).  The party 
reapplied to hold the rallies on Saturday, February 28, but 10 of 
the new requests have been denied, with two still pending permits. 
Azat's leadership plans to appeal the denials in court.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
AZAT'S ALMATY RALLY DRAWS FEW PARTICIPANTS 
 
3.  (SBU) On February 21, the opposition Azat party held a protest 
rally in Almaty to demand the resignation of the government over its 
handling of the economic crisis.  The turn-out was relatively low -- 
an estimated 300 to 500 people attended, in a city of perhaps 1.5 
million -- despite the fact that Azat publicized the protest widely 
in high-circulation opposition newspapers, including "Svoboda Slova" 
and "Taszhargan."  The attendees were primarily party activists, 
pensioners from the "Pokolenie" pensioners' movement, and 
"dolshiki," i.e., individuals who paid money upfront for apartments 
which have not been completed.  There was also a small group of 
young people from the Socialist Resistance movement, one of whom was 
waiving a Che Guevara flag. 
 
4.  (SBU) The speakers at the protest, which included Azat Chairman 
Bulat Abilov, Deputy Chairman Peter Svoik, "Pokolenie" leader Irina 
Savostina, and "Svoboda Slova" Editor-in-Chief Gulzhan Yergaliyeva, 
called for the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Karim Masimov 
and his government.   They castigated the government for the recent 
devaluation of the national currency, the tenge, and for failing to 
cope with the global economic crisis.  The crisis is the result of 
government "incompetence and avarice," railed Abilov in his address. 
 "The sooner this government leaves, the sooner we will handle the 
economic crisis," announced Svoik.  The protesters' slogans were 
aimed solely at Masimov's government, with no criticisms levied 
against President Nazarbayev himself.  The rally ended with all the 
participants backing Azat's demand to "form a government of people's 
trust." 
 
REGIONS DENY PERMISSIONS FOR RALLIES 
 
5.  (SBU) Azat's original plan was to host rallies nation-wide at 
the same date and time.  However, the party's applications to host 
public gatherings in the capitals of every one of Kazakhstan's 12 
oblasts (regions) were all denied.  The reasons for the denials 
varied, but all cited previously-planned activities that conflicted 
with the rally, including commemorations of the 20th anniversary of 
the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, cultural events, and sports 
competitions.  The Azat leadership expressed some skepticism at what 
they called the "feeble reasons" provided and reapplied for rally 
permits for February 28.  To date, 10 of the 12 new applications 
have been denied, with regional administrations (akimats) again 
citing conflicting events.  On this occasion, the Taldykorgan akimat 
claimed that preparations were in full swing for Maslinitsa, the 
celebrations before Russian Orthodox lent.  The Kyzylorda region 
cited anti-flooding exercises, while the Aktobe authorities pointed 
to a hockey game.  Azat deputy head Marzhan Aspanduyarova told us 
that the party intends to appeal these refusals in court, going as 
far as the Supreme Court if necessary.  She had little doubt that 
the remaining two pending applications will also be denied. 
 
6.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Azat was expecting a much larger turnout in 
Almaty, and the authorities were apparently worried the party would 
succeed in bringing out a big crowd.  Azat actually applied for a 
permit for a gathering of 3,000 to 5,000 people.  The Procurator 
General's Office subsequently sent the party a letter reporting that 
 
ASTANA 00000369  002 OF 002 
 
 
it had taken notice of the extensive advertising for the protest, 
and warning that a deliberate attempt to deliver a larger turnout 
than requested in the permit constituted misrepresenta
tion to the 
authorities and could lead to "safety violations" that Azat's 
leadership would be held personally accountable for.  With growing 
economic problems in Kazakhstan -- including a teetering banking 
system, layoffs at some large enterprises, a 20 percent devaluation 
of the tenge, and anecdotal reports of consumer price hikes -- the 
time should have been ripe for a bigger protest in the one city 
where the opposition has a strong base of support.  And the protest 
was, in fact, widely publicized.  An Almaty taxi driver who picked 
up PolOff several hours after the protest was well aware of the 
event -- he railed against President Nazarbayev and the Kazakhstani 
elite for "robbing the country blind" and said that the protest 
leaders speak the truth.  That the protest fizzled could be the 
latest evidence of the weak appeal of the existing opposition 
parties and their limitations in mobilizing the public.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA368, KAZAKHSTAN: MEDIA REPORTS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING CASES FOR

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. #09ASTANA368.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA368 2009-02-27 09:59 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4731
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0368/01 0580959
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270959Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4771
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1273
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0658
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1361
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0353
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0834
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0750
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1271

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000368 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE, G/TIP, SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ELAB SMIG SOCI KCRM KTIP UZ KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MEDIA REPORTS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING CASES FOR 
JANUARY 2009 
 
ASTANA 00000368  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  The following is a summary of local media reports of human 
trafficking cases in Kazakhstan for January 2009. 
 
UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS 
 
2. January 27, Interfax, Aikyn:  Two businesswomen attempting to 
recruit women from Kyzylorda to work as prostitutes in Astana were 
arrested by undercover police at the Kyzylorda train station.  The 
women offered $400 to each victim and promised clothing and 
apartments upon arrival in the capital.  The women have been charged 
with human trafficking. 
 
TRAFFICKING IN MINORS AND A MISSING ORPHAN 
 
3. January 12, Interfax (with information from Azattyk newspaper): 
The Ministry of Interior (MVD) Press Service announced that Dr. 
Zhanibek Kusaliyev, the head of the maternity hospital in Atyrau, 
was arrested on January 8 for attempting to sell an infant for 
$4,000.  During the arrest, police found $1,900, believed to be a 
deposit, and the infant's medical records.  Kusaliyev was charged 
with trafficking in minors and is in jail while the investigation 
proceeds. 
 
4. The independent newspaper Azattyk reported that the infant in 
question was abandoned.  A 26-year old woman asked Dr. Kusaliyev 
about buying a baby to avoid the bureaucratic procedures of an 
adoption. Kusaliyev, who was also a businessmen and a member of the 
Atyrau maslikhat (city council), told the paper that his arrest was 
nothing more than a police reprisal.  He declared the trafficking 
charges against him "dead" and nearly impossible to prove.  He 
denied selling a baby and said that he had only helped a childless 
woman, giving the baby to her rather than to an orphanage.  He 
claimed that the only thing received from the woman were flowers. 
In reporting the story, the newspaper provided information from 
"unofficial sources" that male infants cost up to $5,000 and females 
cost up to $3,000. 
 
5. January 14 and 16, Liter and Aikyn:  Prosecutors in Almaty are 
investigating alleged adoption violations at the Otegen Baryr 
village orphanage after a female infant transferred to another 
orphanage in Dzhambyl oblast never arrived.  When the records were 
checked, police found that not all adoption rules were being 
followed and that some dates were inaccurate. 
 
DISABLED UZBEK MIGRANTS FORCED TO BEG? 
 
6. January 22, Era TV: Uzbeks are being forced to beg in Astana.  A 
recruiter, also from Uzbekistan, has "employed" illegal Uzbek 
migrants for almost four years to beg for cash.  A 70-year-old 
disabled man working for the recruiter claimed that the recruiter 
was also a victim because she needs money to pay for her sister's 
medical care.  The director of Kazakhstan's International Human 
Rights Bureau NGO commented that this is a crime under the 
trafficking in persons article (128) of the criminal code.  The 
recruiter is confident that she is not doing anything wrong, but 
rather is helping her compatriots to survive.  The migration police 
are aware of the case, but do not yet have sufficient evidence to 
file criminal charges. 
 
STRICTER MIGRATION CONTROLS AND ILLEGAL LABOR 
 
7. January 26, Interfax:  In 2008, Kazakhstan deported 17,000 labor 
migrants for violations of migration law.  More than 1.3 million 
labor migrants entered Kazakhstan in 2008, which is half the number 
recorded in 2007.  However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs 
reported that the number of people violating migration law did not 
decrease.  Administrative charges were brought against almost 
136,000 foreigners and 2,000 employers for illegal use of foreign 
labor. 
 
8. January 26, Khabar:  The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) 
conducted operations looking for illegal migrants.  During 
inspections of construction sites in Astana, police found 2,500 
illegal labor migrants; they are to be deported. (NOTE:  There was 
no indication from the article whether police interviewed the 
illegal migrants to determine if any were victims of trafficking. 
END NOTE.) 
 
ASTANA 00000368  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
9. January 27, Azattyk Radiosy:  According to independent observers, 
migrants making $300-$400 monthly salaries do not fairly compete 
with local citizens in the labor market.  Kazakhstanis will not work 
for the
$10 dollars a day, though migrants from Uzbekistan, 
Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are willing to do so. 
 
10. January 27, AKIpress:  The Ministry of Labor and Social 
Protection reported that the quota for foreign labor will be cut in 
half in order to protect the domestic labor market. 
 
11. January 28, Channel 31 TV:  Prime Minister Masimov said that 
migrants contribute to the growth of crime and unemployment.  Many 
construction sites where migrants worked have been shut down and 
unemployed migrants are turning to a life of crime.  He added that 
with the increased number of unemployed Kazakhstanis, it is not 
reasonable to allow unemployed labor migrants to stay in the 
country.  Masimov announced that he instructed the Cabinet of 
Ministers to enforce migration control measures.  In particular, he 
ordered illegal migrants to be deported as well as the resumption of 
the issuance of temporary residency permits to foreigners.  (NOTE: 
Foreigners had previously been permitted to stay in Kazakhstan based 
on their identification cards.  END NOTE.) 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA359, KAZAKHSTAN: MEDIA REPORTS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING CASES FOR

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. #09ASTANA359.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA359 2009-02-27 09:50 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4501
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0359/01 0580950
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270950Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4747
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1261
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0646
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1349
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0343
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0822
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0738
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1255

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000359 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE, G/TIP, SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ELAB SMIG SOCI KCRM KTIP UZ KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MEDIA REPORTS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING CASES FOR 
JANUARY 2009 
 
ASTANA 00000359  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  The following is a summary of local media reports of human 
trafficking cases in Kazakhstan for January 2009. 
 
UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS 
 
2. January 27, Interfax, Aikyn:  Two businesswomen attempting to 
recruit women from Kyzylorda to work as prostitutes in Astana were 
arrested by undercover police at the Kyzylorda train station.  The 
women offered $400 to each victim and promised clothing and 
apartments upon arrival in the capital.  The women have been charged 
with human trafficking. 
 
TRAFFICKING IN MINORS AND A MISSING ORPHAN 
 
3. January 12, Interfax (with information from Azattyk newspaper): 
The Ministry of Interior (MVD) Press Service announced that Dr. 
Zhanibek Kusaliyev, the head of the maternity hospital in Atyrau, 
was arrested on January 8 for attempting to sell an infant for 
$4,000.  During the arrest, police found $1,900, believed to be a 
deposit, and the infant's medical records.  Kusaliyev was charged 
with trafficking in minors and is in jail while the investigation 
proceeds. 
 
4. The independent newspaper Azattyk reported that the infant in 
question was abandoned.  A 26-year old woman asked Dr. Kusaliyev 
about buying a baby to avoid the bureaucratic procedures of an 
adoption. Kusaliyev, who was also a businessmen and a member of the 
Atyrau maslikhat (city council), told the paper that his arrest was 
nothing more than a police reprisal.  He declared the trafficking 
charges against him "dead" and nearly impossible to prove.  He 
denied selling a baby and said that he had only helped a childless 
woman, giving the baby to her rather than to an orphanage.  He 
claimed that the only thing received from the woman were flowers. 
In reporting the story, the newspaper provided information from 
"unofficial sources" that male infants cost up to $5,000 and females 
cost up to $3,000. 
 
5. January 14 and 16, Liter and Aikyn:  Prosecutors in Almaty are 
investigating alleged adoption violations at the Otegen Baryr 
village orphanage after a female infant transferred to another 
orphanage in Dzhambyl oblast never arrived.  When the records were 
checked, police found that not all adoption rules were being 
followed and that some dates were inaccurate. 
 
DISABLED UZBEK MIGRANTS FORCED TO BEG? 
 
6. January 22, Era TV: Uzbeks are being forced to beg in Astana.  A 
recruiter, also from Uzbekistan, has "employed" illegal Uzbek 
migrants for almost four years to beg for cash.  A 70-year-old 
disabled man working for the recruiter claimed that the recruiter 
was also a victim because she needs money to pay for her sister's 
medical care.  The director of Kazakhstan's International Human 
Rights Bureau NGO commented that this is a crime under the 
trafficking in persons article (128) of the criminal code.  The 
recruiter is confident that she is not doing anything wrong, but 
rather is helping her compatriots to survive.  The migration police 
are aware of the case, but do not yet have sufficient evidence to 
file criminal charges. 
 
STRICTER MIGRATION CONTROLS AND ILLEGAL LABOR 
 
7. January 26, Interfax:  In 2008, Kazakhstan deported 17,000 labor 
migrants for violations of migration law.  More than 1.3 million 
labor migrants entered Kazakhstan in 2008, which is half the number 
recorded in 2007.  However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs 
reported that the number of people violating migration law did not 
decrease.  Administrative charges were brought against almost 
136,000 foreigners and 2,000 employers for illegal use of foreign 
labor. 
 
8. January 26, Khabar:  The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) 
conducted operations looking for illegal migrants.  During 
inspections of construction sites in Astana, police found 2,500 
illegal labor migrants; they are to be deported. (NOTE:  There was 
no indication from the article whether police interviewed the 
illegal migrants to determine if any were victims of trafficking. 
END NOTE.) 
 
ASTANA 00000359  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
9. January 27, Azattyk Radiosy:  According to independent observers, 
migrants making $300-$400 monthly salaries do not fairly compete 
with local citizens in the labor market.  Kazakhstanis will not work 
for the
$10 dollars a day, though migrants from Uzbekistan, 
Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are willing to do so. 
 
10. January 27, AKIpress:  The Ministry of Labor and Social 
Protection reported that the quota for foreign labor will be cut in 
half in order to protect the domestic labor market. 
 
11. January 28, Channel 31 TV:  Prime Minister Masimov said that 
migrants contribute to the growth of crime and unemployment.  Many 
construction sites where migrants worked have been shut down and 
unemployed migrants are turning to a life of crime.  He added that 
with the increased number of unemployed Kazakhstanis, it is not 
reasonable to allow unemployed labor migrants to stay in the 
country.  Masimov announced that he instructed the Cabinet of 
Ministers to enforce migration control measures.  In particular, he 
ordered illegal migrants to be deported as well as the resumption of 
the issuance of temporary residency permits to foreigners.  (NOTE: 
Foreigners had previously been permitted to stay in Kazakhstan based 
on their identification cards.  END NOTE.) 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA367, KAZAKHSTAN: NEW CHAIRMAN APPOINTED TO HEAD DRUG

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. #09ASTANA367.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA367 2009-02-27 09:47 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4712
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0367/01 0580947
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270947Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4769
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1271
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0656
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1359
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0351
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0832
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0748
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1269

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000367 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE, SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PINR SNAR KCRM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  NEW CHAIRMAN APPOINTED TO HEAD DRUG 
COMMITTEE, OLD CHAIRMAN RESIGNS IN WAKE OF SCANDAL 
 
ASTANA 00000367  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Colonel Zhanat Suleimenov was appointed Chairman 
of the Committee on Combating Drugs on February 25.  Colonel Askar 
Isagaliyev, the previous chairman, resigned in early February, in a 
suspected attempt to avoid being fired for his involvement in a 
contracting scandal.  END SUMMARY. 
 
NEW CHAIRMAN 
 
3. (U) On February 25, Colonel Zhanat Suleimenov was appointed 
Chairman of the Committee on Combating Drug Trafficking and 
Controlling the Circulation of Narcotics of the Ministry of Internal 
Affairs (MVD).  Suleimenov had been the First Deputy Head of the 
Police Department of Pavlodar Oblast since December 2004. 
 
4. (U) Suleimenov graduated from the Karaganda MVD Police School in 
1984 and spent his early career as an operations officer.  From 2001 
to 2002, Suleimenov headed the Center for Interagency Cooperation 
and Joint Operations in the Fight against Drug Trafficking of the 
MVD's Department on Combating Drug Trafficking (the predecessor to 
the Committee on Combating Drugs), and later he became head of the 
whole Department.  During 2003-04, he was the Deputy Director of the 
MVD's Criminal Police Department (the predecessor to the Criminal 
Police Committee). 
 
