Monthly Archives: May 2009

09ASTANA924, KAZAKHSTAN: BTA SAGA CONTINUES

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. #09ASTANA924.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA924 2009-05-29 12:17 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5902
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 #0924/01 1491217
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291217Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5505
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1614
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0991
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1694
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0671
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1176
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1092
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1559

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000924 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/CARC, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO OPIC AND USTDA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET EINV EFIN KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN: BTA SAGA CONTINUES 
 
REF:  ASTANA 0386 
 
ASTANA 00000924  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  Questions remain about how BTA, Kazakhstan's 
fourth largest commercial bank which is already in partial default, 
and its self-exiled former chairman, Mukhtar Ablyazov, managed to 
wind up in such dire straits.  Foreign investors and government 
officials alike anxiously await the results of a KPMG audit, hoping 
that it will shed some definitive light on the seemingly bottomless 
pit that is BTA's balance sheet.  The Government of Kazakhstan, 
which has purchased almost 80 percent of the bank since January, 
remains hopeful that once the bottom line for BTA has been 
established, the price will be right for a sale to Sberbank Rossii 
(the Russian Savings Bank).  In the last month, several 
international banks including Morgan Stanley have tipped BTA into 
partial default.  Other international creditors have closed ranks 
hoping to prevent the Kazakhstani government, represented by 
National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna, from abandoning BTA.  However, 
should the ultimate price of saving BTA prove too high, 
Samruk-Kazyna may resort to "Plan B" -- the dismantling and 
stripping of BTA assets to protect domestic clients.  Although this 
plan may be the most cost effective measure in the short-term, it 
would likely impair aspirations for resumed rapid domestic economic 
development in the coming years.  According to one analyst, in the 
end, Kazakhstan must "ultimately decide for itself whether it wants 
to be like Turkey or Ecuador."  END SUMMARY. 
VAGUE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ABLYAZOV PERSIST 
3.  (SBU) Questions continue to linger about how BTA, Kazakhstan's 
fourth-largest commercial bank, and its beleaguered former chairman, 
Mukhtar Ablyazov, managed to wind up in such dire straits (reftel). 
Ablyazov has a history of alternating between cooperation with and 
opposition to Nazarbayev's regime.  Most recently, he has been 
indicted for criminal fraud.  Ken Hessel, Senior Analyst for 
Emerging Markets at ING Investment Management, believes that 
Ablyazov committed massive fraud over the last two years, during 
which more than $10 billion was stolen from the bank.  Hessel said 
that under the scheme, BTA would provide loans to an offshore 
entity, which would in turn lend to a second, and then possibly a 
third offshore entity.  Eventually, more investment capital would 
make its way to BTA, allowing the bank to make more loans.  Hessel 
called Ablyazov and his colleagues "criminals running a ponzi 
scheme."  On the other hand, Larissa Ostrovsky, Managing Director 
for the CIS at Wells Fargo, does not think things are that simple. 
"There are many questions, and very few people know the answers. 
Keep in mind that Ablyazov is now in open conflict with the state 
and the head of state.  In Kazakhstan, there are so many more layers 
in a case like this than there would be in other countries.  This 
will never be black and white.  We have no idea if his actions 
constitute fraud.  We don't know, and we may never know." 
ANXIOUS FOR AN AUDIT 
4.  (SBU) Investors and government officials alike are anxious for 
the results of a KPMG audit that may shed some light on BTA's 
balance sheet. (NOTE:  According to a March 1 BTA press release, the 
results of the KPMG audit will be announced in "two months or so." 
END NOTE.)  Medley Global Investors Director Kaan Nazli told Econoff 
on April 20 that the audit is far easier said than done.  According 
to Nazli, the majority of BTA's loans were special purpose vehicles 
used to invest in Russian real estate, which were then used to 
collateralize additional loans.  "Had the Russian real estate market 
not tanked, with a 30-40 percent correction, BTA would have been 
fine," he said.  Describing the audit results as a moving target, 
Nazli said that as the value of BTA's collateral continues to 
decrease, so increases the hole in BTA's balance sheet.  Hessel told 
Econoff on April 29 that BTA historically reported to ING that 
approximately 20 percent of its assets were in Russian real estate. 
Now, he said, it appears that Russian real estate represented 50-55 
percent of BTA's portfolio.  "Honestly," said Hessel, "no one knows 
how big the hole is." 
SBERBANK TO THE RESCUE? 
5.  (SBU) Sberbank has expressed interest in purchasing BTA from 
National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna, and thi
s may be the bank's best 
option.  Wells Fargo's Ostrovsky said that Samruk-Kazyna would love 
to see Sberbank buy BTA.  Considering the bank's difficulties, she 
 
ASTANA 00000924  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
said, "I don't think Samruk-Kazyna will be able to convince any 
western investors to buy in."  ING's Hessel believes that once the 
audit is complete, Samruk-Kazyna will sell BTA to Sberbank, which he 
said will assume liability for "a couple billion dollars" in 
exchange for a solid foothold in Kazakhstan's financial sector. 
According to Hessel, unless BTA's liabilities greatly exceed current 
estimates of $10-15 billion, the Russian government, via Sberbank, 
will happily absorb the short-term cost of such a long-term 
strategic investment.  In contrast, Nazli believes that interaction 
between BTA and Sberbank will be limited to the management of 
co-financed assets in Russia.  "I do not believe that Sberbank 
really wants to buy into this mess," said Nazli.  Recently in London 
to conduct BTA debt restructuring talks, Samruk-Kazyna Chairman 
Kairat Kelimbetov said in a press interview on May 18 that "in my 
mind, the restructuring will be clarified in June or July.  August 
will be time for Sberbank to make a decision." 
MORGAN STANLEY'S CHALLENGE 
6.  (SBU) After having acquired majority ownership in BTA and 
Alliance banks, the government of Kazakhstan, through Samruk-Kazyna, 
has been careful to distance itself from the mounting liabilities of 
the banks.  The search for a strategic investor has also been 
accompanied by repeated statements from Samruk-Kazyna that any 
attempt by creditors to accelerate repayment would likely force the 
Kazakhstani government to abandon its support for the banks 
(reftel).  Much to the dismay of creditors such as Wells Fargo, 
several international banks including Morgan Stanley have recently 
challenged this position and intentionally pushed for accelerated 
repayment.  (NOTE:  Wells Fargo has combined outstanding facilities 
with Alliance, the other majority government-owned struggling bank, 
and BTA of approximately $50 million.  END NOTE.)  Moscow-based 
French Financial Counselor for the CIS Clelia Chevrier told the 
Charge on May 27 that "it is unclear what game Morgan Stanley is 
playing," but that it was likely they "had gambled and lost."  In 
reference to recent Morgan Stanley filings, Wells Fargo's Ostrovsky 
said, "the world is not happy about continued U.S.-inspired 
volatility."  Wells Fargo Vice President Yeliz Lambson echoed this 
sentiment, and added that Morgan Stanley's recent move to tip BTA 
into partial default, and thereby cash in on its credit default 
swaps, was "shocking" and "threatened to set a precedent in emerging 
markets, which could put creditors at risk." 
7.  (SBU) In an effort to prevent the government from walking away 
from the banks, Wells Fargo joined a group of international 
creditors committed to maintaining dialogue with BTA.  The goal is 
to recoup some of their initial investment by encouraging BTA's 
management "to distinguish between bond holders and commercial 
creditors."  However, opinions are divided as to whether the 
government should ultimately honor the contingent liabilities of the 
private banks in which they now own equity, regardless of the issue 
of acceleration.  According to World Bank country director for 
Kazakhstan Sergey Shatalov, the government should under no 
circumstances assume these liabilities.  During a May 7 meeting with 
Energy Officer, Shatalov said that BTA and Alliance owe a combined 
$16 billion to foreign creditors, which is "due immediately." 
(NOTE: The comment was likely made in reference to the possible 
default of BTA and Alliance, and represents their total estimated 
foreign liabilities.  END NOTE.)   However, Shatalov said that 
despite the partial default of BTA, "I don't see any systemic 
implications" for Kazakhstan's economic stability.  "There is 
sufficient diversity, controls, and safeguards to mitigate greater 
damage to the economy," he added. 
PLAN B 
8.  (SBU) Shatalov's words may yet resonate deep within the halls of 
government.  During a May 6 meeting with the Charge, Wells Fargo 
Managing Director Dilek Mutus described concerns that officials at 
Samruk-Kazyna had shared with her earlier that day.  According to 
Mutus, Kazakhstani officials appreciate the gravity of the 
situation, and acknowledged that as the banks' largest creditor, the 
Government of Kazakhstan via Samruk-Kazyna stood to lose as much as 
$30 billion in the event of total collapse.  However, Wells Fargo's 
Ostrovsky believes that Samruk-Kazyna has already developed "Plan B" 
to deal with the worst case scenario of accelerated default.  Under 
 
ASTANA 00000924  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
this scenario, BTA would be dismantled and stripped of its assets, 
which would then be used to protect its Kazakhstani clients. 
Ostrovsky said that the government understands that there would be 
significant fallout as a result, but she believes that in the end, 
they may have little choice.  "They recognize that there will be 
isolationist consequences.  Samruk-Kazyna says, 'We are trying to 
play by the rules, but the international creditors are not, so we 
may need to go to plan B.'" 
IMF PACKAGE A LAST RESORT 
9.  (SBU) According to Ostrovsky, developments over the next 30-60 
days will determine BTA's fate and influence the government's 
decision whether or not to seek additional resources.  The 
government continues to insist that it has the resources it needs to 
weather the financial crisis.  On April 9, President Nazarbayev 
announced in Almaty that, "Until now, Kazakhstan has not approached 
anyone for credit -- not the IMF or the World Bank -- to resolve its 
issues.  And we will continue to work like this."  However, during a 
mid-May regional investment meeting for the European Bank for 
Reconstruction and Development in London, National Bank Chairman 
Grigoriy Marchenko did not rule out the possibility of future loans 
from the IMF, should the country's economic situation deteriorate. 
"If there is a third stage of the global financial crisis, [a loan 
from the IMF] cannot be excluded, but it is not part of the agenda 
now, with current commodity prices," said Marchenko.   Following a 
mission to Kazakhstan in May, the IMF released a report on May 15 
suggesting that Kazakhstan will be in for a difficult year.  "Our 
expectation is that the economy will contract by two percent this 
year, before recovering modestly in 2010," the report read in part. 
When asked by the Charge if Kazakhstan should take an IMF loan, 
Wells Fargo Vice President Lambson nodded, saying, "That would be 
good." 
TURKEY OR ECUADOR? 
10.  (SBU) Most financial analysts interviewed believe that the 
long-term prognosis for Kazakhstan remains healthy.  Short-term 
issues such as the solvency of the largest banks and the 
government's willingness to honor debts to foreign creditors are 
most immediate.  ING's Hessel believes that officials and analysts 
alike are concerned that a loss in confidence in BTA could lead to 
significant investor anxiety at the other ma
jor banks, including 
KazKommertsBank, BankCenterCredit, and Halyk Bank.  Hessel also 
believes the Kazakhstani government is intentionally keeping word of 
the seriousness of the banking crisis out of the press.  "The 
government is doing everything it can to keep it quiet to prevent a 
run on the banks," he said.  Representatives from Wells Fargo 
agreed, but they believe the situation is relatively stable.  For 
them, the greater risk is to the investment climate writ large, 
particularly if the government walks away from the liabilities of 
the banks in which it owns equity.  Wells Fargo's Mutus said, "These 
are challenging times, but compared to other countries in the 
region, Kazakhstan is still doing very well.  The long-term 
prospects are good and the base is large."  Despite her 
disappointment with the government's lack of transparency, Mutus 
said that she was "very encouraged that Kazakhstani negotiators are 
travelling to Turkey" to discuss that country's previous experience 
with financial instability.  Kazakhstan, she said, "can't withdraw 
from the world financial system altogether.  In the end, Kazakhstan 
must think about positioning itself for future growth and ultimately 
decide for itself to be either a Turkey or an Ecuador." 
MILAS

Wikileaks

Advertisements

09ASTANA909, KAZAKHSTAN: ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, MAY 10 – MAY 23

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. #09ASTANA909.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA909 2009-05-28 10:37 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4716
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 #0909/01 1481037
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281037Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5493
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1611
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0988
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1691
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0668
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1173
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1089
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1549

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000909 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/CARC, EEB/ESC 
PLEASE PASS TO USTDA DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET EINV EFIN KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, MAY 10 - MAY 23 
 
ASTANA 00000909  001.2 OF 003 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press and has not been verified for accuracy. 
-- Banking Sector News 
-- Current Account Statistics 
-- New Currency Preference? 
-- Calls for a New Financial System 
-- Minister of Industry and Trade Replaced 
-- Kazakhstan May Impose Protectionist Measures 
-- Bota Foundation Starts Work 
-- Energy Ministry Announces Power and Gas Tariff Increase 
-- Kazakhmys to Participate in Balkhash Plant Construction 
-- New Appointments 
-- Energy Statistics 
 
BANKING SECTOR NEWS 
 
2.  According to a May 15 Kazkommertsbank press release, the bank 
sold 204,228,177 new common shares, thereby increasing the bank's 
capital by $296 million and establishing a new shareholding 
structure.  According to the new structure, the government of 
Kazakhstan via National Welfare Fund "Samruk-Kazyna" owns 21.2 
percent of common shares, the European Bank for Reconstruction and 
Development increased its share to 9.8 percent, while the Central 
Asian Investment Company reduced its holding from 32.1 to 23.7 
percent, and shares of Alnair Holding and Nurzhan Subkhanberdin also 
decreased from 25.1 to 18.6 percent and from 12.6 to 9.2 percent, 
respectively. 
 
3.  JSC Astana Finance announced on May 19 that it had suspended 
interest and principal payments on their international obligations. 
According to an Astana Finance press release, the company's 
financial condition has deteriorated as a result of the global 
financial crisis' impact on the Kazakhstani economy.  More 
specifically, the company cites the devaluation of the Tenge, a fall 
in real estate prices, and a severe lack of liquidity as having 
impaired the company's credit portfolio, resulting in foreign 
exchange and derivative transaction losses.  Astana Finance said it 
will submit the results of its own due diligence process to the 
Financial Supervision Agency, creditors, and investors within twelve 
weeks of the announcement.   The company has secured J.P. Morgan 
Securities as a restructuring adviser, Clifford Chance LLP as 
international legal counsel, and First Legal as Kazakhstani legal 
counsel. 
 
CURRENT ACCOUNT STATISTICS 
 
4.  The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) reported a current account 
balance of payments deficit of $1.08 billion for the first quarter 
of 2009.  The trade balance was just over $2 billion, marking a 77 
percent decrease, year-on-year.  The export of goods reduced by 
half, to $8.2 billion, compared to the first quarter of 2008. 
Specifically, exports of oil and gas condensate were down $5 billion 
year-on-year to $4.6 billion in the first quarter of 2009.  Imports 
totaled $6.1 billion, marking a 15.6 percent decrease from the 
previous year.  The current account deficit is overall the result of 
negative service, income and current transfer balances. 
 
NEW CURRENCY PREFERENCE? 
 
5.  On May 20, President Nazarbayev said on Khabar TV that the 
American dollar is no longer secure, and welcomed news that the U.S. 
Congress finally created a commission to analyze the causes of the 
global economic crisis.  According to Nazarbayev, it is obvious that 
the crisis is a result of financial bubbles created by an 
uncontrolled currency.  "The dollar is the world currency today, but 
we do not know how many bills the U.S. reserve will print," he 
said. 
 
6.  Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev said that Kazakhstan will not 
borrow heavily from foreign sources in 2009.  Although some markets 
for developing countries are reopening, borrowing in dollars remains 
very expensive for Kazakhstan.  Despite a growing budget deficit, 
Zhamishev said that external borrowing is not imperative for 
Kazakhstan, but he does not rule out the possibility of small 
 
ASTANA 00000909  002.2 OF 003 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press and has not been verified for accuracy. 
-- Banking Sector News 
-- Current Account Statistics 
-- New Currency Preference? 
-- Calls for a New Financial System 
-- Minister of Industry and Trade Replaced 
-- Kazakhstan May Impose Protectionist Measures 
-- Bota Foundation Starts Work 
-- Energy Ministry Announces Power and Gas Tariff Increase 
-- Kazakhmys t
o Participate in Balkhash Plant Construction 
-- New Appointments 
-- Energy Statistics 
 
borrowings in either Japanese yen or Swiss francs. 
 
CALLS FOR A NEW FINANCIAL SYSTEM 
 
7.  Speaking at the 12th annual convention of the pro-presidential 
NurOtan party, President Nazarbayev admitted that the Kazakhstani 
banking sector has failed to adequately respond to the global 
financial crisis.  In his opinion, the banking sector became a 
conductor of global external shocks to the domestic economy.  As a 
result, the President has tasked the National Bank and the Financial 
Supervision Agency to develop a "new financial system." 
 
MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE REPLACED 
 
8.  Aset Isekeshev has been appointed Minister of Industry and 
Trade, replacing Vladimir Shkolnik.  The 37-year-old Isekeshev had 
served as an advisor to President Nazarbayev since February 2008. 
He was previously deputy head of the Kazyna Sustainable Development 
Fund (2006-07) and Vice Minister of Industry and Trade (2003-06). 
Shkolnik, who is a nuclear physicist, will take the helm at state 
nuclear energy company KazAtomProm. 
 
KAZAKHSTAN MAY IMPOSE PROTECTIONIST MEASURES 
 
9.  According to Minister of Agriculture Akylbek Kurishpaev, 
Kazakhstan may increase import tariffs on food products produced in 
Kazakhstan.  The products include bread-making wheat, rice, melons 
and gourds, potatoes, meat, eggs, and dairy products.  Local experts 
have noted that increased tariffs might lead to increased domestic 
prices, and therefore, higher inflation. 
 
BOTA FOUNDATION STARTS WORK 
 
10.  According to Christopher Cavanaugh, Executive Director of the 
Public Foundation "Bota", the fund will finance social projects in 
Kazakhstan through ATF-UniCredit Bank.  Cavanaugh also reported that 
the first $4 million tranche is expected to be received in 
Kazakhstan in 2009. 
 
ENERGY MINISTRY ANNOUNCED POWER AND GAS TARIFF INCREASE 
 
11.  Reporting at a May 12 Cabinet's meeting, Minister of Energy and 
Mineral Resources Sauat Mynbayev announced the upcoming gradual 
increase of electricity and gas prices due to future power and gas 
shortage in the domestic market.  By 2015, the power generation 
tariff is expected to grow to 8.8 tenge (5.8 cents) per 1 kilowatt 
hour from a current rate of 3.3 tenge (2.2 cents), and natural gas 
would be sold within the country at a formula based on the European 
price, minus transportation expenses, minus 25 percent.  To meet 
local gas demand, from 2015, gas producing companies would be 
obliged to sell gas to domestic customers, and only after domestic 
demand is met would they be permitted to export remaining volumes. 
(COMMENT:  Kazakhstan's domestic gas market is constrained by the 
limited capacity and reach of its pipeline infrastructure, so there 
is some question as to whether and how production companies will be 
able to fully satisfy domestic demand.  END COMMENT).  According to 
Mynbayev, starting in 2020, the domestic gas price will not be 
discounted by 25 percent. 
 
KAZAKHMYS TO PARTICIPATE IN CONSTRUCTION OF BALKHASH POWER PLANT 
 
ASTANA 00000909  003.2 OF 003 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press and has not been verified for accuracy. 
-- Banking Sector News 
-- Current Account Statistics 
-- New Currency Preference? 
-- Calls for a New Financial System 
-- Minister of Industry and Trade Replaced 
-- Kazakhstan May Impose Protectionist Measures 
-- Bota Foundation Starts Work 
-- Energy Ministry Announces Power and Gas Tariff Increase 
-- Kazakhmys to Participate in Balkhash Plant Construction 
-- New Appointments 
-- Energy Statistics 
 
 
12.  On May 13, Samruk-Energo (25 percent ownership stake), 
Kazakhmys (10 percent), and South Korea's KEPCO Samsung (25 percent) 
signed an agreement to build a $4.5-billion Balkhash coal-fired 
power plant with a designed capacity of 3,000 megawatt (MW).  The 
first two 660-MW blocks are planned to be completed in 2014, and the 
other two in 2016-2017. 
 
NEW APPOINTMENTS 
 
13.  President Nazarbayev's son-in-law Timur Kulibayev, who is 
deputy CEO of the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, was named 
chairman of the board of several companies owned by Samruk-Kazyna, 
including national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas, national railway 
company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, and the Samruk-Energo national 
company, which owns electric power assets. 
 
ENERGY STATISTICS 
 
14.  According to the National Statistics Agency, from January to 
April, Kazakhstan produced 20.29 million tons of crude oil and 11.66 
billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, an increase of 4.4 
percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, over the same period in 2008. 
 From January to March, Kazakhstan exported 16.18 million tons of 
crude oil and gas condensate, valued at $4.58 billion, which 
represented a 63.3 percent increase in export volume, but (because 
of lower prices) a 27.4 percent decrease in export value over the 
same period in 2008.  From January to March, Kazakhstan exported 
4.41 bcm of natural gas, valued at $308.2 million -- an 8.1 percent 
increase in volume and a 28.2 percent increase in value over the 
period from January to March 2008. 
 
15.  From January to March, Kazakhstan exported 7.38 million metric 
tons of coal, valued at $164.3 million, which represented a 39.7 
percent increase in export volume and a 52.8 percent increase in 
export value over the same period in 2008.  From January to April, 
Kazakhstan generated 27.23 billion kilowatt-hours, a decrease of 8 
percent, year-on-year. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA898, KAZAKHSTAN: MAZHILIS HOSTS “PATH TO EUROPE” CONFERENCE

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. #09ASTANA898.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA898 2009-05-27 09:37 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO3673
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 #0898/01 1470937
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270937Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5481
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1609
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0986
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1689
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0666
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1171
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1087
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1547

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000898 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MAZHILIS HOSTS "PATH TO EUROPE" CONFERENCE 
 
ASTANA 00000898  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On May 21, the Mazhilis (the lower house of 
parliament) hosted a conference entitled, "Modern Kazakhstan and the 
Path to Europe."  The high-profile event, attended by high-ranking 
government officials and foreign parliamentary delegations, centered 
on Kazakhstan's strategy for strengthening ties with European 
countries.  Most of the speeches brought no surprises, although 
there were a few comments worthy of note.  END SUMMARY. 
 
