Monthly Archives: June 2009

09ASTANA1090, KAZAKHSTAN: AMBASSADOR DELIVERS REMARKS AT EVENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1090 2009-06-29 08:02 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1248
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
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RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1090/01 1800802
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5687
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1701
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1770
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1068
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1252
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1169
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
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RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2349
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2667

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 001090 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, ISN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MNUC SOCI KNNP KPAO KMDR RS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  AMBASSADOR DELIVERS REMARKS AT EVENT 
COMMEMORATING CESSATION OF NUCLEAR TESTING AT SEMIPALATINSK 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  The Ambassador traveled to Semey on June 18 to 
participate in a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the 
cessation of Soviet nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk test site. 
President Nazarbayev's speech at the event received heavy media 
coverage.  He highlighted Kazakhstan's decision soon after 
independence to give up the nuclear arsenal it had inherited from 
the USSR, urged strengthening of the global non-proliferation 
regime, and called on the United Nations to make August 29 "World 
Non-Proliferation Day." (NOTE:  The Semipalatinsk site was 
officially closed on August 29, 1991.  END NOTE.)  In his own 
remarks, the Ambassador recognized Kazakhstan's leadership on 
non-proliferation and drew on President Obama's Prague speech 
outlining U.S. policy to reduce the threat from nuclear weapons and 
materials.  END SUMMARY. 
 
CROWD OF OVER 10,000 
 
2.  The Kazakhstani government invited the heads of 14 diplomatic 
missions to travel to Semey on a special charter flight for the 
commemorative event.  The Ambassador and Russian Ambassador Mikhail 
Bocharnikov were asked to deliver remarks.  The Japanese and French 
ambassadors, and representatives from the British, South Korean, and 
Chinese embassies and UN mission attended.  Six invited embassies 
did not send anyone -- specifically, India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, 
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.  The event was also 
attended by a women's group from Japan and private citizens' groups 
from Belarus and the Ukraine, with many individuals carrying banners 
with slogans such as "world peace." 
 
3.  The commemoration drew a crowd of well over 10,000 people, 
according to media reports.  President Nazarbayev sat at center 
stage, surrounded by community leaders, an imam, and individuals who 
had actually witnessed the early, above-ground nuclear tests at 
Semipalatinsk.  The Ambassador, Russian Ambassador Bocharnikov, and 
Semey's akim (mayor) were seated closest to Nazarbayev. 
 
PRAISE FOR NAZARBAYEV 
 
4.  Official, Russian-language "Kazakhstanskaya Pravda" called 
President Nazarbayev's trip to Semei "Mission for Peace 2009."  The 
backdrop for the event was the "Stronger than Death" monument, which 
was opened in 2001 in memory of the victims of radiation in the 
Semey area.  On behalf of the people of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev 
called on all countries that have nuclear capabilities to 
demonstrate responsibility and fulfill their international 
obligations.  "Kazakhstan has an absolute historic and moral right 
to be a leader in the global anti-nuclear movement," he argued. 
Nazarbayev called on the United Nations to declare August 29 as the 
"international day of nuclear weapons abandonment."  He also said 
that the world community should create a new universal treaty on 
"horizontal and vertical non-proliferation of nuclear weapons." 
Nazarbayev proposed prohibiting the improvement of existing nuclear 
arsenals in any form, in order to avoid a new nuclear arms race. 
 
5.  Pro-government, Russian-language "Liter" quotes Nazarbayev 
reflecting on the struggle to close the Semipalatinsk site before 
Kazakhstan became independent.  "It was not easy to get permission 
to close the nuclear site from the Central Committee of Soviet 
Communist Party," said the President.  The author of the article 
said that Kazakhstan is grateful to those countries that are helping 
to rehabilitate the Semey region, "however, not all countries 
realize the danger of nuclear weapons.  India, Pakistan, and North 
Korea still continue to accumulate nuclear warheads.  The position 
of our country is firm:  we are determined to fight for a 
non-nuclear peace and propose creating a global anti-nuclear 
movement." 
 
6.  Pro-government, Russian-language "Express K" lauded Nazarbayev's 
"historic decision to close the nuclear site and put an end to 
nuclear tests."  According to the author, "Tens of thousands of 
Semey's citizens came to the meeting holding slogans, such as 'Our 
president was the first to close a nuclear site!  Who will be 
 
ASTANA 00001090  002 OF 004 
 
 
next?,' 'Kazakhstan -- territory of peace,' and
'21st century 
without nuclear weapons.'"  Nazarbayev said in his remarks, "Nuclear 
countries should set an example of goodwill and reduce their 
arsenals!  In this we support President Obama's statement (in 
Prague) about the total elimination of nuclear weapons in all the 
countries of the world." 
 
AMBASSADOR'S REMARKS GET POSITIVE COVERAGE 
 
7.  Pro-government, Russian-language "Izvestiya" also hailed the 
decision "made personally by Nursultan Nazarbayev" to give up the 
"world's fourth largest nuclear arsenal.  With this act Kazakhstan 
demonstrated its responsibility for the fate of humanity to the 
whole world."  The author said that the "people of Kazakhstan call 
on all other countries to join them in a global movement for 
non-proliferation and destruction of nuclear weapons."  Noting that 
there were foreign guests in attendance, including the U.S. and 
Russian ambassadors, the author quotes the Ambassador as saying that 
"in the future his country will do everything possible to reduce 
nuclear stockpiles."  The author concluded that "Russian and 
American laboratories are planning to research former nuclear test 
sites to determine which are the most dangerous." 
 
8.  "Express K" also singled out the Ambassador's remarks, citing 
his tip of the hat to the host country, "Kazakhstan is an 
acknowledged leader in the fight for nuclear disarmament.  There is 
a partnership among Kazakhstan, Russia, and the United States that 
aims to prevent the remnants of nuclear weapons from falling into 
the hands of terrorists." 
 
9.  Television stations which covered the event specifically noted 
the Ambassador's praise of the leadership role in non-proliferation 
played by Kazakhstan and its president. 
 
RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR'S ADDRESS 
 
10.  In his address, Russian Ambassador Bocharnikov praised 
Kazakhstan for setting an example through its renunciation of 
nuclear weapons and called for full implementation of the Nuclear 
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to counter new threats and realities. 
 "A consistent package of measures is being developed with the 
active participation of Kazakhstan to enhance the effectiveness of 
the agreement and ensure unconditional fulfillment of commitments by 
all parties, based on a combination of three fundamental components 
-- namely, non-proliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful use of 
nuclear power," he explained.  Bocharnikov added that "a significant 
contribution to disarmament efforts would be the signing of a 
legally-binding U.S.-Russian agreement on further reduction and 
limitation of strategic offensive weapons, given that such a 
reduction is closely linked to the deployment of global anti-missile 
defense systems." 
 
THE AMBASSADOR'S REMARKS 
 
11.  In his own remarks, the Ambassador recognized Kazakhstan's 
leadership on non-proliferation and drew on President Obama's Prague 
speech outlining U.S. policy to reduce the threat from nuclear 
weapons and materials.  The large crowd loudly applauded after near 
each paragraph of President Obama's specific proposals.  Following 
is the full text of the Ambassador's address. 
 
BEGIN TEXT 
 
Twenty years ago when the Soviet Union closed the Semei Nuclear Test 
Site, no one would ever have predicted then that today the President 
of the independent Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ambassador of the 
independent Russian Federation, and the Ambassador of the United 
States would stand together as partners to mark this significant 
anniversary. 
 
It is very well known around the world that one of the great 
achievements of Kazakhstan and its president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, 
 
ASTANA 00001090  003 OF 004 
 
 
has been to renounce the nuclear weapons it inherited at 
independence and to become a leader in nuclear nonproliferation. 
For that great achievement, we honor President Nazarbayev and his 
vision of a nuclear-free world. 
 
What is much less well known is the highly successful but quiet 
partnership among Kazakhstan, the United States, and Russia to 
ensure that the dangerous remnants at this test site never fall into 
the hands of terrorists or others who would seek to do evil in the 
world. 
 
The nuclear laboratories of the United States and Russia have 
conferred closely, and continue to confer, to identify those 
specific sites within this larger test-site territory that need to 
be sealed off from the rest of the world.  Beginning in 1996, the 
government of the United States, in successful partnership with the 
appropriate agencies of the government of Kazakhstan, and in close 
consultation with the government of Russia, has worked, and 
continues to work, to ensure the total security of this site.  That 
work will continue, and will even be accelerated, because it is the 
policy of U.S. President Barack Obama to work intensively to achieve 
a nuclear-free world.  President Obama announced this visionary 
policy during a speech in Prague, the Czech Republic, on April 5 
this year.  I want to quote some of what he said. 
 
"The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous 
legacy of the Cold War.  No nuclear war was fought between the 
United States and the Soviet Union, but generations lived with the 
knowledge that their world could be erased in a single flash of 
light.  Today, the Cold War has disappeared but thousands of those 
weapons have not.  In a strange turn of history, the threat of 
global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack 
has gone up.  More nations have acquired these weapons.  Testing has 
continued.  Black market trade in nuclear secrets and nuclear 
materials abounds.  The technology to build a bomb has spread. 
Terrorists are determined to buy, build or steal one.  Our efforts 
to contain these dangers are centered on a global non-proliferation 
regime. 
 
"The United States will take concrete steps towards a world without 
nuclear weapons.  To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce 
the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and 
urge others to do the same. 
 
"To reduce our warheads and stockpiles, we will negotiate a new 
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Russians this year that 
will be legally binding and sufficiently bold.  To achieve a global 
ban on nuclear testing, my administration will immediately and 
aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban 
Treaty.  To cut off the building blocks needed for a bomb, the 
United States will seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the 
production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear 
weapons. 
 
"We will strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a basis 
for cooperation.  Countries with nuclear weapons will move towards 
disarmament, countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire 
them, and all countries can access peaceful nuclear energy. 
 
"We should build a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation, 
including an international fuel bank, so that countries can access 
peaceful power without increasing the r
isks of proliferation.  That 
must be the right of every nation that renounces nuclear weapons, 
especially developing countries embarking on peaceful programs. 
 
"Finally, we must ensure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear 
weapon.  This is the most immediate and extreme threat to global 
security.  One terrorist with one nuclear weapon could unleash 
massive destruction.  Al Qaeda has said it seeks a bomb and that it 
would have no problem with using it.  And we know that there is 
unsecured nuclear material across the globe. 
 
 
ASTANA 00001090  004 OF 004 
 
 
"So today I am announcing a new international effort to secure all 
vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.  We 
will set new standards, expand our cooperation with Russia, pursue 
new partnerships to lock down these sensitive materials. 
 
"Human destiny will be what we make of it. Let us honor our past by 
reaching for a better future. Let us bridge our divisions, build 
upon our hopes, accept our responsibility to leave this world more 
prosperous and more peaceful than we found it.  Together we can do 
it." 
 
END TEXT 
 
FAGIN

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09ASTANA1089, PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV URGES FOREIGN COMPANIES TO CONTINUE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1089 2009-06-29 06:50 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1986
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
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RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1089/01 1800650
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290650Z JUN 09 ZDK TO ALL CTG MULTIPLE SVCS
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5685
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1699
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1066
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1768
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0734
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1250
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1167
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001089 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EINV EPET KZ
SUBJECT:  PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV URGES FOREIGN COMPANIES TO CONTINUE 
INVESTING IN KAZAKHSTAN 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  On June 12, in the provincial northern city of 
Kostanai, President Nazarbayev convened the 21st plenary session of 
Kazakhstan's Foreign Investors' Council (FIC).  Nazarbayev 
encouraged foreign companies to continue investing in Kazakhstan's 
economy and discussed the country's plan for accelerated industrial 
development.  He assured foreign investors that Kazakhstan would 
continue to adhere to the principles of a market economy and protect 
private property rights, but also stressed the importance of the use 
of local content in investment projects.  The next FIC meeting, 
scheduled for December 4 in Astana, will address the involvement of 
foreign investors in Kazakhstan's plans for economic diversification 
and technological development.  END SUMMARY. 
 
21ST FIC PLENARY 
 
2.  The Foreign Investors' Council (FIC) is an advisory body 
established by presidential decree on June 30, 1998 to promote 
direct dialogue between the Government of Kazakhstan and foreign 
investors.  On June 12, President Nazarbayev chaired the 21st 
plenary session of the FIC, which was held in Kostanai.  This year's 
theme was "Alternative Sources of Financing for the Future Economic 
Development of Kazakhstan Under Changing Conditions in the World 
Financial Market."  Over 170 foreign business executives 
representing the world's largest transnational companies -- 
including ExxonMobil, Chevron, ArcelorMittal, LukOil, Mitsubishi, 
Total, Philip Morris, and others -- attended the plenary. 
 
KAZAKHSTAN MAKES PLAN FOR NEXT FIVE YEARS 
 
3.  At the FIC plenary, Nazarbayev announced that the first signs of 
an improving economic environment were already evident in Kazakhstan 
thanks to a government bailout package of more than $19 billion 
(approximately 14% of Kazakhstan's GDP).  Minister of Economy and 
Budget Planning Bakhyt Sultanov echoed Nazarbayev, explaining that 
"since the beginning of the year, foreign investment has amounted to 
44% of total investment in fixed capital, which was almost twice as 
much as the reporting period the previous year."  Sultanov 
maintained this indicates continued investor trust in the 
Kazakhstani government. 
 
4.  In 2010, Kazakhstan will officially launch a five-year plan for 
accelerated industrial innovation and development.  According to 
Nazarbayev, if the plan is successful, in ten years, Kazakhstan will 
generate $50 billion of value-added in manufacturing, which is 
almost 50% of the country's present day GDP.  Nazarbayev listed 
agriculture, construction, oil refining, metallurgy, chemicals, 
pharmaceuticals, power generation, and infrastructure as priority 
sectors for development over the next five years.  Nazarbayev 
estimated that Kazakhstan could immediately mobilize as much as 12% 
of its current GDP to facilitate the development plan.  He also said 
that "trading in national quotas for greenhouse gas emissions within 
the Kyoto Protocol may become one of the alternative sources of 
financing.  This may open new up opportunities in energy-saving 
technologies that will allow attraction of up to $1 billion in 
investments." 
 
CALLS REPEATED FOR INCREASED LOCAL CONTENT 
 
5.  Nazarbayev reiterated Kazakhstan's commitment to developing 
local content and increasing the percentage of locally produced 
goods and services utilized by foreign companies operating in 
Kazakhstan.  He reminded participants that this issue was discussed 
in detail at the December 2008 FIC meeting in Almaty, and noted some 
"positive results that have been achieved recently:  mineral 
resource companies have signed memoranda with Kazakhstani producers 
totaling 330 billion tenge ($2.2 billion) and contracts totaling 
over 200 billion tenge ($1.33 billion)."  Nazarbayev instructed the 
government and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to work closely 
with foreign investors and Kazakhstani manufacturers to increase the 
supply of domestic goods and services. 
 
NEW INVESTMENT PROJECTS 
 
6.  Nazarbayev acknowledged that foreign investors will have to play 
 
ASTANA 00001089  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
a critical role in achieving the ambitious goal of developing $50 
billion in value-added manufacturing in the next ten years.  He said 
that the Customs Union among Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan will 
create new opportunities for investment in a unified market that has 
over 168 million pe
ople and a combined GDP of $2 trillion. 
Nazarbayev assured foreign investors that Kazakhstan would continue 
to adhere to the principles of a market economy, and protect private 
property rights, as guaranteed by the Kazakhstani Constitution and 
other laws. 
 
7.  "A favorable investment climate in our country allowed many 
companies to increase their investments.  In the last 8 years, 
Kazakhstan received $46 billion in investments," Nazarbayev 
reported.  He referred to a series of meetings held prior to the FIC 
with foreign investors who expressed their interest in various 
sectors of economy.  "We agreed with Chevron CEO David) O'Reilly to 
double the capacity of the Atyrau polyethylene pipe plant, and 
construct a new valve plant and shipyard on the Caspian Sea.  This 
is a very good sign," he added.  Nazarbayev also hailed 
ArcelorMittal for building a pipe production plant in Aktau, and 
Saipem for working with a Kazakhstani investor to construct a 
fabrication yard.  "The Vice President of Eni has pledged to build a 
gas processing plant and gas-fired power plant in Kazakhstan," said 
Nazarbayev.  He also announced that Kazakhstan's ENRC plans to 
construct new ferroalloy facilities.  "We are very grateful for 
those projects," he concluded. 
 
INVESTORS HOPE GOVERNMENT WILL PLAY POSITIVE ROLE 
 
8.  Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov explained at the FIC plenary 
that his company's willingness to invest is contingent upon the 
legal environment.  "We need a stable, but at the same time a 
flexible tax system, an active role by the state in the conclusion 
of development contracts, and the elimination of bureaucratic 
obstacles to the acquisition of Kazakhstani assets by foreign 
investors."  ExxonMobil Senior Vice President Marc Albers had 
similar recommendations saying the "the Government of Kazakhstan has 
several ways to help investors, including the simplification of 
required procedures for foreign companies to enter the domestic 
market in Kazakhstan, as well as the improvement of regulations for 
the opening of joint ventures." 
 
9.  EBRD President Thomas Mirow acknowledged the difficulties in 
attracting investment in the current climate.  He, did however, 
praise Kazakhstan's willingness to modify its approach to meet the 
demands of a changing environment.  Eni Vice President Umberto 
Virgine reconfirmed his company's readiness to support new sectors 
of the economy and create new joint ventures.  Expressing his hope 
that the new development plan would accelerate Kazakhstan's economic 
growth, Chevron Vice President George Kirkland said that 
Kazakhstan's reaction to the global economic crisis could serve as 
an example to the world community. 
 
NEXT FIC PLENARY SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER 
 
10.  The next plenary session of the FIC is scheduled for December 4 
in Astana, and will be devoted to the role of foreign investors in 
Kazakhstan's plan for economic diversification and technological 
development. 
 
FAGIN

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1088, KAZAKHSTAN: ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, JUNE 7-20

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1088 2009-06-28 08:34 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0769
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DE RUEHTA #1088/01 1790834
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1165
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001088 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET ENRG EINV EFIN KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, JUNE 7-20 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press and has not been verified for accuracy. 
-- Kazakhstan Welcomes IMF Technical Assistance 
-- National Bank Reduces 2009 Inflation Forecast 
-- Kazatomprom News 
-- Agip KCO News 
 -- Energy Statistics 
 
 
KAZAKHSTAN WELCOMES IMF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 
 
2.  International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominic 
Strauss-Kahn expressed satisfaction with the current level of 
cooperation between the IMF and Kazakhstan during a June 15 visit to 
Astana.  "We work together on various issues, including 
restructuring of external debts of banks," said Strauss-Kahn.  Prime 
Minister Karim Masimov told reporters that Kazakhstan does not plan 
to borrow funds from the IMF, but that it would welcome the IMF's 
advice and technical assistance "to prepare a new conception for 
Kazakhstan's financial architecture." 
 
NATIONAL BANK REDUCESS 2009 INFLATION FORECAST 
 
3.  The National Bank of Kazakhstan reduced its 2009 inflation 
forecast from 11 to 9 percent.  "After the February devaluation of 
the tenge, we reviewed the inflation forecast and increased it to 11 
percent because we expected a sharp growth in retail prices. 
However, the situation after the devaluation has remained stable, 
and by now it is possible to say that inflation in 2009 will be 9 
percent" said National Bank Deputy Chairman Daniyar Akishev. 
 
KAZATOMPROM NEWS 
 
4.  On June 15, Canada's Uranium One Inc. bought a 50% stake in 
Karatau LLC from Russia's uranium holding company Atomredmetzoloto 
(ARMZ) in exchange for $90 million in cash and 16.6% of Uranium 
One's shares.  Kazakhstan's state nuclear company Kazatomprom owns 
the remaining 50% of Karatau LLC, which produced 653 tons of uranium 
in 2008.  The purchase agreement, which remains subject to 
regulatory approval by Kazakhstan and Australia, is expected to be 
finalized by December 15.  (NOTE: The Karatau mine is located in 
close geographic proximity to the Akdala and South Inkai mines, 
which are 70 percent-owned by Uranium One's Betpak Dala joint 
venture.  END NOTE.)  Jean Nortier, President and Chief Executive 
Officer of Uranium One, said, "The acquisition of a 50% stake in 
Karatau adds another long-life, large-scale, and high-margin asset 
to our portfolio and will significantly enhance Uranium One's 
production profile and cement its position of leadership in the 
Kazakh uranium mining industry." 
 
5.  According to a June 17 Presidential Administration press 
release, Ulba Metallurgical Plant, which is a Kazatomprom 
subsidiary, is considering purchasing a controlling interest in the 
Brazil-based tantalum producer Industrial Fluminense.  This sale 
would precede the establishment of a joint venture to develop a 
tantalum-niobium field in Brazil.  (NOTE:  Kazatomprom has long 
aspired to produce tantalum in Brazil, but had announced in summer 
2008 that it was abandoning its plans because of the high price of 
doing so.  END NOTE.) 
 