PREVIOUS CHAIRMAN'S SCANDALOUS DEPARTURE 
 
5. (SBU) When Askar Isagaliyev was appointed Chairman of the 
Committee on Combating Drugs in August 2008, there was speculation 
his tenure would be short-lived and he would soon be fired due to a 
scandal surrounding a construction contract. 
 
6. (SBU) In January 2005, the Committee on Combating Drugs launched 
a project to build internal narcotics checkpoints on six main routes 
throughout the country, in order to interdict narco-traffickers. 
(NOTE:  INL provided equipment and built an inspection hangar at one 
of the checkpoints, outside of Almaty oblast.  INL and UNODC, the 
implementing partner, conducted an assessment of the checkpoints 
with an international expert.  END NOTE.) 
 
7. (SBU) In March 26, Aidar Kurylys Consulting was awarded a 
contract by a committee chaired by Isagaliyev, who at that time was 
Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Combating Drugs.  The company 
was to be paid 78.5 million tenge (about $650,000 at the time) to 
act as the general contractor for the construction of the six 
checkpoints.  The contract required the company to submit design and 
budget estimates by June 2006 and complete construction by August 
2006.  Almost half of the projected budget (37 million tenge) was 
paid to the company before work was started.  The company announced 
that it had completed the project in November 2006.  However, 
independent experts conducted an assessment of one of the posts in 
December 2006, and found that the quality of the construction was 
poor.  The Committee on Combating Drugs refused to pay the balance 
owed to the company.  In April 2007, the MVD office in Akmolinsk 
Oblast reported to General Nukenov, who was Chairman of the 
Committee until June 2008, that the inspection hangar constructed at 
Arasan was unusable and could not even be rebuilt. 
 
8. (SBU) The Ministry of Finance took the case before the Special 
Economic Court in Astana, seeking to annul the contract.  It was 
later learned that Aidar Kurylys Consulting did not have a license 
for the implementation of this type of construction project.  In 
December 2007, the court declared the contract invalid.   However, 
Aidar Kurylys Consulting then filed a suit against the Committee 
demanding payment of the 41 million tenge balance owed under the 
contract, plus punitive damages.  The Committee filed a counter-suit 
against the company demanding the return of 37 million tenge already 
paid out.  General Nukenov ordered Lieutenant Colonel Yergali 
Aliaskar, an attorney for the Committee on Combating Drugs, to 
represent the Committee in the matter. 
 
9.  (SBU) In May 2008, on the grounds that Isagaliyev had signed off 
on the completion of the project, the court ordered the Committee to 
pay the remaining balanced owed under the contract, plus 44.5 
million tenge in punitive damages and additional fees.  One month 
 
ASTANA 00000367  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
later, the parties entered into an agreement for the Committee to 

pay 40.5 million tenge by October 15, 2008. 
 
10.  (SBU) After Isagaliyev became Chairman of the Committee in 
August 2008, he confronted Yergali Aliaskar about losing the case to 
the construction company and accused him of incompetence.  Allegedly 
feeling threatened, Aliaskar resigned and took with him the original 
documents related to the agreement between the Committee and Aidar 
Kurylys Consulting.  Aliaskar wrote to the Procurator General's 
Office, Financial Police, and the ruling Nur Otan party to explain 
the situation.  The MVD's Department of Internal Security contacted 
Aliaskar to demand the return of all original documents to Chairman 
Issagaliev.  Aliaskar is currently in hiding. 
 
11. (U) The INL-funded assessment report of the UN expert in 
December 2007, the visit of Post to checkpoints, and recent new 
photos confirms that no post, other than the one supported by INL, 
has appropriate administrative buildings or inspection hangars. 
 
12. (SBU) COMMENT:  Newly-appointed Committee Chairman Suleimenov 
previously conducted organizational and analytical work in the 
counternarcotics area and has managed canine work. Post believes 
that he is well suited to develop a clear strategy for improving 
counter-narcotics efforts.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA358, KAZAKHSTAN: OPPOSITION PROTEST FIZZLES

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. #09ASTANA358.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA358 2009-02-27 09:47 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4497
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0358/01 0580947
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270947Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4745
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1259
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0644
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1347
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0341
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2175
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2503
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0820
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0736
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000358 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  OPPOSITION PROTEST FIZZLES 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The opposition Azat party organized an 
anti-government protest rally on Saturday, February 21 in Almaty, 
but it did not draw a large crowd, despite Azat's active efforts to 
publicize the event.  The protest's participants called for the 
resignation of Prime Minister Karim Masimov and his government for 
their "mismanagement of the economic crisis."  Azat's plan to hold 
similar rallies nation-wide did not materialize because the party 
was denied permits for public gatherings in every one of the 
capitals of Kazakhstan's twelve oblasts (regions).  The party 
reapplied to hold the rallies on Saturday, February 28, but 10 of 
the new requests have been denied, with two still pending permits. 
Azat's leadership plans to appeal the denials in court.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
AZAT'S ALMATY RALLY DRAWS FEW PARTICIPANTS 
 
3.  (SBU) On February 21, the opposition Azat party held a protest 
rally in Almaty to demand the resignation of the government over its 
handling of the economic crisis.  The turn-out was relatively low -- 
an estimated 300 to 500 people attended, in a city of perhaps 1.5 
million -- despite the fact that Azat publicized the protest widely 
in high-circulation opposition newspapers, including "Svoboda Slova" 
and "Taszhargan."  The attendees were primarily party activists, 
pensioners from the "Pokolenie" pensioners' movement, and 
"dolshiki," i.e., individuals who paid money upfront for apartments 
which have not been completed.  There was also a small group of 
young people from the Socialist Resistance movement, one of whom was 
waiving a Che Guevara flag. 
 
4.  (SBU) The speakers at the protest, which included Azat Chairman 
Bulat Abilov, Deputy Chairman Peter Svoik, "Pokolenie" leader Irina 
Savostina, and "Svoboda Slova" Editor-in-Chief Gulzhan Yergaliyeva, 
called for the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Karim Masimov 
and his government.   They castigated the government for the recent 
devaluation of the national currency, the tenge, and for failing to 
cope with the global economic crisis.  The crisis is the result of 
government "incompetence and avarice," railed Abilov in his address. 
 "The sooner this government leaves, the sooner we will handle the 
economic crisis," announced Svoik.  The protesters' slogans were 
aimed solely at Masimov's government, with no criticisms levied 
against President Nazarbayev himself.  The rally ended with all the 
participants backing Azat's demand to "form a government of people's 
trust." 
 
REGIONS DENY PERMISSIONS FOR RALLIES 
 
5.  (SBU) Azat's original plan was to host rallies nation-wide at 
the same date and time.  However, the party's applications to host 
public gatherings in the capitals of every one of Kazakhstan's 12 
oblasts (regions) were all denied.  The reasons for the denials 
varied, but all cited previously-planned activities that conflicted 
with the rally, including commemorations of the 20th anniversary of 
the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, cultural events, and sports 
competitions.  The Azat leadership expressed some skepticism at what 
they called the "feeble reasons" provided and reapplied for rally 
permits for February 28.  To date, 10 of the 12 new applications 
have been denied, with regional administrations (akimats) again 
citing conflicting events.  On this occasion, the Taldykorgan akimat 
claimed that preparations were in full swing for Maslinitsa, the 
celebrations before Russian Orthodox lent.  The Kyzylorda region 
cited anti-flooding exercises, while the Aktobe authorities pointed 
to a hockey game.  Azat deputy head Marzhan Aspanduyarova told us 
that the party intends to appeal these refusals in court, going as 
far as the Supreme Court if necessary.  She had little doubt that 
the remaining two pending applications will also be denied. 
 
6.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Azat was expecting a much larger turnout in 
Almaty, and the authorities were apparently worried the party would 
succeed in bringing out a big crowd.  Azat actually applied for a 
permit for a gathering of 3,000 to 5,000 people.  The Procurator 
General's Office subsequently sent the party a letter reporting that 
 
ASTANA 00000358  002 OF 002 
 
 
it had taken notice of the extensive advertising for the protest, 
and warning that a deliberate attempt to deliver a larger turnout 
than requested in the permit constituted misrepresenta
tion to the 
authorities and could lead to "safety violations" that Azat's 
leadership would be held personally accountable for.  With growing 
economic problems in Kazakhstan -- including a teetering banking 
system, layoffs at some large enterprises, a 20 percent devaluation 
of the tenge, and anecdotal reports of consumer price hikes -- the 
time should have been ripe for a bigger protest in the one city 
where the opposition has a strong base of support.  And the protest 
was, in fact, widely publicized.  An Almaty taxi driver who picked 
up PolOff several hours after the protest was well aware of the 
event -- he railed against President Nazarbayev and the Kazakhstani 
elite for "robbing the country blind" and said that the protest 
leaders speak the truth.  That the protest fizzled could be the 
latest evidence of the weak appeal of the existing opposition 
parties and their limitations in mobilizing the public.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA366, KAZAKHSTAN: LIFE ON THE STEPPE, FEBRUARY 21 – 27

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. #09ASTANA366.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA366 2009-02-27 09:43 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4705
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0366/01 0580943
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270943Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4767
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1269
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0654
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1357
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0349
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0830
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0746
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1267

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000366 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ECON SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  LIFE ON THE STEPPE, FEBRUARY 21 - 27 
 
ASTANA 00000366  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  This is another in a series of weekly cables drawn mostly from 
public media, as well as think-tank, NGO, and opposition web-sites, 
selected to show the diversity of life in Kazakhstan, and 
information about it available to citizens of Kazakhstan.  Our goal 
is to choose what might interest and be of use to various end-users 
in Washington and -- especially -- to provide a more complex view 
from the other side of the world, illustrating the vitality (and 
sometimes the quirkiness) of discourse available to citizens of 
Kazakhstan. 
 
RESTAURANT LANDS NEAR KARAGANDA 
 
2. Residents of Ushtobe, a small village near Karaganda in central 
Kazakhstan, woke up to a surprise this week when they discovered a 
jetliner parked in a field right under their windows.  Fearing a 
landing gone horribly wrong, the residents called emergency services 
and reported a "crash."  Yet, upon the arrival of emergency 
personnel, it soon became clear that the airliner did not crash, but 
was towed into the field by a tractor trailer which stood nearby 
trapped in snow.  Relieved that they were not facing an aviation 
disaster, people began inquiring about how the plane got into their 
field.  Soon, the mystery was cleared up.  An enterprising and 
well-connected businessman from Karaganda bought the long-retired 
jet and decided to convert it into a restaurant.  He chose a place 
in Karaganda, received all the necessary permits, and only needed to 
deliver the plane to its new location.  Having a penchant for drama, 
the businessman decided to keep his plans secret and surprise 
Karaganda with the new landmark restaurant.  However, the snowy 
conditions thwarted his plans, since both the plane and the tractor 
trailer pulling it to its new location became stuck in Ushtobe and 
frightened its residents.  In a happy ending, the plane was salvaged 
the next day and delivered to its new location.  Now, Karaganda 
residents impatiently await the grand opening. 
 
ECONOMIC CRISIS JUST SENSATIONAL PRESS REPORTING? 
 
3.  The economic crisis has been the number one topic in Kazakhstan 
for quite a while.  But is there a crisis at all?  Some people think 
not, and believe that all talk about an economic crisis in the 
country is just the result of sensationalist reporting from the 
"yellow" press.  Toktarbai Kadambayev, a Majilis deputy, said last 
week:  "They write that everything is bad but when I was in the 
Taranov region (of northern Kazakhstan), I saw that everything was 
quite fine.  Not one small or medium business has folded.  The 
prices have stayed as they were, and the people have kept their 
jobs."  Local businessmen, however, hold a different opinion of the 
situation.  "Everyday, I see with my own eyes that businesses today 
are facing a mass of difficulties.  Dear deputies, please inform the 
highest levels about our difficulties.  And there is no need to calm 
us down," said Antonin Cherepanov, the leader of a local business 
association. 
 
AKTOBE COURT UPHOLDS MUSLIM MAN'S RIGHT TO WEAR BEARD 
 
4.  An Aktobe court ruled that a former employee of a local oil 
company be reinstated after he was fired from his job for refusing 
to shave his beard.  Talgat Kyrkymbai has worked as a foreman in the 
production facility of CNPC-Aktobemunaigas since 1998.  In 2006, he 
became a professing Muslim and, in accordance with Muslim tradition, 
grew a beard.  Kyrkymbai's new beard, however, soon became a source 
of controversy.   The company's safety regulations required all men 
working in the production facility to be clean shaven, so that they 
can wear gas masks, which are used in the case of dangerous gas 
leaks.  Kyrkymbai, refusing to shave his beard for religious 
reasons, bought his own gas mask, produced specifically for bearded 
men.  However, CNPC-Aktobemunaigas ultimately fired Kyrkymbai last 
November after repeatedly urging him to shave.  This led Kyrkymbai 
to bring a claim in court to uphold his religious rights.  After 
reviewing the case for nearly a month, the judge ruled in his favor. 
 "A precedent has been set.  This means that Kazakhstan respects the 
religious freedom of the population.  And the main thing is that 
people who will come after me will not have to face the same 
problems," said Kyrkymbai. 
 
SMALL TOWN FACES A COLD SPELL 
 
5.  Karabulak, a small town near Almaty, faces the prospect of 
finding itself without heat.  The local sugar refinery which has 
 
ASTANA 00000366  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
supplied the tow
n with heat for the last 62 years informed 
Karabulak's residents that it will cut off their heat because of the 
difficult financial situation of the company.  "The decision of the 
sugar refinery has shocked us," local resident Raikhan Doskuzhanova 
said.  "In addition to residential dwellings, the refinery provides 
heat to a regional hospital, kindergarten, school, and other social 
institutions."  At this moment, Karabulak residents are forming an 
initiative group called "We'll save our homes" to prevent the heat 
that is scheduled for April 1 -- a time when it is still cold in 
that region. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA363, KAZAKHSTAN: GENERAL ELECTRIC’S TWO TESTS

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. #09ASTANA363.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA363 2009-02-27 09:30 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4666
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0363/01 0580930
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270930Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4756
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1267
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0652
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1355
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0347
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0828
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0744
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1261

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000363 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RUS 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: BEXP BTIO PGOV PREL ECON EIND ETRD RS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  GENERAL ELECTRIC'S TWO TESTS 
 
REF:  08 ASTANA 2391 
 
ASTANA 00000363  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On February 25, General Electric (GE) executives 
briefed the Ambassador on the company's current projects and future 
prospects in Kazakhstan.  Ron Pollett, President and CEO of GE 
Russia/CIS, said he has "two tests" for the government of Kazakhstan 
in 2009.  The first will be whether it fulfils commitments made in a 
December 2008 MOU to sign contracts with GE worth up to $1 billion 
on locomotive procurement, servicing, and signaling (reftel).  The 
second will be the government's decision to award a contract for 
compressor stations for the Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas 
pipeline.  Pollett said GE has already won related contracts in 
Uzbekistan and China and hopes to win the final contract in 
Kazakhstan.  Pollett told the Ambassador that GE does not plan to 
reduce staff or curtail operations in Russia or the CIS, although 
the company may restructure its consumer lending business in Russia. 
 He also indicated interest in pursuing contracts in the health-care 
industry, but expressed concern about corruption.  In 2008, total 
revenue for GE Russia/CIS was $2.2 billion, including $260 million 
in Kazakhstan.  Pollett said he expects 2009 revenue in Kazakhstan 
to be approximately $350 million.  END SUMMARY. 
 
GE EXPECTS TO SIGN RAIL CONTRACTS THIS SPRING 
 
3.  (SBU) Pollett said GE expects to sign a series of rail contracts 
worth up to $1 billion as soon as April 15, although the date could 
slip to May, when GE's CEO Jeffrey Immelt is expected to visit 
Kazakhstan.  However, Pollett worried that the financial crisis 
could adversely impact the deal.  "We don't think they'll back out 
of the deal," said Pollett, "but we're concerned that KTZ (national 
railway operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy) will not sign the contracts 
according to the timeline in the MOU, since they collect revenue in 
tenge and purchase equipment in dollars."  Pollett said GE will 
honor the commitments it made in the December MOU, including 
acquisition of a 15 percent stake in the locomotive manufacturing 
facility in Astana.  "We'll go forward if Kazakhstan goes forward," 
he said. 
 