3.  (SBU) On May 21, the Mazhilis hosted a conference entitled, 
"Modern Kazakhstan and the Path to Europe."  The Path to Europe is 
the government's strategy for moving the country toward European 
standards and establishing closer economic ties with Europe.  It was 
initiated by President Nazarbayev and adopted last year.  The 
conference was carried out with much pomp and circumstance in the 
main chamber of the Mazhilis and was attended by many high-ranking 
government officials and representatives of the Astana diplomatic 
corps.  There were also several parliamentary delegations from other 
countries, including Austria, Greece, Turkey, and Russia.  Most 
speeches covered familiar ground -- Kazakhstan's political and 
economic achievements since independence and its priorities for the 
upcoming chairmanship of the OSCE -- although there were several 
comments of interest. 
 
MAZHILIS SPEAKER ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 
 
4.  (SBU) Mazhilis Speaker Ural Mukhamedzhanov praised the positive 
role that open access to information can play in economic 
development, especially with the help of the Internet, but he warned 
that "such access cannot be limitless.  Words lead to action," he 
maintained, "and there have been instances where merely exercising 
the freedom of speech has had severe political and social 
consequences."  He congratulated Kazakhstani journalists for 
"achieving certain standards" and moving away from "simple libel" 
towards "constructive criticism."  (NOTE:  The Mazhilis recently 
approved amendments to Kazakhstan's Internet legislation which 
would, if adopted by the Senate in their current form, make all 
information-related websites subject to Kazakhstan's media 
legislation, including its libel laws.  END NOTE.) 
 
"THE FREEWAY TO EUROPE" 
 
5.  (SBU) Senate Chairman Kosym-Zhomart Tokayev told the audience 
that Kazakhstan's upcoming 2010 OSCE chairmanship is "expanding the 
definition of Europe."  Through its Path to Europe program, he said, 
Kazakhstan is laying "the freeway from Asia to Europe."  European 
values like the rule of law and respect for human rights are "global 
values," asserted Tokayev, and Kazakhstan is striving to meet them, 
albeit "in the context of Kazakhstan's political specifics."  He 
noted Norway's special status with the European Union and said that 
this could be a possible model for Kazakhstan. 
 
CIS PARLIAMENTARY REP RAILS AGAINST ODIHR 
 
6.  (SBU) One of several foreign guests who spoke at the conference 
was Mikhail Krotov, the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary 
Assembly of the CIS Council.  Krotov used the opportunity to rail 
against what he said were OSCE's "murky rules" on election 
observation, which, in his view, lead to the OSCE's "double 
standards" in election monitoring.  He asserted that the CIS Council 
has developed a "clear and transparent" convention on election 
monitoring, one that was "successfully used during Russia's recent 
Presidential elections."  This convention has received the support 
of the European Parliamentary Assembly but was not adopted by the 
European Council, which, Krotov maintained, was yet another 
confirmation of Europe's "double standard."  In his view, Kazakhstan 
should use its OSCE chairmanship "to bring the OSCE closer to the 
CIS" and push for a reconsideration of OSCE's election monitoring 
mechanisms. 
 
RUSSIANS NOT AWARE OF CONFERENCE? 
 
7. (SBU) Following the conference, the Dutch and OSCE Ambassadors 
stated that they appreciated the CIS parliamentary representative's 
"clarity on his position."  The Dutch Ambassador added that this was 
the first opportunity for the Russian government to publicly state 
 
ASTANA 00000898  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
its view and that it was likely that "his boss" would try to press 
Kazakhstan further on ODHIR's role.  (NOTE:  Putin visited Astana &#x00
0A;the day after the conference ended.  END NOTE).  Later, the Charge 
ran into Russian Ambassador Boncharnikov at Astana Airport and 
commented on his absence.  Boncharnikov seemed genuinely unaware of 
the conference, but did not appear perturbed by that fact. 
Commenting on the Path to Europe program, he said with a light tone, 
"Ah, but that is not our path." 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA871, KAZAKHSTAN: RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANS AND PROGRAMS

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. #09ASTANA871.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA871 2009-05-21 07:19 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9698
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 #0871/01 1410719
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 210719Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5462
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1607
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0984
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1687
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0664
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1169
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1085
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1539

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000871 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON ENRG EINV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANS AND PROGRAMS 
 
REF:  (A) 08 ASTANA 02225 (B) ASTANA 0837 
 
ASTANA 00000871  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  Kazakhstan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources 
has announced its intention to increase the share of renewable 
sources of energy in Kazakhstan's overall energy mix from 0.02 
percent at present to 5.0 percent by 2024.  Parliament endorsed the 
initiative and is now reviewing draft laws on renewable sources of 
energy, energy efficiency, and biofuels.  However, without direct 
financial, regulatory, and political support from the government, it 
is unlikely that renewable sources of energy can replace 
Kazakhstan's cheap, plentiful supplies of coal, oil, and gas in the 
near future.  END SUMMARY. 
 
THE STEPPE IS BLESSED BY SUN AND WIND 
 
2.  Kazakhstan's endless stretch of open steppes, buffeted by steady 
winds and enriched year round by the sun's rays, offer ample 
opportunity to exploit the earth's renewable energy.  Yet renewables 
represent just 0.02 percent of Kazakhstan's total power consumption, 
whereas coal comprises 72 percent of the total, gas 23 percent, and 
fuel oil 2 percent.  Nevertheless, on April 14, Duisenbai Turganov, 
Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), announced the 
government's intention to increase the percentage of renewable 
energy to 0.028 percent by 2009, and 5.0 percent by 2024. 
 
3.  The National Program for Wind Power Development, drafted in 2007 
with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), 
estimates that Kazakhstan is capable of generating 900 million 
kilowatt hours (kWh) per year by 2015, and 5 billion kWh/year by 
2024.  MEMR further estimates the country's potential micro 
hydropower at 8 billion kWh, and that of solar power at 2.5 billion 
kWh.  KazAgro National Holding Company estimates that 25-30 new 
biofuel plants could produce up to 2.5 million tons of biofuel a 
year. 
 
NEW LAW ON RENEWABLE ENERGY UNDER REVIEW 
 
4.  A draft Law on Renewable Sources of Energy is currently under 
review by the Senate and is expected to be adopted this summer 
(reftel A).  It defines renewable energy as solar, wind, biofuel, 
and geothermal energy, as well as hydrodynamic power generated at 
facilities with a capacity less than 35 megawatts (MW) that do not 
change the course of rivers (also known as micro hydropower).  The 
current draft was presented to parliament for review on December 30, 
2008.  The first version, drafted by the Ministry of Environmental 
Protection (MEP), was based on recommendations by the UNDP Wind 
Power Project, but it underwent significant revision after MEMR 
became the government's chief sponsor in November 2008.  For 
example, the earlier version called for certificates to be issued by 
renewable energy power generation plants.  It also would have 
established a new agency to set the price of renewable energy, 
purchase the certificates, and force traditional energy companies to 
buy them. 
 
5.  Unlike the MEP version, the MEMR draft does not provide many 
details on implementation.  When it was presented to the lower house 
of parliament (Mazhilis) on February 25, the Committee for 
Environment and Natural Resource Management severely criticized the 
MEMR draft for not requesting budget funding and for its apparent 
support of large energy producers.  Minister of Energy Mynbayev 
argued that power distribution companies would be obliged by the law 
to buy renewable energy, while municipal authorities would be 
responsible for allocating space for the construction of renewable 
energy plants.  Hence, he said, there was no need for any financial 
aid.   Mazhilis member Victor Kiyanskiy was visibly unimpressed and 
suggested that it was inappropriate for MEMR to draft the 
legislation.   "It is not realistic to expect oil and gas experts to 
develop an effective law on renewable energy," he said. 
 
ENERGY EFFICIENCY LAW TO MANDATE PURCHASE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY 
 
6.  Parliament is also reviewing a draft Law on Energy Efficiency 
that would require regional electric companies that transmit 
 
ASTANA 00000871  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
electricity generated by renewable energy to buy renewable 
electricity to offset efficiency losses in power transmission lines. 
 If the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy plants 
exceeds 50 percent of losses, the Kazakhstan Electric
 Grid Operating 
Company (KEGOC) would buy the remaining volume.  Costs incurred by 
regional electric companies and KEGOC for the purchase of 
electricity from renewable energy sources would then be included in 
the power transit tariffs. 
 
BIOFUEL LAW SIGNALS COMMITMENT TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY 
 
7.  The Concept for the Development of a Biofuel Market informed the 
draft Law on Biofuel, which was presented to the Mazhilis by Vice 
Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniyev on December 5, 2008.  Under 
the new law, the government would set a biannual quota for feedstock 
to produce biofuel, fund biofuel research and development, and 
define the designed capacity of biofuel plants to be constructed. 
The proposal was not well received by everyone in the energy sector, 
however.  For example, Zhanbolat Tuganov, manager of the Oil 
Processing Department of national oil company KazMunaiGas, said that 
introducing biofuels would require a $400 million investment to 
restructure existing oil refineries, and would more than double the 
cost of fuel.  Tuganov also warned that biodiesel freezes at minus 
15 Celsius and would therefore not be appropriate for Kazakhstan's 
severe winter climate. 
 
THE FUTURE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY IN KAZAKHSTAN 
 
8.  There are several arguments in favor of developing renewable 
sources of energy in Kazakhstan.  For example, it is extremely 
inefficient for a centralized power generating company to supply 
electricity to remote villages dispersed widely across such an 
enormous territory.  Unfortunately, however, renewable energy in 
Kazakhstan costs more to produce than it generates (reftel B).  It 
is nearly three times cheaper to use coal, for example, which will 
meet more than 75 percent of Kazakhstan's energy needs through 2015, 
according to the 2007 Plan for the Development of the Electric Power 
Industry. 
 
9.  The UNDP Wind Power Project to build a 5 MW wind power plant at 
the Jungar Gates near the border with China is now in its second 
stage of development.  On May 14, Technical Specialist Mikhail Rakov 
confided in Energy Officer that that MEMR was not satisfied with the 
small size of the wind power plant and delayed its approval, even 
though all of the technical documentation was ready.  The UNDP 
project managers expect to resume operations after the Law on 
Renewable Energy Sources is adopted. 
 
10.  COMMENT:  Kazakhstan is richly endowed with cheap, abundant, 
and accessible hydrocarbons.  Nevertheless, it is clear that the 
government is serious about renewable energy.  President Nazarbayev 
himself has promised that renewables will meet five percent of the 
country's energy needs by 2024, and parliament is likely to adopt 
legislation this year that would mandate the production and 
consumption of renewable energy sources.  Yet if Kazakhstan is to 
achieve these ambitious and laudable goals, the government will have 
to provide the necessary incentives, infrastructure, and investment 
to overcome the country's reliance on cheap coal, oil, and gas.  One 
way to engage the government on the issues of renewable energy and 
energy efficiency would be through the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy 
Partnership, which Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin raised with 
Secretary of Energy Chu in May.  END COMMENT. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA870, KAZAKHSTAN: ALGA LEADER DISCUSSES ABLYAZOV, TWO

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. #09ASTANA870.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA870 2009-05-21 04:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9554
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0870/01 1410436
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 210436Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5460
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1605
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0982
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0662
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1685
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1167
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1083

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000870 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/21/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ECON SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  ALGA LEADER DISCUSSES ABLYAZOV, TWO 
NEW ADMINISTRATIVE CASES AGAINST HIS UNREGISTERED PARTY 
 
REF: A. ASTANA 0662 
     B. ASTANA 0535 
     C. LONDON 0712 
     D. ASTANA 0386 
     E. ASTANA 0286 
     F. ASTANA 0250 
     G. ASTANA 0204 
 
Classified By: CDA Kevin Milas, Reasons 1.4 (b)/(d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  On May 18, the leader of the unregistered 
opposition party Alga, Vladimir Kozlov, told us that he 
recently met in London with ousted BTA bank chairman Mukhtar 
Ablyazov, who is Alga's principal financial backer. 
According to Kozlov, Ablyazov will soon declare himself "in 
open opposition" to President Nazarbayev's government and has 
reached out to other "exiled" Kazakhstani political figures 
with a proposal to form a cohesive "opposition in exile" 
group.  Kozlov also told us that the Procurator General's 
Office filed two administrative cases against Alga -- one for 
carrying out political activities without proper 
registration, and another for having a name that closely 
resembles that of a disbanded political party.  A court 
subsequently ruled against Alga in the first case.  The 
second case was adjourned following Alga's application for a 
new name with the Ministry of Justice.  Kozlov believes that 
both cases are politically motivated and are in part aimed at 
Ablyazov.  END SUMMARY. 
 
UNITED OPPOSITION-IN-EXILE? 
 
2.  (C)  On May 18, we met in Astana with Vladimir Kozlov, 
the leader of the unregistered opposition political party 
Alga.  Kozlov explained that he recently returned from 
London, where he met with Mukhtar Ablyazov, the ousted 
chairman of BTA bank and the primary financier of Alga.  As 
reported in reftels, Ablyazov left Kazakhstan for the United 
Kingdom shortly after the government took over BTA in early 
February and is currently under investigation by the 
Kazakhstani authorities for embezzlement.  Kozlov told us 
that Ablyazov plans to declare himself "openly in opposition" 
to President Nazarbayev's "regime" in the near future and has 
apparently reached out to other "exiled" Kazakhstani 
political figures, including former Prime Minister Akezhan 
Kazhegeldin and former Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) 
movement leader Galymzhan Zhakiyanov, with the proposal to 
form a cohesive "opposition in exile" group.  (NOTE: 
Kazhegeldin resides in Britain, and Zhakiyanov has reportedly 
been undergoing long-term medical treatment in China.  END 
NOTE.)  Kozlov reiterated his belief that the government's 
takeover of BTA bank was purely a political move aimed at 
neutralizing Ablyazov as a potential political opponent to 
President Nazarbayev.  (COMMENT:  In fact, several credible 
interlocutors from the international community, including 
EBRD First Vice President Varel Freeman, have told us that 
BTA was non-transparent and seriously mismanaged, and that 
there is evidence of serious criminal wrongdoing at BTA by 
Ablyazov and his associates.  END COMMENT.)  Kozlov also 
shared that Ablyazov is continuing to finance Alga, despite 
the fact that many of his Kazakhstani assets have been 
frozen, and that Ablyazov has begun to take a much more 
active role in the decisions on party policy. 
 
TWO CASES AGAINST ALGA 
 
3. (C)  Kozlov told us that the Procurator General's Office 
(PGO) recently filed two separate administrative cases 
against Alga.  In the first case, the Almaty PGO filed a case 
against the party and Kozlov, as its leader, for carrying out 
political activities without proper registration.  The PGO 
argued that Alga, which has been awaiting formal registration 
as a political party from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) since 
December 2006 and is currently functioning as an organizing 
committee, has published several statements in the media on 
 
ASTANA 00000870  002 OF 002 
 
 
the country's political and economic situation under the name 
"People's Party Alga."  This, in the PGO's view, constitutes 
unregistered political activity and is a breach of 
Kazakhstan's Administrative Code.  Kozlov maintained to the 
court that Alga's actions were in line with those of any new 
party awaiting registration and argued that the PGO should 
file a case against the MOJ for leaving Alga's registration 
in limbo "for 918 days."  He maintained that the recent 
amendments to the political party law could actually 
complicate Alga's
 situation, explaining that they mandate 
that an organizing committee disband if its request to be 
registered as a political party is not granted by the MOJ 
within six months.  Kozlov believes, however, that the new 
amendments should not apply to Alga's situation since the 
legislation is not retroactive.  On May 19, the day after our 
meeting with Kozlov, the Almaty Administrative Court found 
him guilty of carrying out political activities without Alga 
being registered as a political party, and fined him 127,300 
tenge (approximately $850).  Kozlov intends to appeal the 
ruling. 
 
4. (SBU)  The second case against Alga was filed by the PGO 
with the Astana City Court.  In its motion, the PGO 
challenged the name of Alga's organizing committee, 
"Alga-DVK," which was officially registered by the MOJ in 
2007.  The acronym "DVK" stands for "Demokraticheskiy Vybor 
Kazakhstana" -- Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan -- and is a 
reference to the opposition political movement that previous 
united many of today's opposition leaders and whose political 
heir Alga considers itself to be.  The original DVK was shut 
down by the courts in January 2005 for allegedly calling for 
the violent overthrow of the government.  As Kozlov explained 
to us, the PGO is now demanding that Alga-DVK's registration 
be rescinded since a part of its name closely resembles that 
of a disbanded political party.  Rather than challenge the 
PGO's case, Kozlov has instead applied for re-registration 
with the MOJ under a new name, "Alga - D&K" (Democracy & 
Kazakhstan).  The Astana City Court opted on May 18 to 
adjourn the case pending the outcome of Alga's 
re-registration request.  In the interim, Kozlov announced 
his intention to file a case against the ruling Nur Otan 
party for sharing a name with"Otan," a relatively 
insignificant public association. 
 
KOZLOV SEES POLITICS BEHIND BOTH CASES 
 
5.  (C)  Kozlov sees both cases as government attempts to 
neutralize "a growing political force."  "We are expanding," 
he asserted, "and this is uncomfortable for Nur Otan."  He 
also believes the cases to be part of a broader campaign 
against Mukhtar Ablyazov.  "The government has seized 
(Ablyazov's) economic assets, and now it is going after (his) 
political assets," he claimed.  Kozlov predicted that such 
cases against Alga are going to increase, but expressed 
optimism about the party's future.  "Whatever does not kill 
us will make us stronger," he joked in English. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA862, KAZAKHSTAN: SMALL OIL COMPANY HOPES TO MAKE IT BIG

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. #09ASTANA862.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA862 2009-05-19 10:42 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7841
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 #0862/01 1391042
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191042Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5448
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1603
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0980
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1683
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0660
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1165
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1081
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1536

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000862 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EPET EINV IR KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  SMALL OIL COMPANY HOPES TO MAKE IT BIG 
SOMEDAY 
 
ASTANA 00000862  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On May 14, the Chief Executive Officer of 
Canamens, an independent oil and gas exploration and production 
company with headquarters in London, briefed the Charge on the 
company's plans and activities in Kazakhstan.  Canamens does not 
currently own or operate any producing assets in Kazakhstan, but it 
does own 32.5 percent of the Ravninnoe Contract Area and 35 percent 
of the BNG Contract Area and is conducting appraisal work at both 
sites.  Kazakhstani company Roxi Petroleum LLC, registered on the 
London Stock Exchange, is the majority shareholder in both projects. 
 Canamens' biggest concerns in Kazakhstan are macroeconomic 
stability, the government's cash position, the lack of a transparent 
gas market, and insufficient crude oil transportation capacity.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
TWO BLOCKS EAST OF TENGIZ 
 
3.  (SBU) Ravninnoe is located onshore in Atyrau oblast, 100 
kilometers east of the supergiant Tengiz oil field, and covers 121 
square kilometers.  Initial reserve estimates on the Ravninnoe 
field, as reported by McDaniel and Associates Inc., are 3.7 million 
barrels.  The BNG field is located in Mangistau oblast, 40 km from 
Tengiz, and covers approximately 1,560 square kilometers.  On May 
18, Canamens agreed to pay a maximum of $50 million towards the BNG 
work program, which will cover planned work commitments on the 
contract area for 2009 and 2010.  As much as $27 million of this 
initial investment will be spent in 2009 on seismic testing and 
appraisal drilling, with the remainder earmarked for 2010.  Canamens 
CEO Greg Coleman (protect throughout) said it is still too early to 
predict production volumes from the two fields, but he expects 
combined production to be approximately 100,000 barrels per day. 
 
PIPELINES SQUEEZE SMALL PRODUCERS 
 
4.  (SBU) Unlike the major international oil producers in 
Kazakhstan, Coleman said his company would like to market the gas it 
produces, rather than reinjecting it, but he complained that Gazprom 
and the oblast government exercise monopoly control over the gas 
market and would not offer a fair market price for the gas.  He also 
said that oil transportation capacity is constrained in Kazakhstan 
and export options are limited.  "We'll have to heavily discount for 
that," Coleman said, noting that Canamens will most likely export 
its crude oil through Russia, via the Atyrau-Samara or Caspian 
Pipeline Consortium (CPC) pipeline.  Coleman added that Canamens 
will be able to justify exploration and production costs, even if 
oil prices fall "slightly below" $50/barrel. 
 
ROXI CEO PREVIOUSLY ARRANGED OIL SWAPS WITH IRAN 
 
5.  (U) The CEO of Roxi Petroleum, Rob Schoonbrood, age 62, has 40 
years of energy sector experience, primarily in oil and gas 
exploration and production.  He spent the first 30 years of his 
career with the Royal Dutch Shell Group and held a variety of 
positions, including Business Development Manager of Oil Products 
East for Shell International Petroleum Company in London and Chief 
Executive of Shell Markets Middle East in Dubai.  He left the Royal 
Dutch Shell Group in 1999.  Since then, he has acted as an 
independent business consultant to a variety of companies in 
Kazakhstan.  He initiated and implemented a crude oil swap agreement 
between Kazakhstan and Iran on behalf of CJSC Munai Impex and acted 
as a senior advisor to the management of PetroKazakhstan, with an 
emphasis on business with Iran, Kazakhstan and China.  From 2002-03, 
he was President of Unioil AG, an independent oil transport and 
trading company with niche business around the Caspian Sea, and from 
2004-05, he was Operations Director of Cobalt Energy Group, a 
U.S.-based wholesale company. 
 
6.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Consistent focus on the world's largest 
companies developing some of the world's largest oil and gas fields 
can skew one's perspective.  Speaking with smaller companies such as 
 
ASTANA 00000862  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
Canamens can help to restore that perspective and also reveal new 
truths about investing in Kazakhstan.  Not that the ambitions of 
Canamens are all that small.  To provide context, if Canamens is &#x
000A;able to produce 100,000 barrels per day as expected, that would put 
them in the neighborhood of the total daily oil production of 
Uzbekistan or Romania.  Unlike the major international oil companies 
operating in Kazakhstan, Canamens would prefer to market its natural 
gas commercially, rather than reinjecting it to maintain pressure 
for oil production.  Canamens CEO Coleman called reinjection 
"wasteful" and lamented the fact that Gazprom and KazMunaiGas have 
monopolized the gas market in Kazakhstan.  He would clearly like the 
opportunity to sell the gas rather than pumping it back into the 
ground, but he said if Canamens cannot get a decent price for it, 
they will have no choice.  In addition, as a smaller company with 
fewer assets and less leverage, Canamens is more susceptible to 
sudden shifts in the investment climate and macro economy.  Coleman 
said he worried, for example, that the government would "ask to 
borrow money" or require the company to make unexpected 
contributions to the budget.  While these are issues that would 
concern all foreign investors, it was obvious that Canamens would be 
less able to withstand pressure of this sort than large IOCs such as 
ExxonMobil.  END COMMENT. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA855, KAZAKHSTAN: ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, APRIL 16 – MAY 9

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. #09ASTANA855.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA855 2009-05-18 06:36 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6547
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 #0855/01 1380636
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180636Z MAY 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5439
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1600
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0977
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1680
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0657
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 1162
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1078
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1533

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000855 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/CARC, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO OPIC AND USTDA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET ENRG EINV EFIN EAGR CH KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, APRIL 16 - MAY 9 
 
ASTANA 00000855  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press and has not been verified for accuracy. 
 