6.  Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's state nuclear company 
Rosatom, confirmed on June 19 that preparations for the construction 
of a nuclear power plant in Aktau could be completed in 2009. 
"Consultations are underway in Moscow with a working group from 
Kazakhstan," he said.  According to Kiriyenko, Russia would provide 
its "know-how" and technology, and Kazakhstan would be responsible 
for the funding.  The Aktau nuclear plant is to be equipped with 
VBER-300 reactors designed by Russia's Afrikantov Experimental 
Bureau.  "The reactor will be owned by a joint venture, which will 
have the right to sell it -- not only to Kazakhstan or Russia," he 
added.  (NOTE:  In February, Kazakhstan's Minister of Energy and 
Mineral Resources, Sauat Mynbayev, said that the funds allocated for 
the construction of the Aktau nuclear power plant had been returned 
to the budget because legal issues regarding the transfer of Russian 
 
ASTANA 00001088  002 OF 002 
 
 
intellectual property to Kazakhstan had not been resolved.  END 
NOTE.) 
 
AGIP KCO NEWS 
 
7.  Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sauat Mynbayev informed 
reporters on June 17 that Agip KCO, the operator of the Kashagan 
project, plans to build a shipyard that will construct tankers with &#x000
A;63,000 deadweight ton capacity designed specifically for the 
Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System (KCTS).  Mynbayev expects a 
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by the end of June, a final 
contract to be agreed to in September, and construction launched in 
2010.  Agip KCO granted Oman's Topaz Energy and Marine Ltd a $100 
million contract to build and operate six tug boats for the Kashagan 
project in 2010. 
 
 ENERGY STATISTICS 
 
8.  According to the National Statistics Agency, from January to 
April, Kazakhstan produced 25.33 million tons of crude oil and 14.62 
billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, marking a 3.9 percent and 
3.8 percent increases respectively over the same period in 2008.  In 
addition, Kazakhstan exported 21.81 million tons of crude oil and 
gas condensate, valued at $6.20 billion, from January to April, 
marking a 9.5 percent increase in export volume, but a 52.2 percent 
decrease in export value, over that period in 2008.  Similarly, 
Kazakhstan exported 5.74 bcm of natural gas, valued at $399.5 
million, during January to April, marking a 2.3 percent increase in 
volume and a 24.1 percent increase in value over the same period in 
2008. 
 
9.  From January to May, Kazakhstan's coal production was 38.86 
million metric tons, a 15.2 percent decrease from the same period in 
2008.  Also from January to May, Kazakhstan's power generation 
decreased 7.8 percent year-on-year to 33.01 billion kilowatt-hours. 
 
10.  Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sauat Mynbayev 
confirmed on June 17 that the forecast for total crude oil and gas 
condensate production for 2009 will remain at 77 million tons. 
Earlier in the year, Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Bakhyt 
Sultanov predicted that the forecast might be reduced by 3 million 
tons because of falling global oil prices. 
 
FAGIN

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1084, CONCEPT APPROVAL FOR FY09 USCENTCOM/SOCCENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1084 2009-06-26 10:18 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9706
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #1084 1771018
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261018Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 1164
RHMFISS/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
INFO RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7378
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 0069
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 8365
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 0007
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2168
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0457
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1584
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 0024
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5680
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL 0005

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 001084 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CENTCOM FOR CCJ5, SOCCENT FOR J33, DIA FOR DHO-2 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
MOSCOW FOR DEA OFFICE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/26/2029 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MASS SNAR KZ
SUBJECT: CONCEPT APPROVAL FOR FY09 USCENTCOM/SOCCENT 
COUNTER NARCOTERRORISM TRAINING EVENT CKZ2009CNT021N WITH 
KAZAKHSTANI SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES 
 
REF: A. ASTANA 00525 DTG 240940Z MAR 09 
     B. STATE 33993 DTG 071853Z APR 09 
     C. ASTANA 00759 DTG 041024Z MAY 09 
     D. COMSOCCENT DTG 181117Z JUN 09 
 
Classified By: CDA Steven H. Fagin, Reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY. IN ACCORDANCE WITH REF D, THIS MESSAGE 
CONVEYS EMBASSY ASTANA APPROVAL OF CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS FOR 
COUNTER NARCO TERRORISM (CNT) TRAINING DEPLOYMENT 
(CKZ2009CNT021N) WITH THE KAZAKHSTAN SPECIAL OPERATIONS 
FORCES (SOF) DURING 4TH QUARTER FY09. 
 
2. (SBU) U.S. AGENCY REQUESTING CNT EVENT. THIS ACTION IS 
COORDINATED WITH DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (DEA) MOSCOW COUNTRY 
ATTACHE AND REGIONAL COORDINATOR MR. TIMOTHY JONES, AND HAS 
RECEIVED THE APPROVAL OF AMEMBASSY ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN. 
 
3. (C) PARTNER NATION (PN) ORGANIZATIONS REQUESTING THIS 
EVENT. DIRECTORATE OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, MINISTRY OF 
DEFENSE, UNDER MR. TILEGEN, HAS REQUESTED THAT THE KAZ 
SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT 41433 RECEIVE THIS PROPOSED TRAINING. 
SCHEDULE HAS BEEN COORDINATED WITH KAZ SPECIAL OPERATIONS 
COMMAND. 
 
4. (C) CONCEPT FOR TRAINING DEPLOYMENT CKZ2009CNT021N DOES 
NOT REQUIRE CARRYING OF WEAPONS.  ANY IMPORTING OR CARRYING 
OF WEAPONS DURING DEPLOYMENT WILL BE SUBJECT TO EXPLICIT 
APPROVAL OF THE CHIEF OF MISSION, AS COORDINATED THROUGH THE 
OFFICE OF MILITARY COOPERATION AND REGIONAL SECURITY OFFICER. 
 
 
HUMAN RIGHTS VERIFICATION 
-------------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) REFTEL A IS EMBASSY ASTANA'S LEAHY HUMAN RIGHTS 
VETTING REQUEST FOR THE KAZ SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT 41433. 
REFTEL B IS THE RESPONSE TO THIS REQUEST STATING THAT THE 
DEPARTMENT OF STATE POSSESSES NO CREDIBLE INFORMATION OF 
GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY THE IDENTIFIED UNIT AND 
COMMANDER. 
 
POINTS OF CONTACT FOR TRAINING 
------------------------------ 
 
6. (SBU) THE OFFICE OF MILITARY COOPERATION IS RESPONSIBLE 
FOR ASSISTING THE CNT TEAM WITH ISSUES WHILE IN KAZAKHSTAN. 
DEA MOSCOW COUNTRY ATTACHE AND REGIONAL COORDINATOR MR. 
TIMOTHY JONES WILL BE KEPT INFORMED OF ANY ISSUES SHOULD THEY 
ARISE. 
 
7. (SBU) ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS CABLE SHOULD BE 
DIRECTED TO DEA MOSCOW COUNTRY ATTACHE AND REGIONAL 
COORDINATOR MR. TIMOTHY JONES AT 7-495-728-5218, OR CHIEF, 
OFFICE OF MILITARY COOPERATION, AMEMB ASTANA LTC JAMES YENTZ 
AT 7-7172-702321. 
FAGIN

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1068, KAZAKHSTAN: EMBASSY INPUT FOR OSCE HUMAN DIMENSION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1068 2009-06-24 07:08 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7528
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1068/01 1750708
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240708Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5668
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1689
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1061
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1764
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0730
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2347
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2665
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1246
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1162
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001068 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RPM, SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KDEM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  EMBASSY INPUT FOR OSCE HUMAN DIMENSION 
IMPLEMENTATION MEETING 
 
REF: STATE 59944 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (U) This cable responds to reftel's request for post's input on 
Kazakhstan for demarches in advance of the OSCE Human Dimension 
Implementation Meeting (HDIM). 
 
DEMOCRATIC REFORM 
 
3.  (SBU) The September 26 - October 9 HDIM is the last one before 
Kazakhstan takes over the OSCE chairmanship in 2010.  As such, it is 
an important opportunity to encourage further progress on key 
democracy and human rights concerns.  When Kazakhstan was selected 
to be 2010 OSCE chairman at the November 2007 Madrid OSCE 
Ministerial meeting, Foreign Minister Tazhin promised his government 
would amend Kazakhstan's election, political party, and media laws 
in accordance with OSCE and ODIHR recommendations.  The amendments 
were signed into law in February.  While key civil society figures 
criticized the legislative changes for not going far enough, they 
were nevertheless a step in the right direction.  We should 
encourage Kazakhstan to take additional steps and to continue 
cooperating with the OSCE and ODIHR in bringing its laws in line 
with OSCE standards.  One specific democratic reform we should 
recommend is the establishment of independent election commissions 
composed of representatives of all political parties. 
 
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS 
 
4.  (SBU) Kazakhstan's diverse print media includes many newspapers 
sharply critical of the government and of President Nazarbayev 
personally, but the broadcast media is closely aligned with the 
government and provides very little coverage of the political 
opposition.  Amendments to Kazakhstan's media legislation adopted in 
February eased some of the registration requirements for the print 
media, but journalists and editors remain subject to criminal 
penalties, including prison time, for libel.  In February, an 
appellate court ordered the opposition newspaper "Taszhargan" to pay 
a 30 million tenge (approximately $200,000) damage award for libel 
to a parliamentarian, increasing ten-fold the damages imposed by a 
lower court.  Neither the paper nor the journalist involved in the 
case has the means to pay the fine.  The paper has ceased 
publication, though the editor plans to re-open it under a different 
name.  We should urge Kazakhstan to fully decriminalize libel and to 
ensure that civil libel judgments are not so punitive as to force 
the closure of media outlets. 
 
5.  (SBU) We remain concerned about a draft Internet law that is 
currently being considered in parliament.  Although the latest text 
represents an improvement over the original version, it retains a 
number of problematic provisions.  In particular, the legislation in 
its current form would reclassify all Internet sites as "media 
outlets," making them subject to Kazakhstan's media law.  It would 
also broaden the definition of "dissemination of a media product" to 
include posting information anywhere on the Internet -- a provision 
that civil activists believe would open the door for the government 
to legally block any Internet site, including web-chats and blogs. 
In addition, the draft legislation includes provisions that would 
make it easier to shut down media outlets for legal violations 
during elections and violations related to inter-ethnic relations. 
If parliament passes the legislation, we should urge that President 
Nazarbayev veto it, or send it to the Constitutional Council (Court) 
for that body to review its constitutionality. 
 
6.  (SBU) The editor of "Alma-Ata Info" newspaper, Ramazan 
Yesergepov, is currently on trial for publishing an article that 
contained information from classified internal memos of the 
Committee for National Security (KNB), which he allegedly received 
from a contact within the KNB.  Yesergepov has been charged with 
divulging and disseminating state secrets leading to "grave 
consequences," a crime which carries a maximum penalty of eight 
years in prison.  Civil society activists have come out in defense 
of Yesergepov, arguing that the KNB documents should not have been 
classified in the first place. 
 
ASTANA 00001068  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
FREEDOM OF RELIGION 
 
7.  (SBU)  At this time last year, the Kazakhstani parliament was 
considering a package of amendments to the country's religion law 
which was aimed at asserting gr
eater government authority over 
so-called "non-traditional" religious groups, such as evangelical 
Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Hare Krishnas, and Scientologists. 
 At the urging of the U.S. government, our like-minded partners, and 
Kazakhstani civil society leaders, President Nazarbayev sent the 
legislation to the Constitutional Council for review.  The Council 
ultimately ruled the legislation was unconstitutional. 
 
8.  (SBU) "Non-traditional" religious groups nevertheless continue 
to report pressure from the authorities.  In January, an Almaty 
district court found Elizaveta Drencheva, a Unification Church 
member and Russian citizen, guilty on charges of "instilling a sense 
of inferiority in citizens based on their tribal association" and 
sentenced her to two years in jail.  The case was based on several 
religious lectures given by Drencheva in which she articulated the 
Unification Church's teachings.  In March, an appellate court upheld 
the guilty verdict, but vacated Drencheva's prison sentence.  Two 
local branches of the Church of Scientology are currently under 
investigation on allegations they have illegally engaged in business 
activities.  Some "non-traditional" religious groups, including 
evangelical Protestants and Ahmadi Muslims, have reported that KNB 
agents attend their religious gatherings and sometimes tape the 
proceedings.  We should stress to the government that the problems 
encountered by the "non-traditional" groups are inconsistent with 
Kazakhstan's tradition of religious tolerance. 
 
FAGIN

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1045, KAZAKHSTAN: DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON SCOPING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1045 2009-06-19 12:07 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTA #1045 1701207
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191207Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5647

UNCLAS ASTANA 001045 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, NSC FOR JOYCE CONNERY, ISN/CTR FOR 
KATHERINE CROFT, ISN/CTR FOR ELIZABETH CAMERON 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PARM PREL KNNP ETTC KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON SCOPING 
INTEREST FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE G-8 GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP 
AGAINST THE SPREAD OF WEAPONS AND MATERIALS OF MASS 
DESTRUCTION 
 
REF: SECSTATE 56239 
 
1.  (SBU) We delivered reftel points and non-paper on scoping 
interest in membership in the G-8 Global Partnership against 
the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction on 
June 5 to Anuar Tanalinov, the Kazakhstani Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs' Chief of the Multilateral Cooperation 
Department's International Security Division.  The 
Kazakhstani Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet provided 
an official reply, but Tanalinov said the government of 
Kazakhstan is studying the issue very closely. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1044, KAZAKHSTAN: USCIRF’S COSMAN HEARS DIFFERENT VIEWS ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1044 2009-06-19 09:36 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO3855
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1044/01 1700936
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 190936Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5645
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1687
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHVV/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1059
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1762
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2345
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1244
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1160
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001044 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KIRF KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  USCIRF'S COSMAN HEARS DIFFERENT VIEWS ON 
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  Catherine Cosman, Senior Analyst for the U.S. 
Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), met June 4 - 
11 with Kazakhstani civil society and religious leaders and 
government officials, to discuss the country's policy on religious 
freedom.  The representatives of the "traditional" religions 
predictably highlighted Kazakhstan's track record of religious 
tolerance, while representatives of "non-traditional" groups 
asserted that the government's policy towards them was growing more 
hostile.  Meetings with the government proved somewhat contentious, 
with the representatives of the MFA and the MOJ's Religious Issues 
Committee arguing that some of USCIRF's reporting can be "biased" 
and unbalanced.  END SUMMARY. 
TWO VIEWS ON FREEDOM OF RELIGION 
 
3.  (SBU) During her June 4 - 11 trip to Almaty and Astana, USCIRF's 
Cathy Cosman met with leaders of civil society, representatives of 
religious organizations, and government officials.  As has been the 
case in the past, the representatives of "non-traditional" religious 
groups, like the Ahmadi Muslims, Protestants, and Scientologists, 
gave a vastly different assessment of Kazakhstan's record on 
religious freedom than their counterparts from the Orthodox Church 
and the Spiritual Association of Muslims of Kazakhstan (SAMK). 
While welcoming the recent decision of the Constitutional Council to 
overturn the draft law on religion, the smaller religious groups 
were unanimous in asserting that the government's policy toward 
"non-traditional" religions was growing more hostile.  Ahmadi 
Muslims and Protestants reported several instances of local law 
enforcement representatives attending services, writing down the 
names of the participants, and asking the congregation members 
whether they joined the religious community freely or were 
"coerced."  The representative of the Church of Scientology outlined 
the several administrative cases facing the church, including a case 
for tax evasion and for unauthorized pharmaceutical activities.  On 
a more positive note, the Almaty Hare Krishnas told us that the 
local and oblast (region) authorities seem to be committed to 
finding an appropriate land plot as a substitute for the contested 
land plot where the community is now.  Apparently, as the Krishnas 
told us, the oblast akim (regional governor) flies to Astana on a 
monthly basis to update the Presidential Administration on the 
progress of the dispute. 
 
4.  (SBU) In contrast, the representatives of SAMK, the Orthodox 
Church, and the Jewish community shared their belief that the 
government is wholeheartedly committed to promoting religious 
tolerance.  All three highlighted their "open dialogue" with other 
confessions and cited the upcoming Congress of World Religions -- an 
international forum that takes place in Astana every three years -- 
as proof of President Nazarbayev's commitment to religious 
understanding.  Father Andrey of the Orthodox Church told us that he 
supported the draft law on religion because it would have 
established greater control over "foreign pseudo-religions which 
lack certain morals." 
 
THE GOVERNMENT TAKES ISSUE 
 
5.  (SBU) In Astana, Cosman met with representatives of the 
Religious Issues Committee (RIC), the President's Human Rights 
Commission, and the MFA's America's Directorate.  The head of the 
RIC Ardak Doszhan showed great familiarity with USCIRF's most recent 
report on Kazakhstan.  He thanked USCIRF for its "frank" reporting, 
but noted that several aspects of the report "did not present both 
sides of the story."  In particular, he asserted that USCIRF's 
report "shows bias" when it criticizes the government for the 
failing to resolve the Hare Krishna land dispute or for the fines 
that are imposed on Baptists who refuse to register on principle, 
but fails to point out that both the Hare Krishnas and the Baptists 
"did not follow the law." We heard similar comments from Askar 
Tazhiyev, the Head of MFA's America's Directorate, who proceeded to 
go through the report and challenge particular choices of phrasing. 
For example, he argued that USCIRF's assertion that Protestant 
groups sometimes face harassment from the government is "patently 
untrue" because the number of registered Protestant groups greatly 
 
ASTANA 00001044  002 OF 002 
 
 
outnumbers the Orthodox and Muslim religious entit
ies.  He also took 
issue with the report's coverage of the cases against the Church of 
Scientology -- "This is a group that is banned in Germany, France, 
and Belgium!" he argued passionately.  We countered that the report 
does not aim to judge the merit of the cases against the 
Scientologists, but rather to highlight certain inconsistencies and 
the lack of transparency in the investigation.  Tazhiyev agreed that 
the actions of law enforcement "sometimes fell short of 
international standards." 
 
6.  (SBU) Catherine Cosman did not/not clear this cable. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1042, KAZAKHSTAN TIP REPORT — ONLY FRIENDS CAN TELL EACH OTHER

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1042 2009-06-19 09:07 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO3816
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1042/01 1700907
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 190907Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5642
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1685
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1057
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1760
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0728
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2343
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2663
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1242
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1158
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001042 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, G/TIP, INL/AAE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV SOCI KCRM KTIP KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN TIP REPORT -- ONLY FRIENDS CAN TELL EACH OTHER 
THE TRUTH 
 
REF: STATE 60633 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (U) Per reftel, on June 16, Post delivered the 2009 Trafficking 
in Persons (TIP) Report for Kazakhstan to the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs, Director of the Department of International Law of the 
Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Elvira Azimova, and Deputy Chairman of the 
Criminal Police Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) 
Beket Aimagambetov.  We provided copies of the Kazakhstan narrative 
and the non-paper on the overall report.  INL Officer complimented 
the Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs for their efforts to 
improve victim assistance, trafficking prevention, and 
investigations and convictions of traffickers.  He also underlined 
the recommendations made in the TIP Report. 
 
3. (SBU) At the MVD, Deputy Chairman Aimagambetov thanked the 
Embassy for its continued cooperation with the Criminal Police 
Committee.  He expressed appreciation for the Embassy's positive 
assessment of police efforts to investigate human trafficking cases. 
Referring to the TIP Report, Aimagambetov acknowledged that only 
friends can tell each other the truth.  He said that the MVD and INL 
have been friends for many years and are working together to achieve 
common goals. 
 
4. (SBU) Aimagambetov also proposed further cooperation.  A career 
police officer, Aimagambetov stressed the importance of victim 
cooperation during investigations.  He said that he knows from his 
own experience that victims cooperate only when they feel safe and 
protected.  Therefore, he suggested implementing a victim advocacy 
program to train advocates who would be assigned to victims from the 
very beginning of the process. 
 
5. (SBU) The MVD would also like to establish an anti-trafficking 
interagency working group in South Kazakhstan oblast.  Armabek 
Khakimbekovich Baimurzin, Chief of the Organized Crime Division, 
proposed this idea after attending an IVLP in Houston and seeing a 
similar group.  During the IVLP, he had the opportunity to meet with 
the Harris County Sherriff's Office and the Human Trafficking Rescue 
Alliance (HTRA), which is made up of local, state, and federal law 
enforcement agencies working together with social service 
organizations to identify and assist victims of human trafficking 
and to arrest and prosecute traffickers.  Baimurzin found the 
alliance to be an extremely effective structure and expressed 
interest in implementing such a program in Kazakhstan. 
 