SIEMENS CEO ANNOUNCES ITS OWN LOCOMOTIVE DEAL 
 
4.  (U) Pollett was in Astana for less than 24 hours to meet with 
senior government officials, particularly Samruk-Kazyna Chairman 
Kairat Kelimbetov, whom he called "our champion."  He returned to 
Moscow on February 26, the same day that Siemens CEO Peter Loscher 
arrived in Astana.  According to local press reports, in December 
2008, KTZ subsidiary JSC Locomotive signed a contract with China's 
Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Company to supply 22 passenger 
locomotives equipped with Siemens traction equipment and controlling 
systems.  During Loscher's visit on February 26, KTZ president Askar 
Mamin said, "Although we received other offers, our experts found 
Siemens' offer the most suitable solution."  Loscher said there is 
growing demand for freight locomotives in Kazakhstan and announced 
that Siemens would start a project to design an advanced engine in 
accordance with Kazakhstan's technical specifications. 
 
ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION IN THE HEALTH CARE SECTOR 
 
5.  (SBU) Pollett also told the Ambassador that GE would like to 
enter the health-care industry in Kazakhstan and is already speaking 
to local companies with x-ray and mammography technology about 
building a mobile mammography diagnostic machine that could serve 
the entire female population of Kazakhstan.  Unfortunately, 
according to Pollett, the health-care sector in Kazakhstan is 
"extremely corrupt and Siemens is a big part of the problem." 
Pollett said that "third-party, offshore trading companies have a 
stranglehold on the market."  According to Pollett, they monopolize 
supply and charge two to three times market rates to supply 
high-technology medical equipment.  The Ambassador relayed an 
invitation from Minister of Health Doskaliyev, who told the 
Ambassador on February 12 that he was eager to meet with GE's 
 
ASTANA 00000363  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
representatives to discuss future cooperation in
Kazakhstan and in 
the region writ large. 
 
GE HOPES TO SUPPLY COMPRESSORS FOR GAS PIPELINE 
 
6.  (SBU) Pollett noted that the Kazakhstani government will be 
awarding a contract for compressor stations for the Kazakhstani 
portion of the Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline.  He claimed 
that GE submitted the best bid on both technical and cost aspects of 
the project:  "We should win that contract," he said, particularly 
since GE has already been awarded the contract to work on the 
pipeline segments in Uzbekistan and China.  In closing, Pollett 
noted that GE has five offices in Kazakhstan and plans to be in 
country for years to come.  "We're not here just to win one or two 
contracts and leave," he said.  "We look at each of our projects in 
the context of a long-term strategy." 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA362, KAZAKHSTAN: GENERAL ELECTRIC’S TWO TESTS

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. #09ASTANA362.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA362 2009-02-27 09:29 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4662
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0362/01 0580929
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270929Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4754
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1265
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0650
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1353
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0345
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0826
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0742
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1259

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000362 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RUS 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: BEXP BTIO PGOV PREL ECON EIND ETRD RS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  GENERAL ELECTRIC'S TWO TESTS 
 
REF:  08 ASTANA 2391 
 
ASTANA 00000362  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On February 25, General Electric (GE) executives 
briefed the Ambassador on the company's current projects and future 
prospects in Kazakhstan.  Ron Pollett, President and CEO of GE 
Russia/CIS, said he has "two tests" for the government of Kazakhstan 
in 2009.  The first will be whether it fulfils commitments made in a 
December 2008 MOU to sign contracts with GE worth up to $1 billion 
on locomotive procurement, servicing, and signaling (reftel).  The 
second will be the government's decision to award a contract for 
compressor stations for the Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas 
pipeline.  Pollett said GE has already won related contracts in 
Uzbekistan and China and hopes to win the final contract in 
Kazakhstan.  Pollett told the Ambassador that GE does not plan to 
reduce staff or curtail operations in Russia or the CIS, although 
the company may restructure its consumer lending business in Russia. 
 He also indicated interest in pursuing contracts in the health-care 
industry, but expressed concern about corruption.  In 2008, total 
revenue for GE Russia/CIS was $2.2 billion, including $260 million 
in Kazakhstan.  Pollett said he expects 2009 revenue in Kazakhstan 
to be approximately $350 million.  END SUMMARY. 
 
GE EXPECTS TO SIGN RAIL CONTRACTS THIS SPRING 
 
3.  (SBU) Pollett said GE expects to sign a series of rail contracts 
worth up to $1 billion as soon as April 15, although the date could 
slip to May, when GE's CEO Jeffrey Immelt is expected to visit 
Kazakhstan.  However, Pollett worried that the financial crisis 
could adversely impact the deal.  "We don't think they'll back out 
of the deal," said Pollett, "but we're concerned that KTZ (national 
railway operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy) will not sign the contracts 
according to the timeline in the MOU, since they collect revenue in 
tenge and purchase equipment in dollars."  Pollett said GE will 
honor the commitments it made in the December MOU, including 
acquisition of a 15 percent stake in the locomotive manufacturing 
facility in Astana.  "We'll go forward if Kazakhstan goes forward," 
he said. 
 
SIEMENS CEO ANNOUNCES ITS OWN LOCOMOTIVE DEAL 
 
4.  (U) Pollett was in Astana for less than 24 hours to meet with 
senior government officials, particularly Samruk-Kazyna Chairman 
Kairat Kelimbetov, whom he called "our champion."  He returned to 
Moscow on February 26, the same day that Siemens CEO Peter Loscher 
arrived in Astana.  According to local press reports, in December 
2008, KTZ subsidiary JSC Locomotive signed a contract with China's 
Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Company to supply 22 passenger 
locomotives equipped with Siemens traction equipment and controlling 
systems.  During Loscher's visit on February 26, KTZ president Askar 
Mamin said, "Although we received other offers, our experts found 
Siemens' offer the most suitable solution."  Loscher said there is 
growing demand for freight locomotives in Kazakhstan and announced 
that Siemens would start a project to design an advanced engine in 
accordance with Kazakhstan's technical specifications. 
 
ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION IN THE HEALTH CARE SECTOR 
 
5.  (SBU) Pollett also told the Ambassador that GE would like to 
enter the health-care industry in Kazakhstan and is already speaking 
to local companies with x-ray and mammography technology about 
building a mobile mammography diagnostic machine that could serve 
the entire female population of Kazakhstan.  Unfortunately, 
according to Pollett, the health-care sector in Kazakhstan is 
"extremely corrupt and Siemens is a big part of the problem." 
Pollett said that "third-party, offshore trading companies have a 
stranglehold on the market."  According to Pollett, they monopolize 
supply and charge two to three times market rates to supply 
high-technology medical equipment.  The Ambassador relayed an 
invitation from Minister of Health Doskaliyev, who told the 
Ambassador on February 12 that he was eager to meet with GE's 
 
ASTANA 00000362  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
representatives to discuss future cooperation in
Kazakhstan and in 
the region writ large. 
 
GE HOPES TO SUPPLY COMPRESSORS FOR GAS PIPELINE 
 
6.  (SBU) Pollett noted that the Kazakhstani government will be 
awarding a contract for compressor stations for the Kazakhstani 
portion of the Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline.  He claimed 
that GE submitted the best bid on both technical and cost aspects of 
the project:  "We should win that contract," he said, particularly 
since GE has already been awarded the contract to work on the 
pipeline segments in Uzbekistan and China.  In closing, Pollett 
noted that GE has five offices in Kazakhstan and plans to be in 
country for years to come.  "We're not here just to win one or two 
contracts and leave," he said.  "We look at each of our projects in 
the context of a long-term strategy." 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA361, KAZAKHSTAN: SCIENCE FUND STRUGGLING, BUT CONTINUING TO

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. #09ASTANA361.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA361 2009-02-27 09:29 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4654
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0361/01 0580929
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270929Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4752
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1263
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0648
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1351
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0824
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0740
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1257

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000361 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
STATE FOR OES, PHUDAK, NFITE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV SENV TSPL KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  SCIENCE FUND STRUGGLING, BUT CONTINUING TO 
FUND SCIENCE PROJECTS 
 
ASTANA 00000361  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  Created by Presidential decree in March 2006, 
Kazakhstan's Science Fund provides loans and grants to worthy 
applied-science projects in the areas of nanotechnology, new 
materials, biotechnology, mining technology, nuclear research, and 
alternative energy.  Since April 2008, the Fund's government 
financing has been significantly reduced, although it still supports 
key projects.  The Fund's Director says Kazakhstani scientists must 
reach out and find Western partners and integrate themselves into 
the international scientific community.  The Science Fund has worked 
with the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), 
but in general, cooperation with the United States has been minimal. 
 Ideally, the Director said she would like the Science Fund to 
operate like a venture fund.  END SUMMARY. 
 
SUPPORT FOR APPLIED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH 
 
2.  Regional Environmental Officer (REO) and Environmental 
Specialist met on February 26 with Science Fund Director Ardak 
Kusainova, who said the Science Fund was created by Presidential 
decree in March 2006 to provide funding (loans and grants) to 
applied-projects for the advancement of science in Kazakhstan.   She 
explained that the Science Fund is a government entity that receives 
all of its funding from the government.  The government has 
determined that all supported projects must fall within the 
following broad areas of research:  nanotechnology, new materials, 
biotechnology, mining technology, nuclear research, and alternative 
energy.   According to Kusainova, the Science Fund generally does 
not provide small loans of the $5,000-$10,000 range, and only 
supports applied-science research and projects.  (NOTE:  The Science 
Committee in the Ministry of Education supports pure science 
projects.  END NOTE.)  She said that after the Science Fund selects 
a project it deems worthy of financing, it then submits that project 
to the Fund's Investment Committee for final approval.  This 
Committee consists of scientists, government representatives, 
lawyers, and financial experts. 
 
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH HAS FALLEN ON HARD TIMES 
 
3.  Kusainova said the Fund worked well for its first two years of 
its operation, but since April 2008, the financial picture has 
changed drastically.  Whereas initially the Fund had several million 
dollars available to support scientific research projects, now this 
amount has been reduced considerably.  She said the Fund can still 
support projects, but it is now much more difficult to do so. 
Kusainova said the Science Fund is currently supporting just two 
projects:  a microbiology project to develop a new strain of 
potatoes, and a ferrous alloy project to help an investor research, 
develop, and produce a ferrous alloy material that can be used in 
metallurgical industrial production. 
 
4.  Because of the financial crisis, the Science Fund's approach has 
also changed.  The organization's structure is the same, but the 
Fund is now able to provide interest-free and, tax-free loans in 
cases where recipients lack the resources and/or credit worthiness 
to obtain commercial loans, pay them back with interest, and pay 
taxes on them.  Also, the loan period is much longer than before, 
with some terms as long as 15 years. 
 
SCIENCE FUND MONITORS PROJECTS 
 
5.  Kusainova said the Science Fund also monitors the progress of 
projects to see if there are any financial problems or 
misallocations, and to determine if a project is staying on track 
toward its goals.  Each project lead must prepare a complete 
financial disclosure statement and information on the structure of 
its internal organization.  This can help the Science Fund better 
determine whether or not an organization is able to repay its 
loans. 
 
NEED FOR WESTERN SCIENTIFIC CONTACTS 
 
6.  Kusainova admitted that present scientific level and quality of 
science in Kazakhstan is not equal to that of Europe.  She said this 
 
ASTANA 00000361  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
is largely due to the effects of the aftermath of the collapse of 
the Soviet Union, which led to a loss of funding for scientific 
infrastructure, research, training, and jobs.  In addition, she said 
there was a resultant brain drain that took most of the good 
scientists away from Kazakhstan. 
 
7.  Kusainova argued that Kazakhstani scientists should invest 
greater time and effort to find p
artners overseas and in Europe. 
"Our scientists need to know what is happening in the world," she 
said, "and they need to integrate themselves into the international 
scientific community because now they are too isolated, with very 
few contacts outside Kazakhstan."  She did not regard contact with 
Russian scientists as very productive, because "they are all 
products of the Soviet system," and she insisted that the real need 
is for scientific contacts with the Western scientific community. 
 
WILLING TO WORK WITH WESTERN PARTNERS 
 
8.  Kusainova said the Science Fund is anxious to work with 
international organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations 
Development Program, and others, as well as with private 
organizations and funds.  She said the Science Fund has cooperated 
with INTAS, and is looking for similar partners in Europe.  (NOTE: 
INTAS is an international association for the promotion of 
co-operation with scientists from the former Soviet Union.  It was 
established in 1993 by the European Community and like-minded 
countries.  INTAS began to wind down its activities in 2007.  END 
NOTE.) 
 
9.  Kusainova said the Science Fund has also worked with the U.S. 
Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) on projects), 
which is involved in cooperative threat reduction activities and 
provides assistance to unemployed scientists.  (NOTE: CDRF promotes 
scientific and technical collaboration between the United States and 
the countries of the former Soviet Union.  END NOTE.)  In general, 
she said, the Science Fund's cooperation with the United States has 
been minimal and generally based on grants given out by U.S. 
partners. 
 
VENTURE FUND MODEL 
 
10.  Kusainova said that, even though the Science Fund is a state 
entity, ideally, she would like it to operate more like a venture 
capital fund and cooperate with private sector partners, but she was 
also keenly aware of the Fund's limitations and the country's 
current financial constraints.   She quoted a Russian proverb to 
express her goals for the Fund:  "May our hopes and our 
possibilities come together." 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA356, KAZAKHSTAN: DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON GLOBAL INITIATIVE’S

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. #09ASTANA356.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA356 2009-02-27 04:34 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4230
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0356 0580434
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270434Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4741
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1258
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0640
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1346
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0819
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0735
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS ASTANA 000356 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN AND ISN/WMDT 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PARM PGOV PREL MCAP KGIC KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON GLOBAL INITIATIVE'S 
MODEL GUIDELINES DOCUMENT APRIL 20-22 WORKSHOP 
 
REF:  STATE 09099 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) On February 6, we delivered reftel points and non-paper on 
the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism's workshop on the 
Nuclear Detection Architecture Model Guidelines Document, which is 
to be held in Garmisch, Germany April 20-22, to Arman 
Mukhamedzhanova, First Secretary in the Kazakhstani MFA's Department 
of Multilateral Cooperation.   On February 25, Mukhamedzhanova 
informed us that Kazakhstan does not plan to send any participants. 
(COMMENT:  Post notes that because of recent budget cuts, 
Kazakhstani government ministries and agencies are facing severe 
restrictions on travel.  END COMMENT.) 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA353, KAZAKHSTAN: CHIEF MUFTI’S OFFICE EXPRESSES INTEREST IN

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. #09ASTANA353.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA353 2009-02-27 01:53 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4085
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0353 0580153
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270153Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4739
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1257
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0639
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1345
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0340
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0089
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2174
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2502
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0818
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0734
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS ASTANA 000353 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, IIP, DRL/IRF, ECA/A/L, NEA/PPD 
 
E.O.  12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KISL KIRF KPAO EG KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  CHIEF MUFTI'S OFFICE EXPRESSES INTEREST IN 
ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOWS AT ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY 
 
REF:  ASTANA 0249 
 
1.    (U)  Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.    (SBU)  SUMMARY:  As a follow-up to the Ambassador's recent 
discussion with Chief Mufti and Head of the Spiritual Association of 
Muslims in Kazakhstan (SAMK) Abasasttar Derbisali (see reftel), 
Regional English Language Officer (RELO) and Branch Public Affairs 
Officer (BPAO) met with Nurzhan Makhanov, Chief of External 
Relations and Protocol for SAMK, on February 19.  After much 
discussion, Makhanov agreed that the best place to put English 
Language Fellows would be at the Islamic University of Almaty. 
Pending the Chief Mufti's approval, Makhanov suggested the Embassy 
meet with the rector of the Islamic University.  The Embassy 
believes that this is a positive sign.  END SUMMARY. 
 
INITIAL RESISTANCE 
 
3.   (SBU)  Makhanov began by summarizing the meeting between the 
Chief Mufti and the Ambassador.  He said that after much 
consideration, he did not support putting English Language Fellows 
at the three major madrassas for two reasons.  First, the students 
at the madrassas already study Russian, Kazakh, and Arabic, and 
would be overburdened by adding English. Second, Russian or 
Kazakh-speaking English teachers would be necessary.  In response, 
RELO and BPAO said that perhaps English could be offered as an 
extra-curricular subject to motivated, talented language-learners 
and not as a mandatory part of the curriculum.  They also strongly 
made the case that English needs to be taught only in English. 
 
ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOWS AT ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY 
 
4.    (SBU)  Makhanov then suggested that the Islamic University 
would be a better fit for English Language Fellows -- an idea that 
had already occurred to PAS.  Emboffs mentioned how Al Azhar 
University in Cairo, Egypt, has hosted English Language Fellows for 
several years; is the most respected and oldest Islamic University 
in the world; and also helped establish the Islamic University in 
Almaty.  This information seemed to please Makhanov, and the meeting 
quickly became much more positive and collegial.  RELO and BPAO also 
noted that PAS Cairo had helped Al Azhar set up an English Language 
Resource Center, and that establishing such a center in Kazakhstan 
would allow students at the Islamic University and SAMK staff to 
study English.  This idea was greeted warmly by Makhanov, and he 
mentioned that he would like to participate in such training. 
 
NEXT STEPS 
 
5.    (SBU)  The meeting concluded by Makhanov stating that he would 
contact his colleagues at Al Azhar to find out more about their 
experiences with the English Language Fellows program. He said that 
if the Chief Mufti agrees, the Embassy should next meet with the 
rector of the Islamic University.  We believe this is a positive 
development. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA352, KAZAKHSTAN: KMG’s IDENOV ENTERTAINS, REVEALS

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. #09ASTANA352.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA352 2009-02-27 01:52 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO3729
OO RUEHBI
DE RUEHTA #0352/01 0580152
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270152Z FEB 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4735
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1253
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0635
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1341
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0336
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0814
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0730
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1251

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 000352 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/CARC, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET EINV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  KMG's IDENOV ENTERTAINS, REVEALS 
 
REF:  (A) 08 ASTANA 2465 (B) ASTANA 0317 (C) 08 ASTANA 2276 
 
ASTANA 00000352  001.3 OF 004 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On February 25, the Ambassador met Maksat 
Idenov, First Vice President of KazMunaiGas (KMG), and the 
government's lead negotiator for all new oil exploration and 
production deals.  Idenov was candid and animated throughout the 
meeting, which was conducted in English and lasted well beyond the 
scheduled time.  He clearly enjoyed the opportunity to confide in 
the Ambassador and shared previously undisclosed details of 
negotiations to explore the N Block, an offshore hydrocarbon-rich 
reservoir in the North Caspian estimated to contain 2 billion 
barrels of recoverable oil.  Idenov said negotiations to expand the 
capacity of the CPC pipeline were moving "very slowly" and said the 
development of KCTS would spur Russia to action and help "jump 
start" CPC expansion.  Idenov was noncommittal on Nabucco and very 
cautious when discussing the possibility of a trans-Caspian 
pipeline.  Idenov also said the government had "already solved" work 
permit issues raised by international oil companies and offered his 
opinion that sulfur is not a "waste product" and thus Tengizchevroil 
should not be fined for producing and storing it.  Idenov was 
critical of former Kashagan operator Agip throughout the meeting and 
asked for the Ambassador's assistance to spread the message to 
companies and government officials alike that "adherence to sound 
business principles is essential to the future development of 
Kazakhstan as a civilized society."  END SUMMARY. 
 
N BLOCK NEGOTIATIONS IN PROGRESS 
 
3.  (SBU) Before the meeting began, the Ambassador was escorted to a 
private room in the back of Idenov's spacious office suite on the 
15th floor overlooking construction of the ambitious, and very 
expensive, Khan Shatyr entertainment center.  On the way, he passed 
a crowded table of senior Western advisors preparing KMG for 
negotiations to explore the promising offshore N Block.  Idenov left 
the negotiating table to meet the Ambassador and immediately briefed 
him in candid and colorful terms on the status of the talks. 
 
NATIONAL PRIDE AT STAKE 
 
4.  (SBU) Idenov started by saying that ConocoPhillips (Conoco) CEO 
Jim Mulva, Mubadala chairman Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, and 
President Nazarbayev agreed on a 40-year tax and royalty contract 
through 2057, without a tax stabilization clause.  Conoco and 
KazMunaiGas (KMG) would be "joint operators" of the project, with 
Conoco and Mubadala owning 49 percent of the operating company and 
KMG owning a majority stake of 51 percent.  Idenov then immediately 
confided to the Ambassador, "Of course, when we say we'll be joint 
operators, we are only kidding ourselves because we don't have the 
capability to carry that out yet.  But we must say it for matters of 
national pride."  Conoco, Idenov said, will be the "main driver" of 
the project and will supply the necessary exploration technology, 
organizational expertise, business processes, and project 
management. 
 
A PRIVATE LOOK INSIDE THE N BLOCK DEAL 
 
5.  (SBU) Idenov then abruptly stood up and left the room, returning 
in a flourish with his personal laptop, which he opened to show the 
Ambassador an internal presentation on the N Block transaction.  As 
he scrolled through the presentation, Idenov paused to underscore 
certain points and answer questions.  He sounded somewhat like a 
real estate agent as he pointed out the size of the N Block (more 
than 8,000 square kilometers, or roughly the size of Japan), and its 
convenient location near both the Central Asia Center gas pipeline 
and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.  He also noted that the 
water depth of the Block ranges from 30 to 375 meters and its 
distance from shore ranges from 15 to 90 kilometers.  Idenov said 
KMG has retained an expensive team of world-class business advisors 
including accountants Ernst and Young, financial advisors Barclays 
Capital, energy consultants Gaffney Cline, and the law firm of 
 
ASTANA 00000352  002.3 OF 004 
 
 
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost "not to protect me, but to give me an open, 
sustainable, honest deal." 
 
PREVIOUSLY UNDISCLOSED DETAILS 
 
6.  (SBU) As Idenov walked the Ambassador through the presentation, 
he disclosed several details of the N Block deal that were not 
previously known (reftel A).  For example, he said that Conoco will 
pay 50 percent
of the $100 million signing bonus when the contract 
is signed and 50 percent in 2010.  He also disclosed that the N 
Block consortium will pay the government a commercial discovery 
bonus based on the quantity of N Block's proven reserves.  If the 
consortium discovers less than 1 billion barrels of oil, the bonus 
will be $1.50 per barrel; if they discover greater than 1 billion 
barrels, the bonus will be $2.50 per barrel.  Idenov showed a bar 
chart showing expected cash flow for the project indicating that 
Conoco and KMG will incur net losses for the first 10 years of the 
project.  The company is not expected to be in the black until 2017 
and will not reach full cost recovery until 2023.  Idenov told the 
Ambassador that the project assumes a price of oil of $70 per 
barrel, with $60 as a break-even point.  "At $40 per barrel," he 
said, "we're not surviving." 
 
REMAINING ISSUES TO RESOLVE 
 
7.  (SBU) Idenov was optimistic that the parties would come to 
agreement on the N Block, but he said they are still working to 
resolve three remaining issues: 
 
-- Internal rate of return.  According to the heads of agreement 
signed in Astana by KMG, Conoco, and Mubadala on December 5 (reftel 
A), the project will deliver an internal rate of return (IRR) of 
11.75 percent.  Since that time, however, the government suspended 
its crude export duty, which Conoco calculated would raise the IRR 
to 13 percent.  When Conoco CEO Mulva asked the government to raise 
the IRR for the project to 13 percent, however, Idenov chided Mulva, 
saying, "Jim, I know the HOA is not a binding agreement, but come 
on!  You can't be serious!  You need to negotiate in good faith and 
honor your previous agreement." 
 
-- Environmental safety.  In 1968, according to Idenov, a Soviet 
drilling rig exploring the area around the N Block "fell apart and 
sank."  All agree that the wreck might complicate drilling 
operations, but they have not agreed who will be responsible for 
removing it and who would be liable for any environmental damage it 
may cause.  Conoco wants the government to remove the rig (or at 
least pay for its removal and indemnify them against any future 
liability).  Idenov said he offered to carve out the territory on 
which the rig rests from the N Block acreage, but Conoco balked at 
the suggestion, because, according to Idenov, they "want creamy 
butter on their crunchy bread" (i.e., they want to have their cake 
and eat it too).  Idenov said he offered to compensate Conoco for 
the cost of removing the Soviet rig, if the N Block yields no 
producing wells. 
 
-- Natural gas sales.  Conoco told Idenov that it would like to 
negotiate the price for any associated natural gas sales up front. 
Idenov said the government has offered to sell the project's natural 
gas at the Russia-Kazakhstan border, according to the price 
determined by confidential agreement between KMG and Gazprom, which 
he did not disclose to the Ambassador or, for that matter, to 
ConocoPhillips.  Idenov noted in passing that KMG president 
Kairgeldy Kabyldin will travel to Moscow on February 27 to meet with 
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to discuss this, among other issues. 
 
NABUCCO AND THE TRANS-CASPIAN PIPELINE 
 
8.  (SBU) When the Ambassador asked about Kazakhstan's interest in 
the Nabucco gas pipeline to Europe, Idenov said he is personally 
very familiar with the project, having studied the possibility of 
exporting Iraqi gas to Europe via Nabucco when he worked as a vice 
president for Shell in the Middle East in 2004-06.  Without 
 
ASTANA 00000352  003.3 OF 004 
 
 
commenting specifically on Kazakhstan's interest in participating in 
Nabucco, Idenov said Kashagan alone contains 140 trillion cubic feet 
of natural gas, implying that Kazakhstan could become a major gas 
exporter in the future.  When asked about the possibility of a 
trans-Caspian gas pipeline, Idenov leaned back in his chair, pointed 
at the ceiling, and said, "That is a question for Zero One," meaning 
President Nazarbayev.  "Only he can answer that question."  Idenov 
added that no work has been done in Kazakhstan on the proposed 
Caspian littoral ("pri-kaspiskii") gas pipeline, saying, "there's no 
feasibility study, no funding, no construction." 
 
A DIRECT LINK BETWEEN CPC AND KCTS 
 
9.  (SBU) Idenov told the Ambassador that work on the expansion of 
the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) pipeline is "slowly moving 
forward."  He said the consortium agreed in December 2008 on the 
basic principles of expansion, but "there is still no agreement on 
money."  (COMMENT:  It was not clear if Idenov was referring to 
funding for the feasibility study, which we understand has been 
approved, or BP's sale of its 6.6 percent stake in the consortium, 
which we understand is still under discussion.  END COMMENT). 
Echoing the comments of Chevron's Jay Johnson (reftel B), Idenov 
drew a direct link between CPC and the Kazakhstan Caspian 
Transportation System (KCTS):  "Until the Russians see a strong move 
on KCTS, CPC will struggle."  Idenov sounded concerned that KCTS was 
"not moving" and said Minister of Energy Sauat Mynbayev had asked 
him to "jump into KCTS" to get things going.  Idenov said that as 
soon as he concludes the N Block negotiations, he will turn his 
attention to KCTS.  "I will start with ExxonMobil," he said, "and 
push them first.  But do you know the real problem with KCTS?  It is 
Chevron, saying, 'We will participate, but if CPC is expanded, we 
will ship our oil through CPC first.'"  Idenov complained that 
Chevron's attitude threatened to jeopardize the entire project, 
since no one will begin construction or modernization of pipeline, 
port, and shipping infrastructure without a firm commitment of 
supply from the major oil producers. 
 
WORK PERMITS "ALREADY SOLVED" 
 
10.  (SBU) When asked why Kazakhstan reduced the number of work 
permits issued to foreign workers by half in 2009, Idenov told the 
Ambassador hastily, "That problem has already been solved."  When 
asked to elaborate, he said Pierre Offant, who has been seconded 
from France's Total to be the new managing director of the Kashagan 
consortium, complained that he could not obtain work permits for 
Kashagan employees, so he took Offant to see Minister of Labor 
Berdybek Saparbayev.  According to Idenov, Saparbayev immediately 
agreed to grant work permits to Kashagan employees in the first two 
(skilled labor) categories, but asked that the company show a 
preference for Kazakhstani candidates in the third category, which 
Idenov said comprises mainly truck drivers, crane operators, and 
laborers.  Idenov said other large foreign investors should 
similarly have no difficulty obtaining the necessary work permits. 
"If Jay Johnson has a problem, tell him to come see me and we'll go 
to the Ministry of Labor together and work it out," he said. 
(COMMENT:  Idenov did not seem to appreciate the costs, delays, and 
difficulties associated with resolving work permit issues only on a 
case-by-case basis with the direct intervention of himself and the 
Minister of Labor.  END COMMENT). 
 
SULFUR N
OT A WASTE PRODUCT 
 
11.  (SBU) Idenov mentioned in passing that in his opinion, sulfur 
is not a "waste product," but a legitimate, marketable commodity 
associated with processing Tengiz crude.  As a result, Idenov said, 
Tengizchevroil should not be fined for storing the sulfur produced 
from the sour gas associated with Tengiz crude.  However, Idenov 
said, "I cannot say this publicly.  I cannot openly contradict my 
government's position.  I must be more discreet.  But I have made 
the point privately in conversations with Energy Minister Mynbayev 
and Deputy Prime Minister Shukevich." 
 
 
ASTANA 00000352  004.3 OF 004 
 
 
A PASSIONATE PLEA FOR GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICES 
 
12.  (SBU) As the meeting came to a close, the conversation turned 
to standards of good corporate behavior.  This is obviously an issue 
of deep personal concern to Idenov, who began to rail against 
Western companies operating in Kazakhstan in a way that he said 
violates international business practices.  In particular, Idenov 
singled out Italy's Agip, saying, "I'm very disappointed in them. 
Whatever Agip touches either falls apart or violates basic business 
principles."  At Karachaganak, co-operated by Agip and BG Group, 
Idenov said KMG has already sent one formal notice of dispute and 
plans to send another soon.  In the first case, Idenov said a 
KMG-sponsored audit by KPMG called into question the operator's 
claim to recover $250 million in costs incurred in 2003-2004.  In 
the second instance, KMG plans to ask for an objective, third-party 
assessment of the operator's decision to spend $350 million to 
replace the type of pipelines and metal structures used at the 
field.  "I must send these letters as a matter of principle," he 
said.  "Until we restore good business practices in Kazakhstan, we 
will not be able to develop as a civilized society."  He then added 
ominously, "When companies continually violate good business 
practices, they issue an open invitation to the Dark Side of the 
Force to come in and replace them." 
 
13.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Meeting with Maksat Idenov is always both 
entertaining and informative.  During this latest encounter, his 
characteristic candor and dramatic flair were on open display, to 
our pleasure and benefit.  Although he may be a prima donna, Maksat 
is also an astute businessman who has the confidence of President 
Nazarbayev and the authority to make or break billion-dollar deals 
for U.S. companies.  He has high demands and high expectations for 
foreign investors operating in Kazakhstan's oil and gas industry, 
and woe to those who disappoint him.  He also has a keen 
appreciation of Russia's role in Eurasian energy security and is 
willing to poke and prod Russia when it serves Kazakhstan's 
interests, for example, on CPC expansion.  While we do not agree 
with Idenov on everything, we understand and support his insistence 
that international investors conduct business with the highest 
standards of accountability and integrity and will reinforce this 
point in private meetings and public speeches to the diplomatic and 
business communities.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA351, KAZAKHSTAN: UPDATE ON CASES OF YESERGEPOV, ATTACKED

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. #09ASTANA351.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA351 2009-02-27 01:05 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4047
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0351/01 0580105
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270105Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4733
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1251
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0633
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1339
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0334
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2172
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2500
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0812
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0728
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000351 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KPAO KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  UPDATE ON CASES OF YESERGEPOV, ATTACKED 
JOURNALISTS 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 0191  (B) ASTANA 0058  (C) 08 ASTANA 2383 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  Several cases recently reported in local and 
international media have raised concerns about increasing pressure 
against journalists in Kazakhstans.  Three journalists were the 
victims of physical attacks fro December to February, while a 
fourth, Ramazan Yesergepov, remains in the custody of the Committee 
for National Security (KNB), charged with publishing classified 
government documents.  This cable serves as an update on all four 
cases.  END SUMMARY. 
 