-- New Refinancing Rate 
-- Banking Sector News 
-- Government Procurement Legislation Signed 
-- Presidents Discuss Customs Union 
-- Government to Enhance Control Over Anti-Crisis Money 
-- New Grain Terminal in Caspian Region 
-- Kazatomprom Agreements and Announcements 
-- No Pressure to Meet Local Content Requirements 
-- President Signs Law on Caspian Littoral Gas Pipeline 
-- KazMunaiGas Cash Deficit 
 
NEW REFINANCING RATE 
 
2.  In response to the needs of the financial markets and lower 
inflation, the National Bank has announced that the official 
refinancing rate will be reduced from 9.5 to 9 percent effective May 
12. 
 
BANKING SECTOR NEWS 
 
3.  Alliance Bank announced on May 4 that seven international banks 
representing more than 60 of Alliance's creditors were to form a 
coordinating committee to negotiate a debt restructuring and 
recapitalization plan.  Creditors have said that they believe the 
support of the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund and the Financial 
Supervision Agency, along with a preserved bank management 
structure, is vital to the success of these negotiations. 
 
4.  Kazakhstan's ATF-UniCredit Bank (ATF) must repay external 
creditors over $500 million in May 2009.  According to ATF CEO 
Alexander Picker, a portion of the debt will be refinanced by 
ATF-Unicredit's parent, the UniCredit Group, within the next three 
months.  Additional liabilities, including $200 million bonds, are 
due in the fall of 2009, which ATF expects to repay without external 
assistance. 
 
5.  Lariba Bank has successfully completed re-registration under a 
new name, AsiaCredit Bank.  The bank operates in three cities: 
Astana, Almaty and Atyrau.  According to the Interfax Center of 
Economic Analysis, Lariba Bank was ranked 24th among Kazakhstani 
banks in the first half of 2008. 
 
GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT LEGISLATION SIGNED 
 
6.  On May 5, President Nazarbayev signed amendments to the Law on 
Government Procurement which are designed to improve both 
transparency and efficiency in the government procurement process. 
The legislation encourages the development of electronic purchases 
of goods and services, simplifies and shortens procurement 
procedures, and eliminates legal norms seen as potential risks for 
corruption. 
 
PRESIDENTS DISCUSS CUSTOMS UNION 
 
7.  During a May 4 telephone conversation, President Nazarbayev and 
Russian President Medvedev discussed the launch of the proposed 
Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union.  According to the 
presidential press service, the two leaders "confirmed their mutual 
aspiration to launch the customs union as soon as possible.  They 
agreed to establish tight control over solving practical issues 
which are aimed at implementing this most important integration 
task."  Nazarbayev and Medvedev also reportedly agreed to further 
coordinate Russia and Kazakhstan's accession to the WTO. 
 
GOVERNMENT TO ENHANCE CONTROL OVER ANTI-CRISIS FUNDS 
 
8.  The Accounting Committee and the Financial Supervision Agency 
(FSA) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to jointly monitor the 
expenditure of funds designated for the government's program to deal 
 
ASTANA 00000855  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
with the economic crisis.  Joint oversight will include close 
monitoring of the financial activities of state-owned corporations, 
commercial banks, and other agencies participating in the program. 
(NOTE:  The Accounting Committee is the lead government agency for 
state fiscal control and reports directly to the President.  END 
NOTE.) 
 
NEW GRAIN TERMINAL IN CASPIAN REGION 
 
9.  According to the President of the National Agricultural Credit 
Corporation, Askarbek Karazhigitov, Kazakhstan plans to build a 
Caspian grain terminal next year that will boost gra
in exports by 
1.5 million tons a year.  The project is a part of Kazakhstan's 
effort to secure a larger share of the global grain market by 
exporting as much as 9 million tons a year.  The new $46 million 
terminal would connect Kazakhstan's Aktau port with southern export 
destinations such as Iran and Afghanistan.  Karazhigitov added that 
there is also a plan to build a new grain terminal in Iran by the 
end of 2009, which is expected to further enhance Kazakhstan's 
export capacities by 700,000 tons. 
 
KAZATOMPROM AGREEMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS 
 
10.  On April 29, Kazakhstan's national atomic company Kazatomprom 
(KAP) signed a long-term 2009-2020 agreement with the China 
Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) to supply China with 24,200 
tons of uranium from the Irkol field in Kyzylorda oblast and the 
Semizbai field in Central Kazakhstan, both of which are operated by 
a joint venture of KAP and CGNPC.  KAP and CGNPC also signed a 
memorandum to establish a new joint venture to construct nuclear 
power plants in China. 
 
11.  On April 26, the Kyzylkum joint venture of KAP (30 percent 
ownership stake), Uranium One (30 percent), and a consortium of 
Japanese companies led by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (40 
percent), opened the Kharasan-1 mine in Kyzylorda oblast.  The mine 
has an annual design capacity of 3,000 tons of uranium.  Beginning 
in 2010, Japan will receive 600 tons of uranium a year.  Japan will 
also import 1,400 tons of uranium from another project, Baiken-U, a 
joint venture between KAP, Toshiba, and the Tokyo Electric Power 
Company consortium. 
 
12.  On April 25, KAP President Mukhat Dzhakishev told reporters 
that the company has postponed construction of a sulfuric acid plant 
in Kyzylorda oblast.  The plant was expected to have a design 
capacity of 500,000 tons per year, which would be supplied to the 
Kharasan-1 mine.  According to Dzhakishev, the economic crisis has 
reduced demand for sulfuric acid and created excess supply on the 
market.  He said that KAP would resume plans to build the sulfuric 
acid plant once demand picks up. 
 
NO PRESSURE TO MEET LOCAL CONTENT REQUIREMENTS 
 
13.  In a May 8 interview with newspaper "Liter," Deputy Prime 
Minister Serik Akhmetov insisted that no administrative pressure 
would be exerted on foreign investors to make them increase the 
amount of Kazakhstani content in the procurement of goods and 
services.  According to Akhmetov, 503 of 901 mineral resource 
exploration and development contracts do not contain any clauses on 
local content.  "No contracts will be unilaterally amended to 
mandate greater local content," he said.  "The mutual decision to 
revise some articles in existing contracts to meet local content 
requirements should not be taken as a sign of government pressure," 
he explained. 
 
PRESIDENT SIGNS LAW ON CASPIAN LITTORAL GAS PIPELINE 
 
14.  On May 14, Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev signed a law 
ratifying the agreement between the governments of Kazakhstan, 
Russia and Turkmenistan to construct the Caspian littoral 
(Prikaspiskiy) gas pipeline.  Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan 
signed the agreement in December 2007.  It specifies liabilities and 
 
ASTANA 00000855  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
obligations for the construction of the gas pipeline, which will 
carry up to 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Turkmen and Kazakhstani 
gas to the Kazakhstani-Russian border, including up to 10 bcm of 
Turkmen gas and up to 10 bcm of Kazakhstani gas.  The project is 
designed to increase throughput capacity of the Central Asia Center 
(CAC)-III gas pipeline running along the eastern coast of the 
Caspian Sea by upgrading the existing pipeline system and building a 
new pipeline.  These gas transportation systems will be hooked up to 
CAC-IV at Beineu in Kazakhstan and Alexandrov Gai, a Russian village 
near the border.  The total length of the pipeline will be 1600 km, 
10 km out of which will be built by Russia and the rest by 
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in equal portions.  On April 9, Gazprom 
CEO Alexei Miller met in Astana with President Nazarbayev and said 
that the throughput capacity of the pipeline might be increased by 
20 bcm to a total of 40 bcm.  The Caspian littoral pipeline is an 
extension and upgrade of the existing CAC pipeline network, which 
handles Kazakhstan's annual exports of approximately 8-10 bcm.  The 
purpose of the pipeline is not to send additional volumes in a new 
direction.  This "new" pipeline is not much more than an affirmation 
of the status quo, i.e., Kazakhstan will continue to export 8-10 bcm 
of gas to Russia annually. 
 
KAZMUNAIGAS CASH DEFICIT 
 
15.  On May 3, "Atyraunews.com" reported that national oil company 
KazMunaiGas (KMG) lacks the $5-7 billion it needs to fund ongoing 
projects and acquire new assets.  In February 2008, Minister of 
Energy and Mineral Resources Sauat Mynbayev asked the government to 
provide $3.8 billion for the Beineu-Bozoy-Akbulak gas pipeline 
because KMG did not have the ability to finance the project 
independently.  "KMG is already shaking because of their intensive 
acquisitions of various assets," he said.  In January, KMG President 
Kairgeldy Kabyldin said that Kazakhstan would need to pay 208 
billion tenge ($1.39 billion) to meet its 2009 obligations for the 
Kashagan project.  The Director of KMG's Information Policy 
Department, Galym Tumabayev, said then that KMG would answer this 
cash call by drawing on its $3 billion Eurobond issue from June 
2008.  Other large and expensive projects will need funding, 
however.  For example, the Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System 
project will cost $1.4 billion just for the Yeskene-Kuryk oil 
pipeline and the Kuryk terminal. 
 
16.  On April 30, KMG acquired British Petroleum's stake in the 
joint venture Kazakhstan Pipeline Ventures (KPV), which held a 1.75% 
share in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC).  KMG agreed to pay 
$250 million over several installments for BP's share in KPV.  KPV 
holds the right to ship 5 million tons per year of crude through 
CPC, an amount which will increase to 10.5 million tons per year 
after CPC's expected expansion. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA854, KAZAKHSTAN: MFA CALLS APRIL 28 SUMMIT OF CENTRAL ASIAN

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. #09ASTANA854.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA854 2009-05-18 04:31 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6489
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 #0854/01 1380431
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180431Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5437
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1598
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0975
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1678
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0655
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1160
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1076
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1531

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000854 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB, OES/PCI (PHUDAK, NFITE) 
MOSCOW FOR ESTH (DKLEPP) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ENRG ECON SENV ZK KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MFA CALLS APRIL 28 SUMMIT OF CENTRAL ASIAN 
LEADERS A SUCCESS 
 
ASTANA 00000854  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY.  Kazakhstan's MFA regards the April 28 Summit of 
the Presidents of the Founding States of the International Fund to 
Save the Aral Sea as "successful," despite disagreements over water 
management issues.  Kazakhstan hopes the summit will become an 
annual forum to make progress on regional issues.  Kazakhstan sided 
with Uzbekistan over the Kambarata project in Kyrgyzstan because it 
was "upset" that the recent Kyrgyzstan-Russia agreement on Kambarata 
excluded Kazakhstan and was concerned about its own situation.  If 
Afghanistan and Pakistan buy energy from Central Asia, such a 
project must also take into account the interests of all the 
involved Central Asian countries, the MFA told us.  The formation of 
blocks within Central Asia would obstruct the resolution of regional 
water and energy problems.  END SUMMARY. 
 
APRIL 28 SUMMIT "SUCCESSFUL" 
 
3. (SBU) MFA Central Asia Department head Gulmira Sultanali told the 
Regional Environmental Officer (REO) on May 14 that the Summit of 
the Presidents of the Founding States of the International Fund to 
Save the Aral Sea, which took place April 28 in Almaty, was 
"successful" because the presidents of the five Central Asian 
countries met, deliberated, and agreed to the idea of annual summits 
to continue discussions on regional issues.  Sultanali acknowledged 
that the Summit strayed from the topic of the Aral Sea, but 
maintained that in spite of disagreements, it was successful because 
each side had a chance to express its views and air its concerns. 
 
4. (SBU) Sultanali noted that the Interstate Commission for Water 
Coordination (ICWC), which was originally set up in 1992 to address 
the water management problem in Central Asia, ultimately drafted a 
cooperation agreement that all parties signed.  However, the 
agreement could not be implemented, and now ICWC works mostly at the 
technical-level on water flow and water level issues.  The ICWC can 
no longer resolve the regional water management problem in Central 
Asia, Sultanali said, because water is no longer a technical matter; 
rather, it has become a serious and complicated political issue that 
can be handled only at the highest political levels. 
 
5. (SBU) The dilemma, Sultanali said, is to find a mechanism that is 
suitable for all the countries.  Each side has both energy and water 
concerns, with the upstream countries of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 
needing electricity and heat in the winter, and the downstream 
countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan needing water 
for irrigation in the summer.  Sultanali said that Kazakhstan is 
trying to bring the region together to find a consensus, and 
believes an annual summit is an appropriate forum to examine both 
water and energy together. 
 
KAZAKHSTAN'S VIEWS ON THE KAMBARATA PROJECT 
 
6. (SBU) Sultanali said that the recent agreement between Kyrgyzstan 
and Russia under which Russia would loan $2 billion to Kyrgyzstan 
for the Kambarata hydroelectric project "upset" Kazakhstan very 
much, because it excluded Kazakhstan entirely.  (NOTE:  Kazakhstan 
was a possible investor in Kambarata and had been in negotiations 
with Kyrgyzstan prior to the deal with Russia.  Such an investment 
would have given Kazakhstan a voice in determining downstream flows 
to Kazakhstan as well as giving it influence over Uzbekistan.  END 
NOTE.) 
 
7. (SBU) Sultanali said Kazakhstan finds itself consistently without 
sufficient water.  She nevertheless argued that each country has a 
sovereign right to use its own resources -- an apparent reference to 
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan's insistence that water is a national 
resource and not a trans-boundary resource subject to international 
conventions -- but at the same time, any decision on hydroelectric 
projects or water management must be mutually acceptable to all 
parties. 
 
 
ASTANA 00000854  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
8. (SBU) Sultanali maintained that each country is hard at work 
protecting its own interests regarding water.  She explained that on 
Kambarata, Kazakhstan had
decided to side with Uzbekistan at the 
April 28 Summit because Kazakhstan also was concerned about its own 
situation.  "At the very least," she said, "we need to listen to 
Uzbekistan's position."  She said the region needs outside experts 
to come in and help bring the countries together, and for Kazakhstan 
the United Nations is the most suitable organization to do this. 
 
9. (SBU) Sultanali appeared to be pessimistic about finding a 
solution to Central Asia's water resource management problem.  She 
stressed the need for a suitable "mechanism," but she was not clear 
what one would look like.  She saw annual summits as an appropriate 
starting point, and explained they would address a number of other 
regional problems in addition to water, such as drug trafficking and 
regional security. 
 
ENERGY COOPERATION WITH AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN 
 
10. (SBU) Sultanali was aware that Afghanistan and Pakistan are 
interested in buying energy from Central Asia, and noted that 
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are looking to develop their energy 
production potential because they have the water resources.  She 
said Kazakhstan's position is that all Central Asian countries using 
the region's water resources must take into account the interests of 
the other Central Asian countries and must secure their agreement in 
advance to use them for energy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
 
11. (SBU) Without a doubt, she said, the construction of the 
Kambarata project in Kyrgyzstan and the Rogun project in Tajikistan 
would affect Kazakhstan's interests.  Transmission lines will also 
have to be built to send electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, 
and the Central Asian countries need to study closely the 
environmental impact of those lines.  She again argued that the 
United Nations is the preferred "neutral" outside party to do this. 
 
REGIONAL BLOCKS 
 
12. (SBU) Sultanali briefly touched on the notion that blocks might 
be forming within Central Asia after the April 28 Summit, with the 
upstream countries of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on one side and the 
downstream countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan on 
the other.  She hoped that Central Asia would not divide itself this 
way, because this would obstruct resolution of the water and energy 
problems. 
 
13. (SBU) COMMENT:  According a Central Asia-Caucasus Institute 
analyst, "Central Asian leaders seem to be caught in the classic 
prisoner's dilemma, when each is better off not cooperating while 
potentially rewarding cooperation is stalled because of lack of 
trust.... A viable water regime seems impossible with the current 
state of affairs...but the Central Asian states have no choice but 
to keep trying."  Sultanali was expressing the MFA's hope for such 
cooperation, seeing an annual summit of the region's five presidents 
as an appropriate start in that direction.  However, she was not 
optimistic about the outcome because it appears the Central Asian 
countries remain intent on separately pursuing their own interests. 
END COMMENT. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA853, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, APRIL 27 – MAY 8

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. #09ASTANA853.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA853 2009-05-15 11:05 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5359
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 #0853/01 1351105
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151105Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5435
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1596
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHVV/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0973
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1676
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2317
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1158
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1074
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000853 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ECON SOCI KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, APRIL 27 - MAY 8 
 
1. The "Almaty Notes" series is intended to maintain focus on 
developments in civil society, the media, and the opposition in 
Kazakhstan's "southern capital" following the move of the Embassy to 
Astana. 
 
AZAT'S ABILOV -- THE CHOSEN ONE? 
 
2. Rumors are swirling around Azat party leader Bulat Abilov and his 
opposition "credentials."  In a recent interview, President 
Nazarbayev's advisor Yermukhamed Yertysbayev said that he could see 
Abilov as the leader of a united opposition.  Some people took these 
words as his personal opinion, but others took it as "spilling the 
beans."  Although Yertysbayev has been known to speak off the cuff, 
it is understood that he would never say anything that runs 
completely counter to the views at the Presidential Administration. 
Moreover, the President's advisor must be aware of the skeptical 
attitude of other opposition leaders toward Abilov's ambitions to 
lead a united opposition.  During a recent public appearance, Abilov 
told the audience that he is ready "to lead the opposition and be a 
candidate for president."  (NOTE: Abilov's self-nomination did not 
receive much public support from other opposition parties, however, 
and in private conversations, opposition leaders dismissed Abilov's 
ambitions; National Social Democratic Party (OSDP) deputy head 
Amirzhan Kosanov joked that he too would not mind being president. 
END NOTE.)  Political analyst Andrey Chebotaryev told opposition 
paper "Respublika" that Yertysbayev's words could just be his 
personal opinion, or he could be intentionally floating this idea to 
provoke a split within the opposition.  And according to some 
rumors, the Azat party is supported by Bulat Utemuratov, a close 
Nazarbayev confidante and former head of the management side of the 
Presidential Administration.  If one adds in the opinion of some 
experts about the President's plans to have a pocket opposition 
party in Parliament as a sparring partner for the ruling Nur Otan 
party, then Yertysbayev's slip of the tongue may turn out to be a 
prophesy. 
 
ALMATY ELECTION COMMISSIONS GET NEW MEMBERS 
 
3. On April 29, deputies of the Almaty City Maslikhat (local 
legislature) selected members for territorial, district, and 
precinct election commissions.  The term in office of members of the 
current election commissions is due to expire on June 1.  The 
Maslikhat deputies elected more than 3,500 new members for 512 
election commissions.  Seven political parties and three public 
associations nominated their candidates.  As a result of the voting, 
512 members each were elected from the ruling Nur Otan Party and the 
People's Communist Party; 511 members each from the Auyl (Village), 
Adilet (Justice), Patriots, and Rukhaniyat (Spirituality) political 
parties; 34 members from the opposition Communist Party of 
Kazakhstan; 33 members from the Union of Afghan War Veterans; 68 
members from the Zheltoksan-86 nationalist movement; and 376 members 
from the Ariptes Confederation of Almaty NGOs.  Three major 
opposition parties -- Azat, OSDP, and the unregistered Alga party -- 
refrained from nominating any candidates. 
 
PROTESTS FROM RETIRED OFFICERS CONTINUE 
 
4. On April 27, a group of retired officers from the BOMZh Union 
held a protest action in front of the Almaty Garrison Military Court 
to demand that the government fulfill its promises to provide them 
with free apartments.  (NOTE: "BOMZh" is a Russian acronym which 
stands for "without a permanent place of residence" and is used to 
refer to homeless people.  END NOTE.)  The officers held placards 
with a picture of the Goddess of Justice dressed in military uniform 
and in a gas mask.  "For several years we have been striving for 
apartments prescribed by the law," the leader of the Union 
Vyacheslav Olenchenko said in his comments to journalists.  "Once we 
retired, it was like we did not any more exist for the Ministry (of 
Defense)," he complained.  Some officers who received the apartments 
owed to them by the government joined the action to support their 
friends.  After a while, the officers dispersed, promising to resort 
to more radical actions in case their claims were not satisfied. 
 
ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS -- DEMOLITION OUTPACES LEGALIZATION 
 
5. The Almaty Land Commission continues its work analyzing 
 
ASTANA 00000853  002 OF 002 
 
 
applications for legalizing ownership of land plots in Almaty's 
Alatau district.  The Commission's preliminary plan to legalize 
3,500 land plots has been disrupted somewhat by an ad-hoc group 
called the "People's Committee o
f Alatau District," which has been 
calling on district residents not to apply for legalization because 
it will allegedly do nothing to stop demolitions of illegally-built 
houses.  Those who do choose to go forward with legalization have to 
confirm in writing that they began building on their land plots 
illegally and are then given the opportunity to lease the land. 
 