6. (SBU) Director Azimova of the MOJ thanked the Embassy for its 
patience and accuracy in submitting statistical and other data for 
the TIP report.  She recognized that it is not easy to convert 
statistical data into a unified report because of the differences in 
criminal codes.  She reported that the MOJ has done much to improve 
victim assistance in the past year. In particular, the new social 
services law was adopted and the law on the protection of 
participants in the criminal process was amended to allow government 
funding prior to the initiation of a criminal case.  The 
government's 2009-2011 plan has been adopted and includes funding 
for shelters.  Under this plan, the MOJ will be allocated 8 million 
tenge (approximately $50,000) a year for the next three years for 
shelter assistance.  Most likely, the MOJ will fund the 
newly-established TIP NGO Korgai Fund, which is chaired by a former 
police officer with experience in establishing a drug treatment 
facility.  The MOJ also plans to develop recommendations for victim 
identification by police and victim assistance recommendations for 
shelter personnel. 
 
7. (SBU) The government intends to continue to work to improve its 
TIP ranking by enhancing the victim assistance and protection 
components of the national anti-TIP action plan.  Azimova expressed 
thanks for the assistance that INL has provided in the past year and 
looks forward to future cooperation.  INL informed Azimova that 
improving Kazakhstan's assistance to TIP victims would remain a 
 
ASTANA 00001042  002 OF 002 
 
 
priority.  Realizing the importance of trafficking prevention, 
Azimova assured INL that Kazakhstan will continue to conduct 
wide-spread information campaigns next year. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1041, KAZAKHSTAN: EXBS FY 2009 PROGRAM PLAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1041 2009-06-18 11:46 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2751
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHSK RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1041 1691146
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181146Z JUN 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5641
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1684

UNCLAS ASTANA 001041 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC: YWONG, ACHURCH, JHARTSHORN, SROBINSON 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC-AMT: LSPRINGER 
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 FY 2009 PROGRAM PLAN 
 
REF: STATE 55406 
 
Post confirms its concurrence with reftel's EXBS program plan for 
Kazakhstan for FY 2009.  The Government of Kazakhstan has expressed 
interest in participating in the proposed activities. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1038, KAZAKHSTAN: 2009 INVESTMENT DISPUTES REPORT UPDATE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1038 2009-06-18 02:23 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6782
OO RUEHSL
DE RUEHTA #1038 1690223
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180223Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5638
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1683
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1056
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1759
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0727
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1241
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1157
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1627

UNCLAS ASTANA 001038 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/IFD/OIA, L/CID 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO OPIC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV EINV CASC KIDE OPIC KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN: 2009 INVESTMENT DISPUTES REPORT UPDATE 
 
REF:  STATE 49477 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) This cable constitutes post's response to reftel.  The 
United States Government is aware of one (1) claim by United States 
persons against the Government of Kazakhstan (GOK). 
 
3.  (SBU) a.  Claimant A 
 
b. 1996 
 
c. Although it has faced a number of regulatory issues, Claimant A 
has had two disputes that raise expropriation concerns. 
 
Claimant A's dispute on electricity deliveries with the state-owned 
power transmission monopoly (now known as KEGOC) and the GOK began 
in 1996.  Claimant A ultimately signed two memoranda of 
understanding (MOUs) with KEGOC and the GOK, outlining how the 
dispute would be resolved.  Claimant A, however, considered KEGOC to 
be in breach of some of the contracts arising from the MOUs.  KEGOC 
and the GOK submitted the case to international arbitration. 
Claimant A prevailed in a December 2007 ruling, and the Kazakhstani 
side paid it compensation, which appears to have resolved the 
matter. 
 
Claimant A also asserts that discriminatory regulatory actions by 
regional authorities amount to expropriation.  According to the 
Claimant, a regional government - with the support of some officials 
in the central government - has forced the Claimant to choose 
between lowering its rates (which would be politically expedient for 
the local authorities) or facing severe regulatory actions. 
Claimant A maintains that this is an example of improper tactics to 
extract financial benefits from the Claimant.  Claimant A also 
complains of improper threats of criminal prosecution, which forced 
Claimant A's expatriate manager to depart Kazakhstan.  In April 
2008, an Almaty court ruled in favor of local regulatory 
authorities, levying a USD 148 million fine against Claimant A for 
alleged anti-trust violations in its electricity sales.  On May 30, 
2008, Claimant A publicly announced it had completed the sale of its 
ownership stake in a local power plant and coal mine to a 
Kazakhstani company, though it would continue to serve as manager 
and operator of the two facilities.  While the sale was reportedly 
very profitable for Claimant A, it appears to have been partly 
motivated by Claimant A's regulatory problems with Kazakhstani 
authorities. 
 
On March 20, 2009, Claimant A announced that its contract for the 
management of the coal mine and power plant had been terminated in 
an early settlement it described as a "mutual decision that will 
benefit both (parties)."  Claimant A reports that a state-owned 
Kazakhstani energy company continues to pursue Claimant A's 
profitable hydropower concessions.  Also in 2009, Claimant A's 
expatriate manager was named in a civil lawsuit that seeks back 
taxes from a long-defunct proprietary trading company. 
 
The USG is in regular contact with Claimant A and has on multiple 
occasions appealed to the Kazakhstani government in support of a 
just and fair resolution of the company's disputes with the 
authorities. 
 
4.  (SBU) Claimant A:  AES Corp. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1035, KAZAKHSTAN: DOING BUSINESS WITH CHINA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1035 2009-06-17 10:54 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6783
OO RUEHSL
DE RUEHTA #1035/01 1681054
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171054Z JUN 09 ZDK CITE MULTIPLE SVCS ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5634
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1680
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1053
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1756
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0724
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0153
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1238
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1154
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1623

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001035 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EAP/CM, EEB 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PINR ECON EPET EINV ELAB SMIG CH KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  DOING BUSINESS WITH CHINA 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 0678 
 (B) ASTANA 0982 
 
ASTANA 00001035  001.3 OF 003 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On June 11, Energy Officer met separately with a Western manager from the U.S. oil services company Baker Hughes and an American partner with the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, both of whom shared experiences and insights about doing business with Chinese companies in Kazakhstan.  In particular, they noted that once Chinese companies sign a contract, they "close the circle," bring in their own personnel and equipment -- often illegally -- and control the project tightly, under close supervision from Beijing.  A Chinese Embassy official confirmed 
China's strategic interest in Kazakhstan's energy resources and 
acknowledged that Chinese companies sometimes violate Kazakhstan's immigration and customs laws.  END SUMMARY. 
 
MAKING PROMISES THEY CANNOT KEEP 
 
3.  (SBU) On June 11, Energy Officer met with XXXXXXXXXXXX 
(protect throughout), Caspian Sales Manager for Baker Hughes. 
XXXXXXXXXXXX. He said that Baker Hughes currently employs Chinese nationals in Kazakhstan and has oil services contracts with AktobeMunaiGas, in which China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has an 85 percent stake, and PetroKazakhstan, in which CNPC owns 67 percent.  XXXXXXXXXXXXsaid that American companies bidding against Chinese companies are 
often at a disadvantage, because "the Chinese companies make 
promises they know they cannot keep.  They make these impossible 
commitments on time and cost that they admit in private they will 
not be able to meet.  But that's what goes in the bid, and they win 
the work." 
 
CHINA'S INTEGRATED ENERGY STRATEGY 
 
4.  (SBU) XXXXXXXXXXXX said he understands the logic behind CNPC's acquisition of 50 percent of MangistauMunaiGas (MMG, reftel A), its construction of oil and gas pipelines to China, its ownership of the Shymkent oil refinery, and its plans to build a new oil refinery in 
eastern Kazakhstan.  "They are building an integrated production, 
processing, and delivery system.  And for China, Kazakhstan has the 
cheapest oil in the world.  It's close and it's convenient.  This is 
a very strategic move on their part," he said.  XXXXXXXXXXXX predicted that China will increase its oil imports from Kazakhstan by 40 percent over the next three to five years and will begin to sell 
refined oil products to Kazakhstan in the near future.  He said that 
CNPC is immune from rising oil prices because they own a diverse 
portfolio of upstream and downstream assets around the world and can balance and swap reserves as necessary.  "CNPC is in a position now where they can manipulate the market," XXXXXXXXXXXX said.  (NOTE:  Even with CNPC's recent acquisition of MMG, China controls no more than 18 percent of Kazakhstan's current oil production.  U.S. companies Chevron and ExxonMobil combined to produce approximately 22 percent of Kazakhstan's oil in 2008.  END NOTE). 
 
DOING BUSINESS WITH CHINESE COMPANIES 
 
5.  (SBU) When asked to describe how the Chinese operate in 
Kazakhstan, XXXXXXXXXXXX said that they typically buy a medium-sized oil field, something productive and valuable, but "under the radar." According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, the Chinese then bring in their own workers, their own suppliers, and their own equipment.  They do not hire very many local staff or subcontractors and show no interest in developing the professional skills or capacity of local staff.  They also do not share information about operations, even with their own staff and subcontractors.  XXXXXXXXXXXX said CNPC's projects are tightly controlled by Chinese management and are run "almost like military operations.  There is a checklist for everything and all decisions follow a clear chain of command that goes straight to Beijing." When told that CNPC twice declined to meet Energy Officer in Almaty, 
 
ASTANA 00001035  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
XXXXXXXXXXXX said he was not surprised.  "They won't talk to you.  They won't talk to anybody," he said. 
 
CLOSING THE CIRCLE 
 
6.  (SBU) On June 11, Energy Officer met with XXXXXXXXXXXX
(protect), XXXXXXXXXXXX PricewaterhouseCoopers. XXXXXXXXXXXX has been resident in Almaty provides tax and legal advice to a wide range of foreign investors in Kazakhstan, including Chinese companies active in the oil and gas and mining sectors.  XXXXXXXXXXXXindependently confirmed the Chinese modus operandi described by XXXXXXXXXXXX.  She said that before a transaction, Chinese clients "deal above board a
nd play by the rules."  They pay promptly, hire top talent, and conduct thorough due diligence to understand the risks and costs of acquiring property, registering as a legal entity, hiring local and expatriate staff, and purchasing subsoil licenses. However, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX, after the transaction is over, "they close the circle tight."  XXXXXXXXXXXX said her Chinese clients then bring 
in their own people, systems, procedures, and equipment.  She said 
that she does not have much information about what happens 
operationally at this stage, because her Chinese clients are more 
closed and opaque after closing a deal. 
 
CASH IS KING 
 
7.  (SBU) Commenting on CNPC's labor and immigration practices, 
XXXXXXXXXXXX said it is common knowledge that Chinese workers entering Kazakhstan always wait at the end of the line and carry plenty of cash.  He said that is because most of them enter the country 
illegally, without required work permits, and must pay bribes in 
order to pass through immigration, labor, and customs controls. 
XXXXXXXXXXXX acknowledged that CNPC and its subsidiaries have paid fines for past violations of labor and environmental regulations, but he said this has had no effect on their business practices.  "They have plenty of money and have no problem resolving these issues by paying cash."  When asked about CNPC's relationship with national oil company KazMunaiGas (KMG) -- which has insisted on a more prominent role in the development of the Kashagan oil field -- XXXXXXXXXXXX said simply, "KMG carries weight, but CNPC controls the cash, so they make the calls." 
 
CHINESE EMBASSY OFFICIAL DISCUSSES ENERGY, LABOR ISSUES 
 
8.  (SBU) On May 25, Energy Officer met with XXXXXXXXXXXX of the Chinese embassy.  XXXXXXXXXXXX the Chinese Embassy, 
acknowledged China's long-term, strategic interest in securing 
access to Kazakhstan's energy resources.  He said CNPC aggressively pursued the MangistauMunaiGas acquisition, but insisted the company competed fairly for the asset.  According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, Kazakhstan selected CNPC because it balances the presence of U.S., European, and Russian oil companies in western Kazakhstan.  He noted that Chinese companies have also lost out on lucrative projects, such as the Balkhash coal-fired power plant, which he said was first promised to a Chinese company, but was eventually awarded to Korea's KEPCO Samsung. 
 
9.  (SBU) Anticipating questions about the labor practices of 
Chinese companies in Kazakhstan, XXXXXXXXXXXX said it is very difficult to obtain work permits for Chinese expatriates with the necessary skills and experience to produce oil in Kazakhstan's challenging environment.  He said Chinese companies would prefer to use cheaper local labor, but he complained that there are not enough qualified Kazakhstani specialists to staff ongoing projects.  He also said that Chinese oil companies work under extreme deadlines and have no time to train local labor on projects that must be finished this year.  He admitted that Chinese companies often bring expatriate 
employees into Kazakhstan without visas and work permits, but 
quickly added, "Of course, the Chinese Embassy requires the 
companies to comply with local legislation." 
 
 
ASTANA 00001035  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
10.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Until a year ago, Kazakhstan was leery of 
Chinese investment.  With the onset of the economic crisis, China 
became a more attractive partner, because it brought ready capital. 
Nonetheless, Kazakhstani businessmen and government officials are 
frank in their criticism of the practices described above to Embassy 
officers.  For instance, a Deputy Minister of Finance, referring to 
amendments to the subsoil law which could allow abrogation of 
contracts for national security reasons, pointedly told the DCM, 
"Don't worry.  The Law is not aimed at you.  It is for the Chinese." 
 END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1034, KAZAKHSTAN: ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, MAY 24-JUNE 6

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1034 2009-06-17 10:01 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1092
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 #1034/01 1681001
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171001Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5631
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1677
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1050
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1753
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0721
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1235
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1151
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1620

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001034 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET ENRG EINV EFIN ELAB CH KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, MAY 24-JUNE 6 
 
ASTANA 00001034  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press and has not been verified for accuracy. 
 
-- Reorganization in Response to Five-Year Plan 
-- Banking Sector News 
-- Samruk-Kazyna Establishes New Direct Investment Fund 
-- May Inflation 
-- Critic Suggests Revising Uranium Production Plans 
-- KazMunaiGas Identifies 2009 Development Priorities 
-- Kazakhstan Development Bank Supports Gas Terminal Project 
-- AES Accused of Not Meeting Investment Obligations 
-- Indian Company Pursues Ekibastuz Management Contract 
-- CNPC AktobeMunaiGas Accused of Violating Kazakhstani Laws 
 
 
REORGANIZATION IN RESPONSE TO FIVE-YEAR PLAN 
 
2.  In response to Nazarbaev's five-year plan for accelerated 
economic diversification, which is scheduled to begin January 1, 
2010, newly appointed Minister of Industry and Trade Aset Isekeshev 
proposed to the Cabinet on June 3 an expanded role for his ministry 
in economic development.  Isekeshev's proposal specifically includes 
the transfer of several key development agencies from the 
Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund to the Ministry of Industry and 
Trade.  The agencies include the State Corporation on Export 
Promotion (KazNEX), the National Innovation Fund, the Center of 
Engineering and Transfer of Technologies, and the seven 
social-entrepreneurial corporations (i.e., small regional holding 
companies modeled after the national holding company Samruk-Kazyna). 
 Minister Isekeshev, who also replaced Kayrat Kelimbetov as the 
Chairman of the Development Bank of Kazakhstan on May 21, also 
proposes that the Ministry of Industry and Trade would transfer its 
small business development programs to the Ministry of Economy and 
Budget Planning, and its authority over the promotion and protection 
of entrepreneurship to the Competition Protection Agency.  According 
to Minister Isekeshev, this reorganization will concentrate 
development capacities in one ministry and more efficiently advance 
industrialization and diversification. 
 
BANKING SECTOR NEWS 
 
3.  According to a Halyk Bank press release, Samruk-Kazyna has 
completed the final step of a two-stage process to capitalize Halyk 
Bank by purchasing 196,232,499 preferred shares for a total of 33 
billion KZT (approximately $219 million).  Since January 2009, the 
bank's capital has increased by 29 percent.  The press release also 
claimed that Halyk Bank is one of the most highly capitalized banks 
in Kazakhstan, which should reassure the bank's clients and partners 
and enhance the bank's overall position in the local financial 
market. 
 
4.  According to the Executive Director of KazKommertsBank (KKB), 
Sergey Mokroussov, KKB's net profits in 2009 will be about the same 
as they were in 2008:  approximately $20.3 billion tenge ($134.8 
million).  Mokroussov also said that KKB is expected to repay $1.5 
billion in external debt in 2009, and $400 million in 2010. 
 
SAMRUK-KAZYNA ESTABLISHES NEW DIRECT INVESTMENTS FUND 
 
5.  The Kazyna Capital Management Fund, a subsidiary of 
Samruk-Kazyna, has established jointly with the Chinese CITIC 
Capital Holding Limited the "CITIC-Kazyna Investment Fund" for 
direct investment in Kazakhstan.  Officially signed by Chinese and 
Kazakhstani representatives on May 26 in Beijing, the fund's initial 
capitalization will be $200 million and is intended to finance 
infrastructure development and non-extractive industries in 
Kazakhstan. 
 
INFLATION IN MAY 
 
6.  According to the Kazakhstan Statistics Agency, the year-on-year 
inflation rate in May was 8.4 percent.  Prices for services showed 
the biggest increase, rising 10.9 percent year-on-year.  Food prices 
 
ASTANA 00001034  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
grew 7 percent year-on-year, and non-food goods also rose 7 percent 
year-on-year. 
 
CRITIC SUGGESTS REVISING URANIUM PRODUCTION PLANS 
 
7.  In a June 3 interview with the Interfax news agency, the 
Director General of the National Nuclear Center, Kairat Kadyrzhanov, 
attempted to allay concerns about the future of Kazakhstan's 
national atomic company
Kazatomprom (KAP) after the arrest of former 
KAP Chairman Mukhtar Dzhakishev.  Kadyrzhanov said that new KAP 
Chairman Vladimir Shkolnik has been a leading figure in the 
development of Kazakhstan's nuclear industry for the past 17 years, 
and "will rise to the challenge and breathe new life into 
Kazatomprom."  Kadryzhanov questioned Dzhakishev's oft-stated 
strategic goal for Kazakhstan to become the world's top uranium 
producer, saying, "It does not make sense to export raw material -- 
yellow cake -- at a low price, when it is possible to sell it as a 
value-added product."  Kadyrzhanov also criticized KAP's plans to 
build a nuclear power plant in Aktau as inexpedient, noting that 
Aktau is not connected to Kazakhstan's national power grid.  He 
instead advocated construction of a nuclear power plant near Lake 
Balkhash.  Kadyrzhanov also stated his opposition to KAP's 
participation in the International Uranium Enrichment Center in 
Angarsk, Russia, saying, "This would make us heavily dependent on 
Russia." 
 
KAZMUNAIGAS IDENTIFIES 2009 DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES 
 
8.  On June 1, the president of national oil and gas company 
KazMunaiGas (KMG), Kairgeldy Kabyldin, shared his vision for KMG's 
future development with Kazakhstan's "Expert" magazine.  Kabyldin 
said that in response to the ongoing financial crisis, KMG revised 
its 2009 investment plans, but he emphasized that KMG will continue 
to honor commitments to priority projects such as Kashagan, the 
modernization of oil refineries, the development of the 
petrochemical industry, and the construction of the Beineu-Bozoy 
Akbulak and Kazakhstan-China gas pipelines.  According to Kabyldin, 
Kazakhstan transits more gas than it consumes.  In 2008, he said, 
Kazakhstan transited 98 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, exported 
10 bcm, and consumed 9 bcm. 
 
9.  On May 29, Kenzhebek Ibrashev replaced Askar Balzhanov as 
Director General of KMG production subsidiary KazMunaiGas 
Exploration and Production.  Prior to the appointment, Ibrashev 
served as KMG Vice President for Exploration and Production. 
 
KAZAKHSTAN DEVELOPMENT BANK SUPPORTS GAS TERMINAL PROJECT 
 
10.  On May 25, Portnews.ru reported that the Kazakhstan Development 
Bank will loan $9.2 million to the Asian-European Gas Terminal 
Company (AEGas-Terminal) to build a gas condensate terminal at the 
port of Kerch, Ukraine.  In May 2008, AEGas-Terminal received a 
first payment of $2.15 million.  The annual designed capacity of the 
terminal is 1 million tons, most of which will be Kazakhstani gas 
condensate.  AEGas-Terminal plans to cooperate with Tengizchevroil 
and suppliers from Russia and Turkmenistan. 
 
AES ACCUSED OF NOT MEETING INVESTMENT OBLIGATIONS 
 
11.  On May 27, the Governor of East Kazakhstan oblast, Berdybek 
Saparbayev, accused AES Corporation of meeting only 10 percent of 
its $600 million investment obligations.  "We want to work with this 
company, but so far it has shown no understanding or desire to 
improve performance," he complained.  Saparbayev made his statement 
during a visit to East Kazakhstan by Minister of Energy and Mineral 
Resources Sauat Mynbayev. 
 