YESERGEPOV -- AWAITING TRIAL 
 
3.  (SBU) Ramazan Yesergepov, the Editor-in-Chief of "Alma-Ata Info" 
newspaper remains in custody of the Zhambyl oblast branch of 
Committee for National Security (KNB) in Taraz on charges of 
disseminating classified information (see reftels).  His wife 
Raushan Yesergepova told us on February 25 that his court date is 
yet to be set, although she expects it to be announced soon. 
Yesergepova said her appeals to the Prosecutor General to have a 
different agency, not the KNB, investigate her husband's case and to 
have him released on bail have been denied.  She plans to present 
these appeals again once the trial begins.  Yesergepova reports that 
she has been visiting her husband regularly; he is in good health 
and reports no mistreatment. 
 
NURPEISOV -- THREE SUSPECTS ARRESTED 
 
4.  (SBU) Bakhytzhan Nurpeisov, the journalist for "Obshestvennaya 
Positsiya" newspaper who was attacked and robbed on February 5, has 
returned home from the hospital, although he continues to undergo 
medical treatment.  The Editor-in-Chief of "Obshestvennaya 
Positsiya" Rozlana Taukina alleged at the time that the attack was 
retaliation for Nurpeisov's articles about Astana Mayor 
Tasmagambetov's collection of rare cars.  On February 18, the Almaty 
police detained three suspects in the attack, all of them migrant 
workers from Shymkent, who were caught selling some of Nurpeisov's 
belongings.  The police are treating the case as an aggravated 
robbery.  Taukina remains convinced that there was a political 
motivation behind the assault.  We have been unable to reach 
Nurpeisov directly. 
 
BOLATAY -- POLICE SEARCHING FOR "HOOLIGANS" 
 
5.  (SBU) Yermek Bolatay, the web editor and part-time contributor 
to Radio Free Europe/Radio Azzatyk, was attacked on January 18. 
Several young men reportedly approached Boltai on the street and 
asked him for money; when he refused to hand any over, they 
assaulted him.  The police are treating the case as a "hooligan 
attack," but no suspects have been apprehended.  Bolatay is 
currently in Prague, and thus we were unable to reach him directly. 
 
MIUSOV -- CASE DISMISSED 
 
6.  (SBU) Artyom Miusov, a journalist for "Taszhargan" opposition 
paper, was attacked and stabbed three times on December 29.  His 
attackers reportedly asked his name before stabbing him.  Miusov 
spent a month in the hospital recovering from liver and lung 
injuries.  "Taszhargan" Editor-in-Chief Yermurat Bapi told us 
shortly after the attack that he was not convinced that the incident 
was aimed at the paper, because Miusov did not write critical 
articles about politically sensitive subjects.  Miusov filed a 
report with the police about the incident, but he told us on 
February 23 that the police dismissed his case claiming all the case 
documents had been lost.  He said he won't push to resume the 
investigation because he does not believe the police are keen on 
investigating his attack.  Miusov also told us that he has quit 
"Taszhargan" and is leaving opposition journalism as a result of the 
assault. 
 
 
ASTANA 00000351  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
7.  COMMENT:  The three assaults over a six-week period initially 
raised serious concerns about a coordinated, politically-motivated 
campaign to intensify pressure against Kazakhstan's opposition 
media.  While we can not dismiss the possibility of political 
motives, at this point there are indications that one or more of 
these assaults could be purely criminal in nature.  Nurpeisov's 
attackers did not just beat him, but rather robbed him of several 
very valuable items, including a notebook computer and a camera, and 
the police have arres
ted suspects who were reportedly trying to sell 
these items.  On various occasions, "Taszhargan" Editor-in-Chief 
Bapi has alleged that he himself has been the victim of 
politically-motivated assaults; however, he does not believe that 
Miusov was attacked because of his work for "Taszhargan."  END 
COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA350, KAZAKHSTAN: PRIME MINISTER MASIMOV BECOMES COUNTRY’S MOST

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. #09ASTANA350.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA350 2009-02-25 23:54 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2733
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0350/01 0562354
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 252354Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4731
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1249
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0631
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1337
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0332
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2170
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2498
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0810
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0726
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000350 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  PRIME MINISTER MASIMOV BECOMES COUNTRY'S MOST 
DISTINGUISHED BLOGGER 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY: In a surprising development, Kazakhstan's Prime 
Minister Karim Masimov recently posted an edition of opposition 
paper "Respublika" on his government blog.  This is the latest move 
in Masimov's blogging experiment, which is aimed at using the latest 
technology to increase communication with the population and to 
build up the government's image of openness.  Since going live on 
January 1, Masimov's blog has grown in popularity, with readers 
raising a wide range of issues.  Masimov addresses some of the 
issues himself and delegates others to his ministers.  On his order, 
all the ministers except Foreign Minister Tazhin have also started 
blogs.  Masimov's blogging initiative has been welcomed by the media 
and readers, although there are skeptics who say this is just a 
public relations stunt.  END SUMMARY. 
 
PRIME MINISTER POSTS OPPOSITION PAPER 
 
3.  (SBU) On February 20, in a move that surprised many in the media 
community, Prime Minister Karim Masimov posted an edition of the 
opposition newspaper "Respublika" on his government web-log.  The 
posting came after the editors of "Respublika" wrote to Masimov on 
February 4 to complain that their printers in Astana were refusing 
to print the newspaper.  Masimov replied that he had no control over 
the decisions of private businesses and offered the paper space on 
his blog.  "Respublika" initially declined, but, after the paper's 
Internet website was taken down by a cyber-attack on February 13, 
wrote to Masimov again to take him up on his offer.  With a note of 
"I am a man of my word," Masimov posted the paper's most recent 
edition in four Adobe PDF files.  The move was welcomed by the 
blog's readers, who in their comments commended the Prime Minister 
for "keeping his word" and for being the first government official 
"who is not afraid of the opposition press."  In fact, the edition 
of "Respublika" Masimov posted includes an article that accuses him 
of making money for himself through his advance knowledge of the 
tenge's February 4 devaluation. 
 
MASIMOV'S BLOGGING EXPERIMENT 
 
3.  (SBU) Posting the paper that does not shy away from criticizing 
the government is just the latest move in Masimov's experiment of 
using technology to reach out to regular Kazakhstanis and create an 
image of government openness.  Masimov launched his blog on January 
1, when he invited people to share their concerns and promised to 
read their comments personally.  The initiative proved widely 
popular, with readers posting messages in both Kazakh and Russian on 
everything from the poor quality of water in Stepenogorsk and 
heating problems for schools in Shymkent to the status of the Kazakh 
language, the devaluation of the tenge, and the current economic 
crisis.  Masimov has kept up a lively exchange with his readers, 
addressing some of their concerns personally and demanding action 
from his ministers on others.  For example, during a recent Cabinet 
meeting he berated Justice Minister Baliyeva for the large number of 
complaints he received over the quality of services of her ministry. 
 In another instance, Masimov personally visited the public bath in 
Astana that bloggers said was unsanitary.  It should be noted, 
however, that Masimov is selective about which issues he addresses 
-- he chose to leave unanswered the questions about the periodic 
blocking of a popular blogging website, LiveJournal, which is a site 
where President Nazarbayev's former son-in-law, Rakhat Aliyev, posts 
comments derogatory of the President. 
 
OTHER MINISTERS FOLLOW SUIT 
 
4.  (SBU) On January 12, Masimov ordered that all ministers create 
blogs in order to "establish personal interaction with the people." 
As of today, all the ministers expect Foreign Minister Tazhin have 
blogs on a government portal, which can be found at 
http://blogs.e.gov.kz.  (NOTE: Tazhin reports directly to President 
Nazarbayev rather than to Masimov.  END NOTE.)  Agriculture Minister 
Kurishbayev's blog quickly became one of the most 
frequently-visited, as readers from rural areas uploaded their most 
 
ASTANA 00000350  002 OF 002 
 
 
burning questions.  Observers note that the most substantive blogs 
are those run by the Finance Minister Zhamishev and Economy and 
Budget Planning Minister Sultanov.  Emergency Minister Bozhko is 
said to be the second-quickest resp
onder after the Prime Minister. 
The government official that has received the most praise from blog 
aficionados is Agency for Government Services Chairman Aryn 
Orsariyev, a 32-year-old graduate of the "Bolashak" program which 
sends Kazakhstanis to study abroad at government expense.  Users of 
Orsaliyev's blog can see his photographs, join his group of friends, 
and look through his personal notes. 
 
A WELCOME INITIATIVE 
 
5.  (SBU) The Prime Minister's blogging experiment has stirred up a 
lively discussion in the media.  Overall, the reaction is quite 
positive, with many commentators welcoming the step towards openness 
in the government.  There are some skeptics, however, who see it as 
a public-relations move designed to gain for him a reputation for 
openness and allow critics to "blow off steam," while the overall 
political system still remains fundamentally undemocratic.  Others 
criticize Masimov for failing to put his "personal touch" to the 
postings, saying his blog is nothing more than a national "book for 
customer complaints."  Nevertheless, Masimov's blog has become one 
of the most frequently-visited government websites, receiving over 
one hundred comments a day from teachers, students, government 
employees, and businessmen. 
 
6. (SBU) COMMENT:  The blogging activities of Masimov and his 
ministers set Kazakhstan well apart from its neighbors in using the 
latest technology to communicate with the public and interact with 
civil society.  We do not have enough information to judge whether 
elements of the government are responsible for blocking 
"Respublika's" website, although it is not inconceivable that one of 
the intelligence services could do so.  That Masimov -- who is 
considered one of the government's liberals -- posted the 
"Respublika" edition following the blockage is perhaps an indication 
not just that he is a man of his word, but also that he wanted to 
send a signal that he disapproves of the blockage.  If so, it would 
seem that President Nazarbayev, the ultimate arbiter of what is 
allowed and what is not, is tolerating an unusual amount of open 
diversity at the upper-most levels of the government.  END COMMMENT. 
 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA348, KAZAKHSTAN: CHINESE AMBASSADOR DENIES ANY CHINESE

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. #09ASTANA348.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA348 2009-02-25 08:18 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1784
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNP RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0348/01 0560818
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 250818Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4727
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1246
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0628
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0329
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1334
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0807
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0723

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000348 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/A, EAP/CM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2033 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR MARR CH AF RS KG UP KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  CHINESE AMBASSADOR DENIES ANY CHINESE 
ROLE IN KYRGYZ DECISION TO CLOSE MANAS 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Cheng 
Guoping told the Ambassador on February 24 that he expects 
China will agree to participate in the Northern Distribution 
Network (NDN) for commercial shipment of non-lethal supplies 
to Afghanistan.  He described China's principal objective in 
Central Asia as promoting regional stability.  Cheng confided 
that Foreign Minister Tazhin will be in Beijing March 29-31 
to prepare for an April visit to China by President 
Nazarbayev.  He denied China had any role in getting the 
Kyrgyz to close Manas Air Base, claiming the Chinese "don't 
take any pleasure" from the decision while adding that, in 
any event, the closure is not a done deal.  Cheng argued that 
the developments surrounding Manas and the Georgia war have 
strengthened Russia's hand in Central Asia and the CIS as a 
whole, while weakening U.S. influence.  China will be 
watching Ukraine's parliamentary elections closely since the 
results will further determine the relative influence of 
Russia and the United States across the region.  He said the 
Chinese have not yet signed an agreement with Kazakhstan that 
will allow them to construct a new building for the Chinese 
Embassy in Astana.  Their current rented embassy space is 
cramped and inconvenient, and Cheng expressed appreciation 
that the Ambassador hosts their meetings, since, in his 
opinion, they cannot have secure conversations in Cheng's own 
office.  END SUMMARY. 
 
EXPECTS CHINA TO SIGN ON TO NDN 
 
2. (C) During a February 24 meeting with the Ambassador, 
Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Cheng Guoping said that 
Beijing has noticed that U.S. foreign policy is changing 
under President Obama, with the United States paying greater 
attention to Asia, including to Afghanistan -- which China 
sees as the top foreign policy priority for the Obama 
Administration.  Cheng described Afghanistan's problems as 
"very complicated," and said that Afghan President Karzai 
seems to control only Kabul itself.  Nevertheless, China 
strongly supports Coalition efforts against the Taliban and 
Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and is particularly concerned about 
Afghan narco-trafficking, which directly affects China, Cheng 
explained.  "Fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda is the 
responsibility of all UN member states," he asserted. 
 
3. (C) Cheng noted that Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and 
Tajikistan have agreed to participate in the Northern 
Distribution Network (NDN) for commercial transport of 
non-lethal goods for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  He 
described the NDN as a "positive development" and said the 
Chinese MFA is actively reviewing the U.S. proposal that 
China participate in the NDN, too.  While no final decision 
has been made, he expected that in the end, China will sign 
on to the NDN.  "Including China in the NDN is a judicious 
decision," he argued.  Cheng noted that there will be an SCO 
meeting in Moscow on March 27 to discuss Afghanistan, and 
predicted that the meeting will result in "positive decisions 
on relevant issues." 
 
CLAIMS NO CHINESE ROLE IN MANAS CLOSURE 
 
4. (C)   Cheng explained that China's principal objective in 
Central Asia is the promotion of regional stability.  He 
singled out Uzbekistan as unstable internally -- which he 
claimed makes Uzbek President Karimov reluctant to travel 
outside his country.  Cheng confided that Kazakhstani Foreign 
Minister Tazhin will travel to Beijing March 29-31 to prepare 
for an April visit to China by President Nazarbayev. 
 
5. (C) The Ambassador asked Cheng about the Chinese 
government's views on the closure of Manas Air Base.  Cheng 
responded dismissively, "Frankly speaking, this didn't have 
much to do with us."  He said the Kyrgyz decision to make 
Manas available to the United States after September 11 was 
the right thing to do.  As far as the Chinese understand, the 
Kyrgyz are closing Manas now for their own domestic reasons. 
Their economic situation is bad, which has caused a lot of 
problems for President Bakiyev.  He needed money, but the 
 
ASTANA 00000348  002 OF 003 
 
 
United States didn't agree to pay more for the base.  Russia, 
however, agreed to provide $2 billion in loans and investment 
and pushed Bakiyev to close the base in return.  In any 
event, sovereign countries have a righ
t to make their own 
decisions, and other countries don't have a right to 
intervene, Cheng argued. 
 
6. (C) To test his reaction, the Ambassador told Cheng that 
the Kyrgyz had hinted to us privately that the Chinese would 
not provide them assistance unless they closed Manas.  Cheng 
dismissed this claim, saying, "I was previously head of our 
MFA's Eurasia Department before coming here (last fall) as 
Ambassador and would have been in a position to know.  I 
don't think this corresponds with the facts.  We have been 
providing them assistance all along, and in 2007 even gave 
them almost a billion yuan to help them with the Bishkek SCO 
Summit.  We don't take any pleasure from the closure of 
Manas.  Perhaps the Kyrgyz don't want to hurt your feelings, 
and that's why they put all the responsibility on Russia and 
China."   In any event, Cheng maintained that the closure of 
Manas is not a done deal -- whether it actually happens will 
depend on U.S.-Kyrgyz negotiations and, more importantly, on 
whether the Russians actually follow through on their 
financial commitments.  He expressed doubts about Russia's 
ability to do so because of its own economic problems. 
 
SAYS SITUATION IN CIS NOW MORE FAVORABLE TO RUSSIA 
 
7. (C) Cheng maintained that, taken together, the latest 
developments with Manas and the results of the Georgia 
conflict have changed the balance of power between the United 
States and Russia within the CIS.  After the Orange 
Revolution in Ukraine, the Russians were in a bad position, 
but now the situation is favorable to them.  The Russians 
have recently adopted a more aggressive approach toward the 
other CIS countries, especially toward Central Asia.  China 
is closely watching the upcoming Ukrainian parliamentary 
elections, the outcome of which will be a further critical 
determinant of the relative influence of Russia and the 
United States across the whole CIS region.  Cheng claimed 
that Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko was once 
pro-American, but now is leaning more toward Russia, hinting 
that this is an indication the winds are blowing Russia's way 
in Ukraine.  "We hope that in any event you can improve your 
relations with Russia, and that the United States and Russia 
will cooperate more in the international area," Cheng stated. 
 