6.  Meanwhile, district authorities demolished about 20 
illegally-built houses in Alatau on May 5.  About 90 residents of 
the affected microdistrict filed a complaint with the Almaty 
Procurator General's Office (PGO), asking to bring to account the 
officials and police officers involved.  According to the complaint, 
the demolition was carried out without advance notification and 
without producing court rulings to this effect.  Almaty Deputy Akim 
Maulen Mukashev defended the demolition campaign, alleging that the 
demolished houses were built only "two or three weeks before." 
While city administration had promised to legalize 3,500 houses, 
maintained Mukhashev, new settlements are continuing to appear at 
the site.  "We cannot endlessly continue with legalization.  Those 
who have been registered will be legalized, but the rest will be 
demolished," said Mukashev. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA852, KAZAKHSTAN: KOREAN PRESIDENT LEE’S STATE VISIT PROMOTES

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. #09ASTANA852.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA852 2009-05-15 10:55 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5355
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 #0852/01 1351055
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151055Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5433
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1594
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0971
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1674
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0653
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1156
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1072
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1529

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000852 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EAP/CM, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ENRG EPET EINV RS CH KS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  KOREAN PRESIDENT LEE'S STATE VISIT PROMOTES 
TRADE AND INVESTMENT 
 
REF:  (A) SEOUL 0753 (B) ASTANA 0555 (C) ASTANA 0678 
 
ASTANA 00000852  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (U) SUMMARY:  On May 12, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak 
arrived in Kazakhstan for a three-day state visit (reftel A).  Lee 
and Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev signed a series of documents 
during the visit, including a joint action plan to strengthen 
bilateral relations.  On May 13, Kazakhstan hosted a business forum 
in Almaty for South Korean investors, who agreed in principle to 
invest in projects totaling more than $5 billion over the next five 
years.  Trade between the two countries totaled $754 million in 
2008, including $330 million in exports from Kazakhstan and $424 
million in imports from South Korea.  Overall, this represented a 
decline of 10.5% compared to 2007.  The majority of Kazakhstan's 
exports to South Korea consist of raw materials such as uranium, 
ferroalloys, rolled plain carbon steel and iron, gold and copper. 
Imports from South Korea include mainly electronics, manufacturing 
equipment, and engineering products.   South Korean companies are 
partners in more than 300 joint ventures in Kazakhstan.  According 
to the National Bank, from 1993-2008, South Korean companies 
invested more than $3 billion in Kazakhstan, or 3.6% of total 
foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan during that period.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
ANOTHER BILLION-DOLLAR INVESTMENT PACKAGE FOR KAZAKHSTAN 
 
3.  (U) On May 13, Kazakhstani and South Korean businesses signed a 
number of agreements at a forum in Almaty that could bring more than 
$5 billion of new investment to Kazakhstan.  Kairat Kelimbetov, 
President of the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, confirmed the 
figure of $5 billion, but he said it covered future investments in 
Kazakhstan over the next two to five years.  Kelimbetov announced 
that Samruk-Kazyna had signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with 
Korean companies Hyundai, KZPOS Company Ltd., Daewoo Engineering 
Company, and Bokwang Gid Company.  Bokwang Gid intends to invest in 
the uranium mining, coal mining, power generation, oil and gas, 
transportation, and engineering sectors.  In addition, a number of 
Kazakhstani and Korean companies signed statements of intent to 
cooperate, including Kazakhmys and Samsung; KazMunaiGas and Hyundai; 
Kazakhstani national railroad company Temir Zholy and the Korean 
Railroad Corporation (KORAIL); and SaryArka CEC and Korea Resources 
Corporation.  National telecommunications company Kazakhtelecom 
agreed to cooperate with the Korean scientific institution ETRI in 
the development of broadband Internet, WiBro global 3G, and 
e-learning services. 
 
FURTHER DETAILS ON RAILWAY COOPERATION 
 
4.  (U) On May 14, KORAIL said it signed an agreement with Temir 
Zholy on areas of broad cooperation that it expects will lead to 
significant business opportunities in the future.  The memorandum of 
understanding signed in Astana by KORAIL President Huh Joon-young 
and his Kazakhstani counterpart, Askar Mamin, calls for the joint 
development of transcontinental railway lines and the modernization 
of Kazakhstan's logistics infrastructure.  It also includes 
provisions for KORAIL to participate in railroad construction and 
operations in Kazakhstan, as well as the joint development of 
information technology systems to improve rail operations.  Huh said 
the deal is significant because "Kazakhstan is rich in natural 
resources and located along the main railway line crossing the Asian 
continent."  He added that KORAIL plans to examine the feasibility 
of other projects, including introducing its KTX-II bullet trains, 
and will prepare a package deal with other South Korean companies to 
bid for future business.  According to KORAIL, Kazakhstan plans to 
acquire 23,000 rail trucks and 500 locomotives, and refurbish 3,000 
km of existing railways by 2013. 
 
SOUTH KOREA'S RESOURCE DIPLOMACY 
 
5.  (U) On May 5, Kazakhstan's Ambassador to South Korea, Darkhan 
 
ASTANA 00000852  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
Berdaliyev, was interviewed by
Liter newspaper about South Korea's 
"resource diplomacy."  He said that Kazakhstan has become a 
strategic investment destination for Korean capital as global 
competition intensifies for limited natural resources.  In 
particular, he cited the energy, agriculture, and mining sectors as 
areas of interest to Korean businesses.  Berdaliyev said he expects 
future investment to follow the selection of Samsung C and T 
Corporation to construct a $2.5 billion, 1,500 megawatt thermal 
power plant in Balkhash (reftel B).  He said the project is 
strategically important to Kazakhstan because it will help ensure 
the country's energy security and offered it as proof that 
Kazakhstan continues to maintain an attractive investment climate 
despite the global economic crisis. 
 
6.  (SBU) COMMENT:  The announcement that South Korean companies are 
prepared to invest as much as $5 billion in Kazakhstan over the next 
five years comes close on the heels of China's $10 billion 
loan-for-oil deal on April 16.  Both announcements were tied to 
state visits, involve investments from state-owned and 
state-directed companies, and represent package deals in a wide 
range of sectors, including -- but not limited to -- the energy 
sector.  These deals demonstrate that Kazakhstan continues to seek 
investment from all directions -- consistent with the country's 
multi-vector foreign policy -- and has no intention of putting all 
its eggs in one basket.  END COMMENT. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA837, KAZAKHSTAN: TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS, AND TRIUMPHS OF 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. #09ASTANA837.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA837 2009-05-14 09:00 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4117
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 #0837/01 1340900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140900Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5417
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1589
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0966
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1669
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0649
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1151
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1067
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1521

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 000837 
 
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 ENRG EINV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS, AND TRIUMPHS OF THE 
POWER BUSINESS 
 
REF:  (A) ASTANA 0251 (B) ASTANA 0419 (C) ASTANA 0555 
 
ASTANA 00000837  001.2 OF 004 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On May 6, AES Vice President Mike Jonagan 
(protect throughout) met with Energy Officer and a visiting 
delegation from the Department of Energy's Office of Russian and 
Eurasian Affairs to discuss the state of Kazakhstan's power sector 
and AES's future plans in the region.  Jonagan said the way to 
increase energy efficiency and attract infrastructure investment is 
to establish market-based tariffs, rather than implement the fixed 
tariff schedule proposed by the government.  He also commented on 
the recent power outages in Almaty, the performance of the 
Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), alternative 
energy options, and theft and corruption in the power sector. 
Despite the difficulties of doing business in Kazakhstan, Jonagan 
said AES has been successful and is pleased with the performance of 
the companies it manages.  On a personal note, Jonagan said that 
local authorities opened a new civil lawsuit against him and he 
confided that he will move to London in September to oversee AES's 
operations in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.  END SUMMARY. 
 
PUTTING A PRICE ON POWER 
 
3.  (SBU) According to AES Vice President Mike Jonagan, raising 
tariffs for electrical power would attract much-needed investment, 
with little negative social impact.  "The government has this 
irrational fear that if tariffs are increased, there would be riots 
in the streets.  I just don't see that happening," he said.  He 
acknowledged that increasing the price of electricity during a 
recession would not be an easy, or popular, decision.  But Jonagan 
said profit margins in Kazakhstan's power sector are thin and he 
made a convincing argument that capping tariffs, as the government 
proposes, would further constrain investment in network 
infrastructure. 
 
"THE NETWORK IS FALLING APART" 
 
4.  (SBU) Jonagan said the power grid is in desperate need of repair 
and rehabilitation.  "The network is falling apart in front of us," 
he said, adding that only an increase in tariffs could convince 
companies to invest in the power grid.  "If we were at five or six 
cents a kilowatt hour, life would be so good," he said.  (NOTE: 
Tariffs in East Kazakhstan oblast are now approximately five tenge 
(approximately 3 cents) per kilowatt hour.  END NOTE).  Jonagan said 
that Kazakhstan's power network is in bad shape, but "it will not 
suddenly collapse all at once."  He said that if companies started 
investing in infrastructure now, then within five years, the grid 
would be fully functional and reliable.  "The only solution to 
improve the distribution network is to raise tariffs.  Higher 
tariffs will mean greater conservation, fewer technical losses, and 
increased investment in the grid." 
 
ALMATY BLACKOUTS 
 
5.  (U) This year alone, there have been four major power outages in 
Almaty, including two blackouts in May and one on April 15 that left 
70 percent of the city's residents without power.  The cause of the 
blackouts has been attributed to ageing infrastructure, including 
faulty 110 kV power transmission lines.  On May 6, following the 
most recent power outage in Almaty, the region's deputy governor, 
Yerbol Shormanov, publicly demanded that  the Samruk-Kazyna National 
Welfare Fund take immediate action to ensure a safe and stable power 
supply to the former capital.  Samruk-Kazyna owns the power 
distribution company Alatau Zharik Kompanias, which is responsible 
for supplying electricity to Almaty.  "They have to hold the 
electric company accountable," the deputy governor said.  On May 8, 
Samruk-Kazyna announced that it had fired Serik Ospanov, head of 
Alatau Zharik Kompanias, and appointed his deputy to run the company 
in the interim. 
 
 
ASTANA 00000837  002.2 OF 004 
 
 
6.  (SBU) According to AES's Mike Jonagan, "the power situation in 
Almaty is a disaster."  He said the problem is a collective failure 
to maintain and upgrade the network, which is made more difficult by 
the fact that power is always in demand in Almaty; there is no down 
time.  "The summer peak is the same as the winter peak," Jonagan 
said, "and they cannot switch the load to a partially utilized &#x0
00A;transformer.  They simply don't have that luxury.  There is not 
enough power supply to meet consumer demand in the south and the 
delivery infrastructure is simultaneously used to generate heat, 
further taxing the system."  (NOTE:  According to Mariyash 
Zhakupova, former senior technical advisor to USAID's first Regional 
Electricity Market Assistance Program (REMAP), "the Almaty blackouts 
show that the Central Dispatch Center is not working effectively and 
the balancing market is not functioning.  If it were, that would aid 
in scheduling off- and on-peak generation."  END NOTE.) 
 
ENERGY EFFICIENCY 
 
7.  (SBU) Jonagan said that there are important and immediate gains 
to be made in improving energy efficiency in Kazakhstan.  For 
example, he said that AES offered to install high efficiency 
transformers and replace incandescent light bulbs with compact 
fluorescent lamps, which he claimed would reduce energy consumption 
by 30 percent.  Unfortunately, according to Jonagan, the former 
governor of East Kazakhstan oblast, Zhanybek Karibyanov, was not 
interested in this demonstration of corporate social responsibility. 
 "He said he would rather we built him a park," Jonagan said. 
 
RENEWABLE ENERGY 
 
8.  (SBU) Kazakhstan has great potential for harnessing wind and 
solar power, according to Jonagan.  He said that wind power would be 
particularly attractive at a 100 MW increment for localized markets 
like Almaty, which could serve to reduce the demand for baseload 
power.  However, Jonagan was not optimistic about the development of 
renewable energy sources in Kazakhstan, mainly due to the country's 
abundance of cheap hydrocarbon resources.  To jump start the 
renewable energy industry in Kazakhstan, he said, the government 
would need to introduce a "green tariff, and there is no appetite 
for that, not in a down market."  He added that Kazakhstan's power 
plants would rather burn oil and mazut than invest in wind power, 
since wind power would cost 14 cents/KWH compared to current much 
lower thermal and hydro-power rates.  "Right now, wind is not an 
attractive alternative," according to Jonagan.  "AES has a lot of 
wind turbines and we offered to bring our expertise and our 
equipment to Kazakhstan, but when we spoke to Samruk-Kazyna, they 
just were not interested." 
 
STEALING ELECTRICITY 
 
9.  (SBU) According to Jonagan, theft is a pervasive problem 
throughout the power sector.  Surprisingly, he said some of the 
worst offenders have been among their most affluent customers, 
including prosecutors, parliamentary deputies, and energy officials, 
who feel they are entitled to special treatment.  Jonagan said it is 
also common practice for household consumers to tamper with 
electricity meters, where they exist.  Alternatively, if the meter 
is located inside, consumers sometimes lie to the electric company 
about usage volumes.  Jonagan said that existing meters are 
extremely old, are not being replaced, and are slowing down, making 
it more difficult to establish market prices for power.  Sometimes, 
stealing electricity is simply done for expedience, as Jonagan 
discovered to his chagrin.  "I was stealing electricity myself and 
didn't know it," he confessed.  "The construction company that built 
my apartment tapped into an adjacent power line illegally and wired 
the entire building.  When I found out what they had done, I had to 
move to a new apartment.  That would not have looked good in the 
newspapers." 
 
NO METER, NO BILL 
 
 
ASTANA 00000837  003.2 OF 004 
 
 
10.  (SBU) In 2007, according to Jonagan, KEGOC began to introduce 
real-time metering at the grid connection points on the 
Kazakhstani-Russian border, but the distribution companies resisted 
this because they understood that it would expose their price 
manipulation practices.  As Jonagan explained, "If there is no 
meter, you can't send a bill."  He said that at the moment, 
Kazakhstan's wholesale customers are not compelled to submit an 
accurate schedule of their power consumption.  They are allowed 
simply to add up the total volume of electricity used per day and 
prorate it according to an average daily cost per kilowatt hour, 
rather than paying higher prices for use during peak times, as one 
would expect. 
 
KUDOS FOR KEGOC 
 
11.  (SBU) Jonagan said that KEGOC is doing a first class job 
managing the network.  He said the larger power transmission lines, 
from 220-500 kV, look very good.  It is clear to Jonagan that KEGOC 
has invested in these lines and he said they provide "close to 
Western quality transmission."  The economic crisis, however, is 
likely to affect KEGOC's continued ability to maintain and upgrade 
the power grid.  (NOTE:  On May 7, KEGOC adjusted its 2009 revenue 
projections down by 14 percent, or 6 billion tenge (approximately 
$40 million), due to an 18 percent drop in power transmission 
services.  END NOTE.) 
 
AES WOULD LIKE TO REMAIN IN KAZAKHSTAN 
 
12.  (SBU) AES owns two combined heat and power plants and has 
concessions on two hydropower plants through 2017, in addition to 
the management contracts for power distribution networks in East 
Kazakhstan.  Jonagan said he was pleased with the recent performance 
of AES assets, despite the economic downturn.  For example, he said 
that the company's collection rates are improving as customers pay 
off old debts.  "For the past several months, we have averaged 
greater than 100 percent collections," Jonagan said.  He also 
reported that Berdybek Saparbayev, newly appointed governor (akim) 
of East Kazakhstan oblast, recently reviewed AES's performance and 
decided to extend its contract for another five years, through 
February 2014, at a fixed fee of $100,000 per year.  Jonagan said 
proudly, "The new akim understood that we would operate the company 
in a transparent, commercially sound manner.  That showed real 
leadership.  Those guys usually come in and they bankrupt the oblast 
power companies by charging four or five times the cost of producing 
electricity and padding the subcontracts.  This guy is different." 
 
WHO WILL GET THE HYDROS? 
 
13.  (SBU) Toward the end of the meeting, Jonagan disclosed that 
local authorities in Almaty recently opened a new civil lawsuit 
against him.  He said the local government is still pursuing back 
taxes from a trading company, long-defunct, that AES established 
years ago.  Jonagan was named in the suit because he is still listed 
as the responsible corporate officer for the company, which he 
explained was the only way to secure his work permit when he first 
arrived in Kazakhstan.  Jonagan said he is not overly concerned by 
the legal action, but he confided that he will move to London in 
September to oversee AES's operations in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.  He 
also said AES may soon be forced to part with its prized assets, two 
hydropower plants in East Kazakhstan that are now comfortably 
profitable.  "When we took on the concession for these assets," 
Jonagan
said, "they needed a lot of work.  Now, hydropower is very 
attractive and all the guys are fighting over the pretty girl."  He 
then struck an ominous note:  "Certain elements have made it clear 
that they are going to get the hydros from us.  I almost don't care 
anymore.  They're not exactly strategic assets.  If we get a fair 
offer, we'll sell them.  But we would at least like to recoup our 
initial investment."  When asked whether AES will continue to do 
business in Kazakhstan, Jonagan replied, "We'll stay here as long as 
we don't get run off." 
 
 
ASTANA 00000837  004.2 OF 004 
 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA829, KAZAKHSTAN: ISLAMIC LEADERS DISCUSS THEIR WORK, COOPERATION

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. #09ASTANA829.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA829 2009-05-13 01:32 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2767
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 #0829/01 1330132
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130132Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5406
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1582
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0959
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1662
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0642
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1144
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1060
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1516

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000829 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL/PHD 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USAID 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM EAID KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ISLAMIC LEADERS DISCUSS THEIR WORK, COOPERATION 
WITH THE UNITED STATES 
 
ASTANA 00000829  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (U) SUMMARY:  During the week of April 20, USAID's Regional 
Society and State Advisor met in Astana with the Deputy Imam of the 
Nur Astana Mosque, Beibit Alikpekovich Mirzageldiyev, and in Almaty 
with the Deputy Mufti of Kazakhstan, Mukhamed-Khusein Alsabekov. 
This was the first meeting with the Deputy Imam and the second 
meeting between Deputy Mufti Alsabekov and the USAID Advisor.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
DEPUTY IMAM SHARES STORY OF ASTANA MOSQUE 
 
3. (SBU) The Nur Astana Mosque is now Astana's largest mosque, built 
in 2005 with financial help from the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin 
Khalifa Al-Thani.  It has four minarets, each 63 meters (206 ft.) 
and a dome 43 meters (141 ft.) high.  The USAID Advisor met with 
Mirzageldiyev near the entrance and was surprised to observe two 
females walk out of the Mosque with their hair uncovered and wearing 
clothing that could be construed as inappropriate for mosque 
attendance.  It became readily apparent after entering, however, 
that the Mosque provides robes and scarves for females, assuring 
that women have quick and easy access to the place of worship 
regardless of their attire.  Part of the Mosque is sectioned off and 
strictly for prayer, while the remaining portion is designed for 
tour-like observance.  While there is a place reserved for females 
to pray, females not praying had the same access as tourists.  In 
this respect, the Nur Astana Mosque is closer in custom to 
historical mosques in Turkey than to some of the more traditional 
mosques in other Central Asian states. 
 
4. (SBU) Mirzageldiyev shared some interesting facts behind the 
Mosque's design.  The dome of the structure is approximately 40 
meters high, to signify that Muhammed first received revelation at 
the age of 40.  The minarets were 63 meters high, representing 
Muhammed's age at the time of his death.  Mirzageldiyev said the 
Mosque can hold up to 5,000 worshipers, but asserted that Friday 
prayers can attract as many as 7,000 worshipers.  Mirzageldiyev said 
he is from the Shymkent area in Southern Kazakhstan and pursued 
religious studies in Islamabad, Pakistan. 
 
5. (SBU) In the course of the conversation, Mirzageldiyev stressed 
several times that Kazakhstan is a peaceful and harmonious country 
because all the Muslims of Kazakhstan are Sunni and follow the 
Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence.  He underlined that 
Kazakhstan strives to respect all religions, and cited past 
conferences on 
"world" religions held in Kazakhstan.  He invited the USAID Advisor 
to attend Friday prayers in the near future. 
 
DEPUTY MUFTI OPEN TO IDEA OF ENGLISH-LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION 
 
6. (SBU) In Almaty, the USAID Advisor met with the Deputy Mufti 
Mukhamed-Khusein Alsabekov.  Alsabekov is prominent within the 
Muslim community in Kazakhstan; he has written numerous books on 
Islamic jurisprudence and is considered an authority on religious 
matters.  He is frequently featured on television, usually takes 
part in any Kazakhstani high level religious delegation, and serves 
as host when well-known religious leaders come to Kazakhstan. 
Although born and raised in Kazakhstan, he is an ethnic Chechen and 
by age 30 was the Mufti of Chechnya.  Alsabekov claims to speak 12 
languages, and writes literature in Russian, Kazakh, and classical 
Arabic. 
 
7. (SBU) This was the second time the USAID advisor met with the 
Deputy Mufti, and Alsabekov warmly welcomed him, calling him "my 
brother" and telling him that "he is welcome anytime."  Alsabekov 
shared that he was asked by Chechen and Russian authorities to 
return to Chechnya in order to lead the Muslim community there, but 
said that he declined the offer because he "is happy in Kazakhstan 
and the Kazakhstani people have shown [him] great hospitality." He 
presented three books to the visiting group and spoke about his 
long-time interest in the United States. 
 
8. (SBU) It is clear that Alsabekov occupies a position of respect 
and influence within the Chief Mufti's office.  During the visit, he 
 
ASTANA 00000829  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
fielded several phone calls that were conducted completely in 
Arabic.  On one call, he was asked to render a decision about a 
Muslim accidently buried in a Christian cemetery many decades ago, 
and whether to remove the body for reburial.  Alsabekov's office
 
wall features several photographs of him with prominent political 
and religious figures, including President of Kazakhstan Nursultan 
Nazarbaev, the former head of Saudi Arabia's religious establishment 
Sheikh Bin Baz (now deceased), the Iranian Ayatollah Mousavi, and 
former Malaysian President Mahathir. 
 
9. (SBU)  Asked about the Embassy's proposal to place three 
English-Language Fellows (ELFs) in madrassas or within the 
Secretariat of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims (SAMK), 
Alsabekov responded positively, saying the idea could prove 
potentially helpful to both students and administrative officials. 
[NOTE:  The Embassy's proposal has been tentatively welcomed by SAMK 
officials, but the Chief Mufti has yet to issue his final decision. 
END NOTE] He observed that English is extremely valuable for 
international conferences and would provide him and his colleagues 
easier access to international forums.  USAID Advisor assured 
Alsabekov that should the proposal be accepted, he would be happy to 
work with the prospective teachers to ensure they are fully aware of 
local norms and Islamic etiquette.  Alsabekov was hopeful that such 
an English-language program could be established, using the Arabic 
word inshallah, or "God willing." 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA828, KAZAKHSTAN: MEDIA REACTION, APRIL 30 – May 6

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. #09ASTANA828.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA828 2009-05-12 12:04 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2082
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 #0828/01 1321204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121204Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5404
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1580
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1660
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0957
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0640
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1142
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1058
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2314
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2640
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1514

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000828 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ECON SOCI KDEM KPAO KMDR KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MEDIA REACTION, APRIL 30 - May 6 
 
ASTANA 00000828  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  A draft law on Internet regulation, which passed the 
lower house of Parliament this week, drew a fusillade from 
opposition and independent media outlets who object to what they see 
as potential for overbearing government control over new media. 
Though the Internet law was the hot topic of the week, weeklies 
"Megapolis" and "Delovaya Nedelya" also addressed the H1N1 virus 
scare and the regional Aral Sea summit.  Pro-government "Liter" took 
a long look at the situation around Bank Turan Alem (BTA), which is 
coming under international financial pressure.  END SUMMARY. 
 