INDIAN COMPANY SEEKS EKIBASTUZ MANAGEMENT CONTRACT 
 
12.  On May 25, K2Kapital reported that India's state-owned NTPC 
Limited is pursuing a management contract for the 4,000-megawatt 
Ekibastuz-1 Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP), currently operated 
by Kazakhmys, and until March 20 managed by AES Corporation. 
 
ASTANA 00001034  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
According to the report, NTPC wants to enter Kazakhstan's power 
market, expand coal shipments to Kazakhstan, and participate in 
future tenders to operate coal mines and gas fields in Kazakhstan. 
 
CNPC AKTOBEMUNAIGAS ACCUSED OF VIOLATING KAZAKHSTANI LAWS 
 
13.  On May 26, 1,000 current and former employees of CNPC 
AktobeMunaiGas signed a letter to Prime Minister Karim Masimov, the 
Parliament, the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General's Office, the 
Financial Police, People's Republic of China President Hu Jintao, 
and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) President Wang 
Yan Li.  The authors of the letter accused managers of CNPC 
AktobeMunaiGas of violating the Constitution and other laws of 
Kazakhstan.  In particular, the employees said CNPC violates 
environmental laws and flares associated gas beyond legal limits. 
The employees also charged the company is violating Kazakhstan's 
labor law, alleging that CNPC pays expatriate employees more than 
local staff with the same training and skills.  CNPC AktobeMunaiGas, 
which is 100 percent owned by CNPC, is the largest oil company in 
Aktobe oblast, and is developing the Zhanazhol and Keniyak oil and 
gas fields. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1033, KAZAKHSTAN: BUSINESS AS USUAL IN THE URANIUM MINING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1033 2009-06-17 09:25 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1060
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 #1033/01 1680925
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 170925Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5628
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1674
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1047
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1750
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0150
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1232
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1148
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1617

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001033 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB, T, ISN, INR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR EMIN ENRG EINV ELAB KNNP KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  BUSINESS AS USUAL IN THE URANIUM MINING 
SECTOR 
 
REF:   (A) ASTANA 0209 
 (B) ASTANA 0677 
 (C) ASTANA 0943 
 
ASTANA 00001033  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On June 10-11, Energy Officer met with senior 
managers from Kazakhstan's national nuclear energy company 
Kazatomprom (KAP) and KAP's foreign partners in Almaty to discuss 
the impact of the Prosecutor General's ongoing investigation of 
former KAP President Mukhtar Dzhakishev.  Although Kazatomprom and 
the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, which owns 100 percent of 
KAP, gave public assurances that all previous contractual 
obligations and production plans will be met, KAP's foreign partners 
are anxiously awaiting official, written confirmation that prior 
transactions and existing contracts will be honored.  Both 
Kazatomprom and its international joint venture partners seemed 
eager to return to business as usual, despite the arrest of 
Dzhakishev and his top lieutenants.  KAP confirmed Kazakhstan's 
interest in hosting an international nuclear fuel bank and said it 
submitted a technical proposal to the IAEA on June 9.  END SUMMARY. 
 
KAZATOMPROM SAYS IT WILL HONOR PREVIOUS COMMITMENTS 
 
2.  (SBU) On June 10, Energy Officer met with KAP Vice President 
Sergei Yashin, the highest-ranking official at Kazatomprom who was 
not investigated or indicted on corruption charges (reftel C). 
Yashin told Energy Officer that "representatives from all of our 
foreign partners have come to see us, to receive assurances that we 
will continue to work in accordance with previously announced 
plans."  He said he told the foreign companies that all projects 
initiated under the leadership of Dzhakishev would continue as 
planned.  Yashin praised Dzhakishev for his leadership role in KAP's 
10-year success story and expressed hope that the investigation will 
be conducted fairly.  Yashin also said that on June 11, 
newly-appointed KAP President Vladimir Shkolnik would present the 
company's strategic plan to Prime Minister Masimov, which he 
expected to remain largely the same as it was under Dzhakishev. 
 
NUCLEAR POWER PLANT STILL A PRIORITY 
 
3.  (SBU) According to Yashin, the feasibility study for a new 
nuclear power plant in Aktau will be completed "in about two 
months," and submitted to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral 
Resources for approval.  (NOTE:  In January, Yashin told Energy 
Officer that the feasibility study would be completed in April, 
reftel A.  END NOTE.)  Despite minor technical delays with the 
project, Yashin dismissed a June 3 statement by Kairat Kadyrzhanov, 
Director General of the National Nuclear Center, who argued that it 
would be inexpedient to build the nuclear power plant in Aktau, 
since the city is not connected to the national power grid. 
Kadyrzhanov proposed constructing a nuclear power plant near Lake 
Balkhash.  Yashin said, "That's his private opinion.  He can think 
whatever he wants." 
 
IAEA NUCLEAR FUEL BANK PROPOSAL SUBMITTED 
 
4.  (SBU) Yashin confirmed Kazakhstan's interest in hosting an 
international nuclear fuel bank under the auspices of the 
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and said Kazatomprom 
submitted a technical proposal to the IAEA on June 9.  Yashin also 
said that KAP is waiting for financing to start evacuating spent 
fuel from the decommissioned BN-350 plutonium breeder reactor in 
Aktau. 
 
URANIUM ONE WANTS WRITTEN REASSURANCES 
 
5.  (SBU) Uranium One, a Canadian-based uranium producing company 
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has a 70 percent interest in a 
joint venture with KAP that owns the Akdala Uranium Mine -- which is 
currently in operation -- and the South Inkai Uranium Project, which 
commenced pre-commercial production in 2007.  Uranium One also has a 
 
ASTANA 00001033  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
30 percent interest in a joint venture with KAP that is developing 
the Kharasan Uranium Project.  On June 10, Paul Lewis Clarke, Senior 
Vice President of Uranium One, told Energy Officer that he is 
concerned that the Prosecutor General's investigation of Dzhakishev 
will call into question the legitimacy of the company'
s mining 
licenses at the Akdala, South Inkai, and Kharasan mines.  These 
licenses were obtained from Kazatomprom by offshore companies that 
sold them to UrAsia Energy, which Uranium One acquired in 2007. 
Uranium One's share price has already fallen by more than 40 percent 
since the investigation began.  "We want something more than a 
statement to the press," said Clarke.  "That is simply chitchat.  We 
need official confirmation, in writing, from Shkolnik or 
Samruk-Kazyna, that these licenses are still valid."  Clarke, who 
warned Energy Officer that "our conversation is being monitored," 
noted that Uranium One's transactions were approved by many of the 
same people still in power, including Minister of Defense Daniel 
Akhmetov, who was then Prime Minister, and Kazatomprom president 
Shkolnik, then the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources. 
 
UNINTIMIDATED, URANIUM ONE ACQUIRES NEW URANIUM MINE 
 
6.  (U) On June 15, Uranium One announced that it agreed to acquire 
a 50 percent interest in Kazakhstan's Karatau Uranium Mine from JSC 
Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ), a Russian state-owned mining company.  The 
Canadian company said the purchase agreement gives ARMZ 117 million 
common shares of Uranium One and a cash payment of $90 million. 
Jean Nortier, Uranium One's president and chief executive, said the 
purchase agreement with AMRZ was never at risk, despite the ongoing 
Dzhakishev investigation.  The transaction gives Uranium One 
exclusive rights to negotiate the purchase of ARMZ's 50 percent in 
the Akbastau uranium project, which is in pilot production and is 
adjacent to the Karatau uranium mine.  "This gives us a chance to 
increase our economies of scale in Kazakhtan.  The mines are close 
together, which makes it easier for us to manage our assets," 
Nortier said. 
 
INKAI LESS AFFECTED, BUT NO LESS CONCERNED 
 
7.  (SBU) Aliya Kayupova, Corporate Development Director of the 
Inkai joint venture between Canada's Cameco and KAP, tried to put a 
brave face on recent events.  She told Energy Officer on June 10 
that, "Kazatomprom is simply a minority shareholder of Inkai. 
Cameco is the majority shareholder with 60 percent, and our 
operations will not be affected by the change in leadership at 
Kazatomprom."  Kayupova's statement echoed that of Cameco's 
President and CEO Jerry Grandey, who told shareholders on May 27 
that Dzhakishev's arrest has not impacted the Inkai joint venture. 
"So far we have been left alone," he said, and the company is being 
told "it is business as usual."  Grandey noted that it took Cameco 
five years to get leases and licenses for the Inkai joint venture, 
because the Canadian company proceeded "in a very careful way, 
unlike other foreign uranium companies who were licensed very 
quickly."  Nevertheless, Kayupova, who previously worked in 
Kazakhstan's oil and gas sector for nine years, said the company was 
following the situation closely and likened it to Russia's treatment 
of international oil companies.  "You saw how Shell and BP were 
pressured and pushed out of lucrative projects in Russia," she said. 
 "I would not be surprised if Kazakhstan decides to question the 
validity of existing mining contracts, as it did quite successfully 
with the Kashagan contract," she said. 
 
SULFURIC ACID SUPPLY NOT A PROBLEM 
 
8.  (SBU) KAP, Uranium One, and Inkai all reported that, unlike the 
situation one year ago, they now have no difficulty securing 
sufficient supplies of sulfuric acid for their uranium mining 
operations.  Inkai's Kayupova said, "One year ago, we were literally 
fighting with other companies for each ton of sulfuric acid."  Now, 
however, she said the situation is completely different.  Kayupova 
said that Inkai conducted an open tender to supply sulfuric acid and 
had already received five bids before the closing date of June 11, 
whereas in 2008, the company was hard-pressed to find one or two 
 
ASTANA 00001033  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
reliable suppliers.  With the surplus supply of sulfuric acid, 
Kayupova said that Inkai has put on hold an earlier plan to build 
its own sulfuric acid plant.  Uranium One's Clarke, however, told 
Energy Officer that it is moving forward with plans to build a 
sulfuric acid plant together with KAP because, even though there are 
currently no issues with the sulfuric acid supply, future deliveries 
could be constrained by the lack of sufficient railcars.  Clarke 
also said that Uranium One's stake in the joint venture would give 
it access to power generated by the sulfuric acid plant, which would 
help ensure a steady power supply to mining operations. 
 
9.  (SBU) COMMENT:  As the Dzhakishev affair becomes more dramatic 
(Dzhakishev's wife was prevented from leaving the country this week 
to visit her parents in Kyrgyzstan), Kazatomprom and its foreign 
joint venture partners simply want to return to business as usual. 
Uranium One's decision to increase its investment in Kazakhstan -- 
despite suffering significant collateral damage as a result of the 
Dzhakishev investigation -- indicates that the company is taking a 
long-term, strategic view of its interests in Kazakhstan.  Clearly, 
Uranium One believes that President Nazarbayev will be true to his 
words at the Foreign Investors Council on June 12:  "Kazakhstan was 
and remains committed to the principle of a market economy, the 
protection of the rights of private ownership, and the sanctity of 
signed contracts."  Uranium mining is a lucrative, strategic sector 
for Kazakhstan, and a steady source of revenue, technology, and 
expertise during the current recession.  President Nazarbayev does 
not want to jeopardize that, which gives us reason to believe that 
the investigation into Dzhakishev's dealings will play out as an 
internal political affair and will not directly or adversely impact 
the overall foreign investment climate.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1030, KAZAKHSTAN: DRAFT INTERNET LAW HEADED TOWARD SECOND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1030 2009-06-16 11:28 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0478
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 #1030 1671128
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161128Z JUN 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5625
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1673
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1046
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1749
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0720
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2342
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2662
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1231
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1147
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS ASTANA 001030 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL, EUR/RPM 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  DRAFT INTERNET LAW HEADED TOWARD SECOND 
SENATE READING 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 1028 
      (B) STATE 46293 
 (C) ASTANA 0816 
 (D) ASTANA 0345 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) This cable includes an action request.  Please see 
paragraph three. 
 
3.  (SBU) SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST:  The draft Internet law went 
through its first reading in the Senate on June 11.  The second 
reading may take place as early as the next few days.  If it is 
approved at the second reading, it will go to President Nazarbayev 
for his action.  The draft legislation, while somewhat improved in 
the Mazhilis (the lower house of the parliament), still contains 
several problematic provisions.  We believe that we should wait 
until after Senate passage, since it will be hard to stop the 
legislation there, and then press for a presidential veto -- or, as 
in the case of the religion law -- for Nazarbayev to send it to the 
Constitutional Council for review.  We request that the Department 
provide us with a demarche to use with the Presidential 
Administration and other senior officials on the assumption the 
Senate will pass the law.  END SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST. 
 
4.  (SBU) On June 11, the Senate passed at a first reading a draft 
law on the Internet.  Civil society observers expect that the second 
reading will take place before June 20, and that the Senate will 
adopt the draft legislation with no further changes.  While the 
draft law was somewhat improved in the Mazhilis, both local and 
international observers are still critical of the bill for remaining 
restrictions they believe would place undue restrictions on freedom 
of expression on the Internet (ref C and D).  If the legislation 
passes on the second reading, it will go to President Nazarbayev for 
his action, and some civil society activists anticipate that 
Nazarbayev will veto it. 
 
5.  (SBU)  As discussed in ref C, the Mazhilis somewhat improved the 
draft bill by deleting a provision that would have granted the 
Procurator General's Office (PGO) the right to suspend any website, 
foreign or domestic, found to contain information that contradicts 
Kazakhstani legislation.  However, the draft legislation still 
contains several problematic provisions.  In particular, the law, if 
adopted in its current form, would reclassify all Internet sites as 
"media outlets," making them subject to Kazakhstan's media law.  It 
would also broaden the definition of what it means to "disseminate a 
media product" to include posting information anywhere on the 
Internet, a provision that civil activists believe opens the door 
for legally blocking any Internet site, including web-chats and 
blogs.  In addition, the draft legislation includes provisions that 
make it easier to shut down any media outlets for violations during 
elections and violations related to inter-ethnic relations. 
 
6.  (SBU)  COMMENT:  During the May 7 OSCE Permanent Council 
meeting, USOSCE made a statement urging the Kazakhstani authorities 
to carefully consider how the draft legislation measures up against 
OSCE standards and pointing out several areas of particular concern 
(ref B).  In his June 11 press conference in Astana, the Ambassador 
made a general statement on the proposed law (ref A).  We believe 
that many of the same arguments could be used in urging that 
President Nazarbayev veto the bill or send it to the Constitutional 
Council for review.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1029, KAZAKHSTAN: LEGAL PROCEEDINGS IN PEACE CORPS CASE OVER,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1029 2009-06-16 11:19 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0474
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #1029/01 1671119
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 161119Z JUN 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5623
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1671
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0532
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0242
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0499
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0379
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 0003
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 0662
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1044
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1747
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0718
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1229
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1145
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001029 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, CA/OCS 
FRANKFURT FOR REGIONAL CONSULAR OFFICER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2034 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR CASC KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS IN PEACE CORPS CASE OVER, 
VOLUNTEER DEPARTS COUNTRY 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 0983    (B) ASTANA 0592 
     (C) ASTANA 0547 (NOTAL) 
     (D) ASTANA 0443    (E) ASTANA 0381 
     (F) ASTANA 0373    (G) ASTANA 0175 
     (H) ASTANA 0135    (I) ASTANA 0055 
     (J) 08 ASTANA 2576 (K) 08 ASTANA 2410 (NOTAL) 
 
Classified by: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (S) SUMMARY:  Peace Corps Volunteer Anthony Sharp departed 
Kazakhstan on June 13, after an appellate court vacated his two-year 
probation at the Prosecutor General's request.  Sharp's departure 
ends an affair that began on November 26, when he was arrested in 
what appeared to be a classic Soviet-style set-up, likely 
orchestrated by the pro-Russian old-guard at the Committee for 
National Security (KNB) and aimed at discrediting the Peace Corps and 
damaging bilateral relations.  Over the course of more than six 
months, the Ambassador repeatedly raised Sharp's case with senior 
government officials, including with President Nazarbayev on March 
30.  Though there were a number of bureaucratic hurdles to overcome, 
the case moved slowly toward resolution following the Nazarbayev 
meeting.  Keeping everything out of the media was critical to the 
successful outcome.  END SUMMARY. 
 
PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER DEPARTS KAZAKHSTAN 
 
2. (C) Peace Corps Volunteer Anthony Sharp left Kazakhstan on June 
13, following the completion of all legal proceedings against him, 
and official confirmation from the Kazakhstani government that it had 
no objections to his departure. 
 
3. (C) On April 3, an Ust-Kamenogorsk appeals court upheld the 
criminal conviction against Sharp on explosives charges, but 
suspended his two-year prison sentence, putting him on probation for 
two years (ref B).  Following that ruling, we worked with Sharp's 
attorneys and the government to identify a legal avenue for him to 
depart Kazakhstan immediately, rather than at the end of the 
probation period.  On the advice of Talgat Kaliyev, advisor to 
Foreign Minister Tazhin and the MFA's point-person on the Sharp case, 
we sent the MFA a diplomatic note on April 13 requesting the 
government confirm it had no objections to Sharp's departure. 
Kaliyev subsequently told us that the MFA was on board with the 
departure, but working-level officials at other agencies, including 
the Prosecutor General's Office, were reluctant to make any decision 
on the issue.  On May 21, the Charge raised Sharp's case with 
Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Kairat Sarybay, who had been 
involved from the beginning.  He expressed surprise that Sharp was 
still in Kazakhstan, but apparently intervened to get the bureaucracy 
to resolve the case within the limitations of Kazakhstani law. 
Sarybay reaffirmed the government's "political will" to bring about a 
final resolution during a June 5 meeting with the Ambassador (ref A). 
 
FINAL RESOLUTION 
 
4. (C) On June 3, a prosecutor filed a motion with the 
Ust-Kamenogorsk appeals court recommending Sharp's sentence be 
reduced to time served -- i.e., one night in jail.  The court granted 
the motion, vacating Sharp's two-year probation.  Sharp's attorneys 
then obtained the necessary documentation confirming that there were 
no further restriction's on Sharp's travel, and on June 12, the MFA 
called us in to hand us their response diplomatic note to our April 
13 note, confirming that there were no impediments to Sharp's 
departure.  Sharp left Kazakhstan on June 13.  The Ambassador sent a 
letter to Foreign Minister Tazhin on June 16 thanking him for his 
assistance on the case. 
 
A SOVIET-STYLE PROVOCATION 
 
5. (S) As reported in reftels, on November 26, just days before the 
end of his Peace Corps tour, Sharp accepted an invitation from two 
 
ASTANA 00001029  002 OF 002 
 
 
Kazakhstani citizens, including his local counterpart, to take a 
late-night tour of a gold mine near the town of Ridder.  Upon exiting 
the mine, one of the locals gave Sharp his bag to hold while he 
climbed back over the security fence.  Local authorities were 
waiting, and promptly arrested Sharp, claiming that the bag contained 
industrial explosives.   The incident had all the makings of a 
Soviet-style set-up, engineered by the pro-Moscow old guard in the 
Committee for National Security (the KNB, successor to the KGB), and 
aimed at discrediting the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan and at damaging 
U.S.-Kazakhstan relations at a time when Kazakhstan's leadership saw 
the election
 of President Obama as an opportunity to enhance its 
relationship with the United States. 
 
6. (S) The Ambassador raised Sharp's case in December and January 
with State Secretary Kanat Saudabayev (refs H and I) and with Sarybay 
(ref G), stressing that we believed it was a provocation, and urging 
that the government intervene at the highest levels to have it 
dismissed and to have Sharp deported from the country.   The police 
concluded their investigation on January 14, and charges were brought 
against Sharp for illegal possession of explosives.  Kaliyev informed 
us on January 21 that he had worked out an arrangement with the 
relevant government agencies:  If Sharp agreed to a closed trial and 
we all kept the case out of the media, Sharp would be convicted, but 
given a suspended sentence and immediately deported.  Sharp accepted 
the deal, but the government failed to live up to its bargain.  After 
a month long-trial which ended on February 26, a judge convicted 
Sharp on the explosives charges and sentenced him to two years in 
prison.  He was immediately taken off to jail, but was released the 
following day after the Ambassador got Foreign Minister Tazhin to 
intervene. 
 
7. (S) Tazhin made clear that the KNB and Ministry of Internal 
Affairs had pushed back and were pressing their view that Sharp was 
an "American spy."  He nevertheless promised that on appeal, the case 
would be resolved in accordance with the earlier agreement.  It 
appeared, however, that President Nazarbayev would himself make the 
final decision.  Sarybay arranged a meeting for the Ambassador with 
Nazarbayev on March 30, where the Ambassador expressed regret that 
Sharp had trespassed at the mine, but conveyed our hope we could put 
the case behind us and move forward on enhancing the bilateral 
relationship (ref C).  Though there were a number of bureaucratic 
hurdles to overcome, the case moved slowly toward resolution 
following the Nazarbayev meeting. 
 
8. (S) COMMENT:  Though the case took months to resolve, our 
confidence that Nazarbayev would do the right thing in end was not 
misplaced.  He was likely the decider, siding with his more 
progressive advisors, like Tazhin and Sarybay, and against the KNB, 
to protect the bilateral relationship and thus maintain his 
long-standing policy of balancing Kazakhstan's relations with Russia, 
China, and the United States.  Key to the successful resolution of 
the case was keeping it out of the media -- enabling the Kazakhstanis 
to avoid the political embarrassment of trying to explain the 
provocation publicly and allowing them to back down and let Sharp go 
free.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1028, KAZAKHSTAN: AMBASSADOR’S JUNE 11 PRESS CONFERENCE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1028 2009-06-16 11:13 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0468
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 #1028/01 1671113
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2339
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001028 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ECON SOCI KDEM KPAO KMDR AF KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  AMBASSADOR'S JUNE 11 PRESS CONFERENCE 
 
ASTANA 00001028  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  The Ambassador gave a press conference on June 11, in 
which he highlighted President Obama's Cairo speech, reported on his 
participation in Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin's visit 
to the United States, and answered journalists' questions on 
hot-button political topics.  This cable reports the more 
policy-intensive exchanges from the event, regarding President 
Obama's speech, the situation around Manas Airbase and rumors of a 
new U.S. base in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan's proposal to host an 
international nuclear fuel bank, freedom of speech issues, and the 
recent corruption arrests.  Reporters also asked about why 
Kazakhstan is in the State Department's Bureau of South and Central 
Asia, and what the U.S. government is doing to free the imprisoned 
American reporters in North Korea.  END SUMMARY. 
 
UNDERLINING CAIRO 
2.  Q:  Since this press conference is focused on President Obama's 
Cairo speech, do you think the United States will draw on 
Kazakhstan's experience in dealing with intercultural issues? 
A:  President Obama's intention was to create a new atmosphere of 
understanding and cooperation.  Obviously the initiatives by the 
government of Kazakhstan in this area are very welcome.  President 
Nazarbayev made a very positive reply to the speech, and I am 
absolutely convinced that Kazakhstan not only has been but will be a 
very strong partner in this initiative. 
3.  Q:  Kazakhstan is an Islamic republic.  What do you want to say 
to all the Muslims in Kazakhstan? 
 
A:  I would say to the Muslim citizens of Kazakhstan that I hope 
that you had an opportunity to read the complete text of President 
Obama's speech because it showed a strong new understanding for the 
history and culture of the Islamic world.  I think that will become 
the basis for our policy with the Islamic world. 
4.  Q:  A new stage in the development of the United States' 
relations with the Islamic world began with the visit and speech of 
President Obama in Egypt.  Do you think that it was not a very 
successful beginning of this new stage, given numerous arrests of 
students in Egypt, including some students from Kazakhstan? 
A:  What President Obama did with his speech in Cairo was to 
dramatically change the tone of U.S. foreign policy in relation to 
Muslims and to Muslim governments all over the world.  You can't 
change the world and make it a perfect place with only one speech. 
Some of the problems that President Obama discussed have existed for 
over half a century:  for example, the problem of Israel and 
Palestine.  Unfortunately these kinds of things, the arrest of 
students, will probably continue to happen not only in Egypt but 
other incidents in other countries.  But the point is that I think 
the U.S. government and its diplomats will begin to look at these 
issues in different ways and try to solve these problems.  So it's a 
step by step process, but of course it's going to be a very long 
process. 
RUMOR CONTROL 
 
5.  Q:  Since you just came back from Washington, you might have 
fresh information on the latest developments on the placement of an 
American military base in Uzbekistan - if Kyrgyzstan does not change 
its mind, its decision, on closing the base. 
 
A:  From the beginning of this issue, our Secretary of Defense 
Robert Gates has said that we have other alternatives to the base in 
Kyrgyzstan.  We are continuing to study those other alternatives. 
But let me tell you that the question of a military base in 
Uzbekistan is not currently on the table.  The government of 
Uzbekistan has offered to use the airport at Navoy for the transport 
of non-lethal supplies to the American troops in Afghanistan.  These 
supplies arrive by air at Navoy and then are transferred to trucks 
for transportation into Afghanistan.  But that's not a military 
base.  The only other thing I would add on this issue, I know that 
the press speculates a lot about U.S. intentions for military bases 
in Central Asia, but that speculation is usually not correct. 
NUCLEAR FUEL BANK 
6.  Q:  I want to ask you about the bank of nuclea
r fuel.  There was 
information that there were negotiations between the governments of 
 
ASTANA 00001028  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
the United States and Kazakhstan.  Have any specific agreements been 
reached? 
A:  Good question, because it allows me to clarify this issue.  The 
government of Kazakhstan and the government of the United States are 
not negotiating this issue at all.  Why?  It's because the 
International Atomic Energy Agency controls the International 
Nuclear Fuel Bank Initiative.  So the government of Kazakhstan is 
working with the International Atomic Energy Agency to present its 
proposal and to negotiate the points in that issue.  However, 
Kazakhstan is a leader in non-proliferation in the world, and the 
government of the United States welcomes the proposal by Kazakhstan, 
and we will support this proposal in the future. 
FREEDOM OF SPEECH, VIRTUAL AND REAL 
7.  Q:  I'm sure you heard that a number of web sites are being 
blocked, Internet sites are being blocked in Kazakhstan.  The lower 
chamber of the parliament of Kazakhstan passed a new internet law 
and tomorrow the other chamber of parliament will pass it. 
Kazakhstan's civil society activists and journalists and 
international experts spoke against that new law as a law that will 
lead to further shrinking of freedom of speech in Kazakhstan.  How 
can you comment on that? 
A:  I saw the press reports that some activists had delivered to 
Parliament a computer mouse that was wrapped in chains, as if the 
mouse itself had been imprisoned.  I think the possibility of such 
civil action shows that there is a reasonable amount of freedom for 
speech and civil action in Kazakhstan.  Now for the law itself:  in 
principle, the United States firmly opposes any law that restricts 
access to the internet for political purposes.  We hope that the 
Senate, the upper chamber of parliament, will take a very close and 
serious look at this law before it takes any action on it. 
8.  Q:  In view of the meeting between [Foreign Minister] Marat 
Tazhin and Hillary Clinton in which they discussed Kazakhstan's 
upcoming chairmanship of the OSCE, what do you think of the 
repressive measures taken against mass media, such as the closing of 
"Taszhargan" newspaper and the arrest of the chief editor of "Almaty 
Info" newspaper for publishing KNB correspondence? 
A:  We are not shy to raise these issues with the government of 
Kazakhstan.  The government of Kazakhstan is very clear on our 
position about the treatment of mass media including individual 
newspapers and individual editors.  No country is perfect.  No 
country is absolutely black and white, including my own country.  We 
believe that the government of Kazakhstan will take its 
responsibilities for OSCE very seriously, and that there will 
continue to be incremental progress in all of these areas. 
HIGH PROFILE ARRESTS 
9.  Q:  What is your opinion on the frequent arrests, the numerous 
arrests of government officials, high-ranking government officials? 
 
A:  These questions are really the internal affair of the government 
of Kazakhstan.  So as a foreign diplomat I really have no right to 
interfere in these kinds of questions.  But I'll continue.  If in 
fact the arrests are part of a serious government campaign to reduce 
corruption in Kazakhstan then that's positive because it will 
benefit in the long term the people of Kazakhstan.  I can say that 
in principle the view of the United States is that all trials should 
be open and should be fair and should be transparent.  If people are 
convicted of real crimes, that's a matter for the courts.  But we do 
object to political motivations for such arrests and for such 
trials.  That's a general principle.  That is one of our ideals. 
And I do not mean to imply at this time that there are any political 
motivations. 
WHERE DO WE BELONG? 
10.  Q:  We can see a tendency for Kazakhstan to get closer to 
Russia within the framework of such organizations as the CIS, 
EurAsSec, and others.  At the same time the Department of State of 
the United States places Kazakhstan in the Bureau of South Asian 
countries.  Why is that? 
A:  First, let me say that I think regional organizations like the 
Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty 
Organization, and EurAsSec can play an important role in regional 
relations and in global relations.  At the same time, I'm going to 
repeat what I have said before many times.  We, the United States, 
 
ASTANA 00001028  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
do not see a great game in this part of the world between Russia and 
the United States - or China - for influence and control of these 
independent countries.  Every country in Central Asia is independent 
and sovereign and makes its own decisions, and we see that every 
day.  When the State Department reorganized during the 
administration of President George W. Bush and placed the countries 
of Central Asia in the South Asia Bureau, that was much, much more 
simply a bureaucratic question than it was a question of ideology. 
Previously the countries of Central Asia and Kazakhstan had been 
part of the Bureau of Europe and Eurasia which was responsible for 
almost 50 countries and organizations.  At that same time the South 
Asia Bureau had only a handful of countries, five or six countries. 
Part of the thinking was that the countries of Central Asia could 
receive much more attention if they were in a bureau that showed a 
geographic entity that had fewer countries.  So in general it was a 
question of bureaucratic organization. 
AMERICAN JOURNALISTS IN NORTH KOREA 
11.  Q:  As we know, two journalists were detained in North Korea. 
What is the government of the United States doing, what actions is 
the government taking to release them? 
A:  For a country to sentence two young female reporters to prison, 
hard labor, for 12 years simply because they were not registered to 
report in that country is an international outrage.  Of course, our 
government has protested at the highest levels in very strong terms. 
 But in fact, the resolution of this kind of problem requires some 
degree of cooperation and goodwill from the other government.  We 
continue to hope that the government of North Korea will find a 
degree of cooperation and goodwill to release these young women.  I 
would also note that there was a parallel example recently, because 
Iran arrested an American-Iranian young woman, a journalist and put 
her on trial and sentenced her to prison.  We protested that arrest 
very strongly, and the appeals court in Iran overturned this 
decision and released this young female journalist so she could 
return to her family in California.  I think that's an example of 
goodwill and cooperation on the part of the government of Iran. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1027, KAZAKHSTAN: AFGHAN AMBASSADOR COMMENTS ON KAZAKHSTAN’S

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09ASTANA1027 2009-06-16 10:22 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001027 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/A 
 
E.O. 12958: 06/15/29 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON AF KG PK RS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  AFGHAN AMBASSADOR COMMENTS ON KAZAKHSTAN'S 
ASSISTANCE, MANAS AIR-BASE, AND DOMESTIC POLITICS 
 
Classified By:  Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4(b),(d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Afghan Ambassador Abdul Haider called on the 
Ambassador on June 15.  During an hour-long discussion, a relaxed and 
well-informed Haider spoke openly in fluent English about three 
issues.  He expressed gratitude for U.S. and Kazakhstani assistance 
to Afghanistan, registered concern about the fate of the Manas 
air-base, and provided a frank analysis of Afghanistan's domestic and 
regional political situation.  END SUMMARY. 
 
CLOSE TO KARZAI 
 
2.  (C) Afghan Ambassador Abdul Haider met with the Ambassador on 
June 15.  Haider previously served as Afghanistan's resident 
Ambassador to Poland and non-resident Ambassador to Latvia, Lithuania 
and Estonia.  (NOTE:  He is also married to a Pole.  END NOTE.)  He 
indicated that he is close to Karzai, describing Karzai as a personal 
friend, and noting he was previously Karzai's first chief of protocol 
in Kabul.  Haider reminisced about arranging Karzai's first official 
visit to the United States and one of then-Senator Joseph Biden's 
visits to Afghanistan.  He said he was proud of having been one of 
the first officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to return to 
Afghanistan from abroad after the fall of the Taliban, along with the 
current Afghan ambassadors to Moscow and the United Kingdom.  One of 
Afghanistan's greatest challenges, Haider argued, has been rebuilding 
a government in an environment in which many well-educated Afghans 
have not yet come back.  (NOTE:  Haider's own daughter is working as 
a lawyer in the United States.  END NOTE.) 
 
PRAISE FOR U.S. AND KAZAKHSTANI GOVERNMENT AID 
 
3.  (C) Haider praised the government of Kazakhstan's pledge to 
provide $5 million over the next five years to provide university 
education to several hundred Kazakhstani students each year. 
(COMMENT:  In our previous discussions with Kazakhstani officials 
about this program, they have not given us any details about the 
amount of funding or the number of students.  END COMMENT.)  "I know 
how important education is to the future of a country," Haider 
explained, remarking that as Ambassador to Poland, he had secured 
scholarships for 18 students.  He said that currently, most of 
Afghanistan's ministers have returned from abroad, especially from 
the United States and Europe.  "Maybe for the next generation, it 
will be different," he added. 
 
4.  (C) Several times, Haider with great emotion thanked the U.S. 
government for "setting Afghanistan free."  "After so many years of 
suffering under the Soviets and then the Taliban, you have given us 
back our country.  We hope that your soldiers can stay until 
stability comes," Haider remarked. 
 
5.  (C) The Ambassador noted Kazakhstan is working on developing a 
formal foreign assistance program to replace ad-hoc assistance 
donations.  He explained that Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin had told 
him that Afghanistan would be the first country to receive support 
from this new assistance program.  In response, Haider expressed 
thanks to both the U.S. and Kazakhstani governments.  He acknowledged 
that Kazakhstan has also helped Afghanistan by participating in the 
Northern Distribution Network for the shipment of non-lethal supplies 
to U.S. troops, and by exporting wheat to Afghanistan. 
 
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM ABOUT MANAS 
 
6.  (C) Haider raised the issue of U.S. access to Manas air-base, 
stating that he had spoken with the Kyrgyz Ambassador to Kazakhstan 
to explain how important the base is to Afghanistan's stability. 
"Today, I also made arrangements for Karzai to meet Kyrgyz President 
Bakiyev this week at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in 
Yekaterinberg," Haider told the Ambassador.  Haider expressed hope 
that a solution could be found, but also suggested that "Kyrgyz 
authorities may need a little additional financial help, in order to 
explain the decision to the people." 
 
OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM IS "OUR NEIGHBOR" 
 
 
ASTANA 00001027  002 OF 002 
 
 
7.  (C) During the Manas discussion, Haider admitted concern about 
"not knowing what Russia's reaction would be if Bakiyev allowed the 
United States to retain the base."  The Ambassador responded that 
while it is difficult to predict Russia's reaction, Russia certainly 
understand
s the importance of stability in Afghanistan.  Haider 
acknowledged the Ambassador's point, and said that, in the interest 
of frank discussion, he could not speak like a diplomat. 
"Afghanistan's greatest enemy," Haider said, "was never the Soviets. 
The most destabilizing force in the region is 'our neighbor'" -- a 
clear reference to Pakistan. 
 
A FEW GOOD MEN 
 
8.  (C) Haider also commented frankly and openly on the political 
situation in Afghanistan in the run-up to the elections.  He 
predicted a "close contest among three strong candidates."  Haider 
admitted that he "is Karzai's man," but also said he has great 
respect for the two strongest opposition candidates, Dr. Abdullah 
Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani, both of whom he knows well.   In 
response to the Ambassador's question about whether Abdullah could 
unite the country, Haider said, "He is well-educated, and he is the 
only one with a very clean record."  He also pointed out that 
Abdullah, who is usually identified with the Afghan Tajiks, speaks 
Pashtu fluently and that Abdullah's father is from Kandahar, 
"therefore he has a very strong support base in Kandahar and among 
Pashtuns."  Haider, who said that he had personally worked with 
Abdullah, continued to praise him, saying "he is the only one who 
does not want to bring his friends and his family into power, instead 
he looks at a person's education and skills." 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1019, KAZAKHSTAN: CONOCOPHILLIPS SIGNS N BLOCK CONTRACT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1019 2009-06-15 11:27 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8806
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RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
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RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1608

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001019 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTDA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EPET EINV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  CONOCOPHILLIPS SIGNS N BLOCK CONTRACT 
 
REF:  (A) ASTANA 0529    (B) ASTANA 0352 
      (C) 08 ASTANA 2465 (D) 08 ASTANA 1910 
 
ASTANA 00001019  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (U) SUMMARY:  On June 12, ConocoPhillips (Conoco) signed a 
contract to explore and develop the offshore N Block, expected to 
contain significant oil and gas deposits.  Under the terms of the 
contract, which is consistent with a preliminary agreement reached 
on October 5, 2008, Conoco and UAE-based Mubadala Development 
Company will each own 24.5 percent of the project, while KazMunaiGas 
will own 51 percent.  The N Block is located approximately 30 
kilometers south-southwest of Aktau, in Mangistau oblast.  The 
government lists its estimated recoverable reserves at 270 metric 
tons (2.13 billion barrels).  Conoco committed to drilling three 
appraisal wells, the first in 2010, and expects to launch commercial 
production in 2019.  END SUMMARY. 
 
CONOCO COMMENTS ON THE DEAL 
 
3.  (SBU) Nick Olds, ConocoPhillips President for the Caspian 
Region, told Energy Officer on June 15 that Senior Vice President 
for International Operations Ryan Lance signed the N Block contract 
with KazMunaiGas (KMG) on June 12.  Olds said the parties worked 
late into the evening to finalize contract details and commented 
that "everything went very well.  All of the legal documentQare 
done.  It's now official."  As previousQ reported (reftel A), 
Conoco committed to drilling three wells, the first in 2010, and 
expects early oil by 2019.  Ultimately, Olds said, the field will 
produce up to 500,000 barrels per day.  He said that the new 
contract is a concession based on their previous Production Sharing 
Agreement and is not subject to the terms and conditions of the 
draft Subsoil Law (reftel D).  However, the contract will be in 
compliance with the new Tax Code and will not be tax-stabilized. 
 
4.  (SBU) Olds said the hardest part of the negotiations, which 
lasted for more than two years, was resolving legal liability issues 
related to pre-existing conditions on Soviet wells and a sunken, 
Soviet-era drilling rig located within the territory of the N Block. 
 Ultimately, according to Olds, Conoco was released from all 
liability for oil spills or repair work related to the Soviet well 
or sunken rig.  Olds added that coming to commercial terms was also 
challenging.  "We had some difficulty landing on a fair and 
equitable rate of return," he said, noting that Conoco and Mubadala 
will incur 100 percent of the risk and expense for exploring the 
reservoir, while KMG will own 51 percent of the operation.  When 
asked what this deal means to ConocoPhillips, Olds answered, 
"Kazakhstan is a key growth area for our company and we see this 
deal as a way to piggyback on our investment in Kashagan and promote 
our long-term strategic interest in the region."  Olds said the N 
Block was a very attractive asset sought after by many other major 
oil companies, including Shell, Total, BG Group, and Exxon. 
 
5.  (U) In a press release on June 12, Jim Mulva, Chairman and CEO 
of ConocoPhillips said, "ConocoPhillips is honored to participate in 
this world-class exploration project in Kazakhstan and we look 
forward to working with KazMunaiGas and Mubadala to develop the oil 
and gas resources in N Block."  Khal-doon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO of 
Mubadala Development Company, released a statement on June 12 
saying, "We are pleased to partner with KazMunaiGas and 
ConocoPhillips.  The establishment of mutually beneficial 
partnerships remains a fundamental element of Mubadala's approach to 
business.  Signing this agreement is another important step in 
realizing our strategy to become an active participant in the 
international upstream petroleum sector." 
 
THE GOVERNMENT'S REACTION 
 
6.  (U) On June 12, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sauat 
Mynbayev said on Kazakhstani television, "The point is that a 
license for oil exploration will be given to the oil consortium of 
 
ASTANA 00001019  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
the United Arab Emirates.  The consortium will consist of 
ConocoPhillips and Mubadala Development companies.  Bilateral talks 
have been held for a long time.  Now, we have signed a document 
which will satisfy both sides." 
 
7.  (U) The President of KazMunaiGas (KMG), Kairgeldy Kabyldin, said 
in a press statement that, "The rise of our cooperation with 
ConocoPhillips and Mubadala to a new level indicates foreign 
investors' great interest in developing Kazakhstan's offshore fields 
in the Caspian and re-affirms the potential of our country's oil and 
gas sector.  This project will enable us to use new technology and 
international expertise in developing offshore oil and gas resources 
of Kazakhstan." 
 
8.  (SBU) COMMENT:  The N Block deal is significant for several 
reasons.  First, of course, an American oil company was awarded a 
multi-million dollar investment deal to explore Kazakhstan's 
lucrative offshore territory, beating out rival bids from other 
majors.  The N Block is also the first new contract signed since the 
government unofficially declared a moratorium on new deals in 2007. 
It therefore signals to international oil companies that Kazakhstan 
is back in business, and offshore areas are no longer off limits. 
It is also significant that the deal was signed before the draft 
Subsoil Law was ratified.  If adopted, that law would separate 
contracts for exploration and production, which could mean that a 
company incurring the risk and cost of exploring a field may not be 
given the opportunity to produce the oil it discovers (reftel D). 
The contract nevertheless does signal the government's higher 
expectations and tougher conditions, particularly its lack of a tax 
stability clause and the willingness of international partners to 
pay 100 percent of the costs of exploration in exchange for a 
minority share in the production company.  Finally, it is worth 
noting that Conoco's bid became attractive only after the company 
added the UAE's Mubadala Development Company as partners.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1018, KAZAKHSTAN: CUSTOMS UNION WITH RUSSIA TRUMPING

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1018 2009-06-15 11:15 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

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RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0707
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1736
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 0146
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 1218
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 1134
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2335
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0985

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 001018 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB 
PLEASE PASS TO USTR 
ISTANBUL FOR FAS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/16/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ETRD EAGR ENRG WTRO EU RS BO
KZ 
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  CUSTOMS UNION WITH RUSSIA TRUMPING 
WTO WAS LONG FORESHADOWED 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 1538 
     B. ASTANA 1005 
     C. ASTANA 0830 
     D. ASTANA 0497 
     E. ASTANA 0198 
     F. 08 ASTANA 2570 
     G. 08 ASTANA 2445 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (B), (D) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Recent evidence suggests the 
Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan (RBK) Customs Union that Russian 
Prime Minister Putin announced in Moscow on June 9 was 
already becoming concrete a reality in May, if not earlier. 
Even before that, we had ample warning that Kazakhstan was 
weighing the advantages between WTO accession and the customs 
union, and increasingly felt that the United States and the 
European Union were not translating good will at the 
political-leadership level into concrete results at the 
technocratic-negotiating level.  With Kazakhstan being swept 
into the vortex of the global financial crisis, Astana 
increasingly wanted to be shown immediate, tangible benefits 
of joining the WTO, not future, theoretical benefits. 
Because of the frequent personal communication between the 
Russian and Kazakhstani leadership in which Nazarbayev might 
have voiced his frustrations with the United States and the 
European Union, we suspect Putin calculated when would be 
optimal to convince Nazarbayev to postpone Kazakhstan's WTO 
accession in favor of the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs 
Union.  This development represents another step forward for 
Putinism in Central Asia.  With the Collective Security 
Treaty Organization, Russia already has considerable say in 
Kazakhstan's military policy.  With the RBK Customs Union, 
Moscow now has considerable influence in Kazakhstan's 
economic policy.  While this latest development is an 
irritant for the United States (and for the European Union), 
we recommend that Washington gulp some diplomatic Mylanta and 
continue to move forward with developing an enhanced 
relationship with Astana.  We believe Nazarbayev is sincere 
when he says -- as he has been saying since late last year -- 
that he needs a better relationship with the United States to 
better balance his relationship with Russia.  We do not 
believe Nazarbayev is a puppet; rather, in this period of 
global financial crisis, we suspect he was seduced by the 
prospect of relatively short-term gain.  END SUMMARY, 
 
2.  (C) The Ambassador met with European Union Ambassador 
Norbert Joustin on June 12, who provided a read-out of his 
meeting earlier that day with Kazakhstan's World Trade 
Organization (WTO) lead negotiator, Vice Minister of Industry 
and Trade Zhanar Aitzhanova.  What Joustin heard from her 
corresponded closely to what she told us on June 11 (ref B). 
According to Joustin, Aitzhanova said, "Kazakhstan is like a 
region of Russia economically.  We cannot continue to divorce 
ourselves from this reality.  The United States and the 
European Union said nice things to us at the political level, 
but did not use political will to move us toward a successful 
conclusion in our WTO negotiations.  Your leaders say the 
nice words, but then your technocrats make demands that do 
not correspond to our reality.  We were at the mercy of your 
technocrats.  We know for a fact that both the EU and the 
United States were harsher on us than they were with Russia 
(in the WTO negotiations).  Our leadership, constantly in 
touch with the Russian leadership, decided we were being 
ill-treated and got fed up.  Russia saw the months of 'the 
policy review period' after the U.S. election and jumped in 
to take advantage of it.  I could do nothing because the 
United States and the European Union gave me no political 
 
ASTANA 00001018  002 OF 004 
 
 
support."  Joustin added that Aitzhanova said, "We think we 
can continue our bilateral negotiations with the WTO, but the 
key difference is that we will now enter the WTO in parallel 
with Russia, not independently.  Russia has paid the pi
per 
and is picking the song." 
 
3.  (C) Although we can't know the insiders' truth, we rather 
doubt that "Kazakhstan offered a compromise (the week of June 
8) on auto and truck tariffs that would bring the customs 
union into effect on January 1, 2010, but only if the three 
countries combined their WTO bids into one entry," as Embassy 
Moscow was told (ref A). Joint entry into the WTO was always 
Russia's political desire, not Kazakhstan's.  There is 
evidence this was not a spur-of-the-moment decision between 
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russia's 
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.  We suspect Putin took 
advantage of Nazarbayev's mounting frustration about the WTO 
negotiations and made him an offer he couldn't refuse.  On 
June 12, Polish Ambassador Pawel Cieplak told our DCM that 
Russian Ambassador Mikhail Bocharnikov told him toward the 
end of May that Kazakhstan had decided to abandon its 
independent WTO accession quest in favor of entering as a 
customs union with Russia and Belarus.  Cieplak added that 
the Kazakhstanis had been pressing him to provide details on 
the negative effects that the Polish economy had suffered 
following its WTO accession.  Likewise, French Ambassador 
Alain Couanon told the Ambassador on June 12 that Bocharnikov 
had told him in late May, "Watch closely.  We will win on WTO 
for Kazakhstan because you don't understand the Soviet 
mentality.  You think you can assert your political will with 
words rather than deeds.  You say it, but you do nothing, you 
give nothing.  We know how to operate here because this is 
our historic territory.  We're not really against you, my 
friend; we're for us, and we have it in the bag." 
 
4.  (C) Since Putin's June 9 announcement in Moscow, the 
Kazakhstani media have been trumpeting the advantages of the 
customs union "victory," emphasizing that it will fully open 
the Russian market to Kazakhstan.  The equally common, but 
doubtful, argument reported is that international investors 
will now flock to Kazakhstan because they will have access to 
the Russian market."  In fact, Aitzhanova made this point in 
passing with the Ambassador when they met on June 11 (ref B). 
 
5.  (C) The fact that so many senior officials in Moscow and 
Astana were blindsided by the announcement on June 9 points 
to a close-hold decision between Putin and Nazarbayev.  We 
had long been aware that the customs union could derail 
Kazakhstan's WTO accession negotiations, but continued to 
receive assurances to the contrary -- most recently on April 
27 when Aitzhanova told Deputy Assistant USTR for South and 
Central Asia Claudio Lilienfeld that Kazakhstan would not 
enter the customs union at the expense of its WTO bid (ref C). 
 
6.  (C) However, in hindsight Aitzhanova's frank conversation 
with the Ambassador on February 18 (ref D) now seems 
prophetic.  "(Our customs union negotiations with Russia) are 
not easy, but the customs union is a two-sided process. 
Unlike WTO negotiations where there is little flexibility (on 
the part of the United States and the European Union), with 
Russia everything is open to negotiation and political 
intervention."  She bemoaned that U.S. negotiators remained 
committed to removing any Kazakhstani local-content 
provisions from an accession agreement:  "This issue is 
extremely important for President Nazarbayev, and would be 
too large a concession for us" because almost 90% of the work 
in Kazakhstan's extractive sector is performed by foreign 
companies, and the government of Kazakhstan must protect and 
 
ASTANA 00001018  003 OF 004 
 
 
develop domestic industry and human resources, she said. 
Aitzhanova told the Ambassador if she cannot demonstrate U.S. 
flexibility in  general to President Nazarbayev, "we'll go to 
the customs union and get immediate benefits."  She explained 
that Kazakhstan had long negotiated patiently, but the global 
economic crisis had changed the equation.  More than ever, 
President Nazarbayev was becoming frustrated with the glacial 
pace of the WTO negotiations.  She predicted, "Without more 
flexibility from the United States, the customs union will 
take precedence." 
 
7.  (C) Likewise, on February 3, Prime Minister Karim Masimov 
told the Ambassador that the proposed customs union could 
have a strong impact on Kazakhstan's WTO accession.  He said 
that both Russia and Kazakhstan had earlier agreed they would 
form the customs union only after both entered WTO; but a new 
option was taking precedence:  form the customs union first 
and have the customs union negotiate WTO accession, which -- 
he emphasized -- is not Kazakhstan's preference.  He 
suggested that an authoritative call from a U.S. official he 
knew and trusted would be sufficient for him to go tell 
Nazarbayev to put the brakes on the customs-union locomotive 
speeding out of Moscow (ref E). 
 
8.  (C) During a two-hour working lunch on December 24, 2008, 
Aitzhanova told the Ambassador she was still awaiting from 
Washington the working-party report from the June 2008 
session.  Commenting on WTO versus the customs union, she was 
characteristically frank:  "Prime Minister Masimov and 
President Nazarbayev continue to insist on the best deal 
possible with clear evidence of concrete benefits for 
Kazakhstan.  Without adequate concessions from the U.S. 
side," she said she would not be able to sell the deal.  She 
also said the global financial crisis was increasing 
political opinion in Kazakhstan to avoid more international 
economic integration:  "Not everyone is convinced we should 
go global."  She acknowledged that formation of the customs 
union would present tangible and immediately recognizable 
benefits that would appeal to the top decision makers, 
whereas the benefits of WTO accession were increasingly being 
seen as future and potential.  She said, "I am constantly 
asked by our leadership why U.S. political support for our 
WTO accession is not translating into actual progress.  When 
I show them the costs of the agreements, they say 'no.'  To 
them, the benefits of the customs union are clear, while the 
benefits of WTO membership remain theoretical" (ref F). 
 
9.  (C) On December 5, 2008, during a lunch in Washington, 
Kazakhstan's Ambassador to the United States Erlan Idrissov 
told the Ambassador that Russia was pushing to lock 
Kazakhstan into the customs union, which would effectively 
mean no individual country in the union could join WTO until 
Russia does and under Russia's terms.  He said at that time 
this pressure from Moscow was motivating Astana to want to 
speed up its bilateral WTO negotiations with the United 
States (ref G). 
 
10.  (C) COMMENT:  Hindsight is always 20/20.  As this short 
history suggests, already late last year President Nazarbayev 
and Prime Minister Masimov were frustrated with the slow pace 
of WTO negotiations with the United States.  With Kazakhstan 
being swept into the vortex of the global fi
nancial crisis, 
they increasing wanted to be shown "immediate, tangible 
benefits of joining the WTO, not future, theoretical 
benefits."  Because of the frequent personal communication 
between the Russian and Kazakhstani leadership in which 
Nazarbayev might have voiced his frustrations with the United 
States and the European Union, we suspect Putin calculated 
 
ASTANA 00001018  004 OF 004 
 
 
when would be optimal to convince Nazarbayev to postpone WTO 
accession in favor of the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs 
Union, and probably sometime in May, if not earlier, began to 
lay out his "best offer."  In any case, this development 
represents another step forward for Putinism in Central Asia. 
 With the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Russia 
already has considerable say in Kazakhstan's military policy. 
 With the RBK Customs Union, Moscow now has considerable 
influence in Kazakhstan's economic policy. 
 
11.  (C) COMMENT CONTINUED:  Aitzhanova has told us she and 
her Russian counterpart will travel to Geneva this week to 
present the RBK Customs Union as a fait accompli, and to seek 
a way forward on WTO.  We do not believe Kazakhstan will 
formally withdraw its WTO accession bid, since that would 
mean starting over from scratch.  But it does seem that it 
will now be Moscow, not Astana, that decides when Kazakhstan 
will enter the WTO -- and that could be years away.  While 
this is clearly an irritant for the United States (and for 
the European Union), we recommend that Washington gulp some 
diplomatic Mylanta and continue to move forward with 
developing an enhanced relationship with Astana.  We believe 
Nazarbayev is sincere when he says -- as he has been saying 
since late last year -- that he needs a better relationship 
with the United States to better balance his relationship 
with Russia.  We do not believe Nazarbayev is a puppet; 
rather, in this period of global financial crisis, we suspect 
he was seduced by the prospect of relatively short-term gain. 
 END COMMENT. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1015, SUMMER WORK AND TRAVEL: VIEWS FROM CENTRAL ASIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1015 2009-06-15 08:52 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8631
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHNEH RUEHPW RUEHSK
RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1015/01 1660852
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150852Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5603
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1657
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHFT/AMCONSUL FRANKFURT 7003
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1605

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001015 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FRANKFURT FOR RCO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: CVIS KFRD KZ KG TJ UZ TX
SUBJECT: SUMMER WORK AND TRAVEL: VIEWS FROM CENTRAL ASIA 
 
ASTANA 00001015  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
 
1. SUMMARY. The Summer Work and Travel (SWT) programs of Central 
Asia are all tiny compared to our neighbor to the north. 
Nonetheless, the countries of Central Asia each have interesting 
insights into the program.  There are few commonalities among SWT 
experiences in the region, which is not surprising given the 
tremendous variance from country to country in consular portfolios 
and visa issues in general.  Refusal and non-return rates differ, as 
do program concerns and sheer size.  What the region offers is a 
study in programs at various stages of development, from the 
well-established to almost non-existent. The following is a 
country-by-country overview of SWT programs and issues in Central 
Asia.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
KAZAKHSTAN'S NUMBERS PLUNGE 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
2. After several years of rapid growth, the number of Kazakhstanis 
participating in the SWT program plunged by 47% in 2009, presumably 
due to the world financial situation.  In 2008, almost 4300 students 
applied for the program.  This year, Astana and Almaty processed 
only 2263 SWT applications.  Anecdotally, concern over finding good 
jobs in the U.S. has kept some students away.  Devaluation of the 
Kazakhstani currency has also made it more expensive for students to 
participate.  Astana, despite processing half the number of overall 
nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applications as Almaty, continues to handle 
about 55% of SWT workload. The two consular sections felt the 
reduced number of 2009 applications proportionately. 
 
3. The refusal rate for SWT applicants was 9%, up slightly from 
2008.  Almost all of the non-qualified applicants were graduating 
students.  A validation study conducted after the 2008 season showed 
a 7% non-return rate for Kazakhstani SWT participants.  Most of the 
students who stayed in the U.S. beyond the summer legally changed 
status, primarily to F1.  Fraud in the program exists but is not 
widespread.  The most serious fraud case post encountered involved a 
pair of coordinators from a newly-founded, independent agency who 
arranged for fake student documents to make themselves and two of 
their 17 clients appear eligible for the program despite the fact 
they had already graduated from university. 
 
4. The vast majority of Kazakhstani SWT participants return home on 
time and report having good experiences in America.  The number of 
students who participate for a second time is high.  Popular 
destinations include Pensacola, Ocean City, Virginia Beach, the New 
Jersey shore, Alaska fisheries, and McDonald's restaurants in the 
Yellowstone area.   About forty Kazakhstani students worked last 
year for Century Pool Management and are still owed back wages from 
the bankrupt company.  Their plight has received attention from the 
Kazakhstani Embassy in Washington and the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs in Astana. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
KYRGYZSTAN - IT'S CERTAINLY NO KAZAKHSTAN 
----------------------------------------- 
 
5. Where other sectors of the world economy record slumps in the 
past two years, SWT programs in Kyrgyzstan grow in leaps and bounds. 
 FY 2008 reported a 275% increase in the number of applicants 
compared to the previous year.  Even in the face of the current 
economic crisis, SWT applications for FY 2009 have decreased an 
estimated 13% only compared to the near 50% decreases reported in 
other neighboring Central Asian countries.  However post finds this 
year that many of the applicants cannot speak sufficient English to 
perform their chosen jobs - especially for the most popular job of 
lifeguard - or do not have realistic plans about their ability to 
support themselves once in the United States and earning minimum 
wage.  This is evidenced by the high number of applicants seeking to 
work in Manhattan.  Validation studies done for 100% of applicants 
for the past two years show that 25% - 35% of Kyrgyz SWT students 
fail to return at the season's end.  One would expect that the 
population of overstays would come from economically disadvantaged 
areas and lesser known universities, but the vast majority of 
overstays are students at the most prestigious universities in 
Kyrgyzstan - American University of Central Asia being the main 
source.  F1 visa applications in Kyrgyzstan have a high (almost 55%) 
refusal rate.  In FY 2008, 50% of overstays changed to F1 status at 
various community colleges and evaded review by a consular officer 
regarding their intent to immigrate. 
 
6. Traditionally post experienced low fraud in SWT recruiters until 
this year.  One recruiting company, owned and operated by a 
Kyrgyz-American citizen, was found to be providing forged student 
docum
ents to many of their applicants and is now under investigation 
by Kyrgyz and U.S. authorities.  Another company - whose students 
have yet to be interviewed as of this date - is owned and operated 
by a Nigerian national and has presented highly suspect job offers 
 
ASTANA 00001015  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
with each applicant.  Students are charged an average of $1200 - 
$1500 US for the privilege of looking for SWT jobs and receiving the 
necessary DS 2019 form.  Post surveyed students the past two years 
and discovered that these fees do not include airfare and do not 
provide any refunds other than the MRV fee should students be denied 
a visa.  Considering that a "good" salary in Bishkek is $500 a 
month, SWT fees represent a huge burden for parents and students. 
Last year, post refused an estimated 32.5% of SWT applicants and has 
refused 40.7% of SWT applicants this year to date. 
 
7. COMMENT: Kyrgyzstan occupies a unique place in SWT programs for 
the region. As remarked in a recent Central Asian Fraud Conference: 
"It's not [as economically depressed as] Tajikistan but it's 
certainly no Kazakhstan either." Post has found only one reliable 
recruiter amongst the eight companies currently operating.  The 
program is advertised to students as a quick way to earn thousands 
of dollars in a short time.  Post has seen little oversight of the 
U.S. recruiting companies over their local offices.  Post raised 
concerns over the high SWT costs for such a poor country, but U.S. 
companies replied that fees are determined by the local offices at 
their discretion.  Given the relatively high rate of overstays, post 
is forced to devote more resources and interview time to this 
program.  SWT represents almost 30% of post's annual visa workload 
and is processed in a mere two or three months placing added burdens 
on a small, one-officer section.  Given the limitations of one 
officer interviewing all 900+ applicants, not all intending 
immigrants will be detected.  The ability of SWT students to change 
to F1 status only encourages Kyrgyz students not to return at the 
end of the summer as they pursue their dreams of living in America. 
Thus, what is intended as a summer work and travel program is viewed 
by many prospective Kyrgyz participants as a summer work and stay 
for study program. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
TAJIKISTAN - GROWING SLOWLY, MAYBE MORE NEXT YEAR 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
8. This current SWT season, Dushanbe received 136 applications from 
six different recruiting agencies. Of these, 121 visas were granted 
while 15 were refused. The number of applicants is only slightly 
higher than the 110 applications received last year, the first year 
for Summer Work and Travel in Tajikistan.  The overstay rate from 
the 2008 program was 11% based on a validation study conducted as of 
November 2008. 
 
9. In the beginning of this calendar year, Dushanbe expected a 
dramatic increase in number of SWT applicants based on the 
predictions of recruiting agencies.  However, closer to the dates of 
visa interviews it became clear that the number of applicants was 
only slightly more than last year. Representatives explained that 
many students expressed their interest in participation, but far 
fewer actually ended up applying for the program, possibly a 
reflection of difficult economic circumstances in the country that 
could make upfront costs prohibitive.  There may also have been 
issues related to facilitating agencies receiving DS2019s in a 
timely way (something post intends to check into) which caused 
agencies to end recruiting earlier than expected. 
 
10. To address fraud concerns, the consular section instituted a 
requirement that all SWT agencies submit documents at least one week 
in advance of the interview.  This allows the Fraud Prevention Unit 
(FPU) time to prescreen applications and supporting documents and 
detect trends which are difficult to see on the visa line. Post was 
strict with the English language requirement both in 2008 and 2009. 
As the overall economic situation in Tajikistan continues to 
deteriorate, there is concern that SWT will be used as a means to 
seek a better economic opportunities.  Post did notice some increase 
in number of SWT applicants from poor regions of Tajikistan this 
year. 
 
11. In an effort to get a message to the participants that the first 
point of contact for them should be the U.S. sponsor if there are 
difficulties, Post developed a SWT handout which described rules and 
policies of the program and included Tajik Embassy contact 
information in the U.S.  Handouts were distributed to all issued 
applicants. 
 
12. Sizable groups of SWT applicants from Tajikistan were placed in 
the same jobs, including pedicab drivers in San Diego, fish factory 
workers in Alaska, and cleaning staff in a particular hotel in the 
Outer Banks.  This leads the consular officer to wonder whether it 
is a true SWT experience if students tend to remain with and depend 
heavily on their friends from their home country.  Nevertheless the 
overall caliber of applicants seemed to have improved from the 
previous year, including that of the more rural candidates.  Post 
plans to meet again with facilitating agencies and to conduct 
another SWT validation study during this second year of the program 
to gain insight into how successfully - or not - the program is 
 
ASTANA 00001015  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
working in the poorest of the 'stans. 
 
----------------------------- 
TURKMENISTAN - A UNIQUE PLACE 
----------------------------- 
 
13. Citizens of Turkmenistan applying for the SWT program present a 
unique challenge to adjudicators since so many Turkmen citizens 
study abroad:  they are either applying where they study, making it 
difficult to evaluate their ties to Turkmenistan, or return to 
Turkmenistan solely to apply for the visa, making it difficult to 
evaluate their academic credentials.  Of those who apply in 
Ashgabat, many have recent refusals in the country where they are 
studying, and others assume that their chances are better applying 
in their home country. 
 
14. Ashgabat saw two applicants in summer 2009, and issued both. 
One is studying in Turkey who had traveled to Australia in the past 
on a similar program (and whose family is well-established).  The 
second studies in Ukraine and was refused in Kyiv prior to her 
application in Ashgabat.  This applicant benefited from excellent 
CCD notes from Kyiv that attested to her academic credentials.  In 
the context of Turkmenistan, her family situation was significant 
enough to overcome 214(b), but this would have been nearly 
impossible for a consular officer in Ukraine to determine, lacking 
the local context.  Post plans to follow-up with both students once 
the program is over. 
 
15. In the summer of 2007, issued five SWT visas.  All five 
successful applic
ants were studying in Turkey.  One of them 
overstayed, and one of them did not complete the program, rather, he 
returned to Turkey because "he did not like the United States."  In 
the summer of 2008, post interviewed nine SWT applicants, issuing 
four of them.  Post did not conduct a validation study after the 
2008 season.  Again, all applicants were studying in Turkey at the 
time of their application. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
UZBEKISTAN - IMPROVING NON-RETURN RATE 
-------------------------------------- 
 
16. Tashkent issued 226 SWT visas in 2009, the same number as in 
2008.  Refusal rates also remained steady at about 45%.  Post's 
validation study of the 2008 program confirmed an overstay rate of 
13 percent, down slightly from 17 percent in 2007, and down 
significantly from 43 percent in 2006, despite more issuances for 
2008.  These figures suggest that post has been doing a more 
effective job of screening and issuing qualified SWT applicants. 
 
17. Tashkent's ability to conduct SWT outreach is limited due to 
local government roadblocks, suspicion of US travel on the part of 
university officials, and a history of fraud among local SWT 
facilitators.  We have conducted some outreach through presentations 
at the Embassy and one local university.  However, most university 
officials do not wish to engage with the US embassy on this topic. 
In fact, students themselves have expressed that they do not inform 
university officials and at times even attempt to conceal their 
participation in the program for fear of repercussions following 
their return from the US. 
 
18. Additionally, post lacks contacts with reliable, proven SWT 
facilitators.  The local SWT companies open and close frequently; 
therefore cultivating these contacts is currently not feasible. 
Likewise a history of fraud among several facilitators makes it more 
difficult to engage with unproven facilitators. 
 
19. In the current year due to the economic situation in the US, 
Tashkent's adjudicating officers have been even more discerning than 
last year. We learned during a panel of SWT returnees from last year 
that getting a second or third job during the program is not 
uncommon.  For many Uzbek students, this program is not only a way 
to travel, but also a means to make money to bring home funds to 
their families.  While we do not have the final figures yet for 
issuances this year, we were attempting to be more strict on the 
financial ties this year and most likely our refusal rate will 
reflect these higher standards. 
 
20. Almaty would like to thank Joe Chamberlain in Ashgabat, John 
Lankenau in Astana, Valerie Chittenden in Bishkek, Elisabeth Wilson 
in Dushanbe and Cynthia Day in Tashkent for their contributions. 
 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1006, KAZAKHSTAN: KEY MAJILIS LEADER NAMED AMBASSADOR TO IRAN,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1006 2009-06-12 09:56 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7478
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #1006/01 1630956
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 120956Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5594
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1655
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1031
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1734
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0705
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1216
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1132
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001006 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RUS, NEA/IR, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/12/2029 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM ENRG ETRD KDEM RU IR KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  KEY MAJILIS LEADER NAMED AMBASSADOR TO IRAN, 
DISCUSSES INTERNET LAW, ALIYEV CASE, EARLY ELECTIONS 
 
REF: ASTANA 0943 
 
Classified by: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  Majilis International Relations, Defense, and 
Security Committee Chairman Nurbakh Rustemov told the Ambassador on 
June 11 he has been appointed ambassador to Iran and is awaiting 
agrement.  He described the draft Internet law as "not right, but 
necessary," admitted that it was partly motivated by the Rakhat 
Aliyev case, but thought President Nazarbayev might veto it. 
Rustemov said he had heard Aliyev is in the U.S. witness protection 
program -- which the Ambassador emphatically denied.  Rustemov 
believes there will be early parliamentary elections later this year, 
which should bring in a multi-party parliament, improving the 
country's image.  He described the Russian-Kazakhstan-Belarus customs 
union as a positive development which will bring economic benefits to 
Kazakhstan.  Commenting on the arrests at Kazatomprom, he said he had 
raised concerns about the company's deals several years ago.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
RUSTEMOV NAMED AMBASSADOR TO IRAN 
 
2. (C) During a June 11 lunch, Majilis International Relations, 
Defense, and Security Committee Chairman Nurbakh Rustemov informed 
the Ambassador that President Nazarbayev had selected him to be 
Kazakhstan's new ambassador to Iran.  He said he had previously 
declined general offers from Nazarbayev of an ambassadorial posting, 
but agreed to this specific proposal because he could not turn down 
an appointment to an important regional power.  Rustemov explained 
that he is awaiting agrement, but believes he could be in Tehran as 
early as August.  He said that as far as he understood, he will have 
a staff of about 12 diplomats and administrative and technical 
personnel. 
 
3. (C) Rustemov, who speaks fluent English but does not know Farsi, 
said he has been reading up on Iran since his appointment.  He 
expressed keen interest in U.S. policy toward Iran and in the June 12 
Iranian presidential elections.  Rustemov argued that positive change 
in Iran would benefit the entire region, and said it is important 
that there not be a U.S. military attack against Iran. 
 
4. (C) Rustemov described Kazakhstan-Iran relations as generally 
good.  However, he said despite a lot of interest, there has really 
has not been much Kazakhstani investment in Iran thus far because of 
the difficult investment climate.  There is a lack of trust, as well 
as Iranian legislation which restricts foreign currency operations. 
Rustemov noted that Kazakhstan's embassy in Tehran actually maintains 
its bank account in Dubai. 
 
5. (C) Rustemov admitted that he isn't really comfortable in "eastern 
countries" -- and appeared concerned that his wife and 10-year old 
daughter might have to wear burkas in Iran -- but said he will have 
to change himself and get rid of the "internal discomfort."  (NOTE: 
Rustemov also has a 17-year old son who is studying at Oxford.  END 
NOTE.)  Rustemov said that despite his appointment, he still intends 
to visit the United States in July, and would like to participate in 
a U.S. government exchange program.  (NOTE:  We are trying to arrange 
a Voluntary Visitor's Program for Rustemov.  Given his upcoming 
ambassadorship in Tehran, it would be useful if he could meet in 
Washington with senior U.S. officials working on Iran issues.  END 
NOTE.) 
 
INTERNET LAW NOT RIGHT, BUT NECESSARY 
 
6. (C) The Ambassador told Rustemov that we are concerned about the 
pending Internet law, which recently passed the Majilis and is 
currently under Senate consideration.  Rustemov responded that the 
law "is not right, but it's a necessity," admitting that the Rakhat 
Aliyev case is one of the motivations behind it.  Rustemov said that 
as a practical matter, those who know how to use the Internet would 
be able to evade any restrictions imposed by the legislation. 
"Unfortunately, we have people who, for the sake of scoring political 
points, have managed to persuade everyone that this is something that 
will benefit the country, even though in reality, it's damaging in 
 
ASTANA 00001006  002 OF 002 
 
 
the long run," Rustemov argued.  He added, "I think that the head of 
state will once again show himself to be the wisest one and will 
refus
e to sign the legislation." 
 
BELIEVES ALIYEV UNDER U.S. PROTECTION 
 
7. (C) Rustemov noted the irony of the claim by the Procurator 
General's Office that Aliyev's book, "Godfather-in-Law," contains 
state secrets.  "Are they implying that what's in the book is true?," 
he quipped.  He told the Ambassador that he had heard that Aliyev and 
his associate Alnur Musayev are in the U.S. witness protection 
program.  The Ambassador emphatically denied this, explaining that 
the U.S. government has no intention of getting involved in the 
Aliyev affair.  Rustemov looked slightly skeptical and said, "But 
that's what 'they' tell us." 
 
SUPPORTS EARLY ELECTIONS 
 
8. (C) The Ambassador asked about the prospects for early 
parliamentary elections.  Rustemov responded that he believes there 
will be early elections later this year.  He explained that he, 
Presidential Advisor Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, and Foreign Minister 
Tazhin all strongly support the idea.  New elections that result in a 
multi-party parliament would help Kazakhstan's image -- "would make 
us look presentable" -- on the eve of the country's 2010 OSCE 
chairmanship. 
 
CUSTOMS UNION GOOD FOR KAZAKHSTAN 
 
9. (C) The Ambassador asked Rustemov about the announcement that 
Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Russia will suspend their individual WTO 
accession negotiations and instead launch negotiations to accede 
jointly, as a customs union.  Rustemov described the customs union as 
a very positive development which will bring Kazakhstan significant 
economic benefits.  Kazakhstan had long wanted to unify its customs 
procedures with Russia, but the Russians had previously avoided 
reaching agreement.  "We will gain a lot from being able to ship 
products to Russia without any customs formalities," Rustemov argued. 
 He indicated that WTO membership remains important for Kazakhstan, 
pointing out the country continues to adopt new legislation to make 
its laws WTO compliant.  Rustemov appeared surprised to hear from the 
Ambassador that there is no provision for customs unions to accede to 
the WTO without their member states doing so individually. 
 
10. (C) Rustemov also stressed the importance of establishing a union 
of Central Asian countries -- a concept strongly endorsed by 
President Nazarbayev. "It would be good if the United States could 
press our neighbors to accept this," he said.  The Ambassador noted 
that one regional leader in particular -- i.e., Uzbek President 
Karimov -- remains opposed.  Rustemov responded, "We will succeed in 
the end in establishing this organization regardless of what other 
presidents think.  In the end, our president proves that he is always 
correct." 
 
11. (C) Rustemov told the Ambassador that Kazakhstan is trying to 
establish a grain exporters union with Russia and Ukraine -- and 
conceded that the model they are aiming for is OPEC.  The idea came 
from the Russians, but the Ukrainians are not yet fully on board. 
 
CONCERNS ABOUT KAZATOMPROM 
 
12. (C) Commenting on the recent wave of arrests at state-owned 
nuclear company Kazatomprom (see reftel), Rustemov said that he had 
raised concerns several years ago, questioning the deals the company 
was making to sell uranium deposits to foreign investors.  He added 
that he is concerned about the fact that the son of Vladimir 
Shkolnik, Kazatomprom's new head, has a high-level position at 
Russia's Rosatom. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1005, KAZAKHSTAN: WTO NEGOTIATOR AITZHANOVA CONFIRMS DECISION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1005 2009-06-12 07:29 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1130
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001005 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ETRD WTRO RS BO KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  WTO NEGOTIATOR AITZHANOVA CONFIRMS DECISION 
TO PURSUE WTO ACCESSION AS CUSTOMS UNION 
 
REF: (A) O'MARA-AMB HOAGLAND JUNE 11 EMAIL 
      (B) ASTANA 0497 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  Kazakhstan's lead WTO negotiator, Vice Minister 
of Industry and Trade Zhanar Aitzhanova, told the Ambassador on June 
11 that the decision by Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus to launch 
joint WTO accession negotiations as a customs union was made at the 
top political level, and now the technocrats have to find a way to 
implement it.  Had Kazakhstan's own WTO accession negotiations 
proceeded more quickly, the decision might have come out 
differently.  WTO accession remains a "big priority" for Kazakhstan 
-- and neither Kazakhstan nor Russia want to "throw away" the 
accession agreements they have already negotiated -- but to make the 
customs union work, it is simply not possible for the three 
countries to pursue accession individually, Aitzhanova argued. 
Explaining the importance of the custom's union, she stressed that 
Russia is a huge market for Kazakhstan, and thus the Kazakhstanis 
need to be strategic about Russia-Kazakhstan economic relations. 
There needs to be better coordination with Russia on industrial 
development and economic diversification policies, and Kazakhstan 
has to focus on ensuring its open access to the Russian market. 
Aitzhanova and Russia's lead WTO negotiator will travel to Geneva 
next week to officially inform the WTO about the decision and 
discuss how to proceed.  END SUMMARY. 
 
DECISION MADE AT POLITICAL LEVEL 
 
3. (SBU) The Ambassador met on June 11 with Kazakhstan's lead WTO 
negotiator, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Zhanar Aitzhanova, 
to discuss Russian Prime Minister Putin's June 9 public announcement 
and Kazakhstan's official notification to us (ref A) that 
Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus will suspend their WTO accession 
negotiations as individual countries and instead launch joint WTO 
negotiations as a customs union.  The Ambassador explained to 
Aitzhanova that as far as he understood, there is no mechanism for a 
customs union to accede to the WTO without its member states doing 
so individually.  He urged that Kazakhstan keep its options open and 
not formally withdraw its WTO application. 
 
4. (SBU) Aitzhanova responded that the decision to launch joint WTO 
negotiations as a customs union was made at the political level, by 
the countries' leaders, and now the technocrats have to find a way 
to implement it.  Had Kazakhstan's own WTO accession negotiations 
with the United States proceeded more quickly, the decision might 
have come out differently.   WTO accession remains a "big priority" 
for Kazakhstan -- and neither Kazakhstan nor Russia wants to abandon 
the many WTO accession agreements they have already negotiated. 
However, as a practical matter, the customs union's common tariff 
regime will come into force on January 1, 2010, and a trilateral 
commission will be making decisions on foreign trade relations for 
the customs union.   For all the elements of the customs union to 
work, it is simply not possible for the three countries to 
individually pursue WTO accession, Aitzhanova maintained. 
 
RUSSIAN MARKET CRITICAL FOR KAZAKHSTAN 
 
5. (SBU) Explaining the importance of the customs union, Aitzhanova 
stressed that Russia is a huge market for Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan 
is very dependent on Russia's economic and transport infrastructure. 
 Thus, the Kazakhstanis need to be strategic about Russia-Kazakhstan 
economic relations -- which means better coordination of the two 
countries' industrial development and economic diversification 
policies to ensure complementarity.  According to Aitzhanova, this 
coordination does not mean Soviet-style central planning; on the 
contrary, the private sector has to decide what will be produced. 
Instead, the issue is ensuring Kazakhstani access to the Russian 
market -- which is essential, because Kazakhstani producers cannot 
be competitive by simply meeting domestic demand.  "For the private 
 
ASTANA 00001005  002 OF 002 
 
 
sector, open access to the Russian market is more important than the 
WTO," Aitzhanova maintained.  Open access to Russia should also 
en
courage foreign investment in Kazakhstan, she added. 
 
6. (SBU) Aitzhanova said that these latest developments should not 
really be surprising.  "The idea of Eurasian economic integration is 
President Nazarbayev's -- because of economic realities and the 
region's integrated infrastructure and common markets.  So this is 
not really new.  The surprise is not the customs union, but rather 
the developments with WTO accession." 
 
KAZAKHSTAN, RUSSIA TO OFFICIALLY INFORM WTO 
 
7. (SBU) Aitzhanova said that she and Russia's lead WTO negotiator 
will travel with a small team to Geneva next week for meetings with 
the WTO Secretariat and the WTO working parties.  At that time, they 
will officially inform the organization about the decision on joint 
accession and discuss how to proceed.  She said that she would speak 
with USTR and invite someone from Washington to attend.  Aitzhanova 
conceded that the WTO Secretariat had already informed her that 
there is no provision allowing a customs union to accede to the WTO 
without its member states doing so individually.  "We may have to 
ask the WTO to change this," Aitzhanova added.  (NOTE:  Aitzhanova 
seemed to admit that the Kazakhstanis misunderstood a provision 
permitting accession of customs territories as applying to customs 
unions.  She explained, "Now we understand that this means customs 
territories within countries, like Chinese Taipei," rather than 
customs unions composed of several countries.  END NOTE.)  She 
confirmed, however, that she does not have instructions to formally 
withdraw Kazakhstan's WTO application in Geneva. 
 
GREATER POLITICAL WILL FOR CUSTOMS UNION 
 
8. (SBU) Aitzhanova reiterated that neither Kazakhstan nor Russia 
wants to undermine the many accession agreements they have already 
finalized.  The only agreements Kazakhstan has not finalized are 
major ones with the United States, European Union, and Saudi Arabia, 
and less significant ones with Ecuador, El Salvador, and Chinese 
Taipei.  But negotiations with the United States and European Union 
have been difficult, Aitzhanova argued.  "There has been stronger 
political will for the customs union, because the three presidents 
very much want it.  We don't feel the same strong political will 
(from the United States and Europe) on the WTO.  We hear political 
statements in support of our WTO membership, but this doesn't filter 
down to the technical level," she explained. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1002, KAZAKHSTAN: MEDIA REACTION ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S CAIRO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1002 2009-06-12 02:17 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7183
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
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RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
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RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2655
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1601

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001002 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ECON SOCI KDEM KCRM KPAO KMDR AF KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MEDIA REACTION ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CAIRO 
SPEECH 
 
ASTANA 00001002  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  President Obama's Cairo speech has received 
overwhelmingly positive press coverage in Kazakhstan.  Official 
"Khabar TV" broadcast President Nazarbayev's welcoming comments 
about the speech, and daily "Liter" published an in-depth, 
analytical story on the address.  The overall coverage has been 
light, due mainly to timing: the speech was delivered late Thursday 
afternoon, which missed the deadlines for the Thursday-Friday weekly 
analytical newspapers.  However, several Internet news sites 
reported positively on the speech.    END SUMMARY. 
 
PRESIDENTIAL IMPRIMATUR 
 
2.  Several media outlets, including the government-owned flagship 
station "Khabar TV," reported President Nazarbayev's reaction to the 
Cairo speech.  Nazarbayev said he was "inspired by this constructive 
approach from the U.S. President, and for its part, Kazakhstan is 
ready to keep strengthening the political, cultural, and economic 
cooperation between the two countries.  There is a vast difference 
between leaders of states who rely on fear and violence and 
thoughtful leaders who are ready to contribute to building a safe, 
free, and prosperous world.  In his speech, Barack Obama made it 
clear that he understands this difference very well, and I 
enthusiastically accept his appeal to work together."  In a private 
meeting, Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin told Ambassador Hoagland that 
it was "one of the best speeches ever and deserves to be published 
in 'Speeches that Changed the World.'"  Adding that he thought the 
candor and intelligence of the speech were unparalleled, Tazhin said 
he sincerely hoped President Obama would be successful in his new 
opening to the Muslim world-"not for the sake of the United States, 
but for the sake of the whole world." 
 
DENYING THE DENIERS 
 
3.  Pro-government, Russian-language "Liter" published the most 
serious analysis of the speech that has appeared so far.  The author 
said that the U.S. President admitted that there was "an abyss of 
misunderstanding" between the Islamic world and Western countries. 
Before Obama's visit to Egypt, the author noted, the White House 
made it clear that one of the aims of the visit was to present a new 
image of the United States to the Islamic world.  But Obama also 
unexpectedly stated, "It is my task to change the negative 
stereotypes of Islam that have resulted from the fight against 
terrorism."  The author said that "Obama's attention to the problem 
of Holocaust denial was another surprise" and pointed out that "this 
was a hint for Iran and its wordy politicians."  Though this point 
might have been "a sweet treat for Israel," the author thinks that 
"one of the requirements for renewing the diplomatic relationship 
between the United States and Iran will be Iran's acceptance of the 
Holocaust." 
 
4.  "As promised," continued the author, "the United States has 
abandoned the idea of reforming the world according to its own 
standards.  Now the United States is aiming at renewing historic 
justice."  Calling Obama's Middle East policy "equidistant," the 
author said that the United States "will not turn its back on 
Palestinians who deserve to have a decent life on their own 
territory."  The author concluded that nothing new was said about 
Iran's nuclear program.  "Apparently the White House is waiting for 
the results of the political battle in Iran, which will either 
weaken the fist or make it stronger." 
 
"SECRET MUSLIM" 
 
5.  Pro-government, Kazakh-language "Aikyn" wrote, "The Muslim 
community all over the world is supportive of and thankful for 
Obama's address."  The author opined that American analysts were 
wondering "why Obama has such a warm heart for Muslims."  He 
speculated that some of them connect this with Obama's father being 
Muslim, while the President's mother is believed to be Catholic and 
he says he is Christian, "analysts do not exclude the possibility 
that the U.S. President might be a secret Muslim." 
 
ASTANA 00001002  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
BLOG ALERT &#
x000A; 
6.  Independent Internet outlet "Geokz.tv" published a statement by 
the Union of Muslims of Kazakhstan, a small association independent 
of the official Islamic hierarchy, that said that Obama's speech 
"resonated widely throughout the world" and would help develop 
relations between the United States and the Muslim community.  "We 
want to believe that there was more sincere emotion than political 
pragmatism in the speech.  The American leader's speech gives hope." 
 While acknowledging that perhaps Obama would encounter "insuperable 
obstacles" on this path, "nevertheless his audacious attempt to 
destroy obsolete stereotypes deserves our sympathy and respect." 
 
7.  The web site of the opposition, Russian-language "Respublika" 
newspaper, noted that it was "very symbolic" that Obama didn't visit 
Israel during his trip to the Middle East.  In his Cairo speech, he 
promised to help Palestinians "like no other American president had 
done before."  At the same time, Obama stressed that Israel had an 
"irrevocable right" to exist.  "Political observers question whether 
it is possible for Obama to have it both ways."  The author 
concluded by pointing out that "the U.S. President is being 
subjected to severe (domestic) criticism" and saying that he might 
have decided to make this trip "to avoid growing discontent at 
home." 
 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1000, KAZAKHSTAN: FOREIGN MINISTER ON NONPROLIFERATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1000 2009-06-11 09:28 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6229
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
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RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1726
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI PRIORITY 0025
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 1208
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 1124
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2651
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2327

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 001000 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR P, SCA/CEN, S/SRAP, EUR/RUS, EUR/RPM, ISN 
PLEASE PASS TO USTR 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PARM ECON ETTC MARR MCAP OSCE RS
AF, PK, KZ 
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  FOREIGN MINISTER ON NONPROLIFERATION 
ISSUES, AFGHANISTAN, OSCE, WTO; U.S.-KAZAKHSTAN COMMISSION 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 54767 
     B. ASTANA 0957 
     C. ASTANA 0983 
     D. SECSTATE 56723 
     E. ASTANA 0956 
     F. SECSTATE 59226 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (B), (D) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  On June 10, Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin: 
 
-- praised President Obama's Cairo speech for its 
intelligence and candor; 
 
-- expressed gratitude for the briefing on the possibility of 
a U.S.-Russia agreement to transit lethal supplies for 
Afghanistan; 
 
-- undertook to facilitate the release of $5M to meet 
Kazakhstan's obligation for the project to decommission the 
BN-350 nuclear reactor; 
 
-- asked that the demarche on the possible transfer of 
military equipment to Syria be submitted officially via 
diplomatic note; 
 
-- revealed that Kazakhstan is considering establishing a 
foreign assistance mechanism that could be used for 
Afghanistan; 
 
-- gratefully received the background information for the 
Corfu OSCE ministerial, and requested a brief bilateral 
meeting with Secretary Clinton in Corfu; and 
 
-- suggested Kazakhstan might try to follow a two-track WTO 
accession strategy:  both bilaterally and as the 
Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan customs union. 
 
Following the meeting with the Foreign Minister, Americas' 
Director Askar Tazhiyev urged action on establishing a 
U.S.-Kazakhstan Commission.  END SUMMARY 
 
2.  (C) The Ambassador met one-on-one with Foreign Minister 
Marat Tazhin on June 10.  Increasingly, Tazhin does not want 
note-takers from either side present during such meetings. 
 
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CAIRO SPEECH 
 
3.  (SBU) When asked for his reaction to President Obama's 
Cairo speech, Foreign Minister Tazhin enthused that it was 
"one of the best speeches ever and deserves to be published 
in 'Speeches that Changed the World.'"  Adding that he 
thought the candor and intelligence of the speech were 
unparalleled, Tazhin said he sincerely hopes President Obama 
will be succesful in his new opening to the Muslim world -- 
"not for the sake of the United States, but for the sake of 
the whole world." 
 
NDN LETHAL TRANSIT THROUGH RUSSIA 
 
4.  (C) The Ambassador delivered the points in reftel B (see 
also reftel C), explaining that Moscow initiated this 
proposal and seemed eager to announce an agreement as a 
deliverable for the July 7-8 Obama-Medvedev meeting in 
Moscow.  He emphasized the U.S. side was presenting this 
information to Kazakhstan in the spirit of transparency and 
to respond to Kazakhstan's requests that it be kept informed 
of discussions between Washington and Moscow that might 
involve its interests.  Reaffirming that Kazakhstan wants no 
surprises, Tazhin expressed gratitude for the information. 
 
 
ASTANA 00001000  002 OF 004 
 
 
KAZAKHSTAN'S FUNDING FOR BN-350 
 
5.  (C) The Ambassador passed to Tazhin the same non-paper he 
had presented to Presidential Foreign Policy Adviser Khairat 
Sarybay on June 5 (reftel C) asking that the Government of 
Kazakhstan bring together the Ministry of Economy and Budget 
Planning and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to 
ensure soonest release of Kazakhstan's committed portion of 
the funding ($5M) for the on-going work to decommission the 
BN-350 nuclear reactor.  The Ambassador noted that 
non-proliferation is one of the pillars of the partnership 
between our two countries, and neither side wants this issue 
as an irritant.  Tazhin responded that budget issues are 
painful for Kazakhstan this year, but he undertook to call 
the two ministers to encourage fast resolution. 
 
POSSIBLE TRANSFER OF LETHAL MILITARY EQUIPMENT TO SYRIA 
 
6.  (C) The Ambassador passed to Tazhin the reftel D demarche 
(see also reftel E).  Tazhin read it closely, commented he 
understand
s its importance, and advised the demarche be 
delivered via diplomatic note so that he could take official 
action on it.  The Ambassador noted that Washington will 
expect a response to this demarche. 
 
PARTNERSHIP ON AFGHANISTAN, ASSISTANCE FOR IDPs IN PAKISTAN 
 
7.  (C) Commenting that Kazakhstan's offer to provide full 
university education for several hundred Afghan students a 
year in Kazakhstan had been well received in Washington, the 
Ambassador asked if Kazakhstan has developed further offers 
of assistance for Afghanistan.  Tazhin replied that he had 
wanted to offer a program to develop small and medium-sized 
enterprises to help revitalize Afghanistan's economy, but a 
Government of Kazakhstan expert-level working group had 
concluded that this would be "too difficult for political and 
security reasons at this time."  Recalling that Kazakhstan 
had provided $3M in humanitarian and reconstruction 
assistance in 2008, Tazhin added that Kazakhstan did not have 
a similar line item in its budget this year and usually 
responds to needs for assistance only on the basis of "force 
majeur."  However, Tazhin said, the government is working on 
a directive that might be ready by the end of June to 
establish a standing program of foreign assistance, which 
would be used in the first instance for Afghanistan. 
 
8.  (C) The Ambassador asked if Kazakhstan would be willing 
to respond to the UNHCR appeal for assistance for IDPs in 
Pakistan.  Tazhin replied, "Probably not, since we do not 
have a budget provision to respond to such appeals, and 
especially considering the budget environment this year."  He 
added he fully understood the importance of Pakistan in 
relation to Afghanistan, but not all in the Government of 
Kazakhstan saw that link, especially because 
Kazakhstan-Pakistan relations are "only correct, at best." 
He added that President Nazarbayev places high priority on 
Kazakhstan's relations with India, and that some in the 
government see Pakistan as a destabilizer for both 
Afghanistan and India. 
 
CORFU OSCE MINISTERIAL -- DESIRE FOR BRIEF BILATERAL WITH THE 
SECRETARY 
 
9.  (C) The Ambassador delivered the talking points in reftel 
F.  Tazhin said he wanted to emphasize what he had told 
National Security Adviser Jones and Secretary of State 
Clinton in Washington:  Kazakhstan firmly supports and will 
continue to support OSCE's three dimensions.  He said no one 
wants, and Kazakhstan will not approve during its 2010 OSCE 
Chairmanship, an OSCE "summit" devoted solely to Russia's 
call for a new security architecture for Europe.  Tazhin said 
 
ASTANA 00001000  003 OF 004 
 
 
he wanted to reiterate what he had said in Washington: 
Astana wants to work very closely with Washington on all OSCE 
issues, and for that reason he is grateful for the Corfu 
Ministerial talking points and will study them closely. 
 
10.  (C) Tazhin added that Kazakhstan's Ambassador in 
Washington, Erlan Idrisov, has been unsuccessful so far 
securing a "brief bilateral" for Tazhin with Secretary 
Clinton at the upcoming Corfu Ministerial.  He asked that the 
Ambassador pass his request directly to the Secretary, noting 
that his desire for such a meeting should be seen in the 
spirit of our mutual commitment to work together closely on 
OSCE issues.  He laughed and added, "I know every minister 
wants to be photographed with Madame Secretary, but I 
actually want to do some work, not have a photo-op." 
 
PUTIN ON KAZAKHSTAN'S WTO ACCESSION BID? 
 
11.  (C) The Ambassador called to Tazhin's attention a May 9 
ITAR-TASS report from Moscow in which Russian Prime Minister 
Vladimir Putin reportedly said, "The heads of government of 
Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan intend to notify the WTO of 
their intention to start talks on the accession (to the WTO) 
of the customs union of the three countries as a single 
customs zone and the suspension of separate WTO accession 
talks by individual countries."  The Ambassador asked if 
Putin was speaking authoritatively for Kazakhstan. 
Initially, Tazhin laughed a bit uncomfortably and said, 
"Kazakhstan is capable of speaking for itself."  He added, 
"In fact, we need to research the technicalities involved 
here, because we believe it is possible to follow both tracks 
-- individual accession and accession as a customs union." 
(NOTE:  The Ambassador met with WTO negotiator Vice Minister 
of Industry and Trade Zhana Aitzhanova on June 11 and will 
report separately.  END NOTE.) 
 
U.S.-KAZAKHSTAN COMMISSION 
 
12.  (C) Following the Ambassador's meeting with Foreign 
Minister Tazhin, Americas' Department Director Askar Tazhiyev 
commented that following Tazhin's May 4-5 meetings in 
Washington, the Government of Kazakhstan held extensive 
interagency discussions on how to structure a possible 
U.S.-Kazakhstan Commission, and has almost finished 
elaborating a proposal.  He asked about the status of U.S. 
ideas for such a commission.  The Ambassador responded 
cautiously he was aware that the White House was still 
studying the question but is not yet at the stage of making 
any concrete proposal.  Tazhiyev said, "Our bilateral 
momentum is good -- we need to take advantage of it and not 
let it drift."  He suggested that the possible upcoming visit 
by Under Secretary Burns would be an excellent opportunity 
for both sides to present their views so that we can move 
forward with establishing the commission so that it can get 
to work.  The Ambassador promised to pass this message to 
Washington.  (COMMENT:  It's obvious that Kazakhstan is 
taking very seriously the possibility of a U.S.-Kazakhstan 
Commission.  We need to be able to signal our intentions as 
soon as possible, especially since it seems Astana will 
expect this to be one of the main points of discussion during 
an U/S Burns visit.  END COMMENT.) 
 
13.  (C) COMMENT:  Although the meeting was cordial and 
relaxed, we note that for some time Foreign Minister Tazhin 
has no longer allowed note-takers, or anyone else, in his 
meetings with the Ambassador.  Also, it seemed unusual that 
he asked that the arms-transfer demarche be submitted 
officially by diplomatic note, possibly because the Committee 
for National Security (KNB, ex-KGB) will need to be involved 
in providing a response.  We know that Tazhin expended 
considerable political capital while playing a key role to 
 
ASTANA 00001000  004 OF 004 
 
 
resolve the Peace Corps case, which rose to the highest level 
of the government and pitted the progressives against the 
pro-Russia old guard in the KNB.  We suspect he is displaying 
a fair degree of personal caution, even while continuing to 
get work accomplished.  END COMMENT. 
HOAGLAND

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09ASTANA983, KAZAKHSTAN: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES BILATERAL

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09ASTANA983 2009-06-08 10:13 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2956
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RUEHPW RUEHROV
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ZNY SSSSS ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5576
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1644
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1020
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0694
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1723
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2324
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2648
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1205
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1121

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000983 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, ISN, EUR/RPM, CA/OCS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/08/2034 
TAGS: PREL PINR MNUC CASC KNNP NATO KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES BILATERAL 
RELATIONS, BN-305 FUNDING, SHARP CASE WITH PRESIDENTIAL 
ADVISOR SARYBAY 
 
REF: A. STATE 56723 
     B. STATE 54767 
     C. ASTANA 0956 
     D. ASTANA 0957 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, Reasons 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (S) SUMMARY:  On June 5, the Ambassador delivered 
demarches on a possible Kazakhstani arms sale to Syria and on 
U.S.-Russian discussions on the transit of lethal supplies to 
Afghanistan to Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Kairat 
Sarybay (see reftels), and briefed Sarybay on his recent 
visit to Washington, upcoming high-level U.S. visits to 
Astana, the BN-350 plutonium reactor decommissioning program, 
the case of Peace Corps Volunteer Anthony Sharp, and 
President Obama's June 4 speech in Cairo.  The Ambassador 
also handed Sarybay a copy of a letter from him to President 
Nazarbayev, thanking Nazarbayev for Kazakhstan's ratification 
of the Cooperative Threat Reduction umbrella agreement. 
After the Ambassador raised all of his agenda items, Sarybay 
said he had "one small request" and asked whether the United 
States had delivered a demarche on the Rakhat Aliyev case to 
the government of Austria.  The Ambassador unequivocally 
denied that such a demarche had taken place, and said the 
U.S. government has no interest in becoming involved in the 
dispute between Aliyev and President Nazarbayev.  END SUMMARY. 
 
CONSULTATIONS AND CONFERENCES 
 
2. (C) Sarybay met the Ambassador in his office, a modest 
room in the regal Presidential Administration building. 
Daulet Kussainov, a young diplomat who had just returned from 
four years in Brussels, served as Sarybay's notetaker.  The 
Ambassador told Sarybay that he had just  returned from 
consultations in Washington, and said he hoped that Foreign 
Minister Tazhin was pleased with the results of his visit to 
Washington.  The Ambassador informed Sarybay that EUR 
Assistant Secretary Gordon would likely lead the U.S. 
delegation to the June 24-25 Euro-Atlantic Partnership 
Council (EAPC) Security Forum event in Astana.  Sarybay 
immediately responded, "But we were expecting  (Under 
Secretary) Burns to visit." 
 
UPCOMING HIGH-LEVEL VISITS 
 
3. (C) The Ambassador explained that Under Secretary Burns 
would prefer to visit Astana immediately following the July 
7-8 Medvedev-Obama summit in Moscow, in order to provide an 
immediate readout of the summit directly to Kazakhstani 
officials.  Furthermore, the Ambassador said, if U/S Burns 
were to visit during the EAPC Security Forum, his schedule 
and his message would be crowded and constrained by the 
demands of the conference.  Sarybay said he understood, but 
he also told the Ambassador that a meeting with President 
Nazarbayev on July 9 might be "difficult," because President 
Nazarbayev usually takes vacation immediately following the 
annual Astana Day celebrations on July 6.  Nevertheless, 
Sarybay said he would discuss the issue with "my boss" 
(President Nazarbayev) and hoped a meeting could be arranged. 
 The Ambassador thanked Sarybay and informed him of two other 
upcoming, high-level visits in July -- by Chairman of the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen (mid-July) and CENTCOM 
Commander General Petraeus (late July).  Sarybay said he 
would try to schedule meetings for them with President 
Nazarbayev and called the previous meeting with General 
Petraeus "very productive and fruitful." 
 
COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION AND THE BN-350 PROGRAM 
 
4. (C) The Ambassador thanked Sarybay for his government's 
leadership and partnership on nuclear nonproliferation 
 
ASTANA 00000983  002 OF 003 
 
 
issues, particularly President Nazarbayev's decision on June 
2 to sign legislation ratifying the Cooperative Threat 
Reduction (CTR) Umbrella Agreement.  The Ambassador handed 
Sarybay a copy of a letter from him to President Nazarbayev 
thanking Nazarbayev for signing the legislation, and said the 
 original would be sent via a Diplomatic Note.  The 
Ambassador then said the United States appreciated the 
Kazakhstani government's commitment to fund part of the 
BN-350 program to ensure the safe transportation and storage 
of spent fuel from the decommissioned plutonium breeder 
reactor.  He told Sarybay that Minister of Economy Sultanov 
had informed him that $5 million for the program was 
a
vailable in 2009 via extra budgetary reserves, and that 
Ministry of Energy Mynbayev simply had to request the funds 
through the proper channels.  Unfortunately, however, the 
Ministry of Energy's subsequent request for funding was 
denied.  The Ambassador delivered a non-paper to Sarybay on 
the subject and asked for his assistance in securing the 
necessary funding.  Sarybay said he would look into the 
matter and joked, "You seem to know better than me and 
Minister Mynbayev what is in our budget reserves!" 
 
PEACE CORPS CASE 
 
5. (C)  The Ambassador thanked Sarybay for his assistance and 
discretion in expediting the resolution of the ongoing case 
of  Peace Corps volunteer Anthony Sharp, who was convicted of 
unlawful possession of industrial explosives on February 26. 
Sarybay told the Ambassador that "there is a real political 
intention to solve this case.  We hope that you can see that 
our bureaucracy handled the issue properly.  No one can say 
that Kazakhstan is not running according to the rule of law." 
 While carefully stating that he did not expect there to be 
any quid pro quo, Sarybay said that, in light of Kazakhstan's 
assistance with the Sharp case, if Kazakhstani citizens 
living in the United States find themselves in similar 
circumstances in the future, "we hope that they will be 
treated fairly."  Sarybay also told the Ambassador that some 
influential members of the government had wanted to require 
the U.S. Attorney General to send a letter to Kazakhstan's 
Procurator General, requesting assistance with Sharp's case. 
Sarybay, however, said that he had argued successfully 
against that, saying it would be an additional precondition 
for Sharp's release and would come as a surprise to the U.S. 
government.  Sarybay  suggested that the Ambassador draft a 
thank you letter to Foreign Minister Tazhin that would thank 
the government for its support and cooperation and note that 
"everything was done properly and correctly" concerning the 
case.  The Ambassador said he already had a draft thank-you 
letter prepared and would send it as soon as Sharp left 
Kazakhstan.  (NOTE:  On June 3, the appellate court in 
Ust-Kamenogorsk accepted the procurator's motion to reduce 
Sharp's sentence to "time served" and a fine (which he has 
already paid).  Barring any additional bureaucratic hurdles, 
we expect Sharp to depart Kazakhstan on June 11.  END NOTE). 
 
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SPEECH WELL RECEIVED 
 
6. (C) The Ambassador asked Sarybay if he or President 
Nazarbayev had had time to read the President's speech in 
Cairo.  Sarybay said he had delivered the text of the speech 
to President Nazarbayev on June 4 and President Nazarbayev 
was looking forward to reading it.  (NOTE:  On June 8, the 
Presidential Administration released the following statement 
from President Nazarbayev:  "In his speech in Cairo, 
President Obama demonstrated his willingness to build 
understanding and rapport with the Muslim world.  I am 
encouraged by this constructive engagement by the U.S. 
President.  Kazakhstan looks forward to continuing its 
efforts to strengthening political, economic, and cultural 
cooperation with the United States.  There is a stark 
 
ASTANA 00000983  003 OF 003 
 
 
distinction between leaders who pursue violence and engender 
fear and those thoughtful leaders who are willing to engage 
in an effort to make the world safer, freer, and more 
prosperous.  In his speech, President Obama made it clear 
that he understands that distinction well, and I am 
encouraged by the invitation to join him."  END NOTE). 
 
ONE FINAL REQUEST 
 
7. (C)  Just as the meeting adjourned, Sarybay said he had 
"one small request" for the Ambassador.  He said, "We have 
information that the United States delivered a demarche or a 
diplomatic note on the Rakhat Aliyev case to the Austrian 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna.  Is that true?"  The 
Ambassador strongly and unequivocally denied that the U.S. 
government delivered any such demarche and said the U.S. 
government has no interest in becoming involved in the 
dispute between Aliyev and President Nazarbayev.  Sarybay 
waited one full second, then smiled and thanked the 
Ambassador for taking the time to pay him a visit. 
 
HOAGLAND

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