 
BELIEVES UNITED STATES NO LONGER FAVORS COLOR REVOLUTIONS 
 
8. (C) Cheng explained that he has been following the 
Ambassador's public statements very closely, and in comparing 
these statements to those of the Ambassador's predecessor, he 
has detected a shift in U.S. policy toward Kazakhstan and the 
rest of Central Asia.  The United States now seems more 
focused on promoting stability and prosperity, and no longer 
wants to foster "color revolutions."  Cheng said he found 
this approach "persuasive" in winning the support of the 
Central Asian countries.  The Ambassador explained that our 
policy had never been to foster revolutions, but explained 
that he personaly believes it is more effective to be frank 
with other governments in private than to criticize them 
publicly. 
 
ADMITS STILL NO AGREEMENT ON NEW CHINESE EMBASSY 
 
9. (C) The Ambassador asked Cheng about progress on a new 
building for the Chinese Embassy in Astana.  Cheng said with 
some degree of exasperation that China still has not signed 
an agreement with Kazakhstan that will allow the Chinese to 
begin construction.  He said he was envious of the U.S. 
Embassy, because the Chinese are currently occupying 
inconvenient, cramped rented space.  He expressed 
appreciation that the Ambassador hosts their meetings, since, 
in his opinion, they cannot have secure conversations in 
Cheng's own office.  Cheng noted that his daughter will soon 
be studying in the United States -- she will make a final 
decision in the next month among Columbia, Duke, and the 
 
ASTANA 00000348  003 OF 003 
 
 
University of Chicago -- and asked for assistance in 
obtaining a multiple-entry U.S. visa for his wife, so that 
she can visit the daughter regularly. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA345, KAZAKHSTAN: DRAFT LAW WOULD EXPAND STATE REGULATION OF

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. #09ASTANA345.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA345 2009-02-25 06:42 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1717
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0345/01 0560642
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250642Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4723
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1244
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0626
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1332
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0327
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2168
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2496
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0805
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0721
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000345 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, IIC, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KPAO KDEM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  DRAFT LAW WOULD EXPAND STATE REGULATION OF 
INTERNET 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Mazhilis -- i.e. the lower house of 
Kazakhstan's parliament -- is currently considering a draft package 
of amendments that would, if passed in its current form, greatly 
increase state regulation of Internet content and grant the 
Procurator General's Office the right to block any site, foreign or 
domestic, whose content contradicts Kazakhstan's domestic 
legislation.  The Agency for Information and Communication defends 
the draft as a necessary step in updating the country's legislation 
and protecting the privacy of citizens.  Civil society activists 
have sharply criticized the draft and say the law would open the 
door for the government to censor the Internet.  Some analysts have 
speculated that the real purpose of the legislation is to block 
damaging web-postings from President Nazarbayev's former son-in-law, 
Rakhat Aliyev.   END SUMMARY. 
 
DRAFT INTERNET LAW BEFORE THE MAZHILIS 
 
3.  (U) The Mazhilis -- i.e. the lower house of Kazakhstan's 
parliament -- is currently considering a package of legislative 
amendments that would expand the state's regulatory powers over 
content posted on the Internet.   When presenting the draft 
amendments to the Mazhilis, the Chairman of the Agency for 
Information and Communications, Kuanyshbek Yesekeyev, argued that 
the goals of the changes are to bring regulations that govern the 
Internet up-to-date and assure greater protection of the private 
information of Kazakhstani citizens.  Yesekeyev maintained that his 
agency drafted the amendments in response to public concerns over 
"the appearance of private information on the Internet."  He argued 
that legislative changes would increase "transparency" and give the 
state the tools to track down "who posted what information."  The 
draft law is a step forward in protecting the constitutional rights 
of citizens and legal entities, he insisted.  The legislative 
package, which would update the Administrative and Civil Codes, the 
Law on Communications, the Law on the Media, and the Law on National 
Security, is currently being reviewed by a Mazhilis ad hoc working 
group. 
 
NEW RESTRICTIONS ADDED 
 
4.  (U) The draft package of amendments, if adopted in its current 
form, would grant the state purview not only over domestic websites, 
but also foreign websites, chat rooms, blogs, and e-libraries.  It 
would redefine all Internet resources, including chat and blog 
sites, as "media outlets," making them subject to Kazakhstan's media 
legislation.  The draft amendments would also tighten up the 
liability of foreign media, granting the state the power to block 
any foreign site that contains information that contradicts 
Kazakhstan's national legislation, although it is not clear which 
agency would be responsible for checking the sites' content.  An 
amendment to the Law on National Security would grant the security 
services the right to filter information coming from foreign 
providers and block information disruptive to national security. 
The Procurator General's Office would be empowered to suspend any 
Internet outlet for three days, without a court ruling, if the 
outlet's content "breaches the law and such a breach can cause 
significant harm to the interests of society and the nation."  The 
power to suspend the outlet for longer than three days would lie 
with the Astana City Court, which would issue its decision following 
a "special procedure," i.e., without the presence of the defendant. 
 
5. (U) The draft legislation would also expand the grounds for 
suspension or closure of media outlets -- which would apply to 
traditional media outlets, such as newspapers, as well as to the 
Internet.  In addition to the existing and rather long list of such 
grounds, the law would grant the state the power to shut down media 
outlets for information that violates the regulations governing 
political campaigning; forces people to participate or not 
participate in a strike, peaceful protest, pickets, or 
demonstration; and incites inter-ethnic or inter-confessional 
conflict. 
 
ASTANA 00000345  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
SHARP CRITICISM FROM CIVIL SOCIETY 
 
6. (U) Kazakhstan's media-freedom activists have levied sharp 
criticism against
 the draft legislation.  A group of journalists and 
civil society activists issued a statement demanding that the 
government recall the law immediately.  Tamara Kaleyeva, the head of 
Adil Soz, a leading media watchdog NGO, said the law would "impose 
severe censorship" on all websites.  She harshly criticized the 
provision that would grant the prosecutors the right to suspend 
Internet outlets without a court order.  "This will turn into 
complete tyranny" by the Procurator General, which will be vested 
with the power to decide which sites are harmful," she argued. 
 
7. (U) Seitkazy Matayev, Chairman of the Union of Journalists, 
likened the draft law to the Internet-censorship policy practiced by 
the Chinese government.  Kazakhstan was already following the 
Chinese pattern of "economy first, politics second," he argued, and 
now it will copy China's policy on Internet freedom.  Matayev 
nevertheless mocked any attempt to block information flow on the 
Internet as "unrealistic."  He conceded that Kazakhstan needs to 
update its Internet regulations, but argued that a good law can only 
be written with the cooperation of website owners and journalists. 
 
CIVIL SOCIETY LOBBIES FOR CHANGES 
 
8.  (SBU) Several civil society activists, including Kaleyeva and 
Matayev, have attended meetings of the Mazhilis working group 
considering the legislation.  According to Kaleyeva, the 
parliamentarians are not open to hearing civil society's input.  She 
told us that in the last session she attended, the working group was 
studying technical avenues of blocking websites.  Kaleyeva plans to 
approach the Ministry of Information and Culture, as well as the 
Agency for Information and Communications itself, to share civil 
society's concerns with the legislation.  OSCE's Representative on 
Freedom of the Media Miklos Haraszti sent a letter to Mazhilis 
Chairman Mukhamedzhanov and Senate President Tokayev on February 6, 
urging the parliament to consider the input of civil society, to 
carefully consider which Internet sites should be labeled "media 
outlets," and to abolish any limits on access to foreign media. 
 
9.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Some media analysts have speculated that the 
draft legislation has a singular purpose -- to block the damaging 
web postings of Rakhat Aliyev, President Nazarbayev's exiled former 
son-in-law.  Be that as it may, the draft law contains several 
provisions that could, if applied to their full extent, greatly 
increase the state's control over all Internet content.  We will 
continue to monitor the progress of the legislation and will work 
with like-minded partners to urge the government to take into 
consideration the views of civil society and the OSCE's Haraszti. 
END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA344, KAZAKHSTAN: WORLD BANK OFFICIALS DISCUSS ECONOMIC

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. #09ASTANA344.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA344 2009-02-25 06:22 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1709
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0344/01 0560622
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250622Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4721
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1242
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0624
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1330
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0325
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0803
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0719
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000344 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB 
STATE PLEASE PASS USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EINV EFIN EAID KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  WORLD BANK OFFICIALS DISCUSS ECONOMIC 
SITUATION, EFFECTS OF CURRENCY DEVALUATION 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Ambassador had an introductory meeting with 
incoming World Bank Country Director for Central Asia Motoo Konishi 
on February 24.  Konishi and World Bank Country Manager for 
Kazakhstan Sergei Shatalov explained that the February 4 devaluation 
of the tenge should have a positive impact on Kazakhstan's balance 
of payments.  Shatalov said that foreign direct investment in 
Kazakhstan is likely to decline as a result of the global economic 
crisis.  The World Bank officials expected a one-time spike in 
consumer prices as a result of the tenge's devaluation and said it 
is too early to tell whether there will have to be a further 
devaluation.  Konishi said that Prime Minister Masimov needs to take 
on entrenched interests in dealing with the financial crisis.  The 
World Bank officials argued that Kazakhstan has to focus in the 
long-run on developing its human capital.  Shatalov explained that 
the Bota Foundation should be ready to disburse money this summer. 
He asked for our assistance in obtaining the U.S. Department of 
Justice's concurrence that Kazakhstan's progress on certain 
transparency-related initiatives is sufficient to enable Bota to 
move forward.  END SUMMARY. 
 
CURRENCY DEVALUATION IMPROVES BALANCE OF PAYMENTS 
 
3. (SBU) The Ambassador had an introductory meeting on February 24 
with incoming World Bank Country Manager for Central Asia Motoo 
Konishi, who is replacing Annette Dixon.  Konishi and World Bank 
Country Manager for Kazakhstan Sergei Shatalov told the Ambassador 
that the February 4 devaluation of the tenge would likely have a 
positive impact on Kazakhstan's balance of payments.  Shatalov 
explained that according to models run by the Bank, with a $40 per 
barrel price for crude, Kazakhstan's balance of payments deficit at 
the new exchange of around 150 tenge per dollar should be in the 
range of $4 billion.  By comparison, at the old exchange rate of 
around 120 tenge per dollar, the deficit would have been in the $15 
billion range.  The $4 billion deficit could be further reduced by 
constraining imports, with any remainder handled through management 
of currency reserves. 
 
FDI LIKELY TO DECLINE 
 
4. (SBU) Shatalov said that foreign direct investment (FDI) in 
Kazakhstan, especially in the energy sector, is likely to decline as 
a result of the global financial crisis.  He said specifically that 
Lukoil is planning to scale back its investments, which could impact 
expansion of the Karachaganak project.  Shatalov further claimed 
that there are rumors that first oil from Kashagan might be pushed 
out yet again, perhaps to 2015.  (NOTE:  We have not heard anything 
from U.S. companies -- ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhilips -- 
about any plans that they might have to scale back their own 
investments, nor have we heard anything concrete about a new 
Kashagan delay.  END NOTE.)  In any event, reduced FDI might help 
the country's balance of payments situation further, because FDI, 
particularly in the energy sector, leads to imports of machinery and 
other goods, Shatalov pointed out. 
 
ONE-TIME SPIKE IN INFLATION 
 
5.  (SBU) Shatalov said that the World Bank expects a one-time spike 
in Kazakhstan's consumer price index as a result of the tenge's 
devaluation, but they do not believe the devaluation will have a 
continuing impact on the inflation rate.  The World Bank officials 
indicated it is too early to tell whether there will have to be a 
further devaluation of the tenge.  The National Bank releases only 
monthly -- rather than weekly -- figures on its currency reserves, 
and is slow to release even those figures, so we will not know until 
several days into March whether the National Bank stemmed its losses 
of reserves with the devaluation.  Shatalov noted that 12-month 
tenge futures are trading at 240 tenge to the dollar, but the World 
Bank officials indicated that this futures' market is open to 
speculation and manipulation, and thus we should not make too much 
 
ASTANA 00000344  002 OF 002 
 
 
of this figure.  The World Bank officials confirmed that despite 
budget pressures, the government is trying to maintain spending on 
social programs.  They noted that the
Kazakhstanis had not been able 
to implement a distressed assets fund to buy up bad assets from 
commercial banks because, after discussions with the World Bank, the 
Kazakhstanis realized how difficult it would be to properly value 
such assets.  As Konishi put it, "How do you value these assets when 
there is no market for them?"  According to Shatalov, significant 
increases in credit default swap (CDS) rates indicate that the 
markets believe that both Halyk Bank and KazKommertsBank are in 
trouble. 
 
MASIMOV WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO REPLACE 
 
6.  (SBU) Noting rumors that Prime Minister Masimov might be removed 
and made a scapegoat for the economic situation, Shatalov said 
Masimov has proven himself a skilled economist, diplomat, and 
interlocutor with international institutions who would be difficult 
to replace.  (NOTE:  Rumors about Masimov's impending demise 
essentially date from the first day he was appointed prime minister. 
 We agree with Shatalov that it doesn't make sense to replace him 
given how adept he is at dealing with complex economic and financial 
issues -- but that doesn't make his position invulnerable.  END 
NOTE.)  Konishi said that to tackle the financial crisis, Masimov 
needs to take on entrenched interests and limit the flow of 
resources directed toward favored insiders, which might lead to 
growing pressures against him.  He pointed to the recent criminal 
proceedings launched against the prominent KUAT construction company 
as indicative of the government's desire to preserve resources, and 
where possible, recoup losses. 
 
HUMAN CAPITAL SHOULD BE LONG-TERM FOCUS 
 
7.  (SBU) The World Bank officials explained that Kazakhstan should 
be focusing not only on the immediate financial crisis, but also on 
developing policies to ensure Kazakhstan's economic success in a 
post-crisis world.  Konishi said that over the long-run, Kazakhstan 
must broadly develop its human capital, including through 
investments in education and health care.  Shatalov noted that the 
World Bank is providing assistance to the Ministry of Education in 
its effort to open a world-class, showcase university in Astana, 
which is currently under construction. 
 
NEXT STEPS ON THE BOTA FOUNDATION 
 
8.  (SBU) Shatalov also provided an update on the progress of the 
Bota Foundation.  He said the initiative enjoys the full support of 
the Kazakhstani government.  Bota has set up its team, and now has a 
representational office in Almaty with twelve program officers.  The 
Foundation would like to start disbursing money during the summer, 
but according to the 2006 MOU, the World Bank first needs the U.S. 
Department of Justice's concurrence that Kazakhstan has made 
sufficient progress on certain transparency-related initiatives, 
including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) 
and the Public Finance Management Review.  Shatalov explained that 
during a recent meeting, State Secretary Kanat Saudabayev criticized 
the World Bank for dragging its feet on Bota.  He asked for our 
assistance in getting the green light from the Department of 
Justice.  Shatalov said that he would be in Washington March 22-29, 
and requested a meeting with the State Department to discuss a way 
forward. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA341, KAZAKHSTAN WILL NOT SEND DELEGATION TO ATTEND THE

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. #09ASTANA341.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA341 2009-02-25 04:09 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1615
OO RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHNEH RUEHPW RUEHSK
RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0341 0560409
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250409Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4720
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1241
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ASTANA 000341 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
STATE FOR OES, PHUDAK, NFITE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL SENV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN WILL NOT SEND DELEGATION TO ATTEND THE 
ANTARCTIC TREATY CONSULTATIVE MEETING 
 
REF: HUDSPETH-CENTRAL ASIA ESTH OFFICERS EMAIL, FEBRUARY 6 
 
On February 11, we sent a diplomatic note asking the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs (MFA) if Kazakhstan planned to send a delegation to 
the April 7-17 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Baltimore, 
Maryland.  The MFA sent us a reply diplomatic note on February 24 
stating that no Kazakhstani representatives will attend the event. 
 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA319, KAZAKHSTAN: FOREIGN MINISTER TAZHIN SAYS RUSSIA

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. #09ASTANA319.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA319 2009-02-24 10:13 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0825
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNP RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0319/01 0551013
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 241013Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4694
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1239
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0622
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0323
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1328
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0801
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0717
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000319 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/A, SCA/PB 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2033 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID AF PK RS KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  FOREIGN MINISTER TAZHIN SAYS RUSSIA 
MUST BE INVOLVED IN AFGHANISTAN EFFORTS 
 
REF: A. STATE 14097 
     B. STATE 15959 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b),(d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  The Ambassador discussed the U.S. 
government's Afghanistan-Pakistan policy review and the 
increase in U.S. military forces in Afghanistan with Foreign 
Minister Tazhin on February 24.  Tazhin said that the 
Kazakhstani government is considering providing 
reconstruction and humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan 
during 2009-10.  He argued that despite differences in views 
between the United States and Russia, we have to involve the 
Russians in our Afghanistan efforts.  Tazhin expressed 
concerns about Afghan President Karzai's reconciliation 
efforts with the Taliban, and described negotiating with the 
Taliban's core leadership as a "dangerous" idea.  He said 
that Kazakhstan might be able to host training programs for 
Afghans.  Tazhin recommended holding ministerial or 
sub-ministerial conferences on Afghanistan on a regular 
basis.   END SUMMARY. 
 
KAZAKHSTAN CONSIDERING ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE 
 
2. (C) The Ambassador met on February 24 with Foreign 
Minister Marat Tazhin to discuss the U.S. government's 
Afghanistan- Pakistan policy review (reftel A) and the 
increase in U.S. military forces in Afghanistan (reftel B). 
(NOTE:  We sent an advance copy of reftel A's key points to 
the MFA several days in advance so that Tazhin would be 
prepared to a give a substantive response.  END NOTE.) 
Tazhin described the situation in Afghanistan as a "complex 
problem" which involves not only Afghanistan itself, but also 
its neighbors, and termed the Coalition presence there a 
"serious stabilizing factor."  He added, "We understand very 
clearly the strategic consequences of Afghanistan." 
 
3. (C) Tazhin noted that Kazakhstan has agreed to participate 
in the Northern Distribution Network of commercial transport 
of non-military goods to Afghanistan.  (NOTE:  Tazhin pointed 
out -- as he has done on previous occasions -- that we 
approached Russia about the Northern Distribution Network 
first, before we discussed it with Kazakhstan, implying again 
that this was a slight to the Kazakhstanis.  END NOTE.) 
Tazhin reminded the Ambassador that the Kazakhstani 
government had provided humanitarian and reconstruction 
assistance to Afghanistan during 2008.  He said that despite 
the difficult budget situation, Kazakhstan would try to do so 
again during 2009-10, though perhaps on a more modest scale, 
and promised to discuss the issue with President Nazarbayev 
and Prime Minister Masimov. 
 
RUSSIA NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED 
 
4. (C) After the Ambassador reviewed, at Tazhin's request, 
Russian efforts over the past several years to get the Kyrgyz 
to force us out of Manas Air Base, Tazhin responded that the 
presence of U.S. forces in Central Asia has not changed the 
strategic balance in the region and that the base is thus 
mainly a "psychological issue" for the Russians.  The 
strategic implications of failure in Afghanistan are much 
more important than differences over the base, he argued. 
In any event, the Russians do understand the strategic 
importance of Afghanistan and the potential dangers for 
Russia and for Afghanistan's neighbors, Tazhin maintained. 
"I always explain to the Russians that Afghanistan is not a 
local conflict, it's a much more serious phenomenon, and it's 
not just about terrorism, but rather about the possible 
revival of Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia," he 
explained.  Tazhin hinted that the Russians may have felt 
shut out on some occasions, and claimed, for example, that 
Russia offered to train Afghan customs officials in Moscow, 
but this was nixed by "Western experts" who believed that 
Russia would be training them to spy.  In any event, Tazhin 
said that despite differences in points of view, the United 
States simply has to involve Russia in our Afghanistan 
efforts, adding that he would raise Afghanistan when he 
visits Moscow in March. 
 
ASTANA 00000319  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
CONCERNS ABOUT RECONCILIATION WITH TALIBAN 
 
5. (C) Tazhin expressed concerns about Afghan President 
Karzai's reconciliation efforts with the Taliban.  He said he 
understood why the Afghan government would want to co-opt 
some moderate Taliban factions, but maintained that there are 
political limitations on dialogue and compromise.  He 
described negotiating with the Taliban's core leadership as a 
"dangerous" idea that could call into question why the

Coalition went into the country in the first place in 2001. 
He said, "Those people will never change."  Tazhin said that 
he welcomed attempts to create loya jirgas at the local 
level, so long as they take into account the country's ethnic 
composition.  Stressing the importance of inter-ethnic 
reconciliation, he said that Tajikistan and Uzbekistan should 
be able to provide help on this issue. 
 
TRAINING IN KAZAKHSTAN 
 
6. (C) Tazhin explained that because the Obama Administration 
is making Afghanistan a higher priority, Kazakhstan will see 
what more it can do in Afghanistan, once it has more 
information about the results of the U.S. policy review. 
Noting that international assistance to Afghanistan includes 
significant funds for training, he said that the Kazakhstani 
government stands ready to find opportunities to host Afghans 
for training.  He explained that training Afghans in 
Kazakhstan makes sense because of Kazakhstan's geographic 
proximity to Afghanistan as well as the cultural affinities 
between the two countries.  Tazhin pointed out that during 
Soviet times, most Afghan students who studied in the USSR 
did so in Kazakhstan and the other Central Asian republics. 
 
7. (C) Tazhin noted that French Foreign Minister Kouchner had 
organized an international ministerial conference in support 
of Afghanistan in Paris in June 2008 -- which Tazhin himself 
could not attend because of other commitments.  He suggested 
that such conferences be held on a regular basis at the 
ministerial or sub-ministerial level to institutionalize 
high-level exchanges of views.   He added only half-jokingly 
that some of these high-level meetings should take place 
without experts because "experts often tell ministers how to 
think and what to say." 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA317, KAZAKHSTAN: THE UPWARD TRENDS OF TENGIZCHEVROIL

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. #09ASTANA317.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA317 2009-02-24 10:07 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0808
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0317/01 0551007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241007Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4690
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1236
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0619
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1325
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0320
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0798
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0714
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1244

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000317 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/CARC, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET EINV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  THE UPWARD TRENDS OF TENGIZCHEVROIL 
 
REF:  ASTANA 0131 
 
ASTANA 00000317  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On February 20, Jay Johnson, Chevron's Managing 
Director for Eurasia (protect), briefed the Ambassador on the latest 
plans and projects of Tengizchevroil (TCO), in which Chevron owns 50 
percent, ExxonMobil 25 percent, KazMunaiGas (KMG) 20 percent, and 
LukArco 5 percent.  Johnson said that oil production at Tengiz, the 
largest producing oil field in Kazakhstan, is expected to increase 
from 17 million tons in 2008 to 25 million tons in 2009, due to the 
installation of a $3 billion sour gas injection plant.  Johnson 
provided an update on TCO's export transportation options, local 
content investments, atmospheric emissions, and sulfur storage and 
sales.  He also disclosed that if the price of Brent crude drops 
below $40 a barrel, Chevron "will have real cash flow problems" and 
may have to defer capital investments.  END SUMMARY. 
 
TCO HAS PAID $30 BILLION TO KAZAKHSTAN SINCE 1993 
 
3.  (SBU) Johnson delivered a comprehensive, end-of-year briefing to 
the Ambassador, which he said he also delivered the day before to 
Deputy Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeyev and Minister of Energy Sauat 
Mynbayev.  He said he normally begins presentations with a 
discussion of safety issues, but Kazakhstani government officials 
prefer him instead to begin with TCO's contribution to the state 
budget.  In 2008, TCO paid $7 billion to the government of 
Kazakhstan in taxes and royalties, shareholder distributions, and 
rail and pipeline tariffs, a significant increase over the $4 
billion paid in 2007.  In addition, TCO paid another $1 billion in 
2008 for employee salaries and goods and services procured in 
Kazakhstan.  Overall, since 1993, TCO has paid more than $30 billion 
to Kazakhstan, approximately 90 percent of which has gone to the 
central government, according to Johnson. 
 
PRODUCTION JUMPS DUE TO SOUR GAS INJECTION 
 
4.  (SBU) Following a seven-year period of steady output averaging 
12 million tons of crude production per year, Johnson reported that 
TCO dramatically increased production in 2008, when its the sour gas 
injection plant became operational.  (NOTE:  Re-injecting associated 
gas into the well has a dual benefit:  it maintains the pressure 
necessary to push oil up and out, and it keeps the high-sulfur gas 
in the ground, thereby reducing the need to store and transport as 
much dry sulfur.  On February 17, TCO shut down operations at the 
sour gas injection plant "due to a hydrocarbon leak through flange 
DHS-F-10-10, which is a closed drain vessel in the hydrocarbon 
system."  Normal production resumed the next day.  END NOTE).  In 
2008, TCO produced approximately 17 million tons, but Johnson said 
he expects production in 2009 to reach 25 million tons. 
 
CRUDE EXPORT ROUTES AT MAXIMUM CAPACITY 
 
5.  (SBU) According to Johnson, all westward export routes from 
Tengiz will be at maximum capacity by this summer.  As previously 
reported (reftel), TCO currently ships most of its crude via the 
Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) pipeline and is eager to expand 
its capacity from 33 million tons to 67 million tons.  TCO also 
swaps up to 2 million tons per year via the Atyrau-Samara pipeline, 
but as Johnson explained, "we lose in two ways when we go that 
route.  First," he said, "there is no quality bank, which means we 
ship high-quality Tengiz crude and pick up lower-quality Urals blend 
on the other side.  Second, our crude is actually lighter than the 
Urals blend, so we get less total volume than we put in." 
 
CHEVRON BELIEVES KCTS WILL HELP CPC EXPANSION 
 
6.  (SBU) Johnson said he is concerned about the complexity of the 
Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System (KCTS), but confirmed that 
Chevron supports the project, "if only to help us negotiate with the 
Russians to expand CPC.  That's still not a done deal," he 
cautioned, "and every little bit of leverage helps."  Johnson said 
 
ASTANA 00000317  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
that TCO currently ships small volumes of Tengiz crude from Baku to 
Tbilisi via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.  TCO only uses 
about five percent of BTC's capacity -- approximately 50,000 barrels 
per day -- due to the high mercaptan content of Tengiz crude. 
According to Johnson, higher volumes w
ould "pass the tipping point 
and corrupt" the rest of the crude in the pipeline.  Johnson also 
said that when TCO ships crude from Azerbaijan to Georgia's Black 
Sea ports by rail, it is required to deliver 50 percent to Batumi, 
which is owned and operated by KMG, and 50 percent to Kulevi, owned 
and operated by SOCAR.  "Unfortunately," Johnson said, "there is a 
sunken barge blocking access to the port of Kulevi, so that terminal 
is not currently operational."  Johnson said he did not know if the 
barge was a casualty of Georgia's conflict with Russia, or if it 
sank for other reasons. 
 
TCO TOUTS LOCAL CONTENT 
 
7.  (SBU) Johnson proudly described TCO's investments in local 
capacity and local contractors, telling the Ambassador that more 
than 82 percent of TCO staff are Kazakhstani, including 73 percent 
of TCO's managers and supervisors.  Johnson complained mildly that 
many of their most promising managers are hired by KMG directly, but 
he said Minister of Energy Mynbayev and other senior officials 
consider this a normal part of building local capacity.  Johnson 
also noted that TCO currently employs virtually no ethnic Uzbeks or 
Kyrgyz and the company has replaced nearly all of its Turkish 
workers with Kazakhstanis.  He said that since 1995, TCO has 
purchased more than $7 billion of goods and services from 
Kazakhstani suppliers, including $1.3 billion to 515 "legitimate 
local companies" in 2008.  "Unlike some of our competitors, we don't 
create artificial companies to meet local content requirements.  We 
only count procurement as local content if the item was manufactured 
or assembled in Kazakhstan," he said. 
 
FINES GO UP AS EMISSIONS GO DOWN 
 
8.  (SBU) Johnson said that in 2008, TCO paid more than $90 million 
in fines and penalties for atmospheric emissions, a 55 percent 
increase over the previous year.  According to Johnson, TCO's 
emissions decreased from 70,000 tons in 2003 to 50,000 tons in 2007, 
while fines and penalties increased from $10 million to $50 million 
over that same period, as a result of changes to the government's 
formula.  Of the $90 million TCO paid in 2008, Johnson said that $30 
million covers the company's normative (i.e., expected) emissions, 
and as such will go to the regional (oblast) government.  The 
balance comprises a $30 million fee for emissions above TCO's 
"normative" level and a $30 million penalty; both payments will be 
made to the central government. 
 
TCO INCREASES SULFUR SALES TO KAZAKHSTANI CUSTOMERS 
 
9.  (SBU) According to Johnson, in 2008, TCO sold 2.23 million 
metric tons of sulfur, or 131 percent of total 2008 production, 
despite the collapse of the global sulfur market and a drop in price 
from more than $700 per ton to less than $60 per ton.  He told the 
Ambassador that TCO has signed protocols of intent for long-term 
sulfur sales to four projects in Kazakhstan: 
 
-- 60,000 tons to Kazatomprom (KAP)'s operations in Stepnogorsk 
(start up date, 2010) 
-- 180,000 tons to KAP's subsidiary, the Stepnogorsk Mining Chemical 
Plant (2011) 
 
-- 160,000 tons to KAP's joint venture with Inkai (2012) 
 
-- 900,000 tons to Sunkar Resources Aktobe (2010) 
 
In addition, Johnson said that TCO is in discussions with 
KazPhosphat and its potential industrial partners for a long-term 
sulfur sales supply agreement of 170,000 tons per year. 
 
10.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Jay Johnson is a former general director of 
 
ASTANA 00000317  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
Tengizchevroil and one of the most knowledgeable and experienced oil 
men working in Kazakhstan.  He is the first representative of a 
major oil company to say that future project expansion may be 
jeopardized if oil falls below $40 a barrel.  Given the extreme 
expense of oil exploration in Kazakhstan, the steady fall in the 
price of oil, and the global economic environment, one has to wonder 
how deep the pockets of the majors really are.  At some point, 
perhaps soon, projects that require massive capital investment such 
as Kashagan, Tengiz, and Karachaganak may suffer a slowdown.  Even 
ExxonMobil, which reported a record profit of more than $40 billion 
in 2008, last week withdrew its resident manager for new business 
development, several months before his scheduled departure, and does 
not plan to name a replacement.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA314, KAZAKHSTAN: WRITTEN ASSURANCES OF HUMANE TREATMENT AND

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. #09ASTANA314.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA314 2009-02-23 09:23 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9690
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0314 0540923
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230923Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4689
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1235
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0618
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1324
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0319
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0797
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0713
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS ASTANA 000314 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PINR KDRG KAWC KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  WRITTEN ASSURANCES OF HUMANE TREATMENT AND 
MONITORING OF RETURNED GTMO DETAINEE DOLKUN KERIMBAKIYEV 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent the Embassy a 
diplomatic note confirming in writing that the Kazakhstani 
government will treat returned GTMO detainee Dolkun Kerimbakiyev 
(alias Abdul Rahim, partial ISN 521) humanely, and will take steps 
to ensure that he does not pose a further threat. (NOTE:  As far as 
post knows, Kerimbakiyev is not in custody.  END NOTE.)  Post's 
translation of the full text of the note is in para 3. 
 
3.  (SBU) BEGIN TEXT: 
 
Diplomatic Note No 13-2/1144 
 
      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan 
presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of 
America and in response to its Diplomatic Note 1002/08 of November 
21, 2008, provides the following information regarding the return to 
Kazakhstan of Dolkun Kerimbakiyev, who was in the custody of the 
U.S. Government at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. 
 The Ministry confirms that Kazakhstan will take all possible steps 
consistent with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan to 
prevent the afore-named person from engaging in terrorist activity 
so as to ensure that he does not pose a threat to the international 
community, and will provide information about D. Kerimbakiyev if it 
is related to terrorist activity and poses a threat to the interests 
of the United States of America. 
      However, including Kerimbakiyev into national and 
international watch lists, limiting his foreign travel, confiscating 
his passport, or refusing to issue him travel documents is possible 
only in case of his prosecution for committing a criminal action or 
the approval of restraint measures limiting his constitutional 
rights, including freedom of movement. 
      In addition, it should be noted, that D. Kerimbakiyev, being a 
legally capable citizen of Kazakhstan, shall be responsible for his 
actions and deeds, and in the case that Kerimbakiyev travels outside 
of Kazakhstan, the U.S. Government will be informed. 
      In addition to the aforesaid, the Ministry confirms that the 
Government of Kazakhstan will treat D. Kerimbakiyev in accordance 
with national legislation currently in force and international 
obligations, including the Convention against Torture. 
      The Ministry avails itself of this occasion to renew to the 
Embassy the assurances of its highest consideration. 
 
Astana, 
February 10, 2009 
 
END TEXT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA313, KAZAKHSTAN: EXBS FY 2008 PROGRAM PLAN

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. #09ASTANA313.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA313 2009-02-23 09:20 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTA #0313 0540920
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230920Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4688

UNCLAS ASTANA 000313 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC: YWONG, ACHURCH, JHARTSHORN, SROBINSON 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC-AMT: LSPRINGER 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PARM PREL ETTC MNUC KNNP KSTC KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  EXBS FY 2008 PROGRAM PLAN 
 
REF: STATE 10786 
 
Post confirms its concurrence with reftel, with one exception, 
regarding the program plan outlined in para 6.  The Government of 
Kazakhstan has demonstrated receptivity to engagement with the EXBS 
program and has shown interest in participating in all the 
activities outlined in para 6.  However, the Border Guard Service 
has requested a meeting with the EXBS advisor to discuss their 
prioritized list of equipment needed for the Green Border.  Post 
therefore requests that the reference to the procurement of modular 
shelters be expanded to include "and other equipment" needed to 
secure the Green Border of Kazakhstan. 
 
 HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA311, KAZAKHSTAN: ONCE “SECRET” BIOWEAPONS CITY STILL IN

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. #09ASTANA311.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA311 2009-02-20 10:46 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7935
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0311/01 0511046
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201046Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4684
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1232
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0615
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1321
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0316
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0794
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0710
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000311 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RUS, ISN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PINR ECON EINV SOCI TBIO KNNP RS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ONCE "SECRET" BIOWEAPONS CITY STILL IN 
TRANSITION 
 
REF:  ASTANA 0254 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  PolOff recently accompanied several U.S. 
scientists on a trip to Stepnogorsk.  Once a secret "closed" Soviet 
city dedicated to research on biological weapons, Stepnogorsk today 
represents the opportunities and challenges the Kazakhstani 
government faces in modernizing its overall infrastructure, 
especially its bio-tech centers.  Traveling to Stepnogorsk is 
difficult and the population is small.  The city is still dependent 
on biotechnology and remains an isolated location, overwhelmingly 
populated by ethnic Russians.  Many residents appreciate the stable 
work prospects in the scientific sector, but others are leaving due 
to limited opportunities in other sectors.  The city's 
infrastructure is adequate, but needs investment.  Despite the 
Soviet-era ambience, Kazakhstan's National Center for Biotechnology 
is clearly investing in developing Stepnogorsk.  END SUMMARY. 
 
STEPNOGROSK:  A FORMER SECRET CITY SURROUNDED BY EMPTY VILLAGES 
 
3.  (SBU) Traveling to Stepnogorsk -- population 66,000, located 
approximately 136 miles from Astana in Akmolinsk oblast -- is like 
going back in time.  Transportation options are limited.  Local 
interlocutors told PolOff air connections were discontinued, and the 
train route from Astana to Stepnogorsk is so circuitous few 
travelers use it.  The only viable means of traveling there are by 
car or bus.  There are 12 buses between Astana and Stepnogorsk 
daily, with one-way trips taking approximately three to four hours, 
depending on traffic and road conditions.  The last departure from 
Stepnogorsk back to the capital is at 18:40.  The first half of a 
journey by car is on paved road past empty fields with soil which 
the taxi driver told PolOff is too alkaline to produce crops.  The 
second half is on a bumpy dirt and gravel road with one lane of 
traffic in either direction through an empty steppe landscape dotted 
occasionally by abandoned farming villages.  PolOff persoQly 
observed numerous farmhouses and barns falling apart where they 
stood.  A local taxi driver named Pavel, who drove PolOff and two 
USDA scientists from Astana to Stepnogorsk, was born and raised in 
Stepnogorsk, and told PolOff that during Soviet times, the farming 
region surrounding the city was primarily settled by ethnic Germans 
who left Kazakhstan in the 1990s.  When PolOff asked why there were 
no working farms to replace the empty villages, Pavel claimed it was 
not clear whether the Kazakhstani government owned the land or had 
sold it.  Pavel said that although the region had once produced 
plentiful amounts of grain, uncertainty over land ownership made 
farmers reluctant to invest in needed refurbishment of old equipment 
and irrigation systems. 
 
STILL A "ONE-COMPANY" TOWN 
 
4.  (SBU) Many residents of Stepnogorsk still remain dependent on 
the city's main industry -- biochemistry.  Once a secret "closed" 
Soviet city dedicated to research on biological weapons, 
Stepnogorsk's primary employers today are Biomedpreparat, a 
government research facility under the administration of the 
National Center for Biotechnology, and its two government-funded 
affiliates, the Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology (IAB) and 
the Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (IIB).  The city also 
boasts a nursing school.  Most of Stepnogorsk's residents are ethnic 
Russians.  During a project coordination meeting at IIB with over 10 
scientists, only one scientist was an ethnic Kazakh.  Many of 
PolOff's interlocutors, such as IIB's interpreter, Nadezhda 
Polchenko, had been assigned to Stepnogorsk by the Soviet 
government.  (NOTE:  Polchenko now works as an English teacher in 
several schools, but also interprets for, and teaches English at 
IIB, "to make ends meet."  END NOTE.)  PolOff's interlocutors stated 
that when they were sent to Stepnogorsk, many were not allowed to 
tell their families where they were being sent. 
 
ISOLATION LEAVES A LEGACY OF ALCOHOLISM 
 
 
ASTANA 00000311  002 OF 003 
 
 
5.  (SBU) The after-effects of Stepnogorsk's history of isolation 
continue to affect the city and its residents today, with alcoholism
 
and depression reportedly serious problems. 
As described in reftel, former IIB scientist and USDA project 
director, Dr. Nadirov, died in June 2008.  According to senior IIB 
officials, Nadirov was sent to Stepnogorsk after being involved in 
an accidental, Soviet-era incident of anthrax-poisoning, which 
resulted in a large of number of deaths.  Although reportedly a 
brilliant scientist, Nadirov suffered from alcoholism while in 
Stepnogorsk.  USDA officials who worked with Nadirov told PolOff 
that the research projects he was managing were well-designed and 
were showing excellent promise of meaningful scientific discoveries. 
 However, Nadirov had been known to disappear for several days at a 
time on drinking binges, which interfered with progress. 
 
STABLE EMPLOYMENT FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS 
 
6.  (SBU) Since Kazakhstan lacks qualified scientific personnel, for 
those who worked in Stepnogorsk at the end of the bio-weapons 
program or came from Russia since Kazakhstan's independence, 
Stepnogorsk offers stable employment opportunities.  One mid-level 
ethnic Russian scientist, a graduate of the Tomsk Institute in 
Russia, told PolOff he had been working at IIB for eight years, and 
was very content with his life and job in Stepnogorsk.  Ethnic 
Russian IIB employee Slava Kenzhebayev, who just defended his Ph.D. 
and is the youngest USDA project manager at IIB, also said he was 
very content in Stepnogorsk. 
 
SMALL-TOWN DANGERS AND CHALLENGES 
 
7.  (SBU) Several interlocutors, however, highlighted some of the 
dangers and challenges of life in Stepnogorsk.  IIB interpreter 
Nadezhda Polchenko told PolOff that when she and her husband sold 
their first apartment in Stepnogorsk, they took the lump-sum cash 
payment that they received home, planning to deposit the money in a 
bank the next morning.  Overnight, the money was stolen, and the 
case was never solved.  Taxi driver Pavel, who had grown up in 
Stepnogorsk, attending the same school where his mother taught, said 
that there were "more long-term opportunities for ethnic Russians in 
Russia than in Stepnogorsk."  After retiring from teaching school, 
his mother moved to Novosibirsk, and Pavel said he was also planning 
to move to Novosibirsk at the end of 2009, along with his ethnic 
Russian wife, who was currently finishing nursing school in 
Stepnogorsk.  Pavel, who owns a small taxi company with several cars 
and employs several drivers, told PolOff he intended to continue to 
run his taxi company from Novosibirsk. 
 
8.  (SBU) Stepnogorsk's infrastructure is adequate, but needs 
investment.  The city's buildings, from its hospital to its central 
bus station to shops, restaurants, and hotels, all appear to be 
modern and in relatively good repair, if a bit poorly-lit and 
spartan.  Scientists at IIB commented on their new spectroscope, 
worth over $30,000, but also expressed concern about whether IIB 
would have frequent power outages during the cold winter, noting 
that the electric company had been having problems generating power. 
 Stepnogorsk Hotel, reportedly the best hotel in town, still uses 
the old Soviet tradition of having guests leave their key with a 
floor warden, and advised guests at check-in of when hot water would 
be available. 
 
9.  (SBU) Despite its Soviet-era ambience, however, there are 
indications that authorities in Astana are intent on modernizing 
Stepnogorsk and turning it into a biotechnology center.  Yerlan 
Ramankulov, Director of the Astana-based National Center for 
Biotechnology (NCB) takes an active interest in Stepnogorsk and is 
directing money, capable personnel, and equipment to the city. 
Ramankulov recently selected a well-respected Kazakhstani scientist, 
Oleg Ten, who graduated with a Ph.D. from Moscow State University, 
to be IIB's new director.  As described in reftel, Ramankulov has 
also been using NCB funds to train Stepnogorsk's scientists and 
encourage international collaboration.  In place of the fermenters 
once used for bio-weapons that were dismantled under joint 
 
ASTANA 00000311  003 OF 003 
 
 
U.S.-Kazakhstani non-proliferation programs, Ramankulov organized a 
public-private enterprise, Biocorm, which installed massive new 
fermenters moved from Almaty, Kazakhstan's former capital. 
Ramankulov, who reportedlQ{4N-?wce agent is trying to get 
to Stepnogorsk to visit its "secret installations."  The film was 
shown on local Kazakhstani TV on February 15.  In some ways, 
Stepnogorsk does not appear to have changed much since the Soviet 
era.  Despite being geographically close to Astana, the difficulties 
of getting there and its small population make it seem secret and 
remote.  With its largely ethnic Russian population, Stepnogorsk has 
strong cultural ties to Russia.  Whether Ramankulov succeeds in his 
efforts to develop Stepnogorsk into a Kazakhstani biotech center 
remains to be seen.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA309, KAZAKHSTAN: AMBASSADORS AGREE CIVIL SOCIETY IS WEAK, BUT

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. #09ASTANA309.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA309 2009-02-20 09:48 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7850
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0309/01 0510948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200948Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4682
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1230
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0613
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1319
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0314
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2166
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2494
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0792
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0708
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000309 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  AMBASSADORS AGREE CIVIL SOCIETY IS WEAK, BUT 
COUNTRY AHEAD OF ITS NEIGHBORS ON DEMOCRACY 
 
REF:  (A) ASTANA 0134 
 (B) 08 ASTANA 2577 
 (C) 08 ASTANA 2399 
 (D) 08 ASTANA 2398 
 (E) 08 ASTANA 2256 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  At a recent lunch in honor of visiting Dutch 
Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights Arjan Hamburger, several 
Astana-based Ambassadors exchanged views on Kazakhstan's democratic 
trajectory.  All agreed that the recently adopted Madrid commitments 
legislation, while short of ideal, represents a platform for future 
reform.  Kazakhstan's civil society is still weak, with only a 
handful of "real NGOs" that do not necessarily represent the wide 
range of the population's interests.  Government-supported public 
associations and grass-roots social movements should not be ignored 
as valuable elements of democratic institution-building.  The 
country's progress may be slow, but it is nevertheless far ahead of 
its neighbors, and moving in the right direction.  END SUMMARY. 
 
DUTCH ENVOYS HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
3.  (SBU) On February 3, the Ambassador  attended a lunch in honor 
of visiting Dutch Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights Arjan 
Hamburger hosted by Dutch Ambassador to Kazakhstan Klaas van der 
Temple.  Other guests at the working lunch were UK Ambassador Paul 
Brummell, Czech Ambassador Bedrich Kopecky, OSCE Ambassador 
Alexandre Keltchewsky, Belgian Ambassador Christian Meerschman, and 
European Commission (EC) Deputy Head of Mission Hubert Petit. 
 
4.  (SBU) Ambassador Hamburger told the participants that the goal 
of his trip was to highlight the importance of human rights in Dutch 
foreign policy.  Before coming to Astana, Hamburger spent several 
days in Almaty, where he met with civil society representatives, 
opposition leaders, members of the Unification Church, and the wife 
of detained "Alma-Ata Info" Editor-in-Chief Ramazan Yesergepov.  He 
asked for the participants' assessments of Kazakhstan's progress 
towards democratization, particularly in light of the 
recently-adopted amendments to the laws on political parties, 
elections, and the media -- i.e., the Madrid commitments 
legislation. 
 
WEAK CIVIL SOCIETY... 
 
5.  (SBU) OSCE Ambassador Keltchewsky reflected positively on the 
Madrid laws, highlighting the participation of the NGO community in 
drafting the laws and noting in particular the "strong dialogue" 
that took place between the government and civil society on the 
media law.  The political party and election laws did not go as far 
as civil society had hoped, he said, but they nevertheless represent 
a solid platform for future dialogue and reform.  Keltchewsky 
lamented the fact that Kazakhstan's civil society remains weak. 
There are only a handful of "real NGOs" functioning in Kazakhstan, 
he said, and there is an open question of how representative they 
are of the population as a whole.  In Keltchewsky's view, the 
international community must work with "civil society as a whole, 
not just the select Western-funded NGOs." 
 
6.  (SBU) The Ambassador stressed that the Madrid laws signify a 
step forward in Kazakhstan's democratization.  He noted that the 
Kazakhstani government remains open to working with the OSCE and the 
international community to further improve their legislation. 
Speaking to Keltchewsky's point on civil society, the Ambassador 
shared his experience of attending a meeting of the Astana 
Editors-in-Chief Club, a government-approved public association that 
includes both opposition and pro-government journalists, where he 
witnessed a lively discussion about the media situation in 
Kazakhstan that encompassed a broad range of opinions (ref A).  The 
Ambassador stressed that such public associations, as well as 
grass-roots social movements that have sprung up in reaction to the 
recent economic crisis, represent a valuable element of democratic 
 
ASTANA 00000309  002 OF 002 
 
 
institution-building, and he encouraged the participants to look 
beyond the standard NGOs for signs of nascent civil society. 
 
... BUT FAR AHEAD OF ITS NEIGHBORS 
 
7.  (SBU) UK's Brummell agreed that Kazakhstan is open to input from 
the international community and quite "sensitive" to its image 
abroad.  While the Madrid laws leave much to be desired, said 
Brummell, we must recognize that democr
atization will be a long 
process, one that will require patience.  "There are limits to what 
we can do on the democratic agenda," he said.  He stressed, however, 
that Kazakhstan is far ahead of its Central Asian neighbors -- 
"There are no political prisoners in Kazakhstan, and the opposition 
print media are flourishing."  Czech Ambassador Kopecky argued that 
a new Western-educated generation is assuming positions of power in 
the government, and they are bound to bring a new outlook, "as long 
as they do not succumb to the temptation of corruption." 
 
8.  (SBU) Dutch Ambassador van der Temple argued that Kazakhstan is 
still behind on civil rights and freedoms, venturing that the title 
of Human Rights Watch's recent report, "The Atmosphere of Quiet 
Repression," is fitting in describing Kazakhstan's political 
environment.  The Ambassador agreed that much work still remained, 
but stressed that Kazakhstan is a post-Soviet society, with little 
historical experience with democracy.  The hope lies with the new 
leaders, he said, the "Bolashak" generation of officials who studied 
in the West and have returned to take positions in the government. 
Van der Temple conceded that Kazakhstan, while it looks somewhat 
bleak in comparison to Europe, is a "shining star" in Central Asia. 
 
 
NGO-GOVERNMENT DIALOGUE 
 
9.  (SBU) The EC's Petit told the group that since December, the EC 
mission has been hosting weekly round-tables between local NGOs and 
various officials to help establish a dialogue between civil society 
and the government.  Petit explained that the meetings are closed to 
the press and observers, so as to build an atmosphere of trust and 
cooperation among the participants.  Petit cautiously appraised the 
venture as a success -- "A dialogue has begun."  The others warmly 
welcomed the EC's initiative. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks