09ASTANA192, KAZAKHSTAN: MEDIA REACTION, JANUARY 24-30

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA192 2009-02-02 10:26 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0695
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0192 0331026
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021026Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4497
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1120
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0694
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0610
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2141
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2469

UNCLAS ASTANA 000192 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EFIN MARR KMDR KPAO KG KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MEDIA REACTION, JANUARY 24-30 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (U) SUMMARY:  Kazakhstani media focused during the week of 
January 24-30 on President Nazarbayev's trip to Davos and his 
comments on how the global economy needs an international currency 
to replace the dollar.  Analytical writers continued to mull over 
rumors about the future of the U.S. military's access to 
Kyrgyzstan's Manas Airbase and other plans of the U.S. military in 
the region.  END SUMMARY. 
 
WE'RE NUMBER 66! 
 
3.  President Nursultan Nazarbayev's presence at Davos has kept the 
World Economic Forum at the top of the local news.  Official 
"Kazakhstanskaya Pravda" announced that Kazakhstan was ranked number 
66 in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 
2008-09, ahead of every other CIS country except Russia. 
"Kazakhstanskaya Pravda" also noted that Kazakhstan's new tax 
reforms were not included in the report, suggesting that they could 
have finished much higher. 
 
UNDEMOCRATIC DOLLAR 
 
4.  (U) Before jetting off to Davos, President Nazarbayev was in New 
Delhi for a state visit.  Pro-government "Rakhat Television" covered 
his suggestion while in India for the establishment of a new "world 
currency" which would be recognized by the UN and controlled by the 
"appropriate commissions."  Nazarbayev thinks this would help with 
the world financial crisis, and criticized the U.S. dollar as 
"undemocratic, uncompetitive, and uncontrollable." 
 
5.  (U) Centrist "Panorama" reported on several Kazakhstani 
economists who bravely rushed to defend the President's proposal. 
Aspandau Science and Education Fund President Kanat Nurov suggested 
that the dollar be internationalized.  "With joint international 
efforts, it would be possible to support the currency with precious 
metals."  Aspandau's Chairman, Sergey Grisyuk, said "The world 
economy today has reached such a level of complexity that without a 
common currency it can't function.  De facto, the dollar plays this 
role today."  After demurely suggesting, "I won't go into whether it 
does so well or poorly," he continued, "I think it does so poorly. 
Today many people think so."  Grisyuk concluded, "There should be a 
common currency.  Today the national currency of the United States 
fills the role of a common currency.  This is not just." 
 
6.  (U) Pro-government "Liter" points out that in his Davos address, 
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also touted an international 
currency, as President Nazarbayev had done days before.  The paper 
opined, "It is obvious that this Kazakhstani initiative has found 
fertile ground in Davos." 
 
MILITARY MANEUVERS 
 
7.  (U) Independent "Delovaya Nedelya" feels that it is too early to 
dismiss rumors about the closing of America's Manas Airbase in 
Kyrgyzstan.  "Kyrgyz authorities are as fickle as the mood of a 
beautiful girl," according to the paper.  The article quoted General 
David Petreaus characterizing the buzz around the airbase as the 
"Central Asian method of conducting negotiations," and saying, 
"Every official (I spoke with) said that this news (the closing) has 
no basis."  Kyrgyz political observer, Mars Sariyev, calls the 
rumors "a delicate game by President Bakiyev" to raise the rent on 
the airbase. 
 
8.  (U) Russian-based "Novaya Gazeta-Kazakhstan," dragging out a 
months-old quote from a Russian general that America plans to deploy 
military bases in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, suggests "It's quite 
possible that there will be changes in location for the U.S. 
military in Central Asia as a result of the increasing competition 
between Moscow and Washington for regional domination."  The author 
thinks, "Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are not afraid of cold winters 
because they have their own oil and gas resources... but Astana and 
Tashkent's games with Washington are not more important than loyalty 
to Moscow.  Who else will protect Astana from Western accusations of 
problems with democratic standards?" 
 
HOAGLAND

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