TEAR DOWN THIS WALL 
 
2.  Independent and opposition media banded together to attack the 
draft Internet regulation law that passed the lower house of 
Parliament earlier this week.  According to those who oppose it, the 
law allows the government to close any web site that bears 
proscribed commentary, even if the comments in question are posted 
by an unidentified reader.  In opposition, Russian-language 
"Respublika," human rights campaigner Yevgeniy Zhovtis drew an 
analogy between the proposed law and graffiti on a wall, saying that 
the owner of the wall could be held criminally liable.  "Substitute 
mass media for this wall.  If the authorities don't find who wrote 
the message, they just tear down this wall." 
 
3.  Independent, Russian-language "Vremya" published commentary by 
political observer Vadim Boreyko suggesting that if this draft law 
is adopted, "the Prosecutor General will first of all have to close 
Prime Minister Massimov's blog" since it contains accusations of 
corruption by many state officials.  He also points out that 
Kazakhstan's e-Government Center of Excellence site had nude 
pictures posted on it by an unknown person, and so would also have 
to be closed.  He goes on to say, "But everyone in Kazakhstan 
understands that this law will not apply to the Prime Minister's 
blog.  Kazakhstani justice is very selective.  Even the statue of 
Themis in Almaty near the Kazakhstani Humanitarian Law University 
wears no blindfold." 
 
4.  "Vremya" also provided a forum for free press advocate Tamara 
Kaleyeva, who said that after the Prosecutor General blocks 
everything "harmful" from the Kazakhstani Internet, "the 
intellectual food of Kazakhstan will be tasteless."  She said that 
Kazakhstani law has long defined criminal, civil, and administrative 
punishment for journalists, so "it is not a coincidence that 
Kazakhstani traditional mass media are so disciplined:  they march 
in line, sing in chorus, and do not write what they actually think," 
a fate that she now believes awaits Kazakhstani bloggers. 
5.  Independent, Russian-language "Panorama" presented the other 
side of the story.  A majority of parliamentarians supported the 
draft law on Internet regulation because they said they are tired of 
the flow of negative and often illegal information coming from the 
Internet.  "Panorama" quotes Parliamentarian Mukhtar Tinikeyev, who 
emphasized that democracy should not be equated with permissiveness. 
 "Read what people write in their (Internet) comments.  It is 
hair-raising.  They write those comments because they know they 
won't be punished," Tinikiyev said. 
WATER AGREEMENT EVAPORATES 
 
6.  Independent, Russian-language "Delovaya Nedelya" bemoaned the 
failure of Central Asian leaders at last week's Aral Sea summit in 
Almaty to solve "the region's main problem - the distribution of 
water resources."  The summit turned out to be "disappointing, 
disillusioning, and demonstrated the absence of unity."  The author 
believes that the regional water problem could unite the Central 
Asian states the way coal and steel united the nascent European 
Union.  But "the Aral Sea summit showed once more that the leaders 
do not understand the fact that until the region can solve its 
internal problems, it will continue to be a battlefield for someone 
else's vanity - a set of pawns that can be sacrificed without 
serious consequences.  The Almaty summit will enter history as a 
missed opportunity for Central Asian states to become the fingers of 
one strong and independent hand." 
 
 &#x000
A;ASTANA 00000828  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
7.  Pro-government, Russian-language "Megapolis" agreed with 
"Delovaya Nedelya's" assessment, stating that despite the joint 
statement signed at the summit, "Many observers agree that Central 
Asian leaders were not satisfied with the results."  The paper 
quoted the Director of the Development Institute of Kazakhstan, 
Magbat Spanov, who accused Central Asian states of "energy egoism" 
and speculated that conflicts over water resources will only grow 
and could "turn into military conflicts." 
 
FLU SEASON 
 
8.  "Delovaya Nedelya" reported on the outbreak of H1N1 influenza, 
or swine flu, and described the actions taken by U.S. President 
Obama and Russian Prime Minister Putin to prevent its spread.  It 
stated that the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Serik Akhmetov, 
is "convinced that swine flu will not penetrate into Kazakhstan" due 
to government vigilance.  The author said that "in the opinion of 
scientists, the current developments in Mexico reminds one of a 
similar situation in Mexico in 1918 which led to global epidemics of 
Spanish influenza and 20 million deaths."  Among anti-flu measures 
taken by different countries, the author mentioned that "Russia and 
China have stopped meat imports from the United States and Mexico. 
WHO experts, however, say that such measures are not necessary since 
it is impossible to become infected from eating meat." 
9.  "Megapolis" pointed out that the United States wants to change 
the name of "swine flu" to "H1N1" because it "is concerned that 
because of the name of the virus, many countries have banned 
American pork from their markets.  Now, American authorities are 
trying to convince the world that pork and swine flu are not 
connected.  'It is necessary to explain to people that the 
consumption of pork does not cause the virus,' U.S. Secretary of 
Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.  Veterinarians agree with Vilsack, 
saying that swine flu is not the proper name for this virus that can 
originate not only among pigs but also birds and humans." 
BTA STRESS TEST 
 
10.  Pro-government, Russian-language "Liter" published two analysis 
articles on the financial troubles of Kazakhstan's largest bank, 
Bank Turan Alem (BTA).  In the first, the author sees BTA and the 
government that nationalized the bank as losers in an "information 
war."  The author pointed out that the ousted head of BTA, Mukhtar 
Ablyazov, "fueled the flames by announcing himself to be a victim of 
political repression."  The article states, "Today, the foreign 
press believes his provocative statements more than it believes the 
bank's rare and short statements.  With so little information coming 
from bank officials, it is impossible for someone in London or New 
York to build an objective opinion about what is going on around the 
bank."  The author surmised that this information war failure led to 
Western creditors calling in BTA's loans. 
11.  In a second article, "Liter" explained to its readers that "all 
of the financial resources given to BTA were insured by special 
financial instruments called credit default swaps that insure 
corporations and banks receive a payoff in case of default.  When 
Morgan Stanley requested that BTA pay off its loan, BTA was unable 
to do it and thus was declared in partial default.  Many foreign 
experts agreed that Morgan Stanley is provoking BTA's default in 
order to cash in on credit default swaps.  BTA's default will change 
the American bank from a loser into a winner."  The author noted 
that the "excessive" use of credit default swaps helped bring on the 
financial crisis, and concluded, "However, instead of fighting the 
crisis honestly by rejecting the old rules and letting everyone 
responsible for issuing credit default swaps go bankrupt, the U.S 
government made a dishonest decision to legalize this financial 
disease." 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA827, NEW LAW ENFORCEMENT BLOCK IN KAZAKHSTAN

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. #09ASTANA827.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA827 2009-05-12 11:38 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2042
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 #0827/01 1321138
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121138Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5401
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1577
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0954
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1657
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0637
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1139
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1055
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1511
RUEAWJL/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC 0015

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000827 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE, SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR SNAR KCRM KTIP KZ
SUBJECT: NEW LAW ENFORCEMENT BLOCK IN KAZAKHSTAN 
 
REF:  ASTANA 0367 
 
ASTANA 00000827  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (U) SUMMARY:  In early April, President Nazarbayev reshuffled the 
heads of nearly all of Kazakhstan's law agencies.  General Major 
Serik Baimagambetov, a member of the Majilis (i.e. the lower house 
of parliament), was named Minister of Interior, replacing Baurzhan 
Mukhamedzhanov who was appointed to a seat in the Senate (i.e., the 
upper house of parliament).  Procurator General Rashid Tussupbekov 
was named Minister of Justice, replacing Zagipa Baliyeva, who was 
appointed to a seat in the Majilis.  Former Supreme Court Chairman 
(i.e., Chief Justice) Kairat Mami was appointed Procurator General, 
replacing Tussupbekov.  Supreme Court Justice Musabek Alimbekov was 
named the Court's Chairman.  During the reshuffle, the President 
gave the new ministers orders to improve law enforcement.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
3. (U) On April 3 and 4, during meetings with the Senate, President 
Nazarbayev announced a reshuffling of the heads of nearly all of 
Kazakhstan's law enforcement agencies. 
 
4. (U) At a subsequent meeting with the newly appointed law 
enforcement officials, President Nazarbayev discussed his concerns 
about law enforcement corruption.  He said the elimination of 
"unqualified people" at all levels in the government and fighting 
corruption will renew the public's trust in the authorities.  He 
tasked the newly-appointed officials with making the necessary 
changes to improve the management of the police, justice, and court 
systems.  Nazarbayev explained that the financial crisis has 
highlighted problems in the system.  High-profile crimes remain 
unresolved, the fight against street crimes is going poorly, and 
organized criminal organizations have stepped up their activities. 
Though the Agency on Combating Economic and Corruption Crime (i.e., 
the Financial Police) has recently intensified its work, there is 
still believed to be a multi-billion tenge criminal economy in 
operation.  The President underlined that coordinated activity of 
law enforcement agencies is necessary to effectively fight crime and 
announced that the Procurator General's Office (PGO) should play the 
coordinating role.   New Minister of Interior Baimagambetov was 
tasked with strengthening public security and "striking fear in the 
hearts of criminals."  The President stated that the police must be 
close to people and that the courts should be open to public.  He 
also tasked all law enforcement agencies with closely overseeing the 
lawful use of government funds allocated for mitigating the effects 
of the financial crisis. 
 
SUPREME COURT CHAIRMAN 
 
5. (SBU) New Supreme Court Chairman Musabek Alimbekov has worked in 
the courts throughout his career.  He previously chaired the South 
Kazakhstan Oblast court and then the Almaty City Court.  Immediately 
before his new appointment, Alimbekov headed the Panel of Judges on 
Civil Cases at the Supreme Court for three years.  In one high 
profile case, his panel found for civil servants who were guaranteed 
housing as part of their employment contract, but had not received 
it. 
 
PROCURATOR GENERAL 
 
6. (SBU) President Nazarbayev stressed his appointment of Kairat 
Mami to be the new Procurator General was particularly important. 
In his nine years Supreme Court, Chairman Mami had an opportunity to 
closely study the law enforcement system.  The President stressed 
that Mami, as Procurator General, can strengthen the coordination of 
the law enforcement system.  NOTE: Constitutionally, oversight is 
one of the PGO's main roles as it was in the USSR.  Before this 
round of appointments, there had been discussions in the government 
making the PGO's future role as the coordinating agency unclear. 
Representatives of INL and the Legal Attach's Office attended a 
roundtable early this year at the PGO Institute regarding this very 
 
ASTANA 00000827  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
issue.  END NOTE. 
 
MINISTER OF JUSTICE 
 
7. (U) New Minister of Justice Rashid Tussupbekov was born in 1955 
in Shymkent and graduated from Karaganda State University in 1981. 

He started his career as a district judge in Karaganda oblast in 
1984.  He served as Procurator General from 2000 to 2009.  He has 
published extensively on legal reform and improvement of the 
judicial system.  During the first meeting with the new law 
enforcement heads, President Nazarbayev said that he expects that 
Tusupbekov will improve the Ministry's legal drafting. 
 
MINISTER OF INTERIOR 
 
8. (U) New Minister of Interior General Major Serik Baimagambetov 
graduated from Moscow State University in 1980 with a law degree. 
From 1980 until 1990, he worked as an instructor at the Karaganda 
Academy of the Ministry of Interior of the USSR (now the Karaganda 
Legal Institute).  From 1990 through 1992, he worked at the 
Kazakhstani Section on Research of Problems in the Fight against 
Crime of the Higher Scientific and Research Institute of the USSR's 
Ministry of Interior.  From 1992 until 1996, Baimagambetov worked in 
various positions in Kazakhstan's Presidential Administration and 
was Deputy Secretary of the Security Council from 1996 until 1999. 
In 2001, Baimagambetov became Vice Minister of Interior and, in 
2003, he became Vice Minister of Justice.  In 2005, he was appointed 
Deputy Chairman of the Agency on Combating Economic and Corruption 
Crimes and, in 2006, was named to head the Section on Law 
Enforcement and Court Systems in the Presidential Administration. 
From November 2007 until his current appointment, he was a member of 
the Senate 
 
9. (U) On April 17, Baimagambetov held his first meeting with the 
heads of the oblast departments of interior.  He reported that there 
were fewer murders, robberies, thefts and other crimes during the 
first quarter of 2009.  He claimed that much has been done to combat 
organized crime.  Joint operations with other law enforcement 
agencies have disrupted the work of the "criminal world's elite," 
but that this has resulted in a new flow of mob bosses 
("thieves-in-law") from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia coming to 
Kazakhstan to strengthen their positions and revive their 
"traditions."  He stated that 13 mafia leaders, 18 gang leaders, and 
87 members of organized criminal groups had been arrested during the 
quarter.  The Ministry of Interior (MVD) uncovered 2,718 
drug-related crimes, including 585 cases of drug sales, and seized 
1.7 metric tons of drugs, including 26 kilos of heroin.  The MVD is 
also working more closely with civil society:  over 4,000 civil 
society associations and NGOs with approximately 33,000 members are 
currently working with law enforcement.  The MVD is also working in 
schools through youth programs and school inspectors.  The Minister 
described the overall crime rate as stable, but admitted that the 
economic situation may cause an increase in property and violent 
crimes. 
 
10. (U) Baimagambetov tasked the oblast departments with monitoring 
the criminal situation and responding in a timely manner to any 
increases in crime.  The Minister added that the heads of the oblast 
departments need to strengthen the work of their territorial and 
transport subdivisions by making officers personally responsible. 
He said that the Department of Interior of the Eastern Kazakhstan 
oblast has done especially well cleaning up its department -- 
several officers have been dismissed, including the Deputy Head of 
the Department.  (NOTE:  On April 13, the Ministry of Interior 
announced that it is instituting a transparent recruitment system, 
with the main criteria for selection being professionalism and 
honesty.  END NOTE.) 
 
ACHIEVEMENTS OF FORMER INTERIOR MINISTER... 
 
11. (U) Former Minister of Interior Bauyrzhan Mukhamedzhanov was 
 
ASTANA 00000827  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
appointed to that position in October 2005.  He reformed the 
organizational structure of the MVD by eliminating units with 
overlapping responsibilities and increased the number of patrol 
officers throughout the country.  In June 2008, President Nazarbayev 
signed into law amendments introducing tougher punishments for 
drug-related crimes and clearly stipulating a division of 
responsibilities between the MVD and Ministry of Justice for 
correctional facilities.  The MVD Committee of Internal Troops is 
responsible for maintaining jails, where suspects are housed during 
investigations and during trial.  The Ministry of Justice is 
responsible for maintaining correctional colonies, where prisoners 
are able to work, and prisons.  In July 2008, amendments on road 
security were introduced that foresee a gradual strengthening of 
penalties for traffic violations.  The penalties for traffic 
violations now correspond to the danger the violations pose to the 
public.  Comparing the statistics with the first two months of 2008, 
the number of traffic accidents in the first two months of 2009 has 
decreased nearly 9%. 
 
... AND HIS FAILURES 
 
12. (SBU) One of the MVD's most controversial decisions was the 
introduction of a driver's record card in addition to the driver's 
license.  The card contains information about the driver, the 
vehicle, and previous infractions, and allowed drivers to easily pay 
penalties on the road.  Initially, the cards were offered to the 
public for a fee, but discussions in Parliament led to cards being 
offered free of charge, which upset those who had already paid.  The 
MVD also faced a scandal in its Counternarcotics Committee over the 
poor construction of internal narcotics checkpoints (reftel).  At a 
government meeting on March 31, Prime Minister Karim Masimov 
criticized the MVD's draft Program on Combating Drug Trafficking and 
Drug Addiction and requested the Ministry revise the plan within 30 
days. 
 
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 
 
13. (U) In 2008, the MVD signed international counter-narcotics 
agreements with Egypt, Croatia, Slovakia, the Russian Federation, 
and the United States.  The MVD was responsible for the agreement on 
the establishment of the Central Asian Regional Information 
Coordination Center (CARICC), which entered into force on March 22, 
2009. Post provides technical assistance to the MVD on combating 
narco-trafficking and trafficking-in-persons.  Post's legal attache 
works with the MVD in investigations. 
 
14. (SBU) COMMENT:  Recent corruption and other criminal offenses 
committed by law enforcement officials in the midst of the financial 
crisis have had a serious negative effect on the already negative 
public image of law enforcement.  There are many possible reasons 
for the recent increase in the corruption-related arrests of 
government officials, including competition within the senior ranks 
and further struggles over the Aliyev case.  If corruption has 
increased, one cause may be corrupt officers with ties to senior 
officials acting with impunity while their protectors spend years in 
senior positions.  Though none of the reshuffled officials have 
themselves been accused of corruption, moving them around
may in any 
event be a useful means to tackle the corruption beneath them.  INL 
Astana has worked with the Procurator General's Office in 
implementing the Crime Statistics Project; with the Ministry of 
Justice in implementing the Anti Trafficking-in-Persons (TIP) and 
Forensic projects; and with the Ministry of Interior in implementing 
Counter-narcotics and TIP projects.  Post has had successful 
cooperation with the former senior management of the law enforcement 
agencies and believes that cooperation will continue.  INL also 
hopes for fresh ideas from the newly-appointed officials.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA825, KAZAKHSTAN: PETROCHEMICAL PROPOSAL ATTRACTS INVESTORS

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. #09ASTANA825.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA825 2009-05-12 09:35 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1935
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 #0825/01 1320935
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 120935Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5398
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1575
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0952
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1655
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0635
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1137
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1053
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1509

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000825 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EPET EINV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  PETROCHEMICAL PROPOSAL ATTRACTS INVESTORS 
 
REF:  (A) ASTANA 0538 (B) ASTANA 0678 
 
ASTANA 00000825  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On April 29, Energy Officer met with Raushan 
Sarmurzina, Director of the Petrochemicals Department at the 
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), to discuss 
Kazakhstan's plans to develop a domestic petrochemical industry. 
Sarmurzina said that despite the economic crisis, the government is 
moving forward with plans to build a $5 billion petrochemical 
complex near Atyrau by 2014.  MEMR has already signed long-term 
contracts with Tengizchevroil (TCO) and the Kashagan consortium to 
supply the raw materials for production, and LyondellBasell 
Industries is expected to participate in the construction and 
management of the project.  The government is also courting 
investors from South Korea and Saudi Arabia.  When asked whether 
Chinese companies would participate in the project, Sarmurzina 
responded with a colorful, if xenophobic, tirade against the 
impending "Chinese invasion" and pleaded for Western companies to 
invest in Kazakhstan because they bring modern technology and 
operate according to high standards of health, safety, security, and 
environment, "unlike the Chinese."  END SUMMARY. 
 
"THE WHEELS ARE IN MOTION" 
 
3.  (SBU) Kazakhstan is committed to developing a large, 
multi-faceted petrochemical complex in Eskene, near Atyrau in 
western Kazakhstan, according to Sarmurzina.  "The wheels are 
already in motion," she said, noting that MEMR has already signed 
ten-year contracts with TCO and AgipKCO, Phase One operator of the 
Kashagan oil field, to supply raw materials such as methane, 
propane, and ethane to the plant.  TCO alone will supply 6-7 billion 
cubic meters of gas per year, according to press reports.  According 
to Shell Kazakhstan's country manager Campbell Keir, Shell Global 
Solutions completed a preliminary feasibility study for the 
construction of the Atyrau petrochemical complex.  Sarmurzina also 
said that MEMR hired the UK consulting firm Nexant to advise the 
government on structural design and infrastructure issues. 
Construction of the complex will be carried out by Kazakhstan 
Petrochemical Industries, a 50-50 joint venture of Sat and Company 
LLC -- which used to own and operate the Atyrau polypropylene plant 
and the Aktau plastics plant -- and KazMunaiGas Exploration and 
Production, a subsidiary of national oil company KazMunaiGas. 
Sarmurzina said the petrochemical complex is expected to be complete 
by 2014 at a cost of $5.4 billion. 
 
CAN KAZAKHSTAN COMPETE? 
 
4.  (SBU) Sarmurzina said the government has already set aside 10 
billion tenge (approximately $67 million) for the complex from the 
2009 budget, but will rely on foreign investment to carry out 
construction from 2010-2014.  The forecasted capacity of the complex 
is 400,000 tons of low and high density polyethylene, 400,000 tons 
of linear low density polyethylene, and 400,000 tons of 
polypropylene a year.  Sarmurzina said that up to 80 percent of 
production would be exported.  She added that Atyrau is an ideal 
location for the facility because it is close to the source of its 
main feedstock (i.e., methane from Tengiz and Kashagan) and Atyrau 
used to be a leader in the petrochemical industry, so there are many 
qualified specialists already living in the region.  (COMMENT: 
Bronek Dutkiewicz, an independent consultant who has worked at and 
designed petrochemical complexes throughout the world for more than 
fifty years, believes there is room in the marketplace for one very 
large petrochemical complex that would supply markets in Russia, 
Eurasia, and the Caucasus.  "Whoever builds it first will capture 
that market," he said.  END COMMENT). 
 
LYONDELLBASELL INTERESTED, BUT CAUTIOUS 
 
5.  (SBU) Sarmurzina confirmed that the government has an agreement 
with the international division of LyondellBasell, a leading 
petrochemical company, to develop the Atyrau plant.  "We're ready to 
start building tomorrow," said Sarmurzina, "but Lyondell is more 
 
ASTANA 00000825  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
cautious, because of the financial crisis."  (NOTE:  Per reftel A, 
on March 20, Bolat Akchulakov, Managing Director for Oil and Gas at 
Samruk-Kazyna, told Energy Officer that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy 
filing by LyondellBasell's U.S. affilia
te will not affect the 
company's commitments to Kazakhstan.  Akchulakov said that 
LyondellBasell remains the government's primary partner in the 
Atyrau Petrochemical Plant project.  END NOTE.) 
 
6.  (SBU) On April 24, Dauren Yerdybai, Director of Kazakhstan 
Petrochemical Industries, said that LyondellBasell confirmed its 
interest in taking part in the project.  "LyondellBasell confirmed 
the importance of the project and said it has clearance from U.S. 
regulators and sufficient funds available to finance its share in 
the project," he said.  According to Yerdybai, even if the company 
does not officially join the project, the government will use 
LyondellBasell's license for the production of polyethylene and 
polypropylene, the supply of catalysts, and the maintenance and 
operation of the facilities. 
 
KOREAN AND SAUDI INVESTORS ALSO INTERESTED 
 
7.  (SBU) On April 30, a managing director of National Welfare Fund 
Samruk-Kazyna, Aidan Karibzhanov, said that South Korean financial 
institutions are ready to finance up to $1.5 billion for 
construction of the petrochemical complex.  "Several Korean 
financial institutions, including Eximbank of Korea, have expressed 
an interest in financing the project," he said.  Karibzhanov also 
said South Korea's LG Chemical and Saudi Arabia's SAPIC were 
interested in the project. 
 
SURPRISING RANT AGAINST THE CHINESE 
 
8.  (SBU) When asked if MEMR would cooperate -- or compete -- with 
petrochemical producers in China, MEMR's Sarmurzina launched into an 
unexpected, vitriolic attack on the Chinese.  "How many of them are 
there any way?," she asked rhetorically.  "Five billion?  Look out 
that window.  See all that open land?  They would settle all of 
Kazakhstan in a minute.  We could easily be taken over by them. 
They want to come to Kazakhstan, marry our pretty Kazakh girls, and 
settle here forever.  Soon we'll all be Chinese!  I wouldn't mind if 
the people they sent here were smart, but they send young country 
bumpkins who know nothing, have no idea how to do business, ignore 
safety precautions, and cause accidents.  If the Chinese come, it 
will be a whole different deal.  They will pay whatever it takes to 
secure our raw materials.  We have to be very careful when dealing 
with the Chinese.  Please," she pleaded, "send us Western companies 
who can bring modern technology and high standards for health, 
safety and the environment."  (NOTE:  On April 16, per reftel B, 
China agreed to provide $10 billion to Kazakhstan, including $5 
billion to KazMunaiGas and $5.0 billion to the Development Bank of 
Kazakhstan.  END NOTE). 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA822, KAZAKHSTAN: LIFE ON THE STEPPE, May 1-8

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. #09ASTANA822.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA822 2009-05-08 11:45 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9687
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 #0822/01 1281145
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081145Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5394
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1573
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0950
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1653
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0633
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1135
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1051
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1506

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000822 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ECON SOCI SENV KCRM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  LIFE ON THE STEPPE, May 1-8 
 
ASTANA 00000822  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. 
 
UNKNOWN ARSONIST BURNS POPULAR SHYMKENT MARKET 
 
2.  On April 27, a fire broke out in Shymkent's most popular market 
and before local firefighters managed brought it under control, a 
large part of the market was consumed by the blaze.  As a result, 
hundreds local traders renting stalls and storing goods in the 
market found themselves impoverished overnight.  Fortunately, 
despite significant property damage, the fire did not claim any 
lives, since the market was being sanitized on the day of the fire 
and the normally busy market was almost empty.  That, however, was 
of little consolation to vendors who tried to sneak back to the 
burning building through a cordon of police officers.  "I have lost 
everything," the daily newspaper Vremya quoted one of the traders. 
"I put all my money into those goods, and in addition I took on 
credit.  And now everything is gone.  Who will cover my losses?" 
 
3.  In theory, the market owners who lease out individual stalls and 
stores to the vendors should compensate the vendors for their 
losses, since they charge not only rent but also a monthly security 
fee.  So far, however, the owners have only mentioned the 
possibility of discounting leases and similar bonuses as 
compensation, and the vendors are fuming.  "How am I going to sell 
goods when everything I have has turned to ash?," said one anonymous 
vendor.  "If the market has burned down, it means that the owners 
and their employees were unable to keep watch and failed to prevent 
a disaster.  Now they need to compensate us."  Moreover, many 
vendors do not have formal contracts with the market owners, and 
operate based on handshake agreements.  This, understandably, does 
not give the vendors much hope of receiving fair compensation for 
their losses. 
 
4.  The market owners, meanwhile, said they suspected foul play not 
long after the fire was extinguished.  According to some, the 
market's increasing popularity has created bad blood among the 
competition.  Several days later, local police confirmed this 
suspicion, as they began criminal proceedings against unnamed 
defendants accused of arson. 
 
POWER STRUGGLE IN ASTANA CIRCUS 
 
5.  The performers of Astana's "Capital Circus" organized a general 
meeting to protest a court decision to return the former director of 
the circus to his former position.  Omirbek Isabekov, a former 
circus performer himself and most recently the director of Astana's 
circus, was dismissed in March.  Nominally, the reason for his 
dismissal was his unexcused absence from work, but there were rumors 
he was involved in financial fraud and racketeering.  The circus 
performers who were unenthusiastic about Isabekov's tenure at the 
circus were devastated by the news of his return.  At a press 
conference, called immediately after the court's decision, the 
circus troop announced that they would go on strike, should Isabekov 
return to the circus as its director. 
 
6.  According to press reports, Isabekov himself has so far refused 
to comment on the controversy.  Nevertheless, the scandal, which had 
been contained within the circus bigtop, has now become public, as 
local media have picked up the story and local politicians have 
become involved.  Mukhtar Yerketaev, deputy chairman of the Astana 
branch of the ruling Nur Otan party, reportedly promised to provide 
legal help to the artists to fight the court ruling and take up the 
"Isabekov case" at an upcoming party meeting.  "We have to respect 
the ruling of the court," he said, "but we have not yet been ordered 
to return Isabekov to his former position." 
 
7.  The artists themselves have only one desire: "We only wish for 
one thing:  that management allows us to do what we love most, to 
perform for the people." 
 
 
ASTANA 00000822  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
ALMATY ORGANIZES
 FIRST HIGH HEEL RUNNING RACE 
 
8.  On May 1, Almaty hosted its first high heels race, with more 
than 30 participants wearing three- to five-inch pumps running 80 
meters down a central street in Almaty.  However funny the idea 
sounds, the race was no joke, as those who suffered painful spills 
can attest.  Some contestants gunning for the top prize of 50,000 
tenge (around $330) even used tape to tie their pumps firmly to 
their feet.  According to one participant, long-time Almaty resident 
Yuliya Filippova, running in heels is just another part of living in 
a big city.  "Of course, [I have to run in heels often], especially 
when catching a bus.  I have been walking in four-inch high heels 
since I was 14 years old, so this is nothing new for me.  When I 
found out about this race, I immediately decided to participate. 
And I would have won, if I not fallen."  At the end of the day, 
everyone was happy when each competitor received at least a symbolic 
prize for their participation. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA819, KAZAKHSTAN: UK ENERGY ENVOY TOURS REGION

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. #09ASTANA819.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA819 2009-05-08 09:56 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9489
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 #0819/01 1280956
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080956Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5391
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1570
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0947
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1650
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0630
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1132
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1048
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1501

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000819 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/CARC, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EPET EINV RS GG TX KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  UK ENERGY ENVOY TOURS REGION 
 
ASTANA 00000819  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On April 29, the Ambassador met with UK Caspian 
Energy Envoy Angus Miller (protect throughout) to discuss his 
six-week tour through the Caucasus and Central Asia.  Miller said 
that an investor from the United Arab Emirates plans to develop and 
modernize the port terminal of Poti on the Georgian Black Sea coast 
and added that the sunken dredging ship blocking entry to the port 
of Kulevy is now being disassembled.  He downplayed the announcement 
that German energy company RWE signed a Memorandum of Understanding 
with the government of Turkmenistan and said the government missed 
an opportunity during its energy security conference on April 23-24 
to award a license to a major international oil company.  Miller 
also told the Ambassador that he is concerned that Bautino bay on 
the Kazakhstani shores of the Caspian Sea is being overdeveloped and 
said the area lacks necessary power and other supporting 
infrastructure.  Miller is interested in coordinating U.S. and UK 
energy policies and looks forward to an opportunity to meet 
Ambassador Morningstar at his earliest convenience.  END SUMMARY. 
 
BIG PLANS FOR POTI 
 
3.  (SBU) UK Caspian Energy Envoy Angus Miller paid the Ambassador a 
courtesy call at the end of a six-week tour through the Caucasus and 
Central Asia.  Recalling his visit to Georgia in March, he called 
the port city of Poti "a disaster," but reported that an investor 
from the United Arab Emirates recently announced plans to invest up 
to $10 billion to develop 400 hectares of land behind the port, as 
well as land outside Tbilisi.  According to Miller, the investor 
also recently purchased the Sheraton hotel in Tbilisi. 
 
DISGRUNTLED DEPUTY AT BATUMI 
 
4.  (SBU) Miller also toured the oil terminal at Batumi, owned and 
operated by Kazakhstani national oil company KazMunaiGas, and was 
struck by comments made by the deputy manager, who is Georgian, 
about the general manager, who is Kazakhstani.  Miller said the 
deputy manager was openly critical and contemptuous about the 
company's Kazakhstani leadership.  According to Miller, the deputy 
manager said the Kazakhstanis "have not kept their promises" to 
upgrade the oil terminal's facilities since acquiring the asset in 
February 2008 from Greenoak Holdings.  Miller added that, based on 
what he could see, there was no indication that KMG was likely to 
modernize the terminal anytime soon. 
 
AZERBAIJANI INTERESTS IN GEORGIA 
 
5.  (SBU) Miller was skeptical about the future of the oil terminal 
at Kulevy, Georgia, which is owned by the State Oil Company of the 
Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR).  He said the dredger that was 
submerged in front of the port is now being disassembled, but noted 
that even once that obstacle is removed, ships loading crude oil 
will still face delays due to bad weather and silting at the berths. 
 Finally, he commented that it appeared to him that the Azerbaijanis 
were "determined to buy the Georgian railway," and said they had 
plans to invest $5.4 billion to renovate the rail system in Georgia. 
 
 
NO BREAKTHROUGHS IN ASHGABAT 
 
6.  (SBU) Calling the government of Turkmenistan's Memorandum of 
Understanding with German firm RWE "just a piece of paper," Miller 
was dismissive of the company's plans to develop block 23, an 
offshore reservoir in the Caspian Sea:  "The block is a little 
triangle, close to the Iranian border, which will complicate 
development to say the least."  While acknowledging the symbolic 
importance of negotiations between the government of Turkmenistan 
and a Western energy company, Miller nevertheless said RWE is "not 
taken seriously by the Turkmen, because they are not a Western 
major." 
 
7.  (SBU) He said Turkmenistan "missed an opportunity" to take a 
dramatic step forward by signing an agreement or awarding a license 
 
ASTANA 00000819  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
to a major Western oil company during the energy security conference 
in Ashgabat on April 23-24.  Miller lamented that the conference did 
not alter the perception that the go
vernment of Turkmenistan is 
opposed to Western development of onshore assets and will not 
actively facilitate trans-Caspian transportation.  According to 
Miller, Turkmen President Berdymukhamedov told EU Special 
Representative for Central Asia Pierre Morel, "We have the gas 
available, all you have to do is come and get it." 
 
RUSSIANS LEAVE EARLY AND UNHAPPY 
 
8.  (SBU) Miller told the Ambassador that Russia's Deputy Prime 
Minister Igor Sechin "left Ashgabat early and unhappy," following 
his bilateral meeting with President Berdymukhamedov on April 21. 
Miller speculated that Berdymukhamedov blamed Gazprom for the recent 
gas pipeline explosion, although he himself considered the incident 
a result of both "Russian bullying and Turkmen ineptitude." 
According to Miller, the Bulgarian delegation to the Ashgabat 
conference circulated the Russian version of a proposed joint 
declaration and asked other countries to support it.  However, the 
final conference declaration contained very little of the Russian 
text, said Miller. 
 
BAUTINO BAY BECOMING CROWDED 
 
9.  (SBU) According to Miller, who toured the steel fabrication yard 
at Bautino on April 9-10, the bay is being unwisely overdeveloped. 
Miller said those developing the area are "trying to cram too much 
in there, too soon" and worried that the bay will silt because of 
the number of jetties being added.  He also noted that the immediate 
area lacks supporting infrastructure such as power and water, as 
well as skilled labor. 
 
EUROPEAN ENERGY SECURITY COORDINATION 
 
10.  (SBU) Miller told the Ambassador that the United Kingdom is 
"pushing Europe" to adopt a coordinated energy policy in Central 
Asia that embraces the diversification of export routes for oil and 
gas, and will continue to do so.  "Europe is fixated on gas," he 
said, "but liquids are essential.  We must not forget that oil 
exports from the Caspian region are crucial to our energy security." 
 Miller said it is important for Europe to speak with one voice on 
energy policy, but this is complicated by the divide between the 
countries of "New Europe," which advocate openly and forcefully for 
alternatives to reduce their dependence on energy supplies from 
Russia, and the countries of "Old Europe," which want to lock in and 
secure those same supplies from Russia.  Miller said that if  EC 
Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs departs when his term expires in 
October, it could throw EU energy policy into disarray. 
 
UK EURASIAN ENERGY POLICY 
 
11.  (SBU) During the Atyrau Oil and Gas Conference on April 8, 
Miller outlined the UK government's support for Kazakhstan's 
multi-vector energy export policy that would ship crude in four 
directions:  (1) domestically; (2) through Russia; (3) to China; and 
(4) across the Caspian to world markets.  Miller called the 
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline "the catalyst for change and a 
triumph for oil exports."  In his prepared remarks, Miller praised 
the BTC partners for overcoming "keen opposition from at least one 
very powerful opponent," but he left this phrase out when he 
delivered his speech at the conference. 
 
12.  (SBU) Miller did, however, say that the existing route through 
Russia "is vulnerable to political and economic constraints imposed 
by the host government.  Shipping of hydrocarbons via Russian 
facilities also raises serious questions about retained value, the 
lack of quality banks and access to Black Sea ports."  He advocated 
effectively for the development of the trans-Caspian option best 
known as the Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System.  "Yes, it is 
vulnerable," he acknowledged, "as Russia's adventures in Georgia 
last August demonstrated, but it still offers an established and 
proven route with direct international market access."  According to 
 
ASTANA 00000819  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
Miller, the UK's preferred route, the Southern Corridor, would bring 
efficiency and clarity to markets, including producers at the 
eastern end of the Southern Corridor and consumers at its western 
end. 
 
THE IRANIAN OPTION 
 
13.  (SBU) Miller attempted to anticipate and address questions 
about Iran.  He conceded, for example, that it might be "quicker and 
cheaper" to export oil from Kazakhstan to world markets via Iran's 
Gulf ports, but he was quick to add that this depended entirely on 
Iran's nuclear ambitions and its relationship with its neighbors and 
the world community.  Miller said that the future of U.S.-Iranian 
relations was unpredictable, but he noted that a rapprochement would 
have significant implications for oil export opportunities for 
western and especially U.S. investors in Kazakhstan. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA818, KAZAKHSTAN: SCIENTOLOGISTS, JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES HAVE

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. #09ASTANA818.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA818 2009-05-08 08:59 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9437
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 #0818/01 1280859
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 080859Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5389
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1568
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0945
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1648
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0628
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1130
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1046
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1499

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000818 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL/IRF 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USAID 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM EAID SOCI KIRF KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  SCIENTOLOGISTS, JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES HAVE 
CONTRASTING VIEWS ON PROGRESS ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM 
 
ASTANA 00000818  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  On April 22, USAID's State and Society Advisor 
met with representatives of the Church of Scientology and the 
Jehovah's Witnesses in Almaty.  The two organizations offered 
contrasting views of progress on religious freedom and government 
interference in their activities.  END SUMMARY. 
 
3. (SBU) The Church of Scientology began its activities in 
Kazakhstan in 1996, in Almaty.  The Church claims 10,000 members in 
Almaty, and about 15,000 additional members nationwide.  The Church 
also claims to have an ethnic composition of approximately 50 
percent ethic Russians and 50 percent members of other 
nationalities.  Church Member Anastasia Minayeva and other staff 
with whom the USAID Advisor met alleged that the Church is under 
great pressure from the Government of Kazakhstan.  Last year, the 
Church received visits from procurators, tax authorities, and 
eventually the Committee for National Security (KNB).  Procurators 
opened a case against the Church because of its use of vitamin 
supplements in conjunction with sauna therapy.  According to the 
Church, the vitamin/sauna practice is common in Scientology and used 
to "detoxify" the body. 
 
4. (SBU) Scrutiny by the procurator's office led to a raid on a 
Church of Scientology on October 8, the Scientologists said.  The 
Scientology members claimed that all of their "confessional files" 
were taken.  Confessional files are the written comments of a Church 
member "auditing" another church member.  This involves recording 
responses to questions posed by a Church member, which are kept in a 
confidential file.  Members cannot continue their confessionals 
without the confiscated files, and the information also needs to be 
analyzed by a higher Church member so that progress and spiritual 
health of church members can be tracked.  Minayeva stated that she 
suspected that the raids occurred because the Government of 
Kazakhstan believes that they are an instrument of the United 
States, and possibly a subversive organization. (COMMENT:  There are 
indications that the government may believe that the Church is 
engaged in profit-making business activities inconsistent with its 
status as a religious organization.  END COMMENT.)  Minayeva stated 
that the Church is funded entirely by donations and income derived 
from sources originating in Kazakhstan, and the Church does not 
receive funding from foreign sources. 
 
CONFISCATED MATERIALS 
 
5. (SBU) The Church is still in operation, but the Scientologists 
say that recently local authorities confiscated electronic devices 
called "e-meters" used in "auditing" sessions.  The e-meter is a 
device placed in the hands of Church members and used to measure 
electrical impulses in response to "auditing" questions.  Auditing 
is a practice much like a one-on-one counseling session.  The Church 
uses "auditing" to measure the spiritual progress of individual 
Church members.  According to Church representatives, the 
Kazakhstani authorities claimed that the technology could be used as 
a lie detector, a claim which is denied by the Church.  The files 
that were confiscated contain personal data, and may only be 
returned if the individual requests his or her personal file from 
the authorities.  In Scientology, an individual usually does not 
have access to his or her own file, and it is usually only reviewed 
by those trained by the Church, the Scientologists explained. 
 
SIGNS OF HOPE 
 
6. (SBU) Church members described the current situation as not 
particularly good, but believe that there are some positive signs 
for them in Kazakhstan.  A small branch of the Church did receive 
all of its confiscated files back, and all Church members were 
allowed to individually petition the courts.  Court hearings are 
scheduled for May, and Church members believe they will receive 
court decisions within the same month.  Church members also believe 
that the mass media is now less negative about their activities, 
although members did cite a negative report about the Church of 
Scientology published the previous week.  Church leadership is in 
contact with the Helsinki Commission, the United States Council on 
International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), as well as the OSCE. 
 
ASTANA 00000818  002.2 OF 002 
 
 &#x0
00A;Church members believe that the international spotlight of 
Kazakhstan's 2010 OSCE chairmanship may lead to improved short-term 
prospects for the Church in Kazakhstan. 
 
JEHOVAHS WITNESSES 
 
7. (SBU) Jehovah's Witnesses have reportedly existed in Kazakhstan 
since the 1940s, when Witnesses were deported from Ukraine and 
Moldova and sent to Central Asia.  The current ethnic composition of 
the religious group in Kazakhstan includes Ukrainians, Moldovans, 
Kazakhs, and Germans.  The religious group claims it has a growth 
rate in Kazakhstan of about four percent per year.  The growth rate 
is partly attributed to conversions, but mostly to the growth in 
family size of members.  The meeting with the USAID Advisor was 
conducted at the Jehovah's Witnesses' state-of-the-art facility in 
Almaty, with a representative from Germany, Arno Tungler, and a 
local staff attorney, Yury Toporov. 
 
8.  (SBU)  According to Tungler, religious freedom has improved in 
Kazakhstan for the Witnesses, following the closure of at least 
three of their communities by the government from 2006 to 2008. 
Tungler stated that in previous years "traditional religions" may 
have used political influence with local authorities to put pressure 
on groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses.  However, a 2008 letter from 
the Procurator General's Office (PGO) supporting the Witnesses' 
legal claims improved the situation, as well as direct engagement 
with the Presidential Human Rights Commission.  The letter from PGO 
was produced in agreement with the Presidential Human Rights 
Commission.  Tungler also stated that the organization directly 
engages the Government of Kazakhstan concerning its work, and that 
overall, its meetings with government officials have been positive. 
Tungler attributed these positive actions to a clear decision on the 
part of the Government of Kazakhstan to avoid negative press in 
light of the OSCE chairmanship. 
 
9.  (SBU)  Tungler also believes that the Witnesses' established and 
lengthy presence in Kazakhstan, with 16,000 members registered 
throughout the country and in every province, is partly responsible 
for improving acceptance of the religious group.  Other members 
present stated that they were not interested in the total number of 
converts, but were more interested in the quality of converts.  They 
explained that conversion sometimes can take two to three years. 
Moreover, conscientious objection to military service, which was a 
problem a decade ago, has not been a problem for the last five to 
six years.  Also, no Jehovah's Witness is in prison, and there are 
no active cases in the courts against the religious group.  All 
previous cases were decided in favor of the Jehovah's Witnesses and 
have set a precedent for other similar actions against religious 
minorities. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA816, KAZAKHSTAN: INTERNET LAW PASSES THROUGH FIRST READING 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. #09ASTANA816.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA816 2009-05-08 02:00 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9236
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 #0816/01 1280200
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080200Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5386
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1566
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHVV/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0943
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1646
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2312
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1128
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1044
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000816 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  INTERNET LAW PASSES THROUGH FIRST READING IN 
PARLIAMENT, IMPROVEMENTS SUBSEQUENTLY INCORPORATED 
 
REF: ASTANA 0345 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU)  SUMMARY:  On April 29, the Mazhilis (the lower house of 
the parliament) approved at a first reading a controversial draft 
law on the Internet.  The draft now has to go through a second 
reading before being presented to the Senate.  On May 7, the 
Mazhilis legislative working group appears to have further improved 
the text, deleting a controversial proposal that the Procurator 
General be given the authority to shut down websites found to 
contain information that contradicts Kazakhstani legislation.  The 
move was likely precipitated by the barrage of criticism heard from 
both local and international observers, including from the visiting 
Director of OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human 
Rights (ODIHR), Janez Lenarcic.  END SUMMARY. 
 
DRAFT LAW PASSES FIRST READING... 
 
3.  (SBU)  On April 29, the Mazhilis (the lower house of the 
parliament) approved at a first reading amendments to Kazakhstan's 
legislation governing the Internet (reftel).  The draft now has to 
go through a second Mazhilis reading before it can move to the 
Senate.  The Chairman of the Agency for Information and 
Communication (AIC), Kuanyshbek Yesekeyev, defended the draft law as 
a way to bring Kazakhstan's Internet legislation "up to modern 
international standards."  In his presentation to the Mazhilis, 
Yesekeyev argued that the draft legislation would increase the 
responsibility of website-owners for content placed on their sites 
and give the government the necessary tools to battle pornography, 
extremist propaganda, and "the disclosure of state secrets" on the 
Internet.  Yesekeyev's testimony was backed up by Deputy Procurator 
General Daulbayev, who warned the parliamentarians of the "negative 
role" the Internet can play should the current economic crisis bring 
on riots and demonstrations.  Despite the fact that several Mazhilis 
members voiced concerns about the legislation, with one 
parliamentarian passionately arguing that passing the law "will not 
fix anything and could possibly damage everything," the legislation 
passed through the first reading with majority support. 
 
... AND UNDERGOES SOME IMPROVEMENT 
 
4.  (SBU) The draft law, if adopted in its current form, would 
reclassify all web resources as "media outlets," making them subject 
to Kazakhstan's media legislation, including its libel laws.  In 
addition, the text which passed at the first reading also would have 
granted the Procurator General's Office (PGO) the right to order the 
suspension of any web outlet, foreign or domestic, found to contain 
information that contradicts Kazakhstan's legislation.  However, 
following strong criticism from both local and international 
observers, the parliamentary working group responsible for preparing 
the draft for its second Mazhilis reading opted on May 7 to delete 
the reference to the special powers of the PGO, leaving the power to 
shut down sites solely in the hands of the courts.  AIC Chairman 
Yesekeyev told media that he will lobby the parliament to have that 
provision reinstated. 
 
INITIAL RECEPTION CRITICAL 
 
5.  (SBU)  The working group's decision to tweak the draft law was 
likely the result of the cold public reception it initially 
received.  The law's first reading coincided with the visit to 
Astana of Janez Lenarcic, the Director of OSCE's Office of 
Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), who was in 
Kazakhstan for high-level bilateral meetings.  Lenarcic publicly 
called on Kazakhstan to consult with ODIHR on the draft legislation 
and stressed that freedom of speech is one of OSCE's fundamental 
commitments.  His comments mirrored those previously voiced by OSCE 
Special Representative on Media Freedom Miklos Haraszti.  In a March 
5 letter to Foreign Minister Tazhin, Haraszti criticized the draft 
law for limiting freedom of expression on the Internet and 
contradicting OSCE and Council of Europe standards. 
 
6.  (SBU)  Media freedom activists have voiced sharp opposition to 
 
ASTANA 00000816  002 OF 002 
 
 
the law, arguing that it would place undue restrictions on site 
content and open the door for Internet censorship.  An initiative 
group of young bloggers, in association with media watch-dog NGO 
Adil Soz, registered their views by mailing to the parliame
nt a 
computer keyboard wrapped in chains.  One opposition website railed 
against the government for trying to turn Kazakhstan into North 
Korea and "attempting to control the uncontrollable." 
 
7.  (SBU)  Perhaps most notable, however, was the critical coverage 
the law received on main stream television, a media outlet that is 
usually most loyal to the government.  In covering the story, a 
reporter for the government-owned KTK channel sarcastically 
commented that the majority of parliamentarians cannot use the 
Internet without the help of their assistants and yet had to pretend 
to be advanced computer-users for the day.  He also wondered how the 
Mazhilis expected the PGO to check the content of over 6,000 
Kazakhstani websites.  Astana TV, a subsidiary of the Nur-Media 
holding company, which is controlled by the ruling Nur Otan party, 
ran a tongue-in-cheek report congratulating the parliamentarians for 
showing "amazing unanimity and speed" in assuring that "order reigns 
on the Internet."  Even Khabar TV, a channel known for its positive 
coverage of the Mazhilis, allowed itself a sly comment that if the 
law passes, users will need to watch what they write in their 
Internet diaries. 
 
8.  (SBU)  COMMMENT:  The changes made by the Mazhilis working group 
are certainly an improvement, although the draft law still contains 
a number of problematic provisions.  What is clear, however, is that 
civil society is readily articulating its concerns, and, most 
notably, the Mazhilis seems to be willing to respond to them.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA814, KAZAKHSTAN: ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, APRIL 12-APRIL

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. #09ASTANA814.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA814 2009-05-07 11:43 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8587
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 #0814/01 1271143
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071143Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5384
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1564
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0941
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1644
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0626
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1126
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1042
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1497

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000814 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/CARC, EEB/ESC 
PLEASE PASS TO USTDA DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET EINV EFIN KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, APRIL 12-APRIL 
25 
 
ASTANA 00000814  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press and has not been verified for accuracy. 
 
-- Financial Sector News 
-- Updates from Samruk-Kazyna 
-- CICA the Precursor of an Asian G-20? 
-- Kazatomprom President Rumored to Have Fled the Country 
-- Budget Control Committee Accuses Energy Ministry 
 
 
FINANCIAL SECTOR NEWS 
 
2.  On July 1, 2009, the Financial Supervision Agency (FSA) will 
increase the minimum capital requirements for banks operating in 
Almaty to 5 billion tenge (approximately $33.2 million) and 2 or 3 
billion tenge (about $13.3 million or $19.9 million respectively) 
for regional banks.  FSA Chair  Yelena Bakhmutova explained that 
banks which cannot meet new capital requirements should consider 
moving from Almaty to provide financial services in the regions. 
 
3.  Speaking at a conference organized by the Fitch Ratings Agency, 
Bakhmutova said that starting January 1, 2010, commercial banks that 
do not have large stockholders, or are not subsidiaries of large 
parent banks, will not be allowed to hold deposits for private 
individuals. 
 
4.  According to the FSA, the total net loss of Kazakhstan's 
commercial banks was 296.6 billion tenge (approximately $1.97 
billion) in the first quarter of 2009, compared to 27.6 billion 
tenge (about $183.4 million) in the same period the previous year. 
As of April 1, 2009, the loan portfolio of Kazakhstani banks reached 
10,254.6 billion tenge ($68.1 billion), marking a 0.1 percent 
decrease over March 2009.  The structure of the loan portfolio was 
the following:  35.5% standard loans (42.9% as of January 1, 2009), 
57.8% doubtful loans (52.6% in January), and 6.7% bad loans (4.4% in 
January).  Foreign currency loans accounted for 59.8% of the total 
loan portfolio. 
 
5.  The FSA reported that Kazakhstani-based insurance organizations 
collected premiums of 25 billion tenge (approximately $166 million) 
in the first quarter of 2009, marking a 42.8% decline year-on-year. 
Mandatory insurance premiums grew by 7 percent compared to the same 
period last year and reached 6 billion tenge (about $39.87 million); 
voluntary private insurance declined by 11.3 percent to 5.5 billion 
tenge (approximately $36.5 million); and voluntary property 
insurance also fell by 57.5 percent to 13.5 billion tenge ($89.7 
million).  Premiums for voluntary property insurance represented the 
largest share (53.9%) of total insurance premiums. 
 
UPDATES FROM SAMRUK-KAZYNA 
 
6.  According to the head of the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund 
Kairat Kelimbetov, state-owned companies face repayments of $2 
billion in external debt in 2009.  The overall external debt of 
companies owned by Samruk-Kazyna is $16 billion: KazMunaiGas 
reportedly owes $11.2 billion (70% of the total debt), Kazakhstan's 
railway operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy has foreign debt of $1.1 
billion (7%), and the Development Bank of Kazakhstan owes $1.6 
billion in external debt (10%).  (NOTE:  $16 billion equals 
approximately 14.3% of the forecast GDP for 2009.  END NOTE.) 
 
7.  The Distressed Assets Fund (DAF), which was established under 
the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, will start working with 
commercial banks in the second half of 2009, Samruk-Kazyna's 
Kelimbetov said.  In his words, the DAF is currently determining 
possibilities to buy the distressed assets of small and medium-sized 
businesses and large production companies. 
 
CICA THE PRECURSOR OF AN ASIAN G-20? 
 
8.  President Nazarbayev said that the Conference on Interaction and 
Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) offers a solid 
 
ASTANA 00000814  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
foundation for the creation of a "Group of Asian Twenty." 
Nazarbayev shared this idea at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, 
China.  According to Nazarbayev, the global community must radically 
change its existing financial systems, with no single financial 
center.  The new financial system would then become the basis for a 
new geopolitical world order, said Nazarbayev. 
 
KAZATOMPROM PRESIDENT RUMORED TO HAVE FLED COUNTRY 
 
9.  According to an April 16 article in opposition newspaper
Svoboda 
Slova, Astana Group president Nurlan Smagulov dismissed rumors that 
his friend Mukhtar Zhakishev, president of Kazatomprom, fled the 
country to avoid prosecution.  Tatyana Kvyatkovskaya, a member of 
the ruling Nur Otan party, had accused Zhakishev of selling old 
uranium mines to former BTA Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov for $1.5 
million, who later resold them to a foreign company for $350 
million.  Zhakishev is reportedly undergoing medical treatment in 
Europe.  Svoboda Slova in turn argued that such a sale could not 
have happened without the permission of former Minister of Energy 
and Mineral Resources Vladimir Shkolnik (who is currently Minister 
of Industry and Trade). 
 
BUDGET CONTROL COMMITTEE ACCUSES ENERGY MINISTRY OF VIOLATIONS 
 
10.  On April 14, the National Budget Control Committee accused the 
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of "financial violations" 
amounting to 15.2 billion tenge ($101.33 million) incurred between 
2006 and 2008.  These violations include fines which were not 
charged and therefore not collected, and funds allocated from the 
national budget but not used by the Ministry. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA813, KAZAKHSTAN: VICE MINISTER OF ENERGY DISCUSSES NUCLEAR

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. #09ASTANA813.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA813 2009-05-07 11:33 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8575
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 #0813/01 1271133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071133Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5381
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1561
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0938
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1641
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0623
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1123
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1039
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1494

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000813 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA FOR DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ENRG EPET EINV KNNP KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  VICE MINISTER OF ENERGY DISCUSSES NUCLEAR 
NON-PROLIFERATION, EITI, AND ENERGY PARTNERSHIP PRIORITIES 
 
REF:  (A) ASTANA 0734 
      (B) O'MARA-FAGIN APRIL 22 EMAIL 
      (C) STATE 07756 
      (D) STATE 28858 
 
ASTANA 00000813  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On May 6, the Charge d'Affaires met with Vice 
Minister of Energy Asset Magauov to discuss the Kazakhstani 
government's financial commitments to the safe storage of spent fuel 
from the decommissioned BN-350 nuclear reactor, as well as the 
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Global 
Nuclear Energy Partnership, and the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy 
Partnership.  During a cordial and friendly conversation, Magauov 
assured Charge and visitors from the Department of Energy's Office 
of Russian and Eurasian Affairs that the Ministry of Energy and 
Mineral Resources (MEMR) will secure $5 million this year for the 
BN-350 spent fuel program.  He also said Kazakhstan has accelerated 
reporting under the EITI and expressed confidence that the 
government will meet the March 9, 2010 deadline for validation. 
Magauov was pleased to receive an invitation to attend the next 
Infrastructure Development Working Group meeting of the Global 
Nuclear Energy Partnership.  He said Kazakhstan has valuable 
experience and expertise to share and promised that the government 
would send "an appropriately high-level representative" to the 
meeting.  The Vice Minister reiterated Kazakhstan's multi-vector 
policy on oil and gas exports, but emphasized that Kazakhstan will 
make energy transport decisions for commercial, not political, 
reasons.  He also requested that U.S. companies and U.S. government 
agencies working on nuclear safety issues brief him on their 
activities when they visit Kazakhstan.  END SUMMARY. 
 
FINDING FUNDING FOR BN-350 
 
3.  (SBU) Charge reviewed recent discussions about Kazakhstani 
government funding for the BN-350 Spent Fuel Disposition Program and 
gave Magauov a non-paper which stressed the importance of Kazakhstan 
meeting its funding commitments (see refs A, B, and C).  Magauov 
thanked the Charge and DOE representatives for the substantial 
technical assistance provided by the U.S. government and reiterated 
Kazakhstan's commitment to the program.  He said that MEMR's first 
request for $5 million to the Ministry of Economy and Budget 
Planning was rejected, but MEMR sent a second request on April 24, 
which Magauov said should be sufficient to secure funding. 
According to Magauov, he and Minister of Energy Sauat Mynbayev "need 
to have a long talk" with Prime Minister Karim Masimov about the 
program, because of its strategic importance to Kazakhstan and the 
significant resources that will be required to complete it.  Magauov 
estimated that the program could cost upwards of $400 million. 
 
PROGRESS TOWARD EITI VALIDATION 
 
4.  (SBU) Charge delivered talking points in reftel D, applauding 
Kazakhstan's progress on EITI and urging that it meet its deadline 
for EITI validation.  Magauov thanked the Charge for his support and 
praised the efforts of U.S. companies in particular to help 
Kazakhstan complete validation.  He said Kazakhstan is committed to 
the initiative, increased its budget for the program, and expects to 
complete validation by the deadline of March 9, 2010.  (NOTE:  On 
May 6, Odd Magne Instefjord, General Director of StatoilHydro 
Kazakhstan, who is on the EITI national council, told Energy Officer 
that the government has allocated $50 million in 2009 toward the 
initiative.  Also on May 6, World Bank Country Manager Sergei 
Shatalov acknowledged that the government has made excellent 
progress on EITI, but said that only 110 out of more than 300 
companies working in the extractive sector have signed up to date. 
Shatalov expressed doubt that Kazakhstan would meet the March 9, 
2010 deadline for validation, but he is confident that they will 
complete validation within two years.  END NOTE.)  Magauov said that 
the additional funding has enabled the government to accelerate its 
reporting and auditing activities and he expects the national 
 
ASTANA 00000813  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
council this year to complete audits of the 2007 and 2008 reports. 
Magauov also said there has been an "open, honest, and ofte
n heated 
debate" with the NGO community and the international oil companies 
over the most effective way to demonstrate and document transparency 
from oil revenues.  He then asked Charge if the United States had 
any plans to join EITI in the near future and said he would welcome 
an opportunity to compare notes and share lessons learned about EITI 
with colleagues in the United States. 
 
GLOBAL NUCLEAR ENERGY PARTNERSHIP 
 
5.  (SBU) Charge encouraged the government to become a more active 
participant in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and 
attend the next Infrastructure Development Working Group meeting 
from May 18-20, in Manchester, UK.  He also delivered a non-paper on 
this subject.  Magauov appeared delighted to receive the invitation 
and said, "We will definitely send someone at the appropriate 
level."  He told the Charge and the DOE representatives that 
Kazakhstan has much to offer in such a forum, including technical 
expertise and experienced personnel. 
 
MULTI-VECTOR OIL AND GAS EXPORTS 
 
6.  (SBU) When asked about Kazakhstan's plans to develop alternative 
export routes for its oil and gas resources, Magauov said that, 
historically, all of Kazakhstan's hydrocarbons were exported via 
Russia.  "While our relations with Russia are excellent and the 
majority of our oil will still go through Russia," he said, "we need 
alternative options to accommodate increased production."  He then 
listed several of the transportation projects currently under 
development, including the oil and gas pipelines to China, which he 
expects to be completed this year, the Eskene-Kuryk pipeline that is 
a central feature of the Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System 
(KCTS), and the Caspian littoral (Prikaspiskiy) gas pipeline, which 
he said will initially have a design capacity of 20 billion cubic 
meters (bcm), but will likely be expanded to 40 bcm.  On KCTS, 
Magauov said Kazakhstan is wary of "unexpected requests" from 
Azerbaijan, such as tariffs, fees, or taxes, that could be assessed 
even after negotiations are complete.  "If that happens," he said, 
"we might come to the realization that sending our oil to Russia is 
actually a better deal."  Ultimately, however, Magauov insisted that 
Kazakhstan will base its oil export decisions on commercial, not 
political, factors. 
When asked about Kazakhstan's dealings with Iran, Magauov said he 
did not know of any major joint projects with Iran, other than the 
fact that private oil traders were conducting "some oil swaps" with 
Neka. 
 
A PLEA FOR MORE LOCAL CONTENT 
 
7.  (SBU) Magauov said he was relieved that the negotiations over 
Kashagan were complete and that work has continued to develop the 
field despite its enormous complexity and technical challenges.  He 
appealed for U.S. companies to invest in the local economy and 
increase local content, particularly when hiring workers for less 
skilled positions.  Magauov acknowledged that Kazakhstan lacks a 
sufficient number of skilled technicians in the oil and gas sector, 
and said that Kazakhstan's technical colleges are not prestigious, 
do not attract the best and brightest students, and graduates often 
have difficulty finding jobs. 
 
EAGER FOR ENERGY PARTNERSHIP 
 
8.  (SBU) Magauov expressed interest in reviving the U.S.-Kazakhstan 
Energy Partnership and asked for a little time to discuss the issue 
internally before presenting DOE a list of Kazakhstan's priorities 
for the Partnership.  He did mention, however, his interest in 
infrastructure, oil exports, and uranium mining.  When asked about 
renewable energy, Magauov said that the issue is actively discussed 
at the Ministry and that a new department was recently established 
to direct the government's policies and programs on renewable 
energy.  He then asked, rhetorically, how committed Western 
 
ASTANA 00000813  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
countries are to renewable energy sources, particularly if they are 
not economical or consume more energy than they generate.  For 
example, Magauov said, consumers in Kazakhstan have a choice:  they 
can purchase electricity from the coal-fired power plant at 
Ekibastuz for $0.03/kilowatt hour (kwh) or they can buy it from the 
wind farm at Zhengarsky for $0.07/kwh.  Magauov was nevertheless 
very receptive to a proposal from DOE to conduct a survey of 
Kazakhstan's renewable energy potential and welcomed additional 
information and resources in this regard.  Finally, the Vice 
Minister stated -- politely but firmly -- that U.S. companies and 
U.S. government agencies working on nuclear safety issues should 
brief him when they visit Kazakhstan.  He reminded the Charge and 
DOE that he is responsible for nuclear power and nuclear 
non-proliferation issues at the Ministry of Energy and said it is 
important for him to be informed about U.S. activities in these 
areas. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA812, KAZAKHSTAN: RESULTS OF BOTA FOUNDATION BOARD MEETING

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09ASTANA812.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA812 2009-05-07 10:25 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8501
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 #0812/01 1271025
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071025Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5379
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1559
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0936
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1639
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0621
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2310
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2638
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1121
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1037
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1492

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000812 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/ACE, F 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USAID 
JUSTICE FOR DANIEL CLAMAN AND BRUCE SWARTZ 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID SOCI KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  RESULTS OF BOTA FOUNDATION BOARD MEETING 
 
ASTANA 00000812  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (U) This cable contains an Action Request.  See para 13. 
 
3. (SBU) SUMMARY:  The BOTA Foundation held a meeting of its Board 
of Trustees in Almaty on April 29-30.  All the items on the fully 
packed agenda were reviewed, with many wide-reaching and important 
decisions taken regarding operations of the Board.  The Foundation's 
implementers (IREX and Save the Children) presented well structured 
recommendations, and the Board of Trustees adequately debated and 
approved them.  The next Board meeting will be scheduled for July or 
August.  Action by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to seek release 
of funding is requested.  END SUMMARY. 
 
BOARD MEMBERSHIP 
 
4. (U) The Board of Trustees was represented by its five Founders 
(Yevgeniy Zhovtis -- Chair and only present on the second day; 
Zhamilya Naugmanova -- Acting Chair; Sergey Zlotnikov; Khakim 
Sadvakasov; and Akmira Sadykova) and two government representatives 
(Pietro Vetrio -- Swiss Government Representative; and John Morgan 
-- U.S. Government Representative).  BOTA Foundation staff (led by 
Executive Director Chris Cavanaugh) was well represented, including 
several observers from the implementers' home offices.  John Innes 
(World Bank observer) joined by DVC on the first day. 
 
5. (U) The meeting began with presentations on the Conditional Cash 
Transfer, Social Services, and Tuition Assistance Programs, as well 
as an overview of the monitoring and evaluation activities proposed 
by the BOTA staff.  On the second day, the presentations and 
discussions covered administrative, financial, and communications 
issues. 
 
CASH FOR THE MOST NEEDY WOMEN AND CHILDREN 
 
6. (U) The purpose of the Conditional Cash Transfer Program, in 
addition to improving the health and well-being of poor mothers and 
children through direct financial support, is to create increased 
demand for social services for people living in poverty.  With 
increased awareness of appropriate standards of care and service, 
the poor will begin to look to their government to provide continued 
access to vital social services.  The focus will be on pregnant and 
lactating women, school attendance (particularly pre-school), and 
children with disabilities.  The initial program grants will provide 
funding to target women who take action to mitigate the impact of 
anemia.  The Board evaluated data and agreed to conduct programs in 
the Kyzylorda and Akmola Oblasts.  This decision enables the BOTA 
staff to finalize their operational plans, contingent upon the 
release of funds (by the U.S. courts). 
 
7. (U) The Social Service Program is the least developed element 
being pursued by BOTA.  The Board voted to increase the flexibility 
of this Program and the BOTA staff was directed to define the grant 
structure by the next Board meeting, expected to be held in July or 
August. 
 
STRONG DEMAND FOR EDUCATION ASSISTANCE AMONG POOR 
 
8. (U) The Tuition Assistance Program has proven to be a major 
success.  With a relatively low budget (and thanks to the dedicated 
work of BOTA staff), the Program has been announced and the 
Foundation has received over 1,500 applications for the 100 
anticipated scholarships to be awarded.  When the application data 
has been entered into a database, 300 candidates with the lowest 
income levels will be selected for interviews.  The list of 300 will 
be determined through a proxy means test, which considers household 
assets, household consumption, and household profiling.  A selection 
committee of 15 independent experts will be formed.  This committee 
will further screen the applicants through personal interviews 
(preferred approach) or structured telephone interviews (where 
travel cannot be easily accomplished).  The Board was satisfied with 
the quality and diligence of the BOTA staff in running this 
 
ASTANA 00000812  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
Program. 
 
9. (U) Although the BOTA staff had prepared a substantive proposal 
for monitoring and evaluation, all agreed that any effort to 
evaluate impact would require substantially more than one year's 
efforts.  The logical framework approved by the Board was thorough 
a
nd well structured.  Noting the range of issues, the Board 
nevertheless applauded the staff's efforts and encouraged them to 
continue refining the process. 
 
10. (U) A thorough discussion of administration, finance, and 
communications issues was conducted on the second day of the Board 
meeting.  The Board approved a staff structure of up to 64 staff and 
tentatively approved a salary structure.  Board concerns about 
expatriate staff costs and the local salary structure illustrated 
the Board's due diligence and concerns on how to answer any public 
questions about the "cost of doing business."  The Board approved 
efforts by the staff to pursue simplified procurement procedures 
with the World Bank.  The staff have produced responses to 
frequently asked questions about BOTA to facilitate any public 
statements by the BOTA Board and staff. 
 
NEXT STEPS 
 
11. (U) The Board concurred with a number of plans for the 
near-term.  First, a press conference will be called after World 
Bank and Board approvals of the annual workplan, which is likely to 
occur in June or July.  Some minor refinements of the BOTA 
Operations Manual were approved.  Also, the BOTA Staff were directed 
to submit monthly financial reports to the Board for review.  And 
finally, due to the sensitive nature of upcoming operational 
decisions, the Board agreed to move meetings to a quarterly basis 
and to restrict meetings to one day in length. 
 
12. (SBU) COMMENT:  As with any Board, the complexities of its 
disparate members' interactions can impede efficient operations. 
For example, Board discussions were occasionally hampered by 
comments from Sergey Zlotnikov that were not on point.  The Chair, 
however, repeatedly guided the discussion back on track.  In any 
event, Zlotnikov ultimately voted with the consensus of the other 
Board members.  Another issue impacting participation of Board 
members is their availability.  Akmira Sasdykova was unable 
participate on the second day.  Additionally, Khakim Sadvakasov said 
he has difficulty getting approval from his supervisor to 
participate in the Board meetings.  The Board agreed to provide an 
endorsement letter (signed by the Board Chair and the BOTA Executive 
Director) requesting his participation -- with the anticipation that 
this would alleviate this problem.  Even with these issues, the 
Board is acting responsibly and with due deliberation on its 
actions.  END COMMENT. 
 
13. (U) ACTION REQUEST:  Though these crucial deliberations are 
completed, BOTA remains limited in operations until the release of 
its funding.  The Board was informed that the Government of 
Kazakhstan had met its reporting requirements, and that DOJ must now 
provide its timely approval of these reports and get approval from 
the U.S. courts to authorize the first tranche of funding.  We 
request that DOJ expedite that approval. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA811, KAZAKHSTAN: DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON REMOVING H1N1-RELATED

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. #09ASTANA811.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA811 2009-05-07 08:45 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8422
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 #0811/01 1270845
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 070845Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5377
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1557
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0934
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1637
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0619
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 2212
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 0660
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1119
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1035
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1490
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000811 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/TPP/MTA/ABT, OES/PCI 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR (JDOHERTY) 
AGRICULTURE FOR OSTA (HAMILTON, BEAN) AND OCRA (MSMITH) 
ANKARA FOR FAS 
VIENNA FOR APHIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAGR ETRD ECON SENV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON REMOVING H1N1-RELATED 
TRADE BANS ON PORK 
 
REF: STATE 44254 
 
ASTANA 00000811  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Akhmetzhan Sultanov, Vice Chairman of the 
Ministry of Agriculture's State Inspection Committee told us on May 
6 that, in response to the H1N1 virus, the Government of Kazakhstan 
took preemptive steps to prevent the possible importation of 
infected food by banning pork and meat imports from several 
countries and several U.S. states.  The Regional Environmental 
Officer (REO) delivered reftel demarche informing Sultanov that, in 
fact, there is no H1N1 risk from the consumption of fully cooked 
pork and urged Kazakhstan to end its import bans.  Sultanov said he 
was aware that the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has 
issued a "preliminary statement" that there is no evidence that the 
virus is transmitted by food, but the government is waiting to 
receive OIE's official statement before taking any action regarding 
lifting the ban.  There currently are no cases of H1N1 in 
Kazakhstan.  END SUMMARY. 
 
DEMARCHE TO REMOVE BAN ON IMPORT OF PORK FROM UNITED STATES 
 
3.  (SBU) Akhmetzhan Sultanov, Vice Chairman of the Ministry of 
Agriculture's State Inspection Committee told the Regional 
Environmental Officer (REO) on May 6 that each country can obtain 
information on the status of its imports to Kazakhstan on the 
Ministry's website.  Sultanov said that in response to the H1N1 
virus, the Kazakhstani government took preemptive steps to prevent 
the possible import of "infected food," by banning pork and meat 
imports from Mexico, several countries in the Caribbean Basin, as 
well as several U.S. states, including Texas, California, and 
Kansas.  These measures were issued in a decree on April 27 (see 
full text in para 7).  Sultanov said it was a "precautionary 
measure" to ban imports not only of pork, but of all meat and 
poultry from Texas, California, and Kansas, since these three states 
have the highest instances of registered cases of H1N1 infection in 
humans in the United States.  REO delivered reftel demarche and left 
a non-paper with Sultanov informing the Kazakhstanis that the World 
Organization for Animal Health (OIE) issued statements on April 27 
and 28 indicating that there is no risk from the consumption of 
fully cooked pork.  REO urged the government of Kazakhstan to 
reconsider its decision and end import bans.  (NOTE:  In 2008, U.S. 
exports of pork to Kazakhstan reached 372 tons valued at $982,000. 
U.S. poultry exports of 18,000 tons were valued at nearly $20 
million.  END NOTE.) 
 
4. (SBU) In addition, REO presented Sultanov with "Key Facts About 
Swine Influenza" from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention clearly stating that H1N1 is not transmitted by food. 
REO also delivered the May 2 joint statement by the U.N. Food and 
Agriculture Organization, the OIE, the WHO, and the WTO, stating 
that "pork and pork products, handled in accordance with good 
hygienic practices...will not be a source of infection.  To date, 
there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted by food." 
 
5. (SBU) Sultanov said he was aware of the "preliminary statement" 
by OIE that there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted by 
food.  He said the government is reviewing its policy but is waiting 
to receive the OIE's official statement to that effect before it 
will consider taking any official action regarding lifting the 
existing ban.  Currently, Kazakhstan's policy is very similar to 
those of Russia and Belarus, Sultanov said, and he expected that 
there would be close consultation with those countries on further 
action. (NOTE: Kazakhstan is in the process of negotiating a 
trilateral customs union with Russia and Belarus.  END NOTE.)   Post 
 
ASTANA 00000811  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
will continue to monitor the situation and inform Washington if 
Kazakhstan lifts the import bans. 
 
NO H1N1 CASES IN KAZAKHSTAN 
 
6. (SBU) Sultanov said Kazakhstan currently has no cases of H1N1 

infection.  An inter-agency committee, consisting of the Ministries 
of Agriculture, Health, Emergency Situations, Internal Affairs, and 
others, has been tasked to work out a plan of action in the event of 
an outbreak of H1N1 virus.  It will present its plan to President 
Nazarbayev soon.  This plan will include procedures for isolation 
and quarantine, prevention, and medical unit response, among other 
measures.  The overall goal is to reduce the threat of an outbreak 
and its spread among the population from those who might come into 
contact with the H1N1 virus. 
 
DECREE ON IMPORT BANS 
 
7. (U) Following is the unofficial translation of the text of the 
import ban decree: 
 
BEGIN TEXT 
 
To: Heads of territorial inspections of oblasts, Astana, Almaty 
To: Heads of regional inspections of veterinary control on borders 
and transport 
 
Decree No. 18-2-1-9/3038, dated April 27, 2009 On Swine Flu 
Prevention 
 
Due to swine flu H1N1 outbreak on the territory of Mexico and the 
USA and with the purpose to prevent such disease spread on the 
territory of Republic of Kazakhstan: 
 
A.  The following restrictions are introduced: 
-- On the entrance to the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan 
and transit through its territory of meat, raw meat materials, and 
its processed products without thermal treatment and obtained from 
any animals, shipped after April 28, 2009 from Mexico and the U.S. 
states of Texas, California, and Kansas. 
-- On the entrance to the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan of 
meat and meat products, obtained from any animals, including 
products with thermal treatment, in the hand-luggage and on-board 
food of seacraft and aircraft coming from Mexico and the U.S. states 
of Texas, California, and Kansas. 
-- On the entrance of pork and its processed products with thermal 
treatment and shipped after April 28, 2009 from Guatemala, Honduras, 
Dominique Republic, Colombia, Costa-Rica, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, 
Salvador, as well as the U.S. states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, 
Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Florida. 
 
B.  The present Decree is subject to foreign trade members and all 
structures of Committee notification. 
 
C.  Vice Chairman of the Committee for State Inspection in 
Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. A.A. Sultanov is 
in charge of enforcing this Decree. 
 
Chairman S. Suleimenov 
 
END TEXT 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA778, KAZAKHSTAN: HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL’S ACTION PLAN LAYS OUT

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. #09ASTANA778.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA778 2009-05-06 02:13 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7240
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 #0778/01 1260213
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 060213Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5342
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1555
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHVV/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0932
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1635
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2308
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1117
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1033
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000778 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL'S ACTION PLAN LAYS OUT 
AMBITIOUS PRIORITIES 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On April 14, Kazakhstan's Presidential Human 
Rights Commission (HRC) unveiled its National Human Rights Action 
Plan for 2009-2012.  The Action Plan, the first one the Kazakhstani 
government has ever issued, outlines 26 areas in which the country's 
human rights framework lags behind international standards and 
proposes ambitious recommendations on how the government could bring 
them up to par.  Among other proposals, the Action Plan recommends 
further liberalization to the recently-amended laws on political 
parties, elections, and the media, and proposes significant changes 
to the country's legislation governing religion, public assembly, 
and the right to privacy.  The document was drafted with the input 
of several leading human-rights NGOs, and civil society leaders 
welcomed it as a tool to push the government towards further 
reforms.  END SUMMARY. 
 
AMBITIOUS PLAN UNVELIED 
 
3.  (SBU) On April 14, the Presidential Human Rights Commission 
(HRC) unveiled a National Human Rights Action Plan for 2009-2012 at 
an invitation-only meeting.  This is the first time that the 
Kazakhstani government developed a synthesized plan for improving 
the human rights situation in the country.  The Action Plan is based 
on the HRC's 2007 Baseline Human Rights Report, which analyzed 
Kazakhstan's legal framework for human rights against international 
standards.  In the foreword to the Action Plan, the HRC states that 
the purpose of the document is to inform President Nazarbayev, the 
Cabinet, and the Parliament on the human rights situation in the 
country and to "lay out the priorities in addressing human rights 
issues, involve the government and civil society in their 
resolution, and coordinate the action of national human rights 
institutions."  The Action Plan is now before President Nazarbayev, 
who is expected to sign it shortly.  We expect it to be released 
publicly once he signs it.  It is possible that changes will be 
incorporated into the final released version. 
 
4.  (SBU) Drafted with input from several leading human rights NGOs, 
including the Human Rights Bureau and the Almaty Helsinki Committee, 
the 177-page document candidly identifies numerous gaps in 
Kazakhstan's human rights legislative framework and lays out 
ambitious recommendations on how to address them within the 
three-year timeframe.  The Action Plan's twenty-six chapters deal 
with the full spectrum of political, civil, social, and cultural 
rights, ranging from the right to life (which includes 
socio-economic rights), to the right to a fair trial, to the rights 
of minorities.  Perhaps most notably, the Action Plan makes several 
concrete suggestions on how to further improve the laws on political 
parties, the media, and elections -- the three laws that were 
recently amended as part of Kazakhstan's Madrid commitments -- and 
proposes several legislative changes that, if adopted, could open up 
the country's political space. 
 
FURTHER CHANGES TO THE MADRID LEGISLATION 
 
5.  (SBU) Freedom of Association:  The Action Plan recommends that 
the government streamline the procedures for registering public 
organizations and NGOs and clarify the rules governing citizens' 
rights to found or join organizations.  Notably, it also recommends 
further liberalization of registration for political parties, 
although it does not lay out specific proposals on how to do so. 
 
6.  (SBU) Freedom of Speech:  The Action Plan recommends that by 
2011, the government further improve and streamline the process of 
media-outlet registration, adopt a new law on access to government 
information, decriminalize libel, and institute a statute of 
limitations on libel cases. 
 
7.  (SBU) Freedom of Political Participation:  The Action Plan 
proposes that Kazakhstan's election law be further amended to lower 
the minimum number of signatures necessary to register a political 
party from 40,000 to 35,000; to lower the electoral threshold for a 
party to get seats in parliament from seven percent of the vote to 
five percent; and to require that representatives of opposition 
 
ASTANA 00000778  002 OF 002 
 
 
parties be able to participate in election commissions at all 
levels. 
 
STRENGTHENING OF CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS 
 
8.  (SBU) Right to Privacy:  Drafted by the Yevgeniy Zhovtis, head 
of the Human Rights Bureau, this section points out that despite the 
existence of privacy-protection norms in Kazakhstan's legislation, 
the right to privacy for individuals is frequently violated by 
various government agencies, particularly the police, the Procurator 
General's Office, and the Customs Service.  The Action Plan 
recommends that by 2011 the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the 
Procurator General's Office draft, with input from civil society and 
the OSCE, a separate privacy-protection law that corresponds to 
international standards. 
 
9.  (SBU) Religious Freedom:  The section on freedom of conscience, 
drafted by Almaty Helsinki Committee head Ninel Fokina, argues that 
under the current legal framework, religious groups face far more 
restrictions than other legal entities.  It also asserts that the 
requirement that all religious organizations be registered with the 
government is counter to international standards.  The Action Plan 
recommends that the MOJ, in collaboration with NGOs, begin 
publishing annual reports on the status of religious freedom in the 
country.  It also proposes that by 2011, Kazakhstan should amend its 
religious legislation to bring it in line with the International 
Covenant on Civil and Political Freedoms. 
 
10.  (SBU) Freedom of Assembly:  The Action Plan points to several 
legal norms that contradict international standards on peaceful 
gatherings, specifically the requirement that all public meetings 
must be approved by local authorities and the fact that the 
authorities have the power to designate where those meetings can be 
held (which usually means on the outskirts of the locale).  It also 
criticized the lack of clear legal definitions of the different 
kinds of public gatherings - i.e., rallies, marches, pickets, and 
demonstrations -- each of which has a different purpose and should 
therefore be guided by different rules.  To resolve these problems, 
the Action Plan recommends that a new law on public assemblies be 
adopted by the end of 2010. 
 
CIVIL SOCIETY SEES PLAN AS A "LEVER" FOR REFORM 
 
11.  (SBU) Civil society activists welcomed the HRC's Action Plan. 
Almaty Helskinki Committee head Fokina, who is a member of the HRC, 
told us that the Action Plan's recommendations, although not 
binding, can nonetheless be used "as levers" to push the government 
towards further reform.  "Once the President adopts the Plan, we can 
begin hounding the agencies," she said.  Yevgeny Zhovtis, who is 
also on the HRC, shared his belief that the Action Plan "is far from 
perfect," but is nevertheless an example that the government is 
willing to engage with civil society on particular issues.  As 
evidence, he pointed out that the HRC Secretariat adopted his 
contribution to the Action Plan without any changes.  Zhovtis was 
doubtful that all the recommendations will be put into action before 
2011.  In his opinion, however, the Action Plan's greatest asset 
lies in the fact that it clearly outlines Kazakhstan's goals and 
"shows the way" to achieving them.  "Even if just some of the 
recommendations are adopted, it would mark a serious step towards 
reconciling Kazakhstan's legislation and international standards," 
he said. 
 
12. (SBU) COMMENT:  We agree with civil society leaders Fokina and 
Zhovtis that the Action Plan is a very positive step, and can be 
used as a tool to press for reform in a number of key areas.  It is 
highly unlikely that all the recommendations will be adopted, but 
even if just some of them are, this would represent significant 
progress.  The fact that the HRC reports to the President is an 
indication that the broad contours of the Action Plan enjoy support 
by at least some key officials in the Presidential Administration. 
END COMMENT. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

09ASTANA771, KAZAKHSTAN: EXBS ADVISOR’S REPORTING CABLE (APRIL 2009)

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. #09ASTANA771.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA771 2009-05-05 08:49 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7061
RR RUEHNEH
DE RUEHTA #0771/01 1250849
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050849Z MAY 09 ZDF
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5329
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1553
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1633
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0930
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0617
RUEAORC/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1031
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1115
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000771 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC: YWONG, ACHURCH, JHARTSHORN, SROBINSON 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC-AMT: LSPRINGER 
DEPT FOR EUR/ACE: DFISCHER 
DEPT FOR SCA/RA: JSPILSBURY 
CBP/INA: SBAKER AND BPICKETT 
USDOE/NNSA: CWALKER, TPERRY, EDESCHLER 
DOC FOR DCREED 
USCG FOR SHABETIMICHAEL 
AMEMBASSY BERLIN FOR CUSTOMS ATTACHE 
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT, BISHKEK, BAKU, DUSHANBE AND ASHGABAT FOR EXBS 
ADVISORS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PARM PREL ETTC MNUC KNNP KSTC KZ
 
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  EXBS ADVISOR'S REPORTING CABLE (APRIL 2009) 
 
ASTANA 00000771  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
I.  BROAD ITEMS OF INTEREST TO ADVISORS AND AGENCY MANAGERS: 
 
1. On April 27, Kazakhstan tightened epidemiological control at all 
airports, seaports, and land border crossings in response to reports 
of cases of H1N1 influenza virus in other countries.  Kazakhstan has 
prohibited the importation of pork products from certain countries 
and is using the Fever Scan M3000 thermal imaging system at airports 
in Astana, Almaty, Atyrau, Aktobe, Aktau, and Karaganda to screen 
for individuals with elevated body temperatures. 
 
2. On April 24, Laurel Cotton, the Project Coordinator for the U.S. 
Department of Energy's Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program, met 
with representatives from the Customs Control Committee in Astana 
prior to conducting site visits to Southern Kazakhstan from April 
27-30. 
 
3. From May 18-22, an International Counterproliferation Program 
(ICP) course on Weapons of Mass Destruction Basic Investigative 
Analysis will be held in Astana.  The course will be presented by 
officials from the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security. 
 
II. COMPLETED ACTIONS FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
A.  SITE ASSESSMENTS AND MEETINGS CONDUCTED 
 
4. On April 7, the EXBS Advisor met with Lars Karlsson, Director, 
Capacity Building, World Customs Organization (WCO), and 
representatives from the Customs Control Committee, including Ermek 
Kozhabergenov, Acting Head of the Department of International 
Relations, Botagoz Abilova, Chief Specialist of International 
Relations Department, and Dauren Tulemissov, Deputy Head of Customs 
Control Organizing Department, to discuss EXBS activities in 
Kazakhstan.  During this meeting it was revealed that the Kazakhstan 
Customs Control Committee plans to make a presentation at the May 
meeting of the WCO in Norway, in an effort to gain designation of 
Kazakhstan as a Regional WCO Training Center and therefore tap into 
WCO capacity-building assistance in creating a Regional Customs 
Academy. 
 
5. On April 9, the EXBS team met with Lt. Colonel Erik Sergazin, 
Head of the Customs Control Organization of the Customs Control 
Department in Almaty, and Aktolkyn Abeuova, Head of the 
International Relations Division of the Customs Control Department 
in Almaty.  Discussions were conducted on training and equipment 
needs of the Almaty Customs Control Department. 
 
6. On April 9, the EXBS team met with Alexander Nestertsov, Director 
of Alkor LTD in Almaty, and inspected the three portable shelter 
complexes and related equipment produced by this company prior to 
acceptance of the property. 
 
7.  On April 16, there was an Embassy Security Assistance Working 
Group (SAWG) meeting during which EXBS-sponsored activities 
scheduled through September were discussed. 
 
B. TRAINING COURSES CONDUCTED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
8. During April 13-24, the EXBS program manager and two 
representatives from Kazakhstan attended the University of Georgia's 
Center for International Trade and Security Export Control Academy 
in Athens, Georgia.  The participants from Kazakhstan were Azat 
 
ASTANA 00000771  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
Makhmudov, International Security Division of the Department of 
Multilateral Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and 
Zhussupbekov Nurlan, Export Control Department of The Ministry of 
Industry and Trade. 
 
C. EQUIPMENT DELIVERED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
9.  On April 9, a ceremony was held in Almaty where three portable 
shelter complexes and related equipment valued at $700,000 were 
transferred to Major General Shintas Utyapov, Commander of the 
Shigis Regional Border Guard Directorate.  Funding for these 
shelters was provided by the U.S. Department of State's Nuclear 

Smuggling Outreach Initiative (NSOI) in response to a need 
identified by the Kazakhstan Border Guard Service. 
 
D. IMMINENT TRAINING OR EQUIPMENT STATUS UPDATE 
 
10.  During May 11-16, EXBS is sponsoring an International Border 
Interdiction Training (IBIT) course which will be conducted by U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection in McAllen, Texas for 12 Kazakhstan 
Customs officials. 
 
11.  During June 8-12, EXBS is sponsoring an International Rail 
Interdiction Training course which will be conducted in Saryagash, 
Kazakhstan, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. 
 
12.  During June 18-19, EXBS is sponsoring an Enterprise Outreach 
Workshop in Almaty, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of 
Energy's International Nonproliferation Export Control Program 
(INECP).  This workshop will involve local compliance experts from 
Kazakhstani organizations that have developed, or are developing, 
the capacity for an internal compliance program under which a 
supplier organization has procedures to determine if their items 
require an export license or raise technical issues related to 
non-proliferation. 
 
E. SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS IN EXPORT CONTROLS, NONPROLIFERATION, OR 
RELATED BORDER SECURITY 
 
13.  None 
 
F. CASPIAN SECURITY INFORMATION 
 
14.  During April 13-15, the U.S. Navy Central Command (USNAVCENT) 
sponsored a visit to the U.S. by Rear Admiral Abikeyev, Chief of the 
Kazakhstan Border Guard Service's Maritime Directive, and two 
members of his staff.  The purpose of the visit was to view the 
cooperation between the U.S. and Canadian law enforcement agencies 
on the maritime border between the United States and Canada, 
focusing on the Great Lakes, Maine, and Washington areas. 
 
III. RED FLAG ISSUES. 
 
15.  None. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks