Category Archives: CONFIDENTIAL

10ASTANA275, KAZAKHSTAN: MINISTER OF JUSTICE PRAISES COOPERATION WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA275 2010-02-26 10:00 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 03 ASTANA 000275 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RPM, DRL, INL/AAE, G/TIP 
 
E.O. 12958: 02/26/2030 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM SOCI SNAR KDEM KTIP KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MINISTER OF JUSTICE PRAISES COOPERATION WITH 
THE UNITED STATES, SUPPORTS AMNESTY FOR PRISONERSS 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (B), (D) 
 
REFTEL:  ASTANA 00272 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  On February 25, the Ambassador met with Minister of 
Justice Rashid Tusupbekov to discuss ongoing legal reforms and the 
possibility of a general amnesty that could include jailed prominent 
Kazakhstani human rights defender Yevgeniy Zhovtis.  Tusupbekov 
praised cooperation with the United States on judicial education, and 
countering human and narcotics trafficking.  He underlined 
Kazakhstan's commitment to "humanizing" and reforming its legal 
system, and said he had submitted a recommendation for an August 30 
amnesty, including for those who have committed "less grave crimes" 
(like Zhovtis).  He promised to support the U.S. request for Helsinki 
Commission staffers to visit Zhovtis in early March, and said 
Kazakhstan will continue to work closely with the United States on 
the annual trafficking in persons report and the bilateral Science 
and Technology Agreement.  Tusupbekov closed the meeting by noting 
that Kazakhstan's cooperation with the United States is very 
important, and said a bilateral meeting between President Obama and 
President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Washington in April, if it takes 
place, "could lead to opportunities for further cooperation."  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE WORKING TO HUMANIZE THE JUSTICE SYSTEM 
 
2.  (SBU) Initially, adopting a formal style, the Minister of 
Justice, Rashid Tusupbekov, opened his first meeting with the 
Ambassador by enumerating a his Ministry's responsibilities and 
goals.  According to Tusupbekov, President Nursultan Nazarbayev 
instructed the Ministry to improve the quality of their legislative 
work, improve conditions for businesses to operate, and humanize the 
penitentiary system. 
 
KAZAKHSTAN DENOUNCES SOVIET LEGACY OF CRIME AND PUNISHMENT 
 
3.  (SBU) Tusupbekov spoke with conviction about the social and 
economic costs to Kazakhstan of the Soviet legacy of overly punitive 
legislation and sentencing, which he asserted are a legacy of the 
Soviet system.  The Minister noted that Kazakhstan's penitentiary 
system is currently responsible for over 100,000 convicts, about 
40,000 of whom are serving non-jail sentences.  Tusupbekov stated 
that the Kazakhstani Government established an inter-agency 
commission to reform the law enforcement system, in which his 
Ministry participates actively.  He asserted that his Ministry is 
committed to "humanization and decriminalization" of the 
law-enforcement system, and said he plans to liberalize Kazakhstan's 
criminal code, reduce the number of crimes punished by jail 
sentences, and replace them with more humane types of punishment, 
such as fines and corrective labor.  Tusupbekov said these steps will 
reduce the size of the prison population, and alleviate the burden on 
the prison administration. 
 
4.  (SBU) Tusupbekov listed recent accomplishments, including the 
opening of five new "international-standard" facilities, that 
replaced Soviet-style barracks housing with cells.  Finally, 
Tusupbekov noted that United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture 
Manfred Novak, who will present his report on his May 2009 visit to 
Kazakhstan to the United Nations Human Rights Commission next month, 
said Kazakhstan is making good progress. 
 
AMBASSADOR REITERATES U.S. SUPPORT FOR KAZAKHSTAN'S REFORMS 
 
5.  (SBU) In response, the Ambassador praised the Ministry of Justice 
for its commitment to legal reforms, and thanked the Ministry for 
supporting the bilateral Judicial Education Program that is training 
257 judges and 600 judicial sector personnel on commercial law.  The 
Ambassador noted that during INL Assistant Secretary David Johnson's 
 
ASTANA 00000275  002 OF 003 
 
 
December 2009 visit, Deputy Foreign Minister Umarov said Kazakhstan 
would welcome U.S. assistance on legal reform, and asked how the 
United States could further assist in supporting the Ministry's legal 
reforms.  In addition, the Ambassador asked Tusupbekov how the U.S. 
Government might be able to help the U.S.-Kazakhstan Legal 
Association
 that Kazakhstan's Ambassador to the United States, Erlan 
Idrissov, is working to establish. 
 
CONSTITUTION DAY AMNESTY FOR ZHOVTIS? 
 
6.  (SBU) In response to the Ambassador's query about a possible 
general amnesty this year, Tusupbekov confirmed that he had forwarded 
his recommendation to grant amnesty to approximately 20,000 prisoners 
convicted of "less grave crimes" to the Parliament and the 
President's Cabinet.  According to Tusupbekov, the amnesty would have 
a positive social impact, since it would also include female convicts 
with young children, war veterans, the disabled, and juvenile 
offenders.   Tusupbekov said that in his recommendation, he suggested 
that it would be appropriate if the amnesty coincided with the 
fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of Kazakhstan's Constitution 
(August 30).  However, Tusupbekov said the amnesty is now "a 
political decision" that will be made by the Parliament and the 
Cabinet. 
 
MINISTER PROMISES PERSONAL SUPPORT ON ACCESS TO VISIT ZHOVTIS 
 
7.  (SBU) The Ambassador thanked Tusupbekov for granting PolOff 
permission to visit Yevgeniy Zhovtis in Ust-Kamenogorsk on February 
24 (reftel), and noted that it would be very helpful for bilateral 
relations if the Penitentiary Committee could approve the Embassy's 
pending request for two staffers from the Helsinki Commission of the 
U.S. Congress to visit in early March.  In reply, Tusupbekov said he 
would do his best to make it happen. 
 
MINISTER SAYS POLITICAL PARTY LEGISLATION WILL FOLLOW THE LAW 
 
8.  (SBU) The Ambassador raised the case of the Alga Party, currently 
seeking registration under ratified amendments to the political party 
law, commenting that he hoped this case will be resolved quickly and 
in full accordance with the new law.  Tusupbekov said his Ministry 
will comply with the court ruling, whatever it may be. 
 
COUNTERING NARCOTICS AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING 
 
9.  (SBU) The Ambassador thanked the Ministry of Justice for its 
cooperation on countering narcotics and human trafficking, and said 
we want to continue this positive work.  In particular, the 
Ambassador congratulated Kazakhstan for opening its first 
government-supported trafficking in persons shelter in September 
2009.  Tusupbekov thanked the U.S. Government for helping on these 
critical issues, in particular, certain training programs. 
Tusupbekov mentioned that the INL-sponsored travel of a Kazakhstani 
delegation headed by Vice Minister Kusdaveltov to Italy was very 
useful.  Tusupbekov noted that the Cabinet recently established a 
three-year, 3 million tenge project to support NGOs and maintain a 
call center for TIP victims.  Tusupbekov added that the government 
will also provide 3 million tenge for a shelter, 6 million tenge for 
media campaigns against TIP, and 5 million tenge for a rehabilitation 
center.  He said his Ministry also utilized a $350,000 U.S. grant to 
provide training to prosecutors and judges. 
 
10.  (SBU) In relation to drug trafficking, which Tusupbekov 
acknowledged is a serious problem for Kazakhstan, especially because 
it is a transit country for Afghan opiates, Tusupbekov said he hopes 
that Kazakhstan's inter-agency Commission on Law Enforcement will 
approve a proposal to set up a separate agency, similar to agencies 
his experts observed in Russia, to combat drug trafficking. 
Tusupbekov encouraged the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to open an 
 
ASTANA 00000275  003 OF 003 
 
 
office in Almaty, telling the Ambassador that the United States, with 
its extensive experience, would be a good partner in combating this 
evil. 
 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AGREEMENT 
 
11.  (C) The Ambassador also raised the issue of the bilateral 
Science and Technology Agreement, the final English text of which the 
Kazakhstani Government is reviewing.  Tusupbekov said that since 
there is a possibility that President Nazarbayev and President Obama 
might meet in Washington in April, it would be in our mutual best 
interests to have the agreement ready, and directed his staff 
accordingly.  Tusupbekov underscored that the Ministry of Justice 
recognizes the benefit to Kazakhstan from cooperation with the United 
States, and added, "if a meeting between our Presidents takes place, 
it could lead to opportunities for further cooperation."  (NOTE:  In 
fact, the Ministry of Education and Science has not yet transmitted 
the draft to the Ministry of Justice.  END NOTE.) 
 
12.  (C) COMMENT:  Throughout the meeting, the Minister was 
well-briefed and very engaged, taking notes, and nodding approval 
during the Ambassador's remarks.  Tusupbekov also appeared to be a 
proactive team-player, for instance, clarifying during the meeting 
which of his subordinates would follow up on key topics, including 
access to visit Zhovtis, and facilitating exchange of information for 
the Trafficking-in-Person's Report and the Science and Technology 
Agreement.  In a sometimes top-down culture, the Minister's 
willingness to permit subordinates to work directly with the Embassy 
is most welcome.  END COMMENT.

Wikileaks

10ASTANA268, KAZAKHSTAN: SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE HOLBROOKE’S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA268 2010-02-26 05:26 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

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C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 000268 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, S/SRAP, EUR/RPM, NEA, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/06/2059 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR AF KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE HOLBROOKE'S 
MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER MASIMOV, FEBRUARY 21 
 
REF: ASTANA 0267 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (U) This is an action request, see paragraph 5. 
 
2.  (C) Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan 
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke met with Prime Minister Karim 
Masimov in Astana on February 21.  Deputy Foreign Minister 
Kairat Umarov and MFA Americas Director Askar Tazhiyev, as 
well as the Ambassador, attended the 30-minute meeting that 
was followed by a 50-minute Holbrooke-Masimov one-on-one. 
Masimov warmly welcomed Holbrooke and thanked him for 
visiting Kazakhstan, noting Astana's desire for more, and 
more frequent, very high-level meetings. 
 
3.  (C) In the 30-minute meeting, Holbrooke: 
 
-- pressed for Kazakhstan to move quickly to grant the U.S. 
request for a north-south overflight route to supply U.S. 
troops in Afghanistan; 
-- made clear that the withdrawal of some U.S. troops from 
Afghanistan that would begin in July 2011 should not be 
interpreted as a sign that the United States is wavering on 
its commitment to Afghanistan.  He said we would not repeat 
the mistakes of 1989, after the Soviet withdrawal from 
Afghanistan, when the United States abandoned Afghanistan and 
curtailed our relationship with Pakistan.  Holbrooke said, 
"We are not leaving!" 
 
4.  (C) During the 50-minute one-on-one, Holbrooke and 
Masimov discussed the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), the 
possible OSCE summit, the U.S. request for north-south 
overflight, our request for armored but not weaponized 
wheeled military vehicles (MATVs) to transit Kazakhstani 
territory via the Northern Distribution Network, and the need 
to release imprisoned human rights activist Yevgeniy Zhovtis. 
 In a discussion of possible sequencing of moves, Holbrooke 
said that, at a minimum, Kazakhstan should approve the 
north-south overflight request before the NSS.  (NOTE:  In a 
subsequent meeting (reftel), State Secretary-Foreign Minister 
Kanat Saudabayev revealed that approval to transit MATVs 
would be one of the deliverables Nazarbayev would take prior 
to the NSS.  END NOTE.)  Masimov expected Zhovtis to be 
released after the proposed Obama-Nazarbayev meeting 
presumably in the general amnesty expected in the summer. 
 
5.  (C) ACTION REQUEST:  Also, Masimov told Holbrooke that at 
the request of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, he 
will visit Lebanon and Jordan in March.  Holbrooke said he 
would ask NEA to provide, through Amb. Hogland, background 
papers for the Prime Minister,s trip.  (COMMENT:  It is 
unusual for Masimov to travel officially outside of 
Kazakhstan, and even more so for him to undertake a 
diplomatic mission.  We will also follow up with the Israeli 
Embassy in Astana.  END COMMENT). 
 
6.  (U) Ambassador Holbrooke has cleared this cable. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

10ASTANA267,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA267 2010-02-26 05:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

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Zhovtis worth less to the opposition out of jail than in jail – Wikileaks
 
Almaty. April 12. KazTAG – Kazakhstani human rights activist Evgeny Zhovtis worth less to the opposition out of jail than in jail, according to the documents received by KazTAG from Wikileaks.
“SRAP R. Holbrooke told Saudabayev that the imprisonment of human rights activist Yevgeniy Zhovtis is one of the pressing issues affecting Kazakhstan's bilateral relationship with the United States. He told Saudabayev that Zhovtis has become a symbol for the opposition in Kazakhstan, “a fact that he certainly understands and exploits.” Holbrooke said that if Zhovtis could be released by presidential pardon, that would reduce his symbolic value, since "he is worth less to the opposition out of jail than in jail”, reads the cable from the US embassy in Kazakhstan to State department on February 26, 2010.
On Zhovtis, Saudabayev agreed that “neither you nor we need this problem”. But he said that this is an issue of principle. "We must respect the independence of our judicial system," he said. "If we make an exception to the law for Zhovtis," he claimed, "then 200 others with similar sentences will demand to be released from prison as well. They are watching to see if the government of Kazakhstan will be pressured into releasing Zhovtis." He also said that as a human rights activist, "Zhovtis never came under any political pressure" to cease his activities. Saudabayev said that Zhovtis unfortunately killed a man, was tried and sentenced by a court of law, and now must serve his four-year sentence. According to Saudabayev, "the law worked exactly the way it was designed." 
Attempting to draw a parallel, Saudabayev added that he admired the "persistence" of the U.S. judicial system in its persistent attempts to get film director Roman Polanski, "even though he was forgiven by the victim." Holbrooke took strong exception, noting that Polanski fled justice, escaped the law, and has been living free despite his conviction by a U.S. court. 
Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Holbrooke met State Secretary-Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev on February 21 to discuss Kazakhstan's support for operations in Afghanistan, including North-South polar-route overflights, the ground transit of wheeled and armored but not weaponized non-lethal military vehicles, Afghan police training, and other bilateral assistance. Holbrooke also strongly urged the government to consider a presidential pardon for imprisoned human rights activist Yevgeniy Zhovtis, discussed Kazakhstan's request for a bilateral meeting with the President in April.

Wikileaks

10ASTANA185, KAZAKHSTAN OPEN TO INCREASED PRESSURE ON IRAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA185 2010-02-12 09:48 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 000185 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, NEA/FO (Elisa Catalano), ISN/RA (Richard Nephew) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/11/2020 
TAGS: PARM PREL UNSC KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN OPEN TO INCREASED PRESSURE ON IRAN 
 
REF: STATE 9124 
 
Classified By: Charge d' Affaires, a.i. Pamela Spratlen:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: Charge delivered reftel points on Iran's nuclear 
capability on February 10.  In response, Deputy Foreign Minister 
Nurlan Yermekbayev said that Kazakhstan "regrets" Iran's rejection of 
the P5+1 offer and its refusal to cooperate with the International 
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Kazakhstan remains concerned about 
Iran's nuclear ambitions and hopes the situation will be resolved 
without resorting to the use of force.  Offering his personal 
opinion, Yermekbayev -- who's portfolio includes Iran -- said that 
targeted sanctions could be effective, especially in light of recent 
social upheavals in Iran.  He asked for the CDA's views on whether 
Kazakhstan should allow Iran's Export Development Bank open a branch 
in country.  He agreed with the Charge that any increased ties 
between Kazakhstan and Iran should be considered extremely carefully 
in light of the possibility of additional sanctions.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C) On February 10, the CDA delivered reftel points to Deputy 
Foreign Minister Nurlan Yermekbayev.  She noted Kazakhstan's 
leadership on non-proliferation issues, specifically its 
encouragement of Iran to follow Kazakhstan's example in forsaking 
nuclear weapons.  Yermekbayev said that Kazakhstan is committed to 
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and that President 
Nazarbayev continuously underlines "to Iran and others" that 
countries have the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy "within 
the IAEA framework."  He said that Iran failed to fulfill its IAEA 
obligations, however, when it refused to cooperate fully with IAEA 
inspectors and to increase transparency about its nuclear program. 
Kazakhstan "regrets Iran's denial of the p5+1 offer," stressed 
Yermekbayev. 
 
3.  (C) Iran is one of Kazakhstan's "important partners" in the 
region, noted Yermekbayev.  In addition to historical and cultural 
links, the two countries are increasing cooperation in 
transportation, trade, and investment.  "Of course, there is also the 
[demarcation] of the Caspian Sea," he noted, but stressed that "this 
does not mean that we are not concerned" about Iran's nuclear 
program.   Kazakhstan believes "the situation should not be elevated 
to the use of force," because it could severely destabilize the 
region. 
 
4.  (C) Noting that he had been stating the government's official 
position, Yermekbayev, an experienced Asia hand, then offered his 
personal view on the issue.  "You have many tools at your disposal -- 
bilateral negotiations, (UN Security Council) resolutions, 
sanctions," he said.  "Passivity will not help, but neither will 
force.  For Iran, [the nuclear program] is a question of national 
dignity and principle."  Yermekbayev believes that "sanctions could 
work if they worsen the social situation, which at this point is 
especially salient."  (NOTE: Yermekbayev's personal view differs from 
what the President's Foreign Policy Advisor Kairat Sarybay told 
Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Robert Blake on 
December 15, 2009, when he urged the United States to continue the 
dialogue with Iran because "sanctions are not effective."  END NOTE). 
 The CDA thanked Yermekbayev for openly sharing his views.  She 
underlined that the United States and its P5+1 partners have 
diligently pursued a strategy of consultations and engagement and 
stand ready to engage with Iran on the IAEA's proposal.  "But, as 
Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov said, one cannot wait forever," she 
stressed. 
 
5.  (C) Yermekbayev told the CDA that Kazakhstan is "somewhat 
limited" by its links to Iran, particularly by the Caspian Sea.  He 
emphasized, however, that "Kazakhstan is sending signals," most 
recently during President Ahmadinejad's April 2009 visit to 
Kazakhstan.  Yermekbayev said Iran's Export Development Bank 
requested to open a branch in Kazakhstan, a request that the 
Kazakhstani government has not yet approved.  He asked for the CDA's 
views on whether the request should be approved, "considering that 
this particular bank is not on the UN Security Council's list."  The 
CDA urged Kazakhstan to consider very carefully increased commercial 
engagement with Iran, especially in light of the current 
international mood toward Iran.  Yermekbayev seem to take her advice 
to heart. 
 
6.  (C) COMMENT:  Kazakhstan shrewdly promotes both its 
non-proliferation legacy and its multivector foreign policy, 
 
ASTANA 00000185  002 OF 002 
 
 
including with Iran.  President Nazarbayev has stated that Iran has a 
right to peaceful nuclear development, but concurs with us that this &
#x000A;must be within international norms and according to the NPT. 
President Nazarbayev's non-pro leadership as well as the expertise 
and flexibility of key government representatives, such as 
Yermekbayev, provide us a sound basis for working with Kazakhstan as 
we develop our approach to pressuring Iran.  END COMMENT. 
 
SPRATLEN

Wikileaks

10ASTANA184, KAZAKHSTAN: PRESIDENT’S SON-IN-LAW TRIES, BUT FAILS, TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA184 2010-02-12 09:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

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RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1802
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2508
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1418
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1847
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1999
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000184 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/12/2020 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  PRESIDENT'S SON-IN-LAW TRIES, BUT FAILS, TO 
MUTE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS 
 
REF: A) 09 ASTANA 1762 
 B) ASTANA 119 
 C) 09 ASTANA 1761 
 
Classified By: Charge d' Affaires, a.i. Pamela Spratlen:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Timur Kulibayev, the President's influential 
son-in-law and Deputy Chairman of the National Welfare Fund Samryk 
Kazyna, sued four independent newspapers for publishing articles 
alleging that he received major kick-backs from the Chinese for oil 
contracts signed in 2003-05.  The court initially sided with 
Kulibayev, ordering on February 1 the confiscation of all print runs 
that carried the story and placing a ban on any other articles 
insulting Kulibayev's honor and dignity.  It reversed its ruling on a 
technicality after an outcry from civil society leaders and criticism 
from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) 
Representative on Freedom of the Media.  Ousted, self-exiled chairman 
of Bank Turam Alem (BTA) bank Mukhtar Ablyazov is the source of the 
corruption allegations.  The Financial Police opened an investigation 
into Ablyazov's allegations on February 11.  END SUMMARY. 
 
KULIBAYEV SUES FOR LIBEL 
 
2. (SBU) Timur Kulibayev, President Nazarbayev's influential 
son-in-law and Deputy Chairman of National Welfare Fund 
Samryk-Kazyna, filed a libel suit on February 1 against four 
newspapers -- "Respublika," "Golos Respubliki," "Vzglyad," and 
"Kursiv" -- after they published a story accusing him of corruption. 
An Almaty district court, acting with uncharacteristic swiftness on 
the same day, ordered the confiscation of all print runs containing 
the story and placed a ban on future stories that "insult the honor 
and dignity" of Kulibayev.  The order was immediately delivered to 
the four newspapers, as well as to other independent news outlets and 
newspaper stalls across the country. 
 
ABLYAZOV IS THE SOURCE 
 
3.  (SBU) The source of the offending story was a letter to media 
outlets from Mukhtar Ablyazov, the ousted and self-exiled chairman of 
the Bank Turam Alem (BTA) bank who fled the country following 
accusations of embezzlement and financial fraud (ref A).  In the 
letter, Ablyazov accused Kulibayev of pocketing a portion of the 
proceeds from the sale of a government stake in a Kazakhstani oil 
company to the China National Petroleum Company (ref B) in 2003. 
According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Ablyazov has documents 
proving Kulibayev's illegal machinations.  Ablyazov's accusations 
appeared in the media at the same time as a story that Dinara 
Kulibayeva, Kulibayev's wife and Nazarbayev's daughter, bought a 
luxurious villa in Switzerland for a record 74 million Swiss franc 
(approximately $68.4). 
 
CONDEMNATION FROM CIVIL SOCIETY 
4.  (SBU) The court order caused an uproar in civil society.  Chief 
editors and journalists of the four newspapers held press conferences 
condemning the court decision as an attempt to "completely 
exterminate independent media in Kazakhstan."  Editor-in-Chief of 
independent newspaper "Svoboda Slova," Gulzhan Yergaliyeva, called on 
the Supreme Court to reverse "this shameful ruling."  Political 
opposition parties also joined in the protests.  The Ak Zhol party -- 
seen by some as an opposition party closest to the government -- 
released an unusually harsh statement criticizing "this selective 
justice" for "creating a cast of untouchables in Kazakhstan and 
further legalizing corruption."  International NGOs Freedom House and 
the Committee to Protect Journalists publicly urged the courts to 
rescind "the unacceptable gag-order," declaring that "censorship has 
no place for the chair of the OSCE."  On February 8, Miklos Haraszti, 
the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, released a statement 
condemning libel lawsuits in Kazakhstan (as well as Tajikistan and 
Hungary) as "dangerous attempts at censorship." 
 
JUDICIAL MISTAKE 
 
5.  (SBU) The first inklings that not all in the government agreed 
with the Almaty court ruling appeared on February 8.  The Chair of 
the Supreme Court, Musabek Alimbekov, told journalists that the 
Almaty judge "may have made a mistake.  Judges are human," he said, 
"and humans make mistakes."  Alimbekov noted that any potential 
judicial mistake would have to be addressed in a court of higher 
instance.  General Prosecutor Kairat Mami also said that his office 
was looking into a case of possible judicial malfeasance, based on a 
 
ASTANA 00000184  002 OF 002 
 
 
complaint from several journalists. 
 
GAG-ORDER RESCINDED 
 
6.  (SBU) On February 9, the court rescinded its own ruling to ban 
articles
 that "insult (Kulibayev's) honor and dignity."  The ruling 
was based on a technicality -- the judge ruled that Kulibayev did not 
follow proper pre-trial procedures for libel cases when he failed to 
ask the newspapers to print a retraction before filing suit.  Civil 
society activists greeted the verdict as a temporary victory, but did 
not exclude the possibility that the President's powerful son-in-law 
will find other ways to squelch the story in independent media.  In 
her ruling, the judge said she would consider the plaintiff's demand 
for a public apology only if the media outlets refuse to publish a 
refutation. 
 
MORE TO COME? 
 
7.  (SBU) Meanwhile, Ablyazov continued his campaign against 
Kulibayev.  On February 8, he announced that he sent proof of 
Kulibayev's embezzlement to the Prosecutor General's Office, the 
parliament, and political parties.  He also claimed to have sent 
letters to several leading businessmen in Kazakhstan urging them to 
share any information on Kulibayev's wrong-doings, and publicized an 
email address (mukhtar.ablyazov@gmail.com) to which people could send 
complaints against Kulibayev.  Activists of the Alga opposition party 
-- widely believed to be financed by Ablyazov -- made several 
attempts to publicly deliver Ablyazov's letter to the parliament in 
Astana.  On two separate occasions, the group was detained by the 
police for organizing an unsanctioned rally.  On February 11, 
Kazakhstan's State Agency for Fighting Economic and Corruption Crimes 
(Financial Police) announced that it received Ablyazov's letter and 
launched an investigation into the case. 
 
8.  (C) COMMENT:  Ablyazov's allegations have started a flurry of 
guessing games about the state of play in the power games among the 
Kazakhstani elite.  Most independent political analysts agree that 
Ablyazov must have received the incriminating evidence from a third 
party -- either Rakhat Aliyev, Nazarbayev's exiled former son-in-law, 
or someone high enough in Kazakhstan's power echelons to have access 
to this kind of information.  Some allege that Ablyazov is the front 
man for interests in the oil industry that want to diminish 
Kulibayev's far-reaching influence in the energy sector.  Others 
speculate that this is a power play from one of the rival political 
clans (ref C).  All agree, however, that this case is all about power 
and control.  It is also an important test of freedom of expression 
in Kazakhstan.  The fact that the court rescinded its gag-order is a 
positive sign, and here the strong statement from OSCE's Haraszti 
certainly played a role.  However, as civil society activists point 
out, the judge's ruling leaves open the possibility for Kulibayev to 
take further legal action if the newspapers refuse to print a 
retraction.  We will continue to watch closely how these power games 
play out.  END COMMENT. 
 
SPRATLEN

Wikileaks

10ASTANA159, KAZAKHSTAN: GE EXECUTIVE DISCUSSES REGIONAL PLANS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA159 2010-02-05 10:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7485
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0159/01 0361019
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 051019Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7361
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2433
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1793
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1409
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2499
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1990
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1838

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000159 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB 
STATE PASS TO USTDA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/06/2059 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ELTN RS TX KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  GE EXECUTIVE DISCUSSES REGIONAL PLANS 
 
Classified By: Charge Pamela L. Spratlen, 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  An American executive with General 
Electric's Transportation Division visited the Embassy on 
February 3 to discuss the company's plans to assemble 
locomotives in Kazakhstan and expand into the Russian market. 
 He identified financial and political challenges the company 
faces, and said the customs union with Russia and Belarus is 
unlikely to change the conservative culture or monopolistic 
practices of Russia's state railway company.  He also said 
draft U.S. legislation to strengthen sanctions against Iran 
would be a "catastrophe" for U.S. businesses that invest 
abroad.  END SUMMARY. 
 
EXIM WANTS A SOVEREIGN GUARANTEE 
 
2.  (C) On February 3, Richard Herold, International 
Government Relations Leader for General Electric (GE)'s 
Transportation division, briefed acting Pol/Econ chief on 
GE's plans and prospects for assembling and manufacturing 
locomotives and diesel engines in the region.  (NOTE:  Herold 
is a former Foreign Service Officer, fluent in Chinese, who 
served primarily in Asia and Africa.  After leaving the 
Foreign Service in 1990, he joined British Petroleum, where 
he worked for 19 years, including during the acrimonious 
dispute between BP and its Russian partners in the TNK-BP 
joint venture.  END NOTE).  Herold said that GE has already 
assembled one Evolution-class locomotive at the new Astana 
plant, and plans to produce at total of 20 locomotives by the 
end of 2010.  He added that GE is in talks with National 
Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna, which owns national railway 
company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZh), to sell an additional 
$150 million in locomotive kits.  Herold said that the U.S. 
Export-Import Bank (EXIM) has insisted on a sovereign 
guarantee before it agrees to provide financing for the 
transaction.  However, according to Herold, Samruk-Kazyna's 
chairman Kairat Kelimbetov told GE on February 3 that he was 
reluctant to ask the government to provide a sovereign 
guarantee, saying, "our word should be good enough."  Herold 
said that negotiations with EXIM and Samruk-Kazyna were 
ongoing. 
 
GE EAGER TO ENTER RUSSIAN MARKET 
 
3.  (C) Herold also discussed GE's ambitions to sell its 
locomotives on the Russian market.  He said that, on paper, 
the Customs Union with Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus should 
give GE an opportunity to compete with Russian locomotive and 
diesel engine manufacturers.  However, he admitted that 
Russia's state-owned railway company Russian Railways (RZhD) 
has strong, monopoly control over the Russian market, and 
breaking in will not be easy.  Herold said RZhD is "a huge, 
sprawling empire.  It's worse than Gazprom."  According to 
Herold, the head of RZhD, Vladimir Yakunin, is an old friend 
of Russian Prime Minister Putin, and a "fellow member of the 
St. Petersburg mafia."  He added that Yakunin has made 
sizeable cash payments to Putin, and speculated that Putin's 
net worth is well over $10 billion.  (NOTE:  RZhD is one of 
the largest railway companies in the world, with more than 
1.2 million employees.  It accounts for nearly 4% of Russia's 
GDP and handles approximately 80% of all freight in Russia. 
Yakunin graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Mechanics 
in 1972, worked as a senior engineer in the Soviet Council of 
Ministers for Foreign Trade, and served as First Secretary of 
the USSR's Permanent Representative Office at the United 
Nations from 1985-1991.  END NOTE). 
 
PRESSURE TO INCREASE LOCAL CONTENT 
 
4.  (SBU) According to Herold, GE is pleased with the success 
of its locomotive assembly plant in Astana, but he said the 
company has come under increasing pressure to raise the 
percentage of local content among staff and subcontractors. 
Herold said he understood the government's position, but 
 
ASTANA 00000159  002 OF 002 
 
 
stated, "there simply is not enough talent out there now" to 
meet GE's demand for experienced managers and engineers. 
 
IRAN SANCTIONS BILL 
 
5.  (C) Herold also said GE was concerned about draft U.S. 
legislation that would strengthen the sanctions regime 
against Iran.  He said that if the legislation is adopted as 
currently drafted, it would sanction companies that do 
business with companies that do business with Iran.  He said 
the consequences for U.S. trade and investment would be 
"catastrophic."  For example, he n
oted that GE's Astana 
locomotive assembly plant is a joint venture with KTZh, and 
he said that KTZh is in detailed discussions with the 
national railway company of Turkmenistan to build a rail line 
to Iran.  Herold speculated that GE would be subject to 
sanctions under the draft U.S. law, and would lose EX-IM 
financing for future expansion projects.  (NOTE:  On February 
5, Turkmenistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a 
statement following a meeting with an Iranian delegation, 
calling construction of a rail link from the city of Bereket 
to the Iranian border, "an important factor in the develop of 
an unbiased, mutually beneficial relationship with Iran." 
 
NAZARBAYEV'S HEALTH 
 
6.  (C) Before the meeting adjourned, Herold said that 
President Nazarbayev was scheduled to meet GE's CEO Jeff 
Immelt last summer, but cancelled the meeting "for health 
reasons."  Herold said he was told that Nazarbayev flew to an 
undisclosed location in Europe for a medical procedure. 
 
7.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Senior government officials often cite 
GE's investment in Kazakhstan as a perfect example of the 
type of investment they would like to attract, particularly 
as the country seeks to diversify its economy.  Certainly 
GE's locomotive assembly plant is an important investment. 
But the true test of Kazakhstan's commitment to economic 
diversification will be its support of GE's more ambitious, 
long-term plans to manufacture locally and export regionally 
its locomotives and engines, rather than simply assembling 
kits that were made in the USA.  END COMMENT. 
SPRATLEN

Wikileaks

10ASTANA109, KAZAKHSTAN: ZHOVTIS CASE TO SUPREME COURT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA109 2010-01-28 10:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0322
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0109/01 0281033
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 281033Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7308
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2411
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1772
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2478
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1388
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1818
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1968
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000109 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL, EUR/RPM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/28/2020 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ZHOVTIS CASE TO SUPREME COURT 
 
REFTEL:  09 ASTANA 2141 
 
Classified By: Charge d' Affaires Pamela Spratlen:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  Vitaliy Voronov, lawyer for imprisoned human-rights 
activist Yevgeniy Zhovtis filed on January 27 a motion to request the 
Supreme Court review the case.  The court has one month to decide 
whether to accept the case and an additional month to issue a 
decision.  Cautiously optimistic that the Supreme Court will rule in 
Zhovtis' favor, Voronov stressed that it will be a "political 
decision."  He believes the Kazakhstani government should be made to 
understand that this is the easiest way to resolve the case.  He 
noted, however, Kazakhstan's hyper-awareness of its newly-gained 
international stature as OSCE Chair, and strongly cautioned against 
placing conditions on Kazakhstan or demanding Zhovtis immediate 
release.  In his opinion, President Nazarbayev is relatively 
uninformed about this case and the international reaction to it, 
because his inner circle does not want to upset him.  END SUMMARY. 
 
CASE FILED WITH THE SUPREME COURT 
 
2. (C) Vitaliy Voronov, lawyer for human-rights activist Yevgeniy 
Zhovtis, told the CDA that he filed a motion to request the Supreme 
Court review Zhovtis' case on January 27 (reftel).  (NOTE: 
Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code that went into effect on 
January 1 allow the Supreme Court to review cases of crimes of lesser 
gravity, like the one for which Zhovtis was convicted.  END NOTE.) 
The Supreme Court has one month to decide whether to accept the case 
for review.  If it does, it must issue a decision within another 
month.  Voronov said the Supreme Court usually acts quickly. 
 
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM 
 
3. (C) In his appeal, Voronov requested the court simply vacate 
Zhovtis' sentence and did not ask it to overturn the guilty verdict, 
as in earlier appeals.  Despite Voronov's cautious optimism that the 
Supreme Court will decide in Zhovtis' favor, he stressed that this 
will be "a political, and not judicial, decision."  The initial 
stages of the Zhovtis case were controlled by "law enforcement and 
security forces, people on the lower levels, who misunderstood and 
miscalculated the political reverberations," he argued.  "Now 
politicians are involved, and the Supreme Court will do what it is 
told." 
 
4. (C) Voronov believes that these "lower elements achieved their 
goals -- they struck fear into the community.  A regular person on 
the street now thinks 'If they can do this to Zhovtis, with his 
international standing, they can do anything to me'.  It has worked 
-- the opposition, NGOs, and regular people are scared," he stressed. 
 In response to the CDA's inquiry about the reasons behind Voronov's 
optimism about the Supreme Court, given his belief that the whole 
case has been politically motivated, Voronov explained, "We have no 
choice, this is the only path left."  Zhovtis' defense team continues 
to consider filing a petition with the UN Human Rights Council 
(UNHRC), he noted, but UNHRC cases require much preparation, and 
their outcomes are protracted .  "My goal is to get Zhenya (Zhovtis) 
out quickly." 
 
WARNING AGAINST CONDITIONS 
 
5. (C) A decision by the Supreme Court to vacate Zhovtis' sentence 
would "be an easy and beautiful solution for Kazakhstan," asserted 
Voronov.  "A message needs to get to the top that this is the best 
solution for them."  However, he strongly cautioned against "ordering 
(President) Nazarbayev to release Zhovtis or putting conditions on 
Kazakhstan.  You are dealing with the Chairman of the OSCE now, the 
government is not afraid of anything," he argued.  Pushing Kazakhstan 
too much could be perceived as interference in internal affairs and 
may backfire -- "Zhovtis would be forced to serve the whole sentence 
just to prove that Kazakhstan is sovereign and independent.  Someone 
needs to suggest to Nazarbayev, gently and privately, that [the 
Supreme Court] option is the best way out, perhaps through [Foreign 
Minister] Saudabayev or [National Security Advisor] Tazhin," opined 
Voronov. 
 
"DO NOT UPSET THE OLD MAN" 
 
6. (C) In Voronov's opinion, President Nazarbayev knows little of the 
Zhovtis case and the international reaction to it.  "He probably only 
 
ASTANA 00000109  002 OF 002 
 
 
knows what was in the MFA's press release -- there was an accident. 
Zhovtis was at fault.  He received a fair sentence.  Justice was 
served."  Voronov believes that people closest to Nazarbayev "do not 
want to upset him.  I've heard some say, 'Why worry the old man?'" 
Voronov alleged that Presidential Advisor Yertysbayev has been trying 
to see Naz
arbayev since July "to tell him how this looks" from the 
international perspective.  (NOTE: Yertysbayev participated in OSCE's 
2009 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, where the 
Zhovtis case and his less-than-diplomatic behavior received 
significant attention.  END NOTE.)  "He cannot get in, [Chief of 
Presidential Administration] Musin keeps him out," asserted Voronov. 
 
7. (C) COMMENT:  The Supreme Court review presents Kazakhstan an 
easy, face-saving way out -- Zhovtis is freed but remains guilty of 
the crime.  However, as recently as today, the MFA reiterated that 
Zhovtis' treatment has been in strict accordance with Kazakhstani law 
and that Kazakhstanis consider it unfair that the international 
community is singling him out.  Since assuming the OSCE Chairmanship, 
the government has grown increasingly sensitive about criticism of 
its domestic human-rights record and alleged slights to its 
international stature.  Should the Supreme Court vacate the verdict 
as Voronov hopes, the government would be able to achieve its 
political objectives, but save face by saying that it was possible 
because of the actions of its independent judiciary without any 
international interference.  For this reason, we should seriously 
consider Voronov's warning.  END COMMENT. 
 
SPRATLEN

Wikileaks

10ASTANA69, KAZAKHSTAN: HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA69 2010-01-25 06:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6637
PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0069 0250649
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 250649Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7262
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY 2394
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1756
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 1372
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2462
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USTRANSCOM SCOTT AFB IL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 1952
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 1802
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2971
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2681

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 000069 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2030 
TAGS: PINR SOCI KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  Nurlan Kapparov, one of the leading 
entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan, is the founder and CEO of 
Lancaster Holding.  Coming from a traditional Kazakh 
political family, he commissioned a biography of his 
forbearers, one of whom was the vizier for the Khan of 
Khokhand.  His grandfather was an early-Soviet mayor of 
Shymkent.  The following is a slice of life to illustrate how 
the Westernized wealthy currently live in Kazakhstan.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C) Leading entrepreneur Nurlan Kapparov hosted a private 
dinner in his new apartment in Almaty on January 23. 
"Apartment" is a misnomer when it's a 7,000 square-foot 
duplex with it's own movie theater.  Located in the 
ultra-secure gate-house section of the exclusive community 
being built around the golf course, the apartment looks out 
across the fairways with an unimpeded view to President 
Nazarbayev's Almaty Residence 1,500 feet away.  The 
apartment's decor is avant-garde minimalist, ultra-modern 
Euro-style, except for the extensive contemporary Kazakhstani 
art collection and Kapparov's three-room home-office suite 
paneled in ebonized oak and featuring a spotlit 18th-century 
ormolu French desk. 
 
3.  (C) Mrs. Kapparov, pencil-thin and wearing a French 
couture dress, is a businesswoman in her own right, a buyer 
for the most exclusive European designer boutiques in Almaty, 
and a personal fashion adviser for the wealthy.  "Gohar 
dresses the most exclusive women in Kazakhstan," one of the 
spouses whispered approvingly.  Kapparov told his guests with 
affectionate pride his wife had just returned from Italy 
where she'd had a private business lunch with Dolce and 
Gabbana -- themselves.  She laughed that a year ago they 
"wouldn't have touched a simple Kazakh girl like me, but now 
they need all the business they can get." 
 
4.  (C) The guests, all alumni of Harvard's Kennedy School, 
included Vice Minister of Industry and Trade (as well as WTO 
and Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union negotiator) 
Zhanar Aitzhanova (and her enigmatic older spouse, Marat), 
the India-born CEO of the alternative energy firm Kapparov 
founded that plans to build in 2011 a $400M state-of-the-art 
solar-panel factory in Astana employing German technology, 
the First Vice President of the Kazakhstan branch of HSBC, 
and Kapparov's niece who was back on vacation from a major 
bank in Tokyo.  Kapparov's 10-year-old son, Nursultan, sat at 
the table during the entire three-hour dinner, bored but 
perfectly behaved.  Kapparov said that when his son was born, 
he carried the infant to President Nazarbayev and asked 
permission to make him the President's namesake. 
 
5.  (C) The only alcohol of the evening was modest amounts of 
first-class French wine.  The dinner, served family style, 
was a table-covering spread of superb Indian cuisine prepared 
by the Kapparov's personal chef, an ethnic Russian (Kapparov 
introduced her to his guests) who previously had been the 
chef for the European Union Mission before it moved from 
Almaty to Astana. 
 
6.  (C) The dinner-table conversation was not in any way 
nouveaux-riches pretentious.  It revealed no government or 
business gossip.  Rather, it was comfortable friends 
reminiscing about the coffee shops around Harvard Yard, 
discussing books, and comparing the status of their personal 
stages of life.  Aitzhanova, in a sequined black cashmere 
suit, declared she's fed up, worn out, and ready for 
something else.  Kapparov gestured about the table and said 
gently, "When you're ready, we're ready." 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

10ASTANA68, KAZAKHSTAN: VIGNETTES OF PUBLIC OPINION: RBK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA68 2010-01-25 06:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6635
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
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INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY 2393
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1755
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 1371
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2461
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 1951
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 1801
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2970
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2680

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 000068 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, EUR/ACE, EEB, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2020 
TAGS: PREL PHUM ECON ETRD EAID KPAO WTO RS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  VIGNETTES OF PUBLIC OPINION:  RBK 
CUSTOMS UNION, U.S. ASSISTANCE 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (SBU) INTRODUCTION:  On January 23 in Almaty, the 
Ambassador was the key-note speaker at the founding session 
of Kazakhstan's chapter of the Young Presidents Organization 
(YPO), an international group for CEOs of mid-level (or 
larger) companies who must meet stringent international 
standards of transparent business practices.  Seventeen 
self-made CEOs participated, at least half already well-known 
to the Mission.  YPO operates according Chatham House rules 
and encourages frank and open discussion.  During the 
six-hour event, we heard several interesting points of view 
about the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union, and about 
U.S. government assistance to Kazakhstan.  END INTRODUCTION. 
 
RUSSIA-BELARUS-KAZAKHSTAN CUSTOMS UNION (RBK-CU) 
 
2.  (C) One CEO of a major freight-transfer company reported 
that in the final quarter of 2009, transportation and 
customs-clearance companies recorded a surge in imports. 
However, since January 1, this has not shown up "on the 
shelves."  In fact, in a number of sectors, shortages of 
retail goods appear to be increasing.  The CEO said this 
suggests strongly that retailers are waiting to charge the 
increased RBK-CU tariffs, which could lead to significant 
inflation.  For example, last year a Toyota Land Cruiser cost 
about $75K retail in Kazakhstan, he said.  This year, it will 
cost about $125K "because we now have to charge the Russian 
customs tariff."  Further, in June, customs-clearance 
companies will have to deposit one million euros cash with 
the Customs Committee, rather than have standard business 
insurance, as is now the case.  The CEO said, "I'm big enough 
that I don't care, except I'll lose the 7.5% interest I could 
get on that million.  But I can handle that."  He added he 
was worried this deposit requirement will force smaller 
companies out of business.  He claimed that the deposit is at 
the demand of Russia, whose policies disadvantage small 
businesses. 
 
3.  (C) Several of the CEOs agreed that Russia is more 
corrupt and bureaucratic than Kazakhstan.  They said, "Our 
businesses are more nimble, but inevitably the Russian 
culture will ooze in."  They asked why foreign investors 
would want to come to Kazakhstan rather than to Russia "when 
our labor pool is a tenth of the size of Russia's and much 
less well-educated -- and especially when the Customs Union 
will require us to phase out our Free Trade Zones."  Another 
CEO commented, "We're trying to meet European standards.  We 
don't want to be dragged down to Russian standards.  We can 
complain all we want about tariffs, but the real danger is 
that our business culture will suffer." 
 
U.S. ASSISTANCE 
 
4.  (C) Reacting to rumors that Kazakhstan is considering 
rejecting U.S. foreign assistance to Kazakhstan because it is 
fed up with its "dignity being insulted" by the semi-annual 
Congressionally-mandated human-rights certification process, 
one CEO said, with others nodding agreement, "$20 million? 
That's small change -- it has no meaning!  Rejecting $20 
million from the United States would be seen by the 
Kazakhstani public as a glamorous and bold statement of 
sovereignty.  Russia and China pour in billions in investment 
and never, ever criticize us.  Why don't you do something to 
win hearts and minds?  Our education and health-care systems 
are sub-standard.  Why don't you give us $2 billion a year 
for those sectors?  Why don't you do something concrete 
rather than preach and posture?  Your ideology is very rigid. 
 We love America, but we don't understand your government. 
You seem very Soviet to us; you demand we conform, when, in 
fact, we think we're doing quite well." 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

10ASTANA53, KAZAKHSTAN: EUROPEAN DIPLOMATS DISCUSS NABUCCO GAS PIPELINE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA53 2010-01-20 09:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2805
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0053/01 0200917
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7229
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2375
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1737
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1353
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2443
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1933
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1783

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000053 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/06/2059 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EPET TX RS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  EUROPEAN DIPLOMATS DISCUSS NABUCCO GAS PIPELINE 
 
REF: 09 ASTANA 2100 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Discussion with European diplomats at January 14-15 
energy events centered on the Nabucco gas pipeline, and what role -- 
if any -- Kazakhstan would likely play in supplying natural gas to 
Europe via a "southern corridor."  There was also agreement that 
Turkmenistan's ability to diversify gas export routes has created 
anxiety in Moscow, although Russia is likely to remain Turkmenistan's 
primary market for the foreseeable future.  END SUMMARY. 
 
A "REAL SHIFT" IN KAZAKHSTAN'S POSITION ON NABUCCO 
 
2.  (C) At a small, private January 14 luncheon hosted by Hungarian 
Ambassador Janos Balla, Hungary's Ambassador-at-Large for Energy 
Security, Mihaly Bayer said he decided to visit Astana now in order 
to follow up on President Nazarbayev's positive comments about 
Nabucco from his October 22-24 visit to Turkey (reftel).  During his 
state visit, Nazarbayev publically and unequivocally declared for the 
first time that Kazakhstani oil and gas will flow through Turkey. 
Bayer said he feels "a real shift" in Kazakhstan's position.  In 
several years, he underlined, Kazakhstan will need new markets when 
its gas production increases.  At a press conference in Astana on 
January 14, Bayer stated the need for higher-level talks with 
Kazakhstan on the Nabucco project.  "I think it is time," he said, 
"to talk directly with the Kazakhstani leadership why we need 
Nabucco, what are the opportunities for cooperation, and how 
Kazakhstan can benefit from such cooperation."  According to Bayer, 
"gas production in Kazakhstan is on the rise, and starting in 2011, 
it will be growing at an even faster pace.  Why," he asked, "is it so 
impossible to assume that Europe might have some portion of it?" 
(NOTE:  On January 20, Timur Imashev, Director of the Gas Industry 
Department of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, told 
Energy Officer that Kazakhstan does not currently produce enough 
natural gas to supply Nabucco, but would likely be able to do so once 
the enormous Kashagan oil field is developed.  However, he said that 
Kazakhstan would follow Turkmenistan's example and sell natural gas 
only at the border, rather than investing in pipeline projects.  END 
NOTE). 
 
3.  (C) Bayer believes that Kazakhstan has paid close attention to 
the April 2009 pipeline explosion in Turkmenistan, and Russia's 
subsequent treatment of Turkmenistan.  He further speculated that 
Kazakhstan currently worries that something similar could happen to 
them, too.  Thus, he sees "a window to capitalize" on Kazakhstan's 
current perception.  Bayer said he is telling Kazakhstan that Europe 
wants to diversify routes and supplies, while Kazakhstan wants to 
diversify its markets; this makes sense for both.  Bayer said, 
"Change is slow in this part of the world, but it can happen here. 
However, they will take only those risks that can be covered." 
 
WHO WILL SUPPLY THE GAS? 
 
4.  (C) During the January 14 energy conference in Batumi, Bayer 
reported, Azerbaijan objected to any mention of Nabucco in the text 
of the final document.  Bayer said he expects no real movement from 
Azerbaijan on Nabucco until significant movement occurs on 
Ngorno-Karabakh.  He commented to the Ambassador, "Your 'interim' 
situation without an accredited Ambassador in Baku is decidedly 
regrettable.  They see it as a 'signal.'  And your situation in 
Ashgabat is simply absurd."  Bayer said Nabucco does not need, nor is 
pursuing, gas from Iran.  Significant gas from Iraq is becoming more 
and more a real possibility. 
 
HOPE FOR A DULL -- AND PRODUCTIVE -- NEW YEAR 
 
5.  (C) Bayer expressed his expectation and hope for a "relatively 
dull year" for Nabucco.  He called completion of the first part, the 
inter-governmental agreement (IGA), "a real breakthrough.  Now, we 
have to work behind the scenes on the more technical parts, including 
host government agreements, design, building permits, and financing. 
International financial institutions (IFI) like the EBRD, European 
Investment Bank, and International Finance Corporation are already 
firmly committed," he averred.  However, Bayer mentioned a private 
 
ASTANA 00000053  002 OF 002 
 
 
concern that the IFIs will not accept sovereign guarantees from 
Nabucco shareholder-partners Romania and Bulgaria. 
 
SOUTH STREAM SKEPTICISM 
 
6.
(C) About Hungary and South Stream, Bayer underlined that two 
years have passed since Budapest signed on to South Stream -- and 
nothing has happened.  Two years ago, Nabucco was "dormant," but now 
the situation (between Nabucco and South Stream) has totally flipped. 
 The new Hungarian government is no longer straddling the fence 
between Nabucco and South Stream.  The new Hungarian Prime Minister 
has declared publically for the first time, "Hungary favors Nabucco." 
 According to Bayer, the Hungarian government's natural-gas 
priorities are 1) Nabucco, 2) LNG, and then 3) South Stream (if it 
ever happens). 
 
TURKMENISTAN'S DESIRE TO DIVERSIFY 
 
7.  (C) During a monthly energy security roundtable, European 
diplomats agreed on Turkmenistan's success in diversifying gas-export 
routes in a short period of time.  In addition to a new gas pipeline 
to China, in just 18 months, Turkmenistan has expanded existing 
capacity to export gas to Iran, and reopened the gas pipeline to 
Russia.  The British Energy Officer reported that the pipeline to 
China will ship just six bcm initially, but Turkmenistan will export 
up to 30 bcm to China by 2013 at a price of $195/thousand cubic feet, 
including possibly via a second, parallel gas pipeline.  He also 
asserted that Turkmenistan plans to increase exports to Iran to 20 
bcm by 2011.  According to Austria's Ambassador to Kazakhstan, who 
attended the previous luncheon at the Hungarian Embassy, Bayer said 
that Turkmenistan has clearly demonstrated its desire to diversify 
and willingness to "court" the European Union as a partner. 
 
FROM RUSSIA, WITH ANXIETY 
 
8.  (C) The European diplomats agreed that increased diversification 
and energy independence in Turkmenistan have raised anxiety levels in 
Russia.  "It is no accident that the pipeline to Russia was back in 
business after Medvedev's visit to Ashgabat," said the British Energy 
Officer.  He argued that if Europe is serious about importing Turkmen 
gas, it must send high-level delegations to 
Ashgabat to make the case directly to President Berdimuhamedov.  The 
UK, he added, will send Minister of Energy Lord Hunt to Baku, Astana, 
and Ashgabat at the end of February/beginning of March.  Noting that 
Russia had been paying for Turkmen gas six months after delivery, he 
said that Turkmenistan only "felt the pain" of the pipeline explosion 
in November, which is when the government began more actively to push 
for alternative export routes. 
 
CASPIAN LITTORAL PIPELINE 
 
9.  (C) On the first morning of his visit to Astana, Bayer met with 
Vice Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Aset Magauov.  When 
Bayer asked about the Caspian Littoral (Prikaspiskii) pipeline, he 
said Magauov answered, "The Central Asia Center (gas pipeline) is at 
only half capacity.  In 2010, Turkmenistan will sell only about 12 
billion cubic meters (bcm) to Russia.  At this time, no one needs 
Prikaspiskii and no one is paying any attention to it." 
 
10.  (C) COMMENT:  Primarily an oil exporter, Kazakhstan cannot 
realistically be expected to serve as the Nabucco gas pipeline's main 
supplier.  Furthermore, Kazakhstan's leadership takes a serious 
political risk vis-a-vis its relationship with Russia every time it 
issues statements even vaguely supportive of the Nabucco project. 
Nevertheless, as Kashagan oil production comes online in 2013 and 
beyond, significant quantities of Kazakhstani gas will be available 
for export.  The amount that will go to China via the new gas 
pipeline (design capacity, 40 bcm) remains unclear, but we fully 
expect Kazakhstan to increase overall natural gas exports over the 
next five years.  To answer Mr. Bayer's question, Europe well might 
receive some portion of it.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA2197, KAZAKHSTAN: RUSSIAN HAND IN KAZATOMPROM DRAMA?

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA2197 2009-12-22 10:50 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2804
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2197/01 3561050
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 221050Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7056
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2271
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1634
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2335
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1263
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1679
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1829
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2634
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2929

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002197 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RUS, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/18/2009 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ENRG EMIN ETRD TRGY RS KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  RUSSIAN HAND IN KAZATOMPROM DRAMA? 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 0943 
 (B) ASTANA 1914 
 (C) ASTANA 0209 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  The case against Mukhtar Dzhakishev, former head of 
the state-owned nuclear company Kazatomprom (KAP), finally is heading 
to court, as rumors intensify about the reasons behind his arrest. 
In videos posted on YouTube on November 4, Dzhakishev asserts that 
his arrest is linked to an alleged Russian strategy to limit 
Kazakhstan's independence in production of nuclear-fuel products. 
According to some independent Kazakhstani and Russian analysts, the 
controversial videos might have contributed to the December 8 removal 
of the Chairman of the Committee for National Security (KNB).  KAP's 
new head, Vladimir Shkolnik, announced ambitious plans to proceed 
with the transformation of KAP into a producer of full fuel-cycle 
products.  However, German and Canadian interlocutors note the loss 
of some KAP autonomy since Dzhakishev's removal.  They do not dismiss 
allegations that Russia played a role in this multi-faceted drama. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
DZHAKISHEV CASE HEADS TO COURT 
 
2. (SBU) The Procurator General's Office (PGO) announced on December 
10 that it is proceeding with the case against Mukhtar Dzhakishev, 
former head of the state-owned nuclear company Kazatomprom (KAP), who 
was arrested on May 22 (ref A).  The PGO announced its intention to 
hold open hearings, despite the confidential nature of the 
allegations.  The charge of embezzlement, which is still under 
investigation, alleges that Dzhakishev illegally sold more than 60% 
of the state's uranium assets to private offshore companies.  The 
corruption charge contends that Dzhakishev illegally established a 
KAP office in Vienna and used it to pay salaries to Kazakhstani 
diplomats posted in Vienna and their relatives.  Purportedly, Rakhat 
Aliyev, the President's former son-in-law and Kazakhstan's erstwhile 
ambassador to Vienna, requested such action.  The PGO formally filed 
criminal charges on the second charge with the Astana City Court. 
 
3.  (C) Dzhakishev was widely perceived as a loyal, apolitical civil 
servant and an effective manager of KAP, and his arrest became prime 
fodder for rumors and conspiracy theories.  Daniyar Kanafin, a lawyer 
hired by Dzhakishev's family, has argued that Dzhakishev could not 
have sold sensitive state assets without the knowledge and approval 
of the highest echelons of Kazakhstan's political leadership, 
including President Nazarbayev.  Some have alleged that Dzhakishev's 
childhood ties to Rakhat Aliyev and his friendship with the former 
head of BTA bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov, finally caught up with him. 
Others, like Kanafin, believe Dzhakishev's removal is linked to an 
alleged Russian strategy to limit Kazakhstan's independence in the 
nuclear-energy industry. 
 
THE RUSSIA ANGLE 
 
4.  (C) The theory alleging Russian attempts to influence 
Kazakhstan's nuclear ambitions and Kazatomprom's business strategy in 
the nuclear industry received a significant boost with the appearance 
of YouTube videos of what appears to be Dzhakishev's interrogation by 
an unseen interlocutor, presumably a KNB officer.  In the videos, 
which first appeared on November 4, Dzhakishev details his strategy 
to turn KAP into a major global uranium player.  Dzhakishev sought to 
transform KAP into a link between major uranium producers -- the 
United States, Russia, France, China, and Japan -- and to use these 
connections to increase Kazakhstan's technological expertise.  In the 
video, he describes in great detail KAP's agreement with Japan's 
Toshiba for the production of uranium fuel pellets; the construction 
of a storage facility for these pellets in Japan; the construction of 
a uranium-enrichment plant in Angarsk, Russia; and the establishment 
of a KAP-Toshiba-Westinghouse training center in Kazakhstan to train 
new specialists.  This project, according to Dzhakishev, would have 
given Kazakhstan entry into the nuclear fuel market. 
 
5.  (C) Dzhakishev claims that he "received signals" in late 2008 
 
ASTANA 00002197  002 OF 003 
 
 
that Russia's RosAtom (Russia's state nuclear corporation) began 
separate negotiations to bypass KAP, and it approached the Japanese 
with a
 proposal to build a storage facility for Russian-made pellets 
in Japan.  Russia also proposed to buy shares of Uranium One, a 
Canadian-based uranium-producing company currently participating in 
two joint ventures with KAP.  Dzhakishev asserts that he tried to 
prevent Russia from gaining a controlling stake in the company by 
convincing Toshiba and a Chinese company to buy a 20% stake in 
Uranium One.  However, his arrest stalled those plans.  Dzhakishev 
believes Russia encouraged his arrest, because it wished to remove 
him from the business and leave Kazakhstan as a "banana republic." 
 
THE KNB ANGLE 
 
6.  (C) Adding fuel to the conspiracy-theory fire is the connection 
to Amangeldy Shabdarbayev, the Chairman of the KNB who was 
unexpectedly relieved of his duties on December 8.  In early 
November, the KNB announced its investigation into the authenticity 
of the recordings and how they made their way to the Internet. 
Dzhakishev's wife Dzhamiliya Dzhakisheva caused a stir on December 2 
with allegations that Shabdarbayev himself gave her the videos in 
order to pass them to President Nazarbayev, because he ostensibly 
could not.  Dzhakisheva said she passed several copies to people 
close to the President, but claimed that she did not know how the 
videos ended up on the Internet.  Shabdarbayev's quick removal after 
Dzhakisheva's explosive announcement led some independent Kazakhstani 
and Russian political scientists to call it the "final straw" in a 
long string of botched KNB cases -- Dzhakishev, human-rights advocate 
Yevgeniy Zhovtis (ref B), and "Alma-Ata Info" editor-in-chief Ramazan 
Yesergepov, not to mention Rakhat Aliyev in Vienna -- that pushed 
Nazarbayev to remove him.  In one of his first public statements, 
Shabdarbayev's replacement, Adil Shayakhmetov, notably vowed to bring 
Dzhakishev to trial immediately. 
 
SHKOLNIK'S BIG PLANS FOR KAP 
 
7.  (C) Despite Dzhakishev's allegations, KAP's new President, 
Vladimir Shkolnik, seems to have ambitious plans to move beyond the 
export of raw materials.  According to the press, Shkolnik told 
President Nazarbayev on December 7 that KAP's operating profits will 
increase 200% from last year, reaching 49 billion tenge 
(approximately $32 million).  The company plans to develop solar and 
wind-power energy and manufacture heat pumps.  In the first quarter 
of 2010, according to Shkolnik, KAP will also establish joint 
ventures with Japan's Toshiba and Sumitomo. 
 
THE GERMAN TAKE -- RUSSIA KEEN TO LIMIT KAP 
 
8.  (C) German DCM Wolfgang Brett (please protect) asserted to the 
Energy Officer on December 10 that two powerful actors in Russia 
actively shape and influence the development of Kazakhstan's nuclear 
energy sector:  RosAtom and Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoe Upravleniye 
(GRU, Russian military intelligence).  A commercial organization, 
RosAtom primarily is interested in the raw uranium ore Kazakhstan 
produces.  Brett asserted that lacking uranium fuel for its nuclear 
power plants due to decreasing imports, it has been feeling 
"squeezed" lately.  (NOTE:  Australia cancelled uranium shipments to 
Russia following the war with Georgia in August 2008.  END NOTE.) 
Brett said Nazarbayev has tried since independence to diminish the 
influence of the GRU -- the Foreign Military Intelligence directorate 
of the Russian armed services -- and dismantle its structures in 
Kazakhstan.  However, he has not fully succeeded.  "They still have 
people and structures in place from the Soviet days," Brett said.  In 
an effort to reclaim Russia's status as a world power, Brett claims 
that the GRU wants to "renuclearize" Russia.  He alleged open, public 
disagreements within the Russian government regarding the GRU's role 
and involvement in Russian foreign policy, particularly with respect 
to nuclear issues. 
 
9.  (C) According to Brett, regardless of which power center is 
driving Russia, Russia has declared its policy to erode KAP's 
contacts and contracts with Western and Japanese companies.  Brett 
conceded that KAP announced ambitious plans to become a 
 
ASTANA 00002197  003 OF 003 
 
 
vertically-integrated company with expertise and products in the 
entire nuclear fuel cycle, but he dismissed this as "just rhetoric." 
"Nothing is moving forward," he said.  "None of these ambitious plans 
is being carried out," including projects to build nuclear power 
plants in China.  Brett believes Russian influence largely has 
created this impasse.  Russia does not want Kazakhstan to develop 
independent partnerships with other countries or consumers, including 
those in Japan and China, he claimed.  Even at Angarsk, where KAP has 
a 50-50 joint venture with Russia, Russia fully controls the 
technology. 
 
10.  (C) Brett alleged Kazatomprom's President Vladimir Shkolnik has 
personal and professional ties to RosAtom (his son-in-law is a senior 
executive), and Shkolnik has strong links to Russia in general. 
Brett said the removal of KNB Head Shabdarbayev is "at least 50%" due 
to the Dzhakishev case and the controversy surrounding his arrest and 
detention.  He suggested that this change, and other indications of 
"conflicts and rifts inside the service," which he called the real 
power center in Kazakhstan, might be the early signs of a struggle 
for succession.  "You know," he said, "2012 is not that far off..." 
[COMMENT:  We would note that many are always eager to predict almost 
every single headline event portends "the beginning of the succession 
struggle."  END COMMENT.] 
 
THE CANADIAN TAKE -- KAP MOVING SLOWER 
 
11.  (C) Canadian Commercial Officer David Mallette (please protect) 
told Energy Officer on December 8 that he and senior executives from 
Canadian uranium company Cameco (which operates the Inkai joint 
venture with KAP) met with Shkolnik in October.  According to 
Mallette, Shkolnik was "very positive" about KAP's progress with the 
development of full fuel-cycle products.  Mallette did not receive 
the impression that Shkolnik wanted KAP simply to mine and export 
uranium ore.  He noted, however, that Canadian mining companies have 
complained since Dzhakishev's arrest about the increasing difficulty 
of obtaining decisions from KAP.  Managers appear more cautious, and 
Samryk-Kazyna (the state holding company) has exercised greater 
control over daily operations (ref C).  All in all, Mallette said, 
KAP now is operating with much less autonomy and freedom. 
 
12.  (C) COMMENT:  The case against Dzhakishev and the future of KAP 
can be analyzed from multiple angles.  KAP's diminished dynamism 
since Dzhakishev's removal probably is linked to internal factors as 
much as to external ones.  The bulk of the company's senior 
management was arrested six months ago.  Samruk-Kazyna's creation of 
a new entity to oversee and approve KAP activities certainly impacted 
the company's ability to take risks, make decisions, and show 
initiative.  Still, Russia's influence over Kazakhstan's behavior in 
this area, as in many others, cannot be denied.  KAP's near-term

development strategies will play an important role in analyzing the 
degree of Russian influence over Kazakhstan, including in the nuclear 
energy industry.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA2162, KAZAKHSTAN: NUR OTAN’S LIBERAL DEMOCRAT?

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA2162 2009-12-21 05:12 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1519
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2162/01 3550512
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 210512Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7013
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2261
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1624
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2325
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1259
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1669
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1819
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002162 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL, INR 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/15/2009 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR KDEM OEXC SCUL KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  NUR OTAN'S LIBERAL DEMOCRAT? 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 2148 
 (B) ASTANA 2141 
 (C) ASTANA 0431 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  Yerlan Karin, the secretary of the President's 
ruling Nur Otan party, is not shy about criticizing the policies of 
his party and the government.  A former think-tanker who came to the 
government because he became tired of "criticizing from the 
sidelines," Karin openly assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the 
Kazakhstani political system.  He also freely verbalizes views far 
more liberal than those usually heard from high-level officials. 
This cable aims to paint a portrait of one "liberal" in President 
Nazarbayev's circle.  END SUMMARY. 
 
POLITICAL SCIENTIST FIRST... 
 
2. (C) The 33-year-old Yerlan Karin came to politics from academia. 
A graduate of Kazakh State University with a degree in political 
science, Karin began his career as a researcher and analyst and ran 
his own think tank, the Central Asian Agency for Strategic Research, 
from 2000 to 2003.  He entered politics in 2003 as the first deputy 
chairman of the now-defunct Asar party of President Nazarbayev's 
daughter, Dariga. He then began a two-year stint as an advisor of the 
Mangistau oblast akim (governor).  In 2008, Karin joined the 
Presidential Administration as the head of the Internal Policy 
Department.  In November 2008, he moved to his current position as 
one of two party secretaries of the Nur Otan party.  Despite his 
official responsibilities, Karin continues his analytical pursuits -- 
he told the CDA on December 5 (ref A) that he is finishing a book on 
the role of security forces in policy formation, with publication 
expected in January. 
 
... POLITICIAN SECOND 
 
3. (C) Karin explained that he moved from academia to politics, 
because he "got tired of criticizing (government policy) from the 
side-lines."  Karin's think-tanker background easily permeates 
conversation, especially in his frank and objective assessment of 
Kazakhstan's political reality.  He was surprisingly open in his 
criticism of both the Nur Otan party -- "It lacks a platform, it 
tries to be all things to all people" -- and of the government -- "It 
works in isolation, setting priorities without consultation."  At the 
same time, he sees party politics as the best "school of democracy," 
asserting, "It teaches you to negotiate, consult, face criticism." 
He aims to make Nur Otan more responsive to citizens' concerns, 
stating, "Policy that does not have public support is useless." 
Interestingly, Karin puts little stock in the power of the 
parliament, dismissing the parliamentarians as "talking heads." 
Although Karin clearly enjoys his work at Nur Otan, he does not plan 
to stay in politics permanently.  He told the CDA he intends to 
return to political studies "in the near future." 
 
LIBERAL ON POLICY 
 
4. (C) In the course of a free-flowing conversation with the CDA, 
Karin voiced opinions far more liberal than those usually heard from 
high-level Kazakhstani officials.  Karin believes that human-rights 
defender Yevgeniy Zhovtis was not treated equally under the law when 
he was sentenced to four-years of imprisonment for vehicular 
manslaughter (ref B), citing an example of a mid-level government 
official who received a suspended sentence for a similar crime.  He 
sharply criticized the trial balloon that was floated several months 
ago, supported by his own party, to make President Nazarbayev 
President-for-Life.  In his view, "the clans [geographic and economic 
power groups] will hatch clandestine plots, and the opposition will 
plot a revolution" if the option for a peaceful power-transfer is not 
available. 
 
5. (C) Karin was equally critical of the disproportionate libel suit 
that forced opposition newspaper "Taszhargan" to close (ref C).  A 
damage award of one tenge (less than 1 USD) "would have proven the 
point without making the government look vengeful," he assessed. 
Karin's views appear guided by a genuine wish that the government's 
actions be perceived as fair, just, and beyond reproach.  "These 
blunders open us to criticism," he argued.  Karin claimed he voices 
these opinions privately to his colleagues at the Ak Orda 
(Presidential Administration) and sometimes publicly to the media. 
 
ASTANA 00002162  002 OF 002 
 
 
"Periodically, I get a whack on the head," he joked. 
 
STRONG ON NATIONAL IDENTITY 
 
6.  (C) Karin, an ethnic Kazakh, has strong fe
elings on the issue of 
Kazakh identity and culture.  "The identity question is coming to the 
fore" in Kazakhstan, and Nur Otan is sidestepping this 
highly-sensitive, but important, question, criticized Karin.  Like 
many Kazakhs, Karin is ambivalent about the President's Doctrine of 
National Identity, which calls for a development of a "civil" -- 
rather than ethnic -- Kazakhstani identity.  "Kazakhs must feel 
themselves the building blocks of this nation, the first among 
equals," he pressed.  He presented the CDA with a book on the history 
of Alash Orda, the autonomous Kazakh government that existed between 
the collapse of tsarist Russia and the establishment of Soviet 
Kazakhstan.  Among the portraits of Alash Orda members that line the 
entry way to his office, he readily pointed to the one of Alikhan 
Bukaykhanov, the leader who "personally negotiated with Lenin on the 
status of Soviet Kazakhstan."  (NOTE:  By comparison, the only 
portrait of President Nazarbayev was a small calendar on Karin's 
desk.  END NOTE.)  For Karin, Alash Orda was Kazakhstan's "first 
experience with democracy."   He lamented the lack of knowledge and 
acknowledgement of this period in Kazakhstan's history. 
 
7.  (C) COMMENT:  Karin is a true intellectual who exemplifies the 
"liberal" wing of Kazakhstani political elite, with whom we are 
actively engaging -- Karin will travel on an International Visitor's 
program in February.  A young, well-educated official, he is honest 
about the shortcomings of Kazakhstan's political system but 
nevertheless committed to its improvement.  Although surprising at 
first that someone with such liberal views would be leading the 
President's Nur Otan party, it shows President Nazarbayev's pragmatic 
approach to power -- it is easier to work with the keenest young 
liberal minds than against them.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA2148, KAZAKHSTAN: PARTY POLITICS INSIDE AND OUT: TWO POLITICIANS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA2148 2009-12-14 10:53 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5302
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2148/01 3481053
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 141053Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6988
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2244
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1607
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2308
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1242
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1652
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1802
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002148 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/15/2009 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN: PARTY POLITICS INSIDE AND OUT: TWO POLITICIANS 
VIEWS 
 
Classified By: DCM Pamela Spratlen:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  The Charge met on December 5 with the Secretary of 
the Nur Otan party, Yerlan Karin.  In the surprisingly frank 
three-hour meeting, Karin readily admitted that Nur Otan's monopoly 
on power tarnishes Kazakhstan's democratic credentials.  In his view, 
single-party rule is not sustainable, and Nur Otan will eventually 
split into several parties.  Karin wants Nur Otan to develop a solid 
party platform and resolve citizens' concerns, rather than simply 
serve as President Nazarbayev's "propaganda machine."  Karin 
acknowledged that the Presidential Administration sets policy, but 
asserted President Nazarbayev's openness to suggestions from his 
liberal advisors.  The leader of the opposition Ak Zhol party, by 
contrast, sees little opportunity for input on the policy process. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (C) On December 5, the CDA met with Nur Otan party Secretary 
Yerlan Karin on his invitation.  The 33-year-old Karin, a political 
scientist by training, came to the President's Nur Otan party in 
November 2008 from the Internal Policy department of the Presidential 
Administration.  In Nur Otan's hierarchy, he is one of two 
secretaries reporting to the party's deputy chairman, who in turn 
reports to President Nazarbayev.  Although he usually keeps a low 
public profile, Karin is believed to be the party's policy strategist 
and is credited with Nur Otan's recent push to cement its credentials 
as a bona fide political party.  Further bio details reported septel. 
 
NUR OTAN DEVELOPING TIES TO CIVIL SOCIETY 
 
3.  (C) During a three-hour meeting and lunch, Karin freely and 
frankly discussed his views of the Nur Otan party, decision-making in 
the Presidential Administration, and the future of democratic reform 
in the country.  Karin readily admitted that Nur Otan's monopoly on 
power tarnishes Kazakhstan's democratic credentials, but "it is a 
fact of life for the moment."  He aims to compensate through the 
creation of greater democracy within the party itself and increased 
responsiveness to citizens' concerns.  Karin described his initiative 
for Nur Otan to establish consultative councils with pro-government 
opposition parties and leading NGOs.  The "radical" opposition 
parties declined to participate, because they feared being seen as 
abandoning their principles, he said. 
 
PARTY AS A "DEMOCRACY SCHOOL"? 
 
4.  (C) In his relaxed and frank way, Karin told us that he does not 
consider single-party rule sustainable, and that Nur Otan will 
eventually split into separate parties -- "It's a question of time." 
Nur Otan's weakness is that "it's trying to be all things to all 
people" and avoiding taking a committed stance on tougher issues, 
like the question of Kazakhstan's identity as a multi-ethnic state 
versus Kazakh nationalism.  At the same time, he sees the party as 
"good democracy training.  The government (executive branch) works in 
isolation.  It sets its own priorities without consulting" with civil 
society or the electorate.  "As a party, you are constantly exposed 
to criticism, forced to defend your policies," he said.  He conveyed 
his initial ambivalence when "asked" to leave the administration for 
the party.  However, he now believes he can "still make a 
difference."  He believes Nur Otan must evolve from a "propaganda 
machine" for President Nazarbayev to a party that uses its political 
power to resolve "real issues.  You cannot wait for the system to 
reform itself," he asserted, "you must push it forward."  At the same 
time, he readily acknowledged that "policy is set at the Ak Orda (the 
presidential administration)" and not by the parliament or political 
parties. 
 
PRESIDENT OPEN TO LIBERAL IDEAS ... 
 
5.  (C) The CDA asked whether others in the Nur Otan establishment 
share Karin's liberal-leaning views.  Karin joked that convincing 
others in the party leadership is "extremely delicate work." He 
underlined the comparative openness of regional party leaders to 
Karin's ideas, specifically because "they hear the criticism" from 
the population.  However, according to Karin, President Nazarbayev is 
willing to hear such views.  He highlighted a two-hour audience with 
the President during his tenure at the Presidential Administration 
when Nazarbayev explicitly solicited his views.  Karin apparently 
told Nazarbayev that Nur Otan would benefit from greater openness, 
transparency, and accountability.  He suggested that Nazarbayev give 
 
ASTANA 00002148  002 OF 002 
 
 
up his position as the head of Nur Otan, as a sitting President, and &#x000A
;serve instead as the arbitrator of the whole political process. 
Karin said he was elated after the meeting, because "the President 
really listened."  He admitted, however, that one "must be around the 
President all the time" to translate ideas into policy.  When he 
moved to Nur Otan, Karin lost that access.  (NOTE: Karin did not 
indicate that a connection existed between his frankness with the 
President and his subsequent move away from Ak Orda to Nur Otan.  END 
NOTE.) 
 
... BUT OPPOSITION SEES FEW OPPORTUNITIES 
 
6.  (C) On December 7, the CDA met with the Alikhan Baimenov, leader 
of the Ak Zhol opposition party.  In contrast with the free-flowing 
conversation with Karin, Baimenov was reserved and careful in his 
comments.  He told the CDA that President Nazarbayev and his Nur Otan 
party tightly control the political space in Kazakhstan, leaving 
little room for input from opposition parties.  Asked about potential 
avenues of influence in such a constricted political environment, 
Baimenov did not have an answer readily available.  He said, however, 
that Ak Zhol is focusing on the issue of Kazakh language and identity 
due to the growing frustration among some Kazakhs at the government's 
perceived slow progress in elevation of the use of Kazakh language. 
He noted opposition to the recently-announced Doctrine of National 
Unity, which calls for a development of a "civil" -- rather than 
ethnic -- Kazakhstani identity.  Baimenov asserted that many Kazakhs 
consider this policy a threat to the future of their language and 
culture.  Ak Zhol supported an open letter to President Nazarbayev 
from approximately 200 Kazakh leaders and intellectuals, which asked 
him to reconsider the doctrine and threatened an Independence Day 
(December 17) hunger strike unless he changes course. 
 
7.  (C) COMMENT:  The difference between these two politicians' 
perception of Kazakhstani politics and the role of political parties 
is striking.  Those on the outside, like Baimenov, see a monolithic, 
top-down process, in which President Nazarbayev unilaterally sets 
policy with little outside input.  However, the conversation with 
Karin shows the variety of views within the Nur Otan party itself, 
some of which are quite liberal.  Karin impressed us with his 
frankness, openness, and liberal mindset, especially if one considers 
that he is one of the chief strategists of the President's ruling 
party.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA2065, KAZAKHSTAN: NAZARBAYEV TO PERSONALLY LOBBY FOR SUMMIT

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA2065 2009-11-19 10:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2561
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2065/01 3231021
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191021Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6885
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2170
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1540
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2241
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1175
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2592
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1585
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1730
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002065 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RPM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  NAZARBAYEV TO PERSONALLY LOBBY FOR SUMMIT 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 2008 
 (B) USOSCE 0254 
 (C) ASTANA 2053 
 
Classified By: Charge d' affaires, a. i., Pamela Spratlen:  1.4 (b), 
(d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  On November 18, deputy head of the Astana OSCE 
Center further briefed the CDA on the November 12 visit to Astana of 
the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and 
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.  President 
Nazarbayev is prepared to personally lobby the leaders of OSCE 
participating states to garner their support for an OSCE summit in 
2010.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs actively sought de 
Brichambaut's advice on how to include mention of a 2010 summit into 
the upcoming Athens Ministerial's final document.  De Brichambaut 
stressed the need for substance and highlighted the work required for 
a summit.  However, he underlined the OSCE Secretariat's 
responsibility to implement the goals set by participating states and 
the Chairman.  Kloetzer said de Brichambaut "was not extremely happy" 
with his meeting with the President, but generally pleased by his 
interaction with the MFA.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C) On November 18, deputy head of the Astana OSCE Center 
Jeannette Kloetzer outlined in more detail for the CDA the November 
12 working visit to Astana by Secretary General of the Organization 
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Marc Perrin de 
Brichambaut (refs A and B).  Kloetzer said that Kazakhstan's desire 
to host an OSCE summit in 2010 dominated de Brichambaut's discussions 
and was the sole topic of conversation with President Nazarbayev. 
Nazarbayev declared his readiness to personally lobby the leaders of 
participating states to obtain the needed consensus, she said. 
Kloetzer believes that Nazarbayev will pitch ideas that are of 
interest to everybody in order to achieve broad support -- 
Afghanistan to entice the United States, European security 
architecture to interest the Russians, and reaffirmation of 
commitment to the Helsinki principles to bring along all OSCE 
members.  The MFA also floated protracted conflicts, the effect of 
the financial crisis on migration, and cooperation with other 
regional organizations as possible topics.  According to Kloetzer, de 
Brichambaut stressed to President Nazarbayev, Foreign Minister-State 
Secretary Saudabayev, and Deputy Foreign Minister Zhigalov that 
"substance was important."  He encouraged the Kazakhtanis to focus on 
the Corfu process and broader discussions of European security, but 
stressed that a summit must cover all three OSCE dimensions equally. 
 
3.  (C) The Kazakhstanis are determined to have the final declaration 
of the Athens Ministerial in December mention the summit, said 
Kloetzer, and Saudabayev actively sought de Brichambaut's advice on 
how to accomplish this goal.  When De Brichambaut tried to prepare 
Saudabayev for the possibility that the final declaration will not 
mention the summit, Saudabayev became "visibly upset" and asserted, 
"We do not see, think, or envisage that possibility.  It has to 
work."  "It is clear he has explicit orders from the top," said 
Kloetzer.  The Kazakhstanis maintain that France, Spain, Italy, the 
Holy See, Serbia, Finland, Lithuania, Turkey, Romania, and the CIS 
countries support the idea of the summit.  (NOTE: Representatives 
from the Embassies of Italy, Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands told 
Pol/Econ Chief on November 16 that their governments will insist on 
substance before they commit to a summit (ref C).  END NOTE.) 
 
4.  (C) Kloetzer said both Saudabayev and Zhigalov actively sought de 
Brichambaut's advice on how to garner the necessary support for the 
summit and what topics to introduce.  De Brichambaut stressed that 
the Secretariat "serves the wishes of the participating states," and 
it is the participating states that make the ultimate decision on the 
timing and topics of the summit.  He underlined that a summit needs a 
great deal of preparation, but noted that his job as Secretary 
General is to assist the Chairman in fulfilling whatever goals are 
set.  Zhigalov asked de Brichambaut about the possibility of 
canceling the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) 
during a summit year.  De Brichambaut politely and firmly advised 
against doing so. 
 
5.  (C) Asked for de Brichambaut's overall impressions of the visit, 
Kloetzer said "he was not extremely happy."  De Brichambaut 
previously met Nazarbayev several times, the first time immediately 
following the 2007 Madrid Ministerial.  At that time, Nazarbayev and 
 
ASTANA 00002065  002 OF 002 
 
 
de Brichambaut had a "very constructive discussion as partners," said 
Kloetzer.
 "This time, Nazarbayev acted like the big boss.  The 
Kazakhstanis are so confident now.  They feel like they are in the 
driver's seat."   Kloetzer said that working-level MFA officials, 
like Zhigalov and OSCE Task Force Coordinator Abdykarimov, are fully 
aware of the amount of work the chairmanship year will bring. 
However, the higher-ups, like Nazarbayev and Saudabayev, may not 
understand the efforts required for a summit.  Kloetzer believes the 
Kazakhstanis will not agree to a high-level meeting instead of a 
summit unless the summit idea becomes a complete non-starter. 
 
6.  (C) Kloetzer said the Secretary General generally was happy with 
his interaction with the MFA.  She noted that Saudabayev was "still a 
bit uninformed on OSCE issues," but hastened to add that he performed 
better than when he met the group of visiting OSCE Permanent 
Representatives October 21-23.  His apparent unpreparedness at that 
time made the Russian Permanent Representative wonder out loud "why 
his minions did not prepare a cheat sheet for him." 
 
7.  (C) COMMENT:  It is clear from Kloetzer's comments that de 
Brichambaut attempted to walk a careful line between the mood among 
the delegations in Vienna and the strong wishes of the incoming 
Chairman, Kazakhstan.  It is hard to say whether the President and 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs heard his message that substance must 
come before participating states will commit to a summit.  On this 
topic, we believe the government of Kazakhstan prefers to see all 
responses in the best possible light.  END COMMENT. 
 
SPRATLEN

Wikileaks

09ASTANA2064, KAZAKHSTAN:

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA2064 2009-11-19 10:03 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2538
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2064/01 3231003
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191003Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6883
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2168
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1538
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2239
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1173
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2590
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1583
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1728
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002064 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RPM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN: 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 2008 
 (B) USOSCE 0254 
 (C) ASTANA 2053 
 
Classified By: Charge d' affaires, a. i., Pamela Spratlen:  1.4 (b), 
(d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  On November 18, deputy head of the Astana OSCE 
Center further briefed the CDA on the November 12 visit to Astana of 
the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and 
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.  President 
Nazarbayev is prepared to personally lobby the leaders of OSCE 
participating states to garner their support for an OSCE summit in 
2010.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs actively sought de 
Brichambaut's advice on how to include mention of a 2010 summit into 
the upcoming Athens Ministerial's final document.  De Brichambaut 
stressed the need for substance and highlighted the work required for 
a summit.  However, he underlined the OSCE Secretariat's 
responsibility to implement the goals set by participating states and 
the Chairman.  Kloetzer said de Brichambaut "was not extremely happy" 
with his meeting with the President, but generally pleased by his 
interaction with the MFA.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C) On November 18, deputy head of the Astana OSCE Center 
Jeannette Kloetzer outlined in more detail for the CDA the November 
12 working visit to Astana by Secretary General of the Organization 
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Marc Perrin de 
Brichambaut (refs A and B).  Kloetzer said that Kazakhstan's desire 
to host an OSCE summit in 2010 dominated de Brichambaut's discussions 
and was the sole topic of conversation with President Nazarbayev. 
Nazarbayev declared his readiness to personally lobby the leaders of 
participating states to obtain the needed consensus, she said. 
Kloetzer believes that Nazarbayev will pitch ideas that are of 
interest to everybody in order to achieve broad support -- 
Afghanistan to entice the United States, European security 
architecture to interest the Russians, and reaffirmation of 
commitment to the Helsinki principles to bring along all OSCE 
members.  The MFA also floated protracted conflicts, the effect of 
the financial crisis on migration, and cooperation with other 
regional organizations as possible topics.  According to Kloetzer, de 
Brichambaut stressed to President Nazarbayev, Foreign Minister-State 
Secretary Saudabayev, and Deputy Foreign Minister Zhigalov that 
"substance was important."  He encouraged the Kazakhtanis to focus on 
the Corfu process and broader discussions of European security, but 
stressed that a summit must cover all three OSCE dimensions equally. 
 
3.  (C) The Kazakhstanis are determined to have the final declaration 
of the Athens Ministerial in December mention the summit, said 
Kloetzer, and Saudabayev actively sought de Brichambaut's advice on 
how to accomplish this goal.  When De Brichambaut tried to prepare 
Saudabayev for the possibility that the final declaration will not 
mention the summit, Saudabayev became "visibly upset" and asserted, 
"We do not see, think, or envisage that possibility.  It has to 
work."  "It is clear he has explicit orders from the top," said 
Kloetzer.  The Kazakhstanis maintain that France, Spain, Italy, the 
Holy See, Serbia, Finland, Lithuania, Turkey, Romania, and the CIS 
countries support the idea of the summit.  (NOTE: Representatives 
from the Embassies of Italy, Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands told 
Pol/Econ Chief on November 16 that their governments will insist on 
substance before they commit to a summit (ref C).  END NOTE.) 
 
4.  (C) Kloetzer said both Saudabayev and Zhigalov actively sought de 
Brichambaut's advice on how to garner the necessary support for the 
summit and what topics to introduce.  De Brichambaut stressed that 
the Secretariat "serves the wishes of the participating states," and 
it is the participating states that make the ultimate decision on the 
timing and topics of the summit.  He underlined that a summit needs a 
great deal of preparation, but noted that his job as Secretary 
General is to assist the Chairman in fulfilling whatever goals are 
set.  Zhigalov asked de Brichambaut about the possibility of 
canceling the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) 
during a summit year.  De Brichambaut politely and firmly advised 
against doing so. 
 
5.  (C) Asked for de Brichambaut's overall impressions of the visit, 
Kloetzer said "he was not extremely happy."  De Brichambaut 
previously met Nazarbayev several times, the first time immediately 
following the 2007 Madrid Ministerial.  At that time, Nazarbayev and 
 
ASTANA 00002064  002 OF 002 
 
 
de Brichambaut had a "very constructive discussion as partners," said 
Kloetzer.  "This time, Nazarbayev acted like the big
boss.  The 
Kazakhstanis are so confident now.  They feel like they are in the 
driver's seat."   Kloetzer said that working-level MFA officials, 
like Zhigalov and OSCE Task Force Coordinator Abdykarimov, are fully 
aware of the amount of work the chairmanship year will bring. 
However, the higher-ups, like Nazarbayev and Saudabayev, may not 
understand the efforts required for a summit.  Kloetzer believes the 
Kazakhstanis will not agree to a high-level meeting instead of a 
summit unless the summit idea becomes a complete non-starter. 
 
6.  (C) Kloetzer said the Secretary General generally was happy with 
his interaction with the MFA.  She noted that Saudabayev was "still a 
bit uninformed on OSCE issues," but hastened to add that he performed 
better than when he met the group of visiting OSCE Permanent 
Representatives October 21-23.  His apparent unpreparedness at that 
time made the Russian Permanent Representative wonder out loud "why 
his minions did not prepare a cheat sheet for him." 
 
7.  (C) COMMENT:  It is clear from Kloetzer's comments that de 
Brichambaut attempted to walk a careful line between the mood among 
the delegations in Vienna and the strong wishes of the incoming 
Chairman, Kazakhstan.  It is hard to say whether the President and 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs heard his message that substance must 
come before participating states will commit to a summit.  On this 
topic, we believe the government of Kazakhstan prefers to see all 
responses in the best possible light.  END COMMENT. 
 
SPRATLEN

Wikileaks

09ASTANA2051, KAZAKHSTAN STILL MULLING UN IRAN RESOLUTION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA2051 2009-11-18 07:27 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1252
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2051 3220727
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 180727Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6876
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2165
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1535
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2236
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1170
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2587
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1580
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1725
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 002051 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, IO/RHS, DRL/MLGA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2019 
TAGS: PHUM UNGA PREL IR KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN STILL MULLING UN IRAN RESOLUTION 
 
REFTEL:  STATE 116263 
 
Classified By: Charge d' affaires, a. i. Pamela Spratlen:  1.4 (b), 
(d) 
 
1.  (SBU) On November 17, PolOff met with Assel Utegenova, head of 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Cultural and Humanitarian 
Cooperation Division, to deliver reftel points on country-specific 
resolutions at the United Nations.  Utegenova conveyed that 
Kazakhstan is still considering its position on the Iran 
country-specific resolution.  On the no-action motion, she confirmed 
that the Government of Kazakhstan is considering moving from support 
to abstention.  She said the Foreign Ministry has faced "heavy 
lobbying from various interests" on the issue, presumably from the 
Iranian mission.  In considering its position, the MFA must weigh not 
only the country's geographical proximity to Iran, but also 
Kazakhstan's 2011 chairmanship of the Organization of the Islamic 
Conference (OIC), she stressed.  "We are both Muslim-majority 
countries," she remarked.  PolOff noted that before its OIC 
chairmanship, Kazakhstan will chair the Organization for Security and 
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010.  Poloff stressed that a "no" 
vote on the no-action motion and a "yes" vote on the resolution 
condemning Iran's human rights record would demonstrate Kazakhstan's 
commitment to OSCE principles.  "This is one aspect we are 
considering," responded Utegenova. 
 
2.  (C) COMMENT:  The Charge will reinforce our points when she meets 
with President Nazarbayev's foreign policy advisor Kairat Sarybai 
later this week.  Considering President Nazarbayev's long-standing 
policy of balancing competing interests and Iran's apparent activism 
on the issue, it is unlikely that Kazakhstan will reverse its past 
voting record and support the country-specific resolution that 
condemns Iran's human rights record.  On the other hand, the 
government appears open to abstaining on the no-action motion.  We 
should continue to pursue this opening.  END COMMENT. 
 
SPRATLEN

Wikileaks

09ASTANA2008, KAZAKHSTAN: OSCE SYG HEARS SUMMIT IS NAZARBAYEV’S TOP

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA2008 2009-11-13 07:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7016
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2008/01 3170749
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 130749Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6822
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2154
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1524
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2225
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1159
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1572
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1714
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002008 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RPM, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL OSCE KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  OSCE SYG HEARS SUMMIT IS NAZARBAYEV'S TOP 
PRIORITY 
 
REFTEL:  ASTANA 2002 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (SBU) This is an action request.  See para seven. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  According to the deputy head of the Astana OSCE 
Center, Kazakhstan's desire to organize a summit of the Organization 
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) during its 2010 
chairmanship was the main topic of discussion for the November 12 
working visit by OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut to 
Astana.  The meeting with President Nazarbayev focused solely on the 
summit, which the government also raised in de Brichambaut's other 
meetings.  The SYG stressed that an OSCE Summit "must have substance" 
and should cover all three OSCE dimensions equally, and he advised 
the Kazakhstanis to concentrate on the Corfu process.  The 
Kazakhstanis are pushing for a formal decision on the summit at the 
Athens Ministerial in December, and Foreign Minister Saudabayev plans 
to seek Secretary Clinton's support in Athens.  Brichambaut is 
concerned the focus on summit will take Kazakhstan's attention away 
from the results of the Athens Ministerial, Kazakhstan's "homework" 
for 2010.  The Kazakhstanis also raised the idea of the summit with 
the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Joao Soares, who 
visited Astana on November 11.  END SUMMARY. 
 
"THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST AND ONLY ISSUE" 
 
3.  (C) Jeannette Kloetzer, deputy head of the Astana OSCE Center, 
told us on November 13 that the idea of an OSCE summit in 2010 was 
the main topic of discussion for the one-day working visit to Astana 
of OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.  She told us 
that de Brichambaut's November 12 visit "was not really planned," far 
in advance but that de Brichambaut had intended to meet President 
Nazarbayev and establish closer ties with the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs before Kazakhstan assumes the OSCE Chairmanship.  (NOTE: 
Separately, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Secretary General 
Spencer Oliver told us on November 11 that it was standard procedure 
for the PA to visit the capital of an in-coming OSCE chair, followed 
very soon after by the Secretary General.  END NOTE.)  Kloetzer 
ventured that the trip's short notice related to President 
Nazarbayev's schedule.  Kloetzer did not participate in the meeting 
with the President, but de Brichambaut told her afterwards that the 
meeting "concentrated solely on the summit.  It is the President's 
first and only issue," she said.  De Brichambaut also met with 
Foreign Minister-State Secretary Kanat Saudabayev, Senate Speaker 
Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, and Mazhilis Speaker Ural Mukhametzhanov, all 
of whom raised the summit idea.  "It is now officially on the table," 
she said. 
 
4.  (C) According to Kloetzer, de Brichambaut told his Kazakhstani 
interlocutors that obtaining OSCE participating states' support for a 
summit is "a long process."  He stressed that an OSCE summit "must 
have substance" and should cover all three OSCE dimensions equally. 
De Brichambaut suggested the Corfu process as the main topic for the 
summit.  Kloetzer told us that Kazakhstanis are "fixated on the idea" 
of the summit and want to include a reference to it in the concluding 
document of the December Athens Ministerial.  When de Brichambaut 
tried to prepare Saudabayev for the possibility that the reference 
might not be included, Saudabayev became visibly unnerved, telling 
Brichambaut that many of President Nazarbayev's ideas were initially 
received with great skepticism but are now a reality.  As examples, 
he pointed to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building 
Measures in Asia (CICA) -- a Kazakhstan-initiated intergovernmental 
forum that is headquartered in Almaty and has 16 participating states 
-- and the tri-annual Congress of Traditional and World Traditional 
Religions that brings together political and religious leaders in 
Astana. 
 
5.  (C) Kloetzer said that Brichambaut will formerly alert other 
participating states to Kazakhstan's wish to host a summit, but 
Kazakhstan must gather the necessary support.  She said Saudabayev 
will discuss the issue with Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov when 
they meet on November 17, and he will most likely raise it with 
Secretary Clinton at the Athens Ministerial in December.  (NOTE: 
Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov separately told the Ambassador 
on November 11 that Saudabayev will seek Secretary Clinton's support 
for the summit in Athens (reftel).  END NOTE.)  Saudabayev told de 
Brichambaut that the CIS countries, France, Slovenia, Italy, and the 
 
ASTANA 00002008  002 OF 002 
 
 
Vatican have all supported the idea
.  "Now comes the hard part," said 
Kloetzer, "deciding on the topics, setting the agenda, and picking 
the time and place."  She said Saudabayev floated the idea of holding 
a preparatory conference in the summer, which would include the 
Ministers of the participating states and would replace the annual 
Ministerial.  In her view, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is "very 
aware of how much work this will take" and is determined to succeed. 
She said de Brichambaut was concerned, however, that this summit 
focus will divert Kazakhstan's attention from the results of the 
Athens Ministerial.  "Whatever happens in Athens will be Kazakhstan's 
homework, its primary responsibility, for the year," she said, "all 
else is extra." 
 
6.  (C) Kloetzer told us that the Kazakhstanis also raised the idea 
of the summit with the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly 
Joao Soares, who visited Astana on November 10-11.  Soares met with 
President Nazarbayev and Senate Chairman Tokayev, as well as with 
NGOs and political parties.  Kloetzer told us Soares supported the 
idea of the summit, but his main message to his Kazakhstani 
interlocutors was that a one-party parliament "was incomprehensible" 
to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.  Kloetzer said he received "a 
familiar message" in response -- Kazakhstan is moving slowly, but 
steadily, towards democracy. 
 
7.  (SBU) ACTION REQUEST:  Embassy Astana requests the Department's 
official position on Kazakhstan's desire to organize an OSCE summit 
in 2010 so that we can use it with government interlocutors prior to 
the Athens Ministerial. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA2005, KAZAKHSTAN: CHEVRON CEO DISCUSSES MEETINGS WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA2005 2009-11-12 10:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5856
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2005/01 3161017
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 121017Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6811
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2143
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1513
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1148
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2214
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 2218
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1703
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1561

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 002005 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, S/EEE, S/CIEA, EEB 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/06/2059 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EINV EPET RS TX KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  CHEVRON CEO DISCUSSES MEETINGS WITH 
NAZERBAYEV, BERDIMUHAMEDOV 
 
REF: A. ASTANA 1105 
     B. ASHGABAT 1353 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Chevron's current and incoming CEOs, Dave 
O'Reilly and John Watson, briefed the Ambassador on November 
11, following their meeting earlier that day with President 
Nazarbayev.  Jay Johnson, Director of Chevron's Eurasia 
Business Unit, and amira Kanapianova, Country Director for 
Kazakhstan, also attended the early-evening briefing at the 
Ambassador's residence.  Chevron's meeting with Nazarbayev 
covered production and local content at Tengizchevroil (TCO), 
economic diversification, fines and fees for allegedly 
improper sulfur storage, and oil transportation issues, 
including expansion of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) 
pipeline.  According to O'Reilly, Kazakhstan's Supreme Court 
ruled on November 11 that TCO does not have to pay $310 
million in administrative fees assessed on top of a $342 
million fine for allegedly improper sulfur storage.  O'Reilly 
said Chevron is now focused on executing an agreement he 
personally negotiated with Nazarbayev in June to drop the 
sulfur fines and fees.  Watson briefed the Ambassador on 
Chevron's plans in Turkmenistan and gave a readout of his 
meeting in April with Turkmenistan President Berdimuhamedov, 
who Watson said understands that Turkmenistan needs outside 
expertise to develop its complex onshore oil and gas fields. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
NO CEO FOR LIFE 
 
2.  (C) O'Reilly told the Ambassador that the purpose of the 
meeting with Nazarbayev was to introduce his successor, John 
Watson, who will become Chevron's CEO on January 1, 2010.  He 
said he and Nazarbayev, whom he has known for more than a 
decade, spent some of their meeting reminiscing about the 
early days of Tengiz exploration and production.  According 
to O'Reilly, Nazarbayev seemed "a little tired," but was in 
good spirits and had a firm handshake.  He said that 
Nazarbayev was very pleased with TCO's performance and 
investment in local content.  (NOTE:  TCO is Kazakhstan's 
largest oil producer at 24 metric tons a year, or 600,000 
barrels per day.  In 2009, TCO paid $4 billion to the 
government in taxes and royalties and spent another $1 
billion with local, Kazakhstani contractors.  END NOTE). 
Nazarbayev stressed the importance of technology and economic 
diversification, which will be the theme of the next Foreign 
Investors' Council in December, and encouraged Chevron to 
continue its planned construction of a polyethelyne 
production plant in Atyrau oblast. 
 
SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY 
 
3.  (C) When asked about reports that TCO may be assessed 
more than $1 billion in fines and fees for allegedly improper 
sulfur storage, O'Reilly told the Ambassador that he had good 
news to report.  On November 11, Kazakhstan's Supreme Court 
overturned a ruling from a lower court, which charged TCO an 
administrative penalty of $310 million in addition to a $342 
million fine.  O'Reilly said that he reminded the president 
during their meeting of their gentlemen's agreement on the 
sulfur issue reached while playing a private game of golf in 
June (reftel A).  Nazarbayev, according to O'Reilly, 
instantly recalled the precise details of the agreement, 
while the Ministers at the meeting nodded in concurrence. 
"His memory is still very good," said O'Reilly.  "He replayed 
our agreement, word for word."  Johnson mentioned that all 
relevant ministries -- the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry 
of Energy and Mineral Resources, 
and the Ministry of Environmental Protection -- have 
consented to abide by the agreement, and Chevron is now 
working to bring the General Prosecutor's Office on board. 
Johnson said Chevron hopes to have the agreement executed as 
 
ASTANA 00002005  002 OF 004 
 
 
early as next week.  Johnson admitted that the government 
informed TCO General Director Todd Levy on November 6 that it 
would assess an additional $800 million fine on TCO for 
improper sulfur storage (reftel), but he said TCO has not yet 
been formally served notice.  He expressed hope that if the 
government agrees to drop the pending charges, it will not 
pursue the new case. 
 
CPC EXPANSION LIKELY IN 2010 
 
4.  (C) Chevron's senior executives also discussed oil &#
x000A;transportation issues with Nazarbayev, including CPC 
expansion and the Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System 
(KCTS).  According to O'Reilly, "we're getting close -- ok, 
closer -- to an agreement on CPC expansion."  He said Chevron 
is still pushing for an agreement by the end of the year but, 
privately, told the Ambassador that they would be satisfied 
with a full and final agreement by the third quarter of 2010. 
 Johnson asserted that the CPC consortium has agreed that 
national oil company KazMunaiGas (KMG) will manage expansion 
activities in Kazakhstan, while Russia's state-owned oil 
transportation company Transneft, currently the largest CPC 
shareholder with 31%, will manage the work inside Russia. 
Chevron will manage the expansion of the terminal in 
Novorossiysk. 
 
5.  (C) Johnson explained the two stages to CPC expansion: 
(1) reach agreement with shareholders on ship-or-pay 
contracts, the project budget, the sources of funding, etc.; 
and (2) select a technical proposal from  competitive bids, 
and sanction the expansion project.  Johnson highlighted the 
time necessary to prepare bid packages for the engineering 
work, and declared Chevron will be patient with the process, 
with the expectation that shareholders will vote to sanction 
the expansion no later than the third quarter of 2010.  When 
asked to comment on the Russian government's views of CPC 
expansion, O'Reilly said that Nikolai Tokarev, Transneft's 
CEO, and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin have both 
expressed support for the project.  According to O'Reilly, 
Transneft CEO Tokarev personally assured him of his support 
for CPC expansion during a meeting in Moscow this year, while 
Sechin cited CPC expansion as one of the government's top 
energy priorities during a June 2008 conference in St. 
Petersburg.  On KCTS, O'Reilly asserted KMG's continued 
insistence on control of the Eskene-Kuryk pipeline, while KMG 
and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) 
will own and manage the trans-Caspian portion of the project. 
 
SAMSUN-CEYHAN PIPELINE 
 
6.  (C) O'Reilly said that Nazarbayev emphasized the 
importance for Kazakhstan of developing multiple oil export 
routes, a point he has made during all of their previous 
meetings.  For example, Nazarbayev told O'Reilly that during 
his October 22 visit to Turkey, Kazakhstan offered to 
participate, jointly with Russia, in the construction of the 
Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline.  According to O'Reilly, 
Nazarbayev made clear that this is a very long-term issue for 
Kazakhstan but is not an immediate priority of the 
president's.  (NOTE:  The 340-mile pipeline would have a 
capacity of 1.5 million barrels per day -- larger than the 
current capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.  The 
pipeline project company is 50% owned by Turkey's Calik and 
Italy's ENI, which also owns 16.81% of Kazakhstan's Kashagan 
oil fields.  END NOTE). 
 
PIPELINES TO CHINA 
 
7.  (C) Nazarbayev also told O'Reilly that Kazakhstan 
considers the oil and gas pipelines to China strategically 
important, particularly the Beineu-Bozoi segment of the gas 
pipeline, which will enable Kazakhstan to avoid gas transit 
shipments via Uzbekistan and increase its energy security. 
 
ASTANA 00002005  003 OF 004 
 
 
"Nazarbayev really does not like being dependent on 
Uzbekistan" for gas or electricity, O'Reilly highlighted. 
Watson added that Kazakhstan has serious plans to develop the 
domestic gas market, including construction of a 150 
megawatt, gas-fired power plant to supply power to Almaty and 
Shymkent.  O'Reilly said Nazarbayev told him that China's 
President Hu Jiantao will visit Kazakhstan in December for a 
ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the gas pipeline.  When 
asked if the gas pipeline would be completed by then, 
O'Reilly joked, "Since when do you need a completed project 
in order to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony?"  When queried if 
Chevron could envision a scenario under which it would ship 
crude from Tengiz eastward to China, O'Reilly answered, "Yes. 
 China is deficit in oil, especially in its western regions, 
and is increasing its refining capacity in the west.  The new 
fields, which they are exploring there, appear mainly to be 
rich in gas, not oil.  If they are willing to pay a 
commercial price, then yes, we would ship to China."  Johnson 
added that Chevron's decision would be influenced by the 
available transportation options:  if, for example, there is 
no agreement to expand the CPC pipeline, and KCTS continues 
to be stalled, the eastern route would be more 
attractive to Chevron. 
 
TURKMENISTAN KNOWS IT NEEDS HELP 
 
8.  (C) The Ambassador asked about Chevron's plans and 
prospects in Turkmenistan.  Both O'Reilly and Watson were 
cautiously optimistic, noting that Chevron has submitted a 
number of proposals awaiting government action.  Watson, who 
met with Turkmenistan's President Berdimuhamedov shortly 
after the gas pipeline explosion in April, confirmed 
Chevron's intentions to take over management of a gas 
processing contract from Gazprom (reftel B).  Watson 
highlighted Chevron's good relationship with Berdimuhamedov 
("We believe we have a preferred relationship.") and added, 
"He knows that he needs help.  He knows what his people can, 
and cannot, do."  When pressed to say whether he truly 
believes that Berdimuhamedov recognizes that Turkmenistan 
cannot develop its complex onshore fields without Western 
assistance, Watson stood firm.  "I believe he understands 
this.  He told me directly, in a private conversation.  I was 
terribly impressed by his technical knowledge and command of 
the issues."  Watson said Berdimuhamedov advised Chevron to 
be patient, and he speculated that Berdimuhamedov is trying 
to build domestic political support for a more open policy 
toward foreign investment in the oil and gas sector. 
"Internally, politically, he needs time to achieve alignment" 
for his policies, Watson explained.  When asked how much 
Berdimuhamedov trusted other senior officials, Watson 
replied, "I don't really know.  They are coming out of a 
long, dark period, and there is not much trust in 
Turkmenistan.  I will say this:  when we met, it was just 
him, me, our Vice President for Business Development, and a 
28-year old interpreter."  Watson also reported that 
Berdimuhamedov is not always given accurate information about 
Western companies or Western governments.  He suspected that 
Russian propaganda and disinformation is to blame.  "The day 
we arrived," for example, "there were rumors of a coup in the 
capital.  During an oil and gas conference!" 
 
NAZARBAYEV LOOKING FORWARD TO APRIL NUCLEAR SUMMIT 
 
9.  (C) O'Reilly told the Ambassador that during his June 
meeting with Nazarbayev in Astana, Nazarbayev mentioned that 
he was very pleased to have received a phone call from Vice 
President Biden, inviting him to attend the April 2010 Global 
Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.  O'Reilly highlighted 
the importance of nuclear non-proliferation to Nazarba
yev 
personally, and that he is very much looking forward to his 
visit to Washington. 
 
10.  (C) COMMENT:  Chevron's candid comments confirm several 
 
ASTANA 00002005  004 OF 004 
 
 
fundamental facts about doing business in Kazakhstan.  First, 
President Nazarbayev remains firmly in charge.  He is the 
decider, on issues as strategically significant as the 
development of new oil export pipelines, or as mundane as 
administrative penalties for sulfur storage.  Implementation 
of informal, gentlemen's agreements will always be tricky in 
a place like Kazakhstan, but unfortunately, that is still how 
the most important decisions are made:  through personal, 
private negotiations with the president.  Second, the 
briefing underscores the strategic success -- and existential 
importance -- of Kazakhstan's "multi-vector" policy. 
Nazarbayev knows that he needs the China pipeline and 
trans-Caspian crossing as much as the Russian route.  So far, 
he has demonstrated the political savvy, negotiating skills, 
and tactical flexibility necessary to keep all paths out of 
this land-locked country open and unfettered.  Third, 
Chevron's meeting with Nazarbayev and the continued growth of 
Tengizchevroil confirm that U.S. companies can be extremely 
successful in Kazakhstan -- but even the most high-profile, 
preferred investors must make major investments to develop 
local capacity and achieve economic diversification if they 
are to remain in the president's good graces.  END COMMENT. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1978, KAZAKHSTAN: ZHOVTIS CASE — LEGAL OPTIONS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1978 2009-11-06 10:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1149
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #1978/01 3101023
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 061023Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6773
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2124
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1494
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2195
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1129
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1542
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1684
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001978 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ZHOVTIS CASE -- LEGAL OPTIONS 
 
REF: ASTANA 1958 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  This cable summarizes the legal options available 
to Yevgeniy Zhovtis.  Zhovtis' next legal step is to request a review 
by a judicial panel, which could order a new trial or dismiss the 
case entirely if it finds procedural irregularities in the case.  The 
Supreme Court cannot review Zhovtis' case under the current 
legislation, but a draft law pending in the parliament could make 
this possible.  Zhovtis could seek a pardon from the Presidential 
Pardon Commission, but those close to him say that he will not, 
because he would have to admit his guilt.  His defense team is 
preparing to file a case with the UN Human Rights Council, the first 
such case for Kazakhstan.  Zhovtis' lawyers and several independent 
attorneys told us criminal prosecution of Zhovtis was not inevitable 
and pointed out several instances when criminal charges could have 
been avoided or dismissed.  END SUMMARY. 
 
JUDICIAL REVIEW PANEL 
 
2.  (SBU) The judicial review panel (nadzornaya kollegiya) is the 
next legal step available to Zhovtis.  Under Kazakhstani legislation, 
the defendant can request a review of a judicial decision from a 
panel of judges from the court that issued the decision.  In Zhovtis' 
case, the panel of judges would be from the same appellate court that 
upheld his conviction.  The Criminal Procedure Code vests the 
judicial panel with broad powers -- if the panel finds procedural 
irregularities in the case, it could amend parts of the decisions of 
the lower courts, overturn the verdict and request a new trial, or 
even overturn the verdict and dismiss the case.  However, Zhovtis' 
lawyers and other independent attorneys have told us that the panels 
rarely overturn the decisions of lower courts.  The Zhovtis defense 
team expects to file the motion for a judicial review within the next 
week.  The review can take up to three months. 
 
SUPREME COURT 
 
3.  (SBU) Under current legislation, the Supreme Court cannot review 
Zhovtis' case.  Article 458, part 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code 
specifically states that the Supreme Court does not review decisions 
in cases of crimes of lesser gravity, like the one for which Zhovtis 
was convicted.  The law does give the Supreme Court purview to review 
judicial practices in the country and offer general guidance on the 
application of legislation.  Based on this provision, the Supreme 
Court could use Zhovtis' case to offer guidance for future court 
decisions in similar cases, but it currently cannot pronounce 
judgment on his case specifically. 
 
4.  (C) Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code pending in 
parliament would allow the Supreme Court to review cases of lesser 
gravity.  The amendments passed both the Mazhilis (lower house) and 
Senate this week, and the draft legislation should be sent for the 
President's signature shortly.  One parliamentarian told us he 
expects the law to be signed in early 2010.  Since the law will most 
likely enter into effect after Zhovtis' team applies for the judicial 
panel review, he would technically be ineligible to apply to the 
Supreme Court, because all the instances available under the current 
rules would have considered his case.  However, Zhovtis' defense team 
plans to circumvent this technicality by filing the motion for 
judicial review on their own behalf as lawyers, not on behalf of 
Zhovtis.  This effort ostensibly will allow Zhovtis to petition the 
Supreme Court on his own. 
 
PARDON OR AMNESTY 
 
5.  (C) Zhovtis also can seek a pardon from President Nazarbayev -- 
any convict can appeal to the Presidential Pardon Commission if they 
admit their guilt, repent, and ask for a pardon.  In fact, it seems 
the Kazakhstani leadership believes this option could extricate it 
from this situation.  Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov told the 
Ambassador on November 2 that if Zhovtis would admit his guilt, "his 
case could be revisited and resolved more quickly" (reftel). 
However, as the Ambassador told Umarov, Zhovtis asserts his 
innocence, because he was neither drunk nor driving negligently.  As 
his public defender Vera Tkachenko told us, he will not apply for -- 
or accept -- a pardon, because it would require him to admit his 
legal guilt. 
 
 
ASTANA 00001978  002 OF 002 
 
 
6.  (SBU) As for a general amnesty, Tkachenko told us Zhovtis would 
accept one if offered.  Kazakhstan periodically offers amnesty to 
people convicted of crimes of lesser gravity.  Parliamentarian Gani 
Kasymov had earlier floate
d an idea of offering an amnesty on the eve 
of Kazakhstan's OSCE Chairmanship, but in his most recent public 
statement, Kasymov proposed that the amnesty be offered in 2010. 
Tkachenko confirmed preparation of a draft law on amnesty.  However, 
according to her Mazhilis sources, the law's passage this year 
appears unlikely.  She added that if a "political decision is made 
(i.e. President Nazarbayev decides to offer the amnesty this year), 
then the parliament can move very fast." 
 
UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 
 
7.  (SBU) In addition to the motion for a judicial review panel, 
Zhovtis' defense team is preparing an appeal to the UN Human Rights 
Council.  The International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights 
(ICCPR), which came into force in Kazakhstan in September, allows 
Kazakhstani citizens to apply to the Human Rights Council after they 
exhaust all domestic legal avenues.  Ironically, Zhovtis was one of 
the strongest advocates for the adoption of the ICCPR, and his NGO 
Human Rights Bureau received an international grant to assist people 
with filing their petitions.  If Zhovtis' defense team files the 
petition, as they plan, Zhovtis will become the first Kazakhstani 
citizen to avail himself of the process.  The UN Human Rights 
Council's decisions are recommendations and are not legally 
enforceable, but Zhovtis believes the moral weight of the Council's 
decision would force the Kazakhstani authorities to re-open the case. 
 However, this solution would not be quick -- according to ODIHR's 
Dmitry Nurumov, the Human Rights Council could take one to two years 
to consider the case. 
 
WAS CRIMINAL PROSECUTION INEVITABLE? 
 
8.  (SBU) Kazakhstani authorities have said in their public and 
private statements that any death, even accidental, is a criminal 
offense under Kazakhstani legislation.  Therefore, they argue, the 
prosecutor had no choice but to prosecute Zhovtis.  Zhovtis' defense 
team rejects the inevitability of criminal prosecution.  Other 
independent lawyers point to several instances in the case where 
criminal charges could have been avoided or dropped.  Because the 
police, under Kazakhstani law, must begin a criminal investigation 
into any death, the criminal investigation into Zhovtis' accident was 
in line with standard practice.  However, the police are not required 
to file criminal charges unless they find evidence of negligence.  In 
Zhovtis' case, if the police expert assessment of the accident had 
found that Zhovtis was not at fault for the death -- he was abiding 
by the rules of the road, was not drunk, and could not have avoided 
the accident -- the case could have been ruled an accidental death 
and closed. 
 
9.  (SBU) In addition, the investigator had the option to close the 
case when he received a formal letter from the victim's mother, 
saying that she forgave Zhovtis and that he paid compensation to the 
family.  Kazakhstani legislation provides for police dismissal of 
cases, without an admission of guilt, when the parties reconcile. 
Although it is not specifically required by the law, local practice 
is for one party to admit guilt before the police dismiss the case, 
which could explain why they proceeded with criminal charges against 
Zhovtis.  The prosecutor also has the right to intervene in the 
investigation at any point and dismiss the case or choose not to take 
it to court if he/she believes no crime was committed. 
 
10.  (C) COMMENT:  It is becoming increasingly clear that the 
Kazakhstani authorities are looking for a way to exit this disastrous 
situation.  At this juncture, they have several options -- the 
judicial panel amends or overturns the verdict, the Supreme Court 
considers the case in the future and does the same, or Zhovtis 
benefits from a general amnesty.  A pardon is off the table -- 
Zhovtis will not apply for one, because he would have to admit his 
legal guilt.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1967, KAZAHKSTAN: DAS KROL COMPARES NOTES WITH

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1967 2009-11-05 03:45 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9485
PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #1967/01 3090345
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 050345Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6761
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY 2116
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1486
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 1121
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2187
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USTRANSCOM SCOTT AFB IL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 1676
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 1535
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2882
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2579

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001967 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, S/SRAP, INL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR MARR SNAR CH RS AF ZK
SUBJECT:  KAZAHKSTAN:  DAS KROL COMPARES NOTES WITH 
ASTANA'S SECURITY COUNCIL 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (B), (D) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  SCA DAS George Krol met with Security 
Council Deputy Chairman Marat Shaikhutdinov in Astana on 
October 29.  Their meeting was a refreshingly open "exchange 
of views," in which Shaikhutdinov, hand-picked from the 
Foreign Ministry by Security Council Chairman Marat Tazhin, 
asserted he intends in his new position to be "more than just 
a bureaucrat."  Shaikhutdinov revealed that Astana seems to 
be on the verge of approving the deployment of several staff 
officers to ISAF headquarters in Kabul.  But we also note his 
prediction that the deployment of elements of KazBrig to 
Afghanistan will not happen in the mid-term, because 
Kazakhstan continues to monitor closely the complicated 
situation in Afghanistan, ncluding election-related issues. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
STAFF OFFICERS TO ISAF HQ 
 
2.  (C) Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and 
Central Asian Affairs George Krol and National Security 
Council Director for Central Asia Kurt Donnelly met with 
Deputy Security Council Chairman Marat Shaikhutdinov in 
Astana on October 29.  Krol noted that U.S.-Kazakhstan 
security cooperation is strong and continues to develop in 
both countries' interests in this geopolitically sensitive 
region.  Afghanistan is a common U.S.-Kazakhstan concern, 
which is also true for the other countries of Central Asia, 
Krol asserted.  The United States appreciates Kazakhstan's 
assistance to Afghanistan, including its humanitarian aid and 
its proposal to send several staff officers to the 
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters 
in Kabul.  Shaikhutdinov noted that he expects these staff 
officers to go to Kabul soon -- "The paperwork is being 
prepared for signature." 
 
CSTO RAPID REACTION FORCE? 
 
3.  (C) Krol inquired about the status of the U.S. assisted 
peace-securing Kazakhstan Brigade (Kazbrig).  Shaikhutdinov 
responded that KazBrig's experience in Iraq (2003-2008) had 
been most useful for the brigade and for the army in general. 
 At the moment, however, Kazakhstan is still assessing the 
potential risks of sending elements of KazBrig to 
Afghanistan, taking into account the planned November 7 
run-off election there, escalation of tensions, and "other 
complexities."  Shaikhutdinov said that sending elements of 
KazBrig to Afghanistan will not be a near-term decision.  He 
added that the difficult situation in Afghanistan is of 
concern to all Central Asian countries.  The Taliban 
continues to move its units into northern Afghanistan, closer 
to Central Asia's borders, which increases security risks for 
Central Asia.  Krol admitted that the situation in 
Afghanistan and Pakistan is serious.  He said that the Obama 
Administration is committed to working with all parties to 
defeat the extremists and terrorists. Krol asked 
Shaikhutdinov to assess the security situation in 
Kazakhstan's Central Asian neighbors.  Krol recalled that the 
Commonwealth Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) had decided 
to set up a Rapid reaction force and exercises had just been 
held in Kazakhstan.  There had been talk of basing the force 
in Kyrgyzstan, but when he was just days earlier in 
Kyrgyzstan, the authorities there had told him that nothing 
has been decided and that negotiations on on a Russian base 
in the south are in the earliest stages. 
 
4.  (C) Shaikhutdinov responded that the global economic 
crisis has complicated the already difficult situations in 
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.  Kyrgyzstan has 
recently held successful presidential elections.  The 
Tajikistan authorities rule firmly, even while the social and 
economic situations there are difficult.  Regional 
organizations must constantly reassess their activities, 
particularly in relation to the general concept to establish 
 
ASTANA 00001967  002 OF 003 
 
 
a "security belt around Afghanistan."  The proposal for a 
CSTO Rapid Response Force (CSTO-RRF) resulted from the fluid 
situation in the region.  While some see the CSTO-RRF as a 
"Russian project," in fact all the countries of the region, 
except Uzbekistan but including Kazakhstan, want it as a kind 
of insurance policy.  Eve
n Belarus is preparing its paperwork 
to join. 
 
THE AFGHANISTAN THREAT TO CENTRAL ASIA 
 
5.  (C) Shaikhutdinov asked Krol to assess the threat to 
Central Asia from northern and western Afghanistan.  Krol 
admitted the threat in the north appears to be growing, 
including on the border with Turkmenistan, because Taliban 
influence seems to be expanding among the population.  While 
much attention is focused on the fighting in the south, 
developments in the north bear close watching.  Shaikhutdinov 
noted that Afghanistan's President Karzai has stated that the 
situation is worsening on Afghanistan's borders with 
Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.  Drug trafficking has "soared 10 
times in recent years."  The transit of narcotics and 
precursor chemicals is an increasingly serious problem for 
Kazakhstan.   Shaikhutdinov suggested that U.S. and 
Kazakhstani intelligence agencies need to improve their 
cooperation. 
 
CHINA ALSO WATCHING 
 
6.  (C) Shaikhutdinov noted that China also wants to 
cooperate on Afghnaistan.  "Our Chinese colleagues visited us 
recently and sought our opinion on potential use of the 
territory of China for your Northern Distribution Network of 
non-lethal supplies for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  We 
suspect they are asking us now in light of President Obama's 
visit to China in November."  Shaikhutdinov added that China 
has sought closer security cooperation with Kazakhstan since 
the Uighur ethnic disturbances in Xinjan province earlier 
this year. 
 
UZBEKISTAN 
 
7.  (C) Krol probed further on CSTO and Uzbekistan, 
suggesting that Tashkent sees CSTO as a ploy to expand 
Russian influence in Central Asia.  Shaikhutdinov replied 
that this is nothing new.  Even though Uzbekistan's difficult 
relations with its immediate neighbors is a "dead end," 
Kazakhstan would like to be helpful in easing tensions 
between Uzbekistan and its Central Asia neighbors, although 
this is admittedly not easy. 
 
8.  (C) Krol noted that the United States is "step by step" 
moving forward to improve U.S. relations with Uzbekistan. 
Shaikhutdinov admitted that Kazakhstan is watching closely 
this "normalization process."  He added that Kazakhstan hopes 
Uzbekistan, as it comes out of its isolation, will listen 
more to the United States and the European Union, especially 
now that the EU has lifted some of its sanctions against 
Uzbekistan.  If Uzbekistan indeed follows this path, 
Shaikhutdinov suggested, that will help Astana to 
find a "common language" with Tashkent since Astana already 
has common language with Washington and Brussels. 
 
NO NEW U.S. MILITARY BASES 
 
9.  (C) Krol shot down rumors that Washington intends to 
build a military base either in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. 
U.S. Central Command Commander General David Petraeus was 
indeed recently in Dushanbe, but primarily to discuss 
improving Tajikistan's border security.  Krol added that 
Turkmenistan remains "a big question mark" because of its 
"neutrality" and the quality of its military; nevertheless, 
"We are interested in long-term relations with Ashgabat." 
Shaikhutdinov mused that Kazakhstan expects Turkmenistan will 
continue to move toward more openness, including in solving 
 
ASTANA 00001967  003 OF 003 
 
 
its Caspian Sea delimitation dispute with Azerbaijan and its 
"legal issues" with Iran, both of which create complications 
for the other Central Asian countries. 
 
10.  (C) COMMENT:  This meeting, without an urgent "to do" 
agenda, was a valuable opportunity for two relatively attuned 
partners to share views and advance trust.  We note that 
Astana seems on the verge of approving the deployment of 
several staff officers to ISAF headquarters in Kabul.  We 
also note Shaikhutdinov's prediction that the deployment of 
elements of KazBrig to Afghanistan will not happen in 
the mid-term, because Kazakhstan continues to monitor closely 
the complicated situation in Afghanistan, including 
election-related issues.  On the way out of the meeting, Krol 
suggested it would be mutually beneficial to have such frank 
discussions with the Security Council on a regular basis. 
Shaikhutdinov enthusiastically endorsed the idea.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
11.  (U) DAS Krol cleared this cable. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1914, KAZAKHSTAN: “BIG FRIEND” MEDDLES AGAINST U.S.

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Discussing cables
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1914 2009-10-22 07:07 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6784
PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #1914/01 2950707
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 220707Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6694
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY 2073
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1444
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 1079
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2144
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USTRANSCOM SCOTT AFB IL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 1633
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 1493
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2859
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2556

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001914 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RUS, EUR/RPM, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/22/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR PHUM MARR KDEM OSCE RS UZ KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  "BIG FRIEND" MEDDLES AGAINST U.S. 
INTERESTS 
 
REF: A. ASTANA 1899 
     B. ASTANA 1897 
     C. ASTANA 1772 
     D. ASTANA 1512 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (B), (D) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov 
suggested on October 21 that disinformation from Russian 
intelligence played a role in Yevgeniy Zhovtis' conviction 
and prison sentence being upheld.  He also said that Russian 
intelligence is getting the word to President Nazarbayev that 
the United States has a secret deal to establish a new 
military base in Uzbekistan.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C) At the European Commission reception on October 21 to 
celebrate the 15th anniversary of relations with Kazakhstan, 
which the visiting OSCE Ambassadors' delegation also 
attended, I again pulled aside Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat 
Umarov to follow up on my conversation with him the previous 
evening (ref A) about the October 20 court decision upholding 
the conviction and four-year prison sentence of human rights 
advocate Yevgeniy Zhovtis (ref B).  I gave Umarov a heads-up 
copy of the statement the Embassy subsequently released at 
opening of business on October 22 (text in ref B, para 
eight).  He read it carefully and asked, "Can't you drop the 
reference to the government of Kazakhstan?"  I replied, "No. 
Period." 
 
3.  (C) I assured Umarov that I am doing my best to provide 
full-spectrum reporting to Washington to help manage this 
crisis.  Umarov said that he, too, had fully briefed State 
Secretary-Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev on our 
conversation the night before.  Umarov said Saudabayev had 
been dismissive at first, but then had turned sober and said 
he would inform President Nazarbayev of the "strong U.S. 
view." 
 
A DEAL WITH UZBEKISTAN FOR A NEW U.S. MILITARY BASE? 
 
4.  (C) Umarov then interrupted our conversation about 
Zhovtis to press me to confirm -- "give me your word of 
honor" -- that the United States has not reached a secret 
agreement with Uzbekistan's President Islom Karimov to 
establish a new major U.S. military base at Navoi to replace 
Karshi-Khanabad.  I asked why he would pose this question 
again when I had already authoritatively shot it down with 
Saudabayev (ref C).  Umarov responded that the "Big Friend" 
(i.e., Russia) is pressing this report at every possible 
opportunity, saying they have "proof" that SCA Assistant 
Secretary Robert Blake had reached a secret agreement with 
Karimov during their recent meeting in Tashkent.  Umarov said 
the "Big Friend" is portraying it as evidence that the United 
States cannot be trusted when it comes to Kazakhstan's 
national interests. 
 
"BIG FRIEND" LINKS ZHOVTIS TO "COLOR REVOLUTION"? 
 
5.  (C) I returned the conversation to the Zhovtis affair, 
reminding Umarov that I had trusted Saudabayev who had 
advised me to "stand down and be quiet" and that a solution 
would be found in the appeal process (ref D).  Umarov 
confided that it was his understanding that a plan had indeed 
been considered, but that "Big Friend," in relation with "the 
liaison body" (i.e., Kazakhstan's Committee for National 
Security, KNB), had gotten the ear of the president that the 
United States wants to remove him from power, and has latched 
onto Zhovtis as the way to do so, portraying U.S. interest in 
Zhovtis as evidence that the United States is angling to 
stage a "color revolution" in Kazakhstan.  "They're stronger 
than we thought," Umarov lamented.  I told him that we, 
together, with the other progeressive elements around the 
president, must refute these views -- we must continue to be 
bedrock honest with each other, focused intently on truth and 
 
ASTANA 00001914  002 OF 002 
 
 
pragmatic reality. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1903, KAZAKHSTAN: PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR LETS LOOSE ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1903 2009-10-21 10:07 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5867
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #1903/01 2941007
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 211007Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6682
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2068
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1439
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1074
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2139
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2553
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2066
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2856
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1628
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1490

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001903 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RPM, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/21/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR LETS LOOSE ON 
HDIM, ZHOVTIS CASE 
 
REF: ASTANA 1897 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  On October 20, the DCM met with 
Presidential Advisor Yermukhamed Yertysbayev, who explained 
his views on the development of democracy in Kazakhstan, 
presidential power, and the Human Dimension Implementation 
Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw, September 28-October 9. 
Yertysbayev also discussed the ongoing trial of human rights 
activist Yevgeniy Zhovtis, who was convicted of vehicular 
manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison.  Just 
hours after the meeting with Yertysbayev, Zhovtis's appeal of 
the verdict was denied, and the original conviction was 
upheld.  Although Yertysbayev is known as a loose-cannon 
gadfly and is himself under a dark cloud in the current 
corruption clean-up campaign, he represents a line of 
thinking that persists in Kazakhstan.  With such a 
reputation, we remain perplexed why the government sent him 
to the HDIM in the first place.  END SUMMARY. 
 
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS AND PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION 
 
2.  (C) Yertysbayev, who was outspoken and provocative during 
the one-hour meeting, is a senior advisor to President 
Nazarbayev on domestic political issues.  His portfolio 
includes parliamentary elections, independent media, 
political party development, independent labor unions, 
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and civil-society 
development.  According to Yertysbayev, the most pressing 
issue for Kazakhstan's democratic development is 
parliamentary election reform.  He cited Ukraine as an 
example of a country with a diverse, dynamic, 
democratically-elected parliament, and said Kazakhstan would 
benefit by having a parliament with "real dialogue and real 
opposition." 
 
3.  (C) Yertysbayev said a truly competitive parliament could 
help resolve the potentially explosive issue of presidential 
succession.  "If, heaven forbid, something were to happen to 
our president," he said, "we have no mechanism for solving 
political problems.  There would be no way to allocate power 
peacefully among the competing social groups.  Already, 
powerful elites from different clans are preparing to take 
power.  They are getting ready for a civil war."  Yertysbayev 
asserted that the merger of the National Social Democratic 
Party (NSDP) and the Azat (Freedom) Party will help to unify 
the voice of the opposition (septel).  He also said he 
expects the People's Assembly to announce on October 26 that 
it will call for parliamentary elections to be held within 
two months, on or about December 31.  According to 
Yertysbayev, if they did so, no one would go to the polls 
except for disciplined government bureaucrats, who would 
naturally vote for the President's party, Nur Otan.  "The 
opposition parties would stay at home, celebrating New Year's 
Eve," he joked.  (NOTE:  Rumblings about early elections are 
ever-present in Kazakhstan, especially in the run-up to its 
2010 OSCE Chairmanship.  However, those rumblings have 
recently intensified, especially after the above-mentioned 
party merger.  END NOTE.) 
 
 
WHAT HAPPENED IN WARSAW 
 
4.  (C) Yertysbayev said that Kazakhstan has ambitious, 
serious plans for 2010 when it will become Chairman of the 
Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE). 
He said that during the HDIM in Warsaw last week, for 
example, the United States promised 
to assist Kazakhstan with a number of important initiatives 
in the areas of counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics. 
 
ASTANA 00001903  002 OF 003 
 
 
When asked about the atmospherics of the HDIM in Warsaw, 
Yertysbayev responded that the government sent 10-12 official 
representatives, and claimed that Freedom House, as well as 
President Nazerbayev's former son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev and 
former BTA Bank Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov -- both of whom 
fled to Europe to escape criminal charges in Kazakhstan -- 
paid for 42 NGO representatives to attend the meeting. 
Yertysbayev was visibly upset when he recalled that some of 
them appeared in front of the media wearing t-shirts 
demanding that Zhovtis receive a fair trial.  He suggested 
that government officials watching this scene from Astana 
would have been incensed.  "I'm sure there are people in 
power who would look at that and say, 'Forget about our 
diplomatic relations, let Zhovtis sit in jail.'" 
 
5.  (C) Yertysbayev
then pointed a finger of blame at 
Kazakhstan's two most notorious exiles:  "I know for a fact," 
he said, "that Aliyev and Ablyazov were behind this." 
Pressed to explain his own behavior at the conference, 
Yertysbayev replied that the NGO representatives were openly 
critical of their home country and unfairly took advantage of 
the Warsaw venue to speak out against Kazakhstan.  When asked 
if the NGOs raised any new charges or criticisms in Warsaw, 
Yertysbayev conceded they had not, but he asserted that he 
had felt compelled to present a "more balanced view" of 
Kazakhstan.  "These people take three or four facts and they 
think that tells the whole story.  They accuse Kazakhstan of 
being a dictatorship, an authoritarian regime, that does not 
allow freedom of speech.  They are drawing the wrong 
conclusions from just a few facts."  Yertysbayev contended 
that most people in Kazakhstan are not interested in 
democratic reform or human rights.  "Maybe 8%-12% of the 
population cares about democracy," he said.  "When you ask 
people what they care about most, it's their safety, 
security, health, education, and housing.  Those are the 
things people really care about!" 
 
THE ZHOVTIS CASE 
 
6.  (C) According to Yertysbayev, one of the "facts" the NGO 
representatives frequently cited was the Zhovtis case. 
Yertysbayev recited the government's official talking points 
on the Zhovtis case, noting that there have been 177 similar 
cases in recent years, and in nearly every case, the 
defendant was sentenced to jail.  "However," he said, "I am 
personally in favor of giving Zhovtis a reduced sentence, 
maybe one year, not four.  Look," he said, "Zhovtis was 
driving 90 kilometers an hour on a back road and he hit and 
killed a man.  He had been out fishing that day, and in our 
country, that means he was drinking vodka by the glass.  The 
next morning, the doctors determined that his blood-alcohol 
level was 0.042%.  He should serve one year for that," he 
said.  (COMMENT:  Although the accident's police report 
confirmed Zhovtis' sobriety, a subsequent press report 
alleging otherwise obviously has gained traction in some 
government circles.  END COMMENT.) 
 
7.  (C) Yertysbayev acknowledged that the Zhovtis case has 
complicated Kazakhstan's foreign relations, and added that 
the complaints and concerns of the United States and Europe 
should be taken into account.  "If so many people are asking 
for his freedom," Yertysbayev said, "then we should listen to 
them.  We should try to find a compromise."  Yertysbayev 
insisted that Zhovtis had not helped his own cause, and 
implied he was asking for trouble, by criticizing the judge 
for sentencing a "Vremya" journalist in a separate case to 
four years in jail for vehicular manslaughter.  Before his 
trial began, Zhovtis said he expected to receive a similar 
sentence.  "That judge is a human being," Yertesbayev 
asserted.  "Can you really expect him not to be affected by 
such public criticism?"  Yertesbayev then reached into his 
 
ASTANA 00001903  003 OF 003 
 
 
pocket for his cell phone and joked, "I could call the judge 
right now and ask him to release Zhovtis.  Then you can issue 
him a green card, and everyone will be happy.  But then," he 
said, "you would say that our justice system is corrupt." 
(NOTE:  On October 20, a court upheld the conviction of 
Zhovtis and the original sentence of four years in jail.  See 
reftel.  END NOTE). 
 
DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW 
 
8.  (C) Yertysbayev told the DCM that the he understands the 
importance of the human dimension of democratic development, 
and said the government takes that aspect very seriously. 
"We all must live under the rule of law," he stated.  "Even 
me.  I am a former Minister (of Culture and Information)," he 
said, "yet I recently lost a libel case in the courts. 
Clearly, I was not given any special treatment.  And my son 
is being questioned by the Financial Police.  No one is above 
the law."  He added that the current anti-corruption campaign 
has affected even the most high-ranking officials in 
government.  "Everyone's anxious," he asserted.  "They're all 
thinking, if it could happen to someone like (former 
Kazatomprom president Mukhtar) Dzhakishev, then it could 
happen to me."  He smiled.  "That's when people start to care 
about the rule of law -- when they realize that they might 
need a lawyer and a fair trial."  Yertysbayev added that 
improving transparency and accountability in the justice 
system should be a top priority for Kazakhstan's continued 
democratic development. 
 
NAZERBAYEV TO MAINTAIN TIGHT CONTROL 
 
9.  (C) Yertysbayev stopped short, however, of suggesting 
that radical, systemic changes could be forthcoming.  He 
recalled that 20 years ago Nazerbayev was a member of the 
Central Committee of the Communist Party.  Nazerbayev was at 
the very center of power when the Soviet Union collapsed, and 
he remembers all too well the confusion and disorder that 
followed.  "He will never let that happen to Kazakhstan," 
Yertysbayev said, "Not as long as he is president.  Not as 
long as he is alive."  As the meeting concluded and the 
conversation turned to small talk, Yertysbayev said he would 
recommend that President Nazerbayev see the movie "The 
Godfather."  "I don't think he has ever seen it," Yertysbayev 
said.  "But he should.  In the end, the boss is betrayed by 
his son-in-law.  It's just like real life." 
 
10.  (C) COMMENT:  Post will report septel on Kazakhstan's 
participation in the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 
in Warsaw, and allegations that Yertysbayev intimidated NGO 
representatives there.  It was clear during our meeting that 
he was offended by the behavior of the NGOs in Warsaw, and 
held them in contempt.  However, we do not expect Yertysbayev 
to play a prominent role as Kazakhstan assumes the 
chairmanship of the OSCE.  Although Yertysbayev is known as a 
loose-cannon gadfly and is himself under a dark cloud in the 
current corruption clean-up campaign, he represents a line of 
thinking that persists in Kazakhstan.  With such a 
reputation, we remain perplexed why the government sent him 
to the HDIM in the first place.  END COMMENT. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1901, KAZAKHSTAN: DEPUTY SECRETARY OF ENERGY PONEMAN’S MEETING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1901 2009-10-21 09:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5798
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #1901/01 2940917
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 210917Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6676
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2062
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1433
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2133
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1622
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1484
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0089

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001901 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, ISN, EEB 
NSC FOR MCFAUL, DONNELLY, CONNERY 
 
E.O. 12958: 09/13/2029 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ENRG EPET KNNP IAEA IR KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  DEPUTY SECRETARY OF ENERGY PONEMAN'S MEETING 
WITH STATE SECRETARY-FOREIGN MINISTER SAUDABAYEV, OCTOBER 7, 2009 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (B), (D) 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY AND COMMENT:  During an unusually warm and cordial 
meeting between Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and State 
Secretary-Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev in Astana on October 7: 
 
-- Poneman pressed Kazakhstan to commit the required funding to 
finish fully the final steps to decommission the BN-350 fast-breeder 
reactor at Aktau, and to accelerate the down-blending of highly 
enriched uranium at Alatau; 
 
-- Poneman recommended ways for Kazakhstan to broaden its peaceful 
nuclear cooperation, and asked that Kazakhstan designate a lead 
inter-agency entity so that the construction of the biological 
Central Reference Library can move forward; 
 
-- Saudabayev assured full cooperation on all fronts, and asked for 
U.S. support for Kazakhstan's proposal to host an IAEA-approved 
nuclear fuel bank, and support for Kazakhstan's effort in the UN to 
have August 29 designated as an annual non-proliferation day (Poneman 
assured Saudabayev of U.S. support for both); and 
 
-- Saudabayev reiterated his effort to ensure that Presidents Obama 
and Nazarbayev meet during the time-frame of the April 2010 Global 
Nuclear Security Summit in the United States. 
 
2.  (C) SUMMARY AND COMMENT CONTINUED:  This meeting was unusually 
warm and cordial, and we intend to build on it to move forward 
specific items on our bilateral agenda.  An Obama-Nazarbayev meeting 
in April 2010 would provide momentum not only for our 
non-proliferation and broader energy agendas, but possibly for other 
key interests as well.  END SUMMARY AND COMMENT. 
 
3.  (SBU) Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman met with State 
Secretary-Foreign Minister Kanat Saydabayev in Astana on October 7. 
Poneman told Saudabayev that the fact he is leading a broad 
interagency delegation (Department of Energy, Department of Defense, 
Department of State, National Security Council) is strong evidence of 
the importance the United States attaches to its strategic 
relationship with Kazakhstan.  In return, Saudabayev praised 
President Obama's non-proliferation initiatives, noting that 
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has made several public statements in 
support of them, "which is natural, since our presidents' views are 
so closely aligned."  Saudabayev said, "We are ready to expedite our 
cooperation as much as possible.  We have a lot to do and want 
concrete steps forward before the April 2010 Global Nuclear Security 
Summit in Washington (which President Nazarbayev plans to attend). 
Together, we will deal with all serious issues.  I assure you that 
our relationship was, is, and will be a priority -- this is why 
President Nazarbayev assigned me to this additional position." 
 
4.  (SBU) Poneman welcomed Saudabayev's words of support on bilateral 
nuclear cooperation.  He said that he knows well Nazarbayev's 
non-proliferation history, which is "exemplary leadership for the 
world."  He recalled a dinner at Kennebunkport, Maine, in 2006, 
during which Nazarbayev "reminisced about those early decisions of 
our shared history."  He said that Kazakhstan's non-proliferation 
history, as well as its resource base of oil, natural gas, and 
uranium, gives Kazakhstan an increasingly important role on the world 
stage, and specifically in the nuclear energy industry. 
 
TO DO BEFORE THE GLOBAL NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT 
 
5.  (C) NON-PROLIFERATION:  Poneman said he hopes that Kazakhstan 
will play an important role in the Global Nuclear Security Summit "to 
showcase as a model for others how we work together."  He suggested 
Kazakhstan show clear movement now with the BN-350 fast-breeder 
reactor decommissioning project.  The goals for "the next time we 
meet" should include Kazakhstan committing to finance the 
construction of the geocement stone facility, sustainment funding for 
the U.S.-built sodium processing facility, and on-time and secure 
movement of spent fuel from Aktau to the storage facility at Baikal-1 
near Semipalatinsk .   Additionally, it would be important to 
 
ASTANA 00001901  002 OF 003 
 
 
accelerate the blend-down of highly enriched uranium at the VVR-K 
reactor at the Institute for Nuclear Physics to su
pport both 
nonproliferation goals and commercial opportunities. 
 
6.  (C) PEACEFUL NUCLEAR COOPERATION:  Citing President Obama's 
speech in Prague in April, the Deputy Secretary said that a new 
framework for global nuclear cooperation was being developed.  He 
pointed out that Kazakhstan has all of the qualities to make itself a 
successful leader of this global agenda, including a strong 
nonproliferation history, world-class uranium resources, and 
technical expertise -- all of which could be leveraged to expand our 
bilateral non-proliferation cause with other countries.  Poneman told 
Saudabayev he had discussed these issues in detail in Almaty on 
October 6 with KazAtomProm Chairman Vladimir Shkolnik (septel), and 
hoped we could develop further cooperation in these areas, which 
could be discussed more concretely during the next meeting in China 
of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).  (NOTE:  Kazakhstan 
was one of the original members of the GNEP, but has not attended a 
meeting in more than a year.  END NOTE.) 
 
SAUDABAYEV ASSURES COOPERATIVE PARTNERSHIP 
 
7.  (C) Responding to Poneman's comments about peaceful nuclear 
cooperation, Saudabayev recalled that Kazakhstan wants to host a 
nuclear fuel bank, and asked if the United States could support 
Kazakhstan and help accelerate the International Atomic Energy 
Agency's (IAEA) decision-making process on this.  He also noted that 
during his bilateral meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher 
Motakki in New York during the UN General Assembly, he had once again 
pressed Iran on the importance of transparency about its professed 
civilian nuclear energy program and had encouraged Iran to follow 
Kazakhstan's model.  Saudabayev also asked that the United States 
support Kazakhstan's proposal that the United Nations designate 
August 29 as an annual nuclear non-proliferation day.  Finally, 
referring to the Global Nuclear Security Summit, Saudabayev told 
Poneman that Kazakhstan is preparing seriously so that President 
Nazarbayev's participation will be substantive and significant. 
Saudabayev said he would welcome any further suggestions for concrete 
steps to achieve before the summit. 
 
8.  (SBU) Covering the broader bilateral energy agenda as "areas for 
our future close cooperation," Saudabayev noted that Kazakhstan is 
taking seriously climate change and renewable energy -- "We have 
built a biofuel plant at Petropavlovsk, and wind power has real 
potential in Kazakhstan." 
 
9.  (SBU) The Deputy Secretary responded that there is a great deal 
of convergence between the interests of Kazakhstan and the United 
States -- "that's why we are good friends."  Poneman assured 
Saudabayev the United State will work with the IAEA toward the goal 
of having the IAEA's board of governors seriously consider 
Kazakhstan's desire to host a nuclear fuel bank.  He assured 
Saudabayev of U.S. support for Kazakhstan's proposal to the UN that 
August 29 be designated an annual commemoration for nuclear 
non-proliferation, and thanked Kazakhstan for its efforts on 
renewable energy, as well as for seeking multiple routes for the 
export of its growing oil production. 
 
SAUDABAYEV PITCHES AN OBAMA-NAZARBAYEV MEETING 
 
10.  (SBU) Citing French President Nicholas Sarkozy's visit to Astana 
earlier in the week and his own "warm and productive" meeting with 
Secretary of State Clinton when they were in New York for the UN 
General Assembly, Saudabayev made his case again for an 
Obama-Nazarbayev meeting in the White House before or after the 
Global Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010.  "Our presidents' views 
truly do converge on nuclear security, and we will take any steps 
necessary to ensure that this meeting is fully successful." 
Saudabayev said that the State Department probably can't fully 
advocate for this proposed meeting, because it has such broad global 
responsibilities that it needs to balance.  But, he urged, "I hope 
the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the National 
Security Council will take the lead to advocate for this bilateral 
 
ASTANA 00001901  003 OF 003 
 
 
meeting of our presidents." 
 
11.  (C) Poneman replied, "That I am here is a signal of how 
important this bilateral relationship is to the United States.  From 
your own experience, you know Washington well.  There will be a small 
number of bilateral meetings with President Obama at the Global 
Nuclear Security Summit.  The issues we have just been discussing 
will provide a strong base-line for achievements that both of our 
presidents expect of us.  Our relationship is broad and productive, 
but the Department of Energy is only one of many agencies in 
Washington." 
 
CENTRAL REFERENCE LABORATORY 
 
12.  (SBU) Poneman told Saudabayev that it is important for the 
government of Kazakhstan to designate one lead agency with authority 
to require cooperation among the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, 
and Education and Science so that the construction of the biological 
non-proliferation Central Reference Laboratory can more forward. 
 
MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER 
 
13.  (SBU) Summarizing the entire meeting, Poneman said, "I give you 
my personal word that I will work as hard as possible to advance our 
shared interests."  Saudabayev responded, "We have no doubts about 
the importance of this relationship.  The future of our partnership 
is hopeful.  It is a positive and important sign that President Obama 
has appointed people like you and the others in your delegation who 
know Kazakhstan well."  He reiterated that it was important that 
President Nazarbayev was one of the first world leaders Obama 
telephoned after his election, and he noted the follow-on importance 
of Vice President Biden's telephone call to Nazarbayev in April. 
Saudabayev concluded, "We will prepare well for the Global Nuclear 
Security Summit.  We will move on multiple fronts and achieve our 
shared goals." 
 
14.  (C) COMMENT:  This meeting was unusually warm and cordial, and 
we intend to build on that to move forward specific items on our 
bilateral agenda.  We had heard speculation that Nazarbayev had named 
Saudabayev Foreign Minister specifically to enhance Kazakhstan's 
relationship with the United States, but now Saudabayev himself has 
confirmed it.  An Obama-Nazarbayev meeting in April 2010 would 
provide momentum not only for our non-proliferation and broader 
energy agenda, but possibly for other key interests as well.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
15.  (U) Deputy Secretary Poneman has cleared this cable. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1900, KAZAKHSTAN: DEPUTY SECRETARY OF ENERGY PONEMAN’S MEETING

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1900 2009-10-21 09:16 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5796
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #1900/01 2940916
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 210916Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6674
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2060
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1431
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2131
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1620
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1482
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0087

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001900 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/CEN, NEA/IR, EUR/WE, ISN 
NSC FOR MCFAUL, DONNELLY, CONNERY 
 
E.O. 12958: 09/13/2029 
TAGS: PREL ENRG KNNP FR IR KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  DEPUTY SECRETARY OF ENERGY PONEMAN'S MEETING 
WITH PRIME MINISTER MASIMOV, OCTOBER 8, 2009 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (B), (D) 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  During a meeting between Deputy Secretary of 
Energy Daniel Poneman and Prime Minister Karim Masimov in Astana on 
October 8: 
 
-- Poneman urged rapid forward movement on the final steps for the 
full decommissioning of the BN-350 fast-breeder nuclear reactor at 
Aktau, as well as on bureaucratic steps necessary for Kazakhstan's 
inter-agency coordination so that the United States can commence 
building the biological Central Reference Laboratory in Almaty; 
 
-- Poneman briefed the Prime Minister on new-generation small 
nuclear-reactors grid that could interest Kazakhstan and provide a 
fruitful venue for new collaboration; 
 
-- Poneman noted that the example of Kazakhstan's non-proliferation 
history and its support for international nuclear fuel banks could 
help Iran make responsible decisions about its future; and 
 
-- Masimov suggested that, should the White House approve an 
Obama-Nazarbayev bilateral meeting during the April 2010 Global 
Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Kazakhstan would be prepared 
to work closely with the United States to negotiate in advance a 
fruitful and comprehensive agenda for the two presidents to approve. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY 
 
2.  (C) Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman met with Prime 
Minister Karim Masimov in Astana for 30 minutes on October 8. 
Masimov welcomed Poneman warmly and said he had already been 
well-briefed on Poneman's previous meetings during his current visit. 
 He commented, "I am very hopeful for the future of our 
relationship."  Poneman responded that he was very heartened by this 
visit and noted the broad agenda of our bilateral relationship.  He 
recalled that at the birth of our cooperation two decades ago, urgent 
issues of nuclear non-proliferation had dominated.  Now, we are 90% 
through the decommissioning of the BN-350 fast-breeder nuclear 
reactor at Aktau and "want to go the final distance with you."  He 
noted, in passing, our on-going sensitive cooperation at the former 
Soviet nuclear test site near Semipalatinsk, and stated our readiness 
to move forward with building the biological Central Reference 
Laboratory in Almaty, but only if Kazakhstan can guarantee full 
inter-agency cooperation. 
 
3.  (SBU) Poneman told Masimov, "Our presidents hold similar views on 
non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  President Obama is 
pleased that President Nazarbayev plans to participate in the April 
2010 Global Nuclear Security Summit."  He summarized for Masimov his 
keynote speech at the Kazakhstan International Oil and Gas Exhibition 
in Almaty on October 6, noted his October 5 visit to Tengizchevroil 
on the Caspian, and commented, "We are both pragmatic peoples -- that 
is why we work so well together."  Masimov interjected approvingly, 
"I just finished a cabinet meeting where we discussed all of these 
issues."  (COMMENT:  We would kill to get a transcript of that 
cabinet meeting.  END COMMENT.) 
 
NEW POSSIBILITES FOR PEACEFUL NUCLEAR ENERGY COLLABORATION 
 
4.  (SBU) Poneman told Masimov that he had had an excellent and 
wide-ranging conversation in Almaty with KazAtomProm Chairman 
Vladimir Shkolnik, where they had explored new possibilities for 
collaboration on the concept of building small nuclear reactors.  He 
told Masimov that Secretary of Energy Chu is especially interested in 
the low carbon energy potential of nuclear energy, well-suited to the 
grid servicing Aktau, and noted that Kazakhstan is especially 
well-positioned to collaborate on this because of its impeccable 
non-proliferation credentials, its vast uranium reserves, and its 
existing nuclear technology. 
 
SEAL DEALS IN WASHINGTON IN APRIL? 
 
 
ASTANA 00001900  002 OF 002 
 
 
5.  (SBU) Masimov concurred and suggested that the April 2010 Global 
Nuclear Security Summit in the United States would be the ideal venue 
for Presidents Obama and Nazarbayev to meet and seal agreements that 
would give guidance to their governments how to move forward together 
on these promising initiatives that would strongly advance President 
Obama's nuclear security goals.  Poneman responded that he had 
already checked with the White House, and that it is still too early 
by several months to confirm scheduling for bilateral meetings at the &#x000
A;time of the Global Nuclear Security Summit.  In fact, there will be 
only a very small number of bilaterals.  "However," he said, "we will 
work hard.  In theory, we would want a very rich agenda with concrete 
results for our presidents to discuss, should that develop."  Masimov 
said, "I am certain, I really believe, I have no doubt that we can 
work well together.  There is no question about our will."  Poneman 
commented, "Our relationship seems poised to move forward, and not 
just in energy.  We have a broad and robust agenda." 
 
KAZAKHSTAN SHOULD BE A ROLE-MODEL FOR IRAN 
 
6.  (C) Masimov said that French President Nicholas Sarkozy earlier 
in the week had asked President Nazarbayev specifically to do 
whatever he could to convince Iran to move toward conformity with 
international nuclear-security standards.  He added, but did not 
elaborate, that Sarkozy had proposed several concrete suggestions. 
Poneman responded that the concept of the new international civil 
nuclear framework proposed in Prague by President Obama, including 
the proposal for international nuclear fuel banks, which Kazakhstan 
not only supports but also wants to participate in, could provide a 
face-saving path for Tehran.  Further, Kazakhstan's impeccable 
non-proliferation standards could provide Iran a model to follow. 
 
WOLFENSON, KISSINGER, MERKLE 
 
7.  (C) Masimov noted that Kazakhstan has appointed former EUR Deputy 
Assistant Secretary David Merkle to the board of directors of 
Kazakhstan's new International Information Technology and Science 
University that will be staffed largely by Western faculty.  He noted 
that the World Bank's James Wolfensohn is a strong personal partner 
for him as he manages Kazakhstan's macro-economy, providing personal 
advice and institutional seminars.  Masimov also said that Kazakhstan 
expects to welcome Henry Kissinger in the nearest future (NFI). 
Poneman asked when Masimov next plans to visit the United States. 
Masimov responded, circumspectly, "Prime Ministers usually need to 
stay home."  (NOTE:  In 2008, Masimov was scheduled to travel to 
Washington for a high-profile visit, but his trip was cancelled on 
short notice.  The rumor at that time was that President Nazarbayev 
had worried that Masimov was getting uppity, scheduling such a 
high-profile visit, and needed to be reminded who was in charge.  END 
NOTE.) 
 
8.  (C) COMMENT:  We are gratified that Deputy Secretary Poneman, 
well-known in Kazakhstan, was so well received -- and was also such a 
trooper for a four-city schedule that included accepting, repeatedly, 
traditional Kazakhstani hospitality with horse meat on the menu, 
dombra-playing, and rivers of some of the finest premier-cru French 
Bordeaux.  We continue to note that the highest levels -- Nazarbayev 
confidante and State Secretary-Foreign Minister Saudabayev, and Prime 
Minister Masimov -- continue to press, diplomatically but very 
directly, for an Obama-Nazarbayev April 2010 meeting in Washington. 
We have continued to sense that Kazakhstan, i.e., Nazarbayev, has 
been ready to recalibrate his great-power relationships more toward 
the United States since the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict. 
Should there be a well-prepared April bilateral, we judge we could 
achieve forward movement on a broad number of issues on the bilateral 
agenda.  END COMMENT. 
 
9. (U) Deputy Secretary Poneman has cleared this cable. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

09ASTANA1899, KAZAKHSTAN: BLUNT TALK TO DEPUTY FOREIGN

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To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09ASTANA1899.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA1899 2009-10-21 09:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5759
PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #1899 2940906
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 210906Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6673
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY 2059
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1430
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 1073
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2130
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USTRANSCOM SCOTT AFB IL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 1619
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 1481
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1011
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2855
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2065
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2552

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 001899 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RPM, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/21/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM OSCE KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  BLUNT TALK TO DEPUTY FOREIGN 
MINISTER ON ZHOVTIS CASE 
 
REF: A. ASTANA 1468 
     B. ASTANA 1470 
     C. ASTANA 1487 
     D. ASTANA 1497 
     E. ASTANA 1512 
     F. ASTANA 1538 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (B), (D) 
 
1.  (C) On October 20, an hour after a provincial appeals 
court upheld the conviction of human rights advocate Yevgeniy 
Zhovtis and affirmed his four-year sentence to a penal colony 
for vehicular manslaughter (septel), I pulled aside Deputy 
Foreign Minister Kairat Umararov at the Slovak National Day 
reception.  I told him directly that this decision was a 
disaster, especially coming immediately on the heels of 
reports that Presidential Adviser Yermukhamed Yertysbayev had 
made confrontational comments to representatives of several 
Kazakhstani non-governmental organizations participating in 
the OSCE's Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, 
September 28-October 9. 
 
2.  (C) I told Umarov further that I had, in good faith, 
followed State Secretary-Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev's 
initial advice to lay low on the Zhovtis case, after my 
initial public statement following his conviction and 
sentencing on September 3, and trust that the appeal would 
produce a satisfactory outcome.  I told Umarov bluntly that 
this is all coming together to threaten everything we have 
together worked on for so many months to enhance the 
U.S.-Kazakhstan relationship. 
 
3.  (C) Umarov, slightly deer-in-the-headlights, initially 
responded with Kazakhstan's well-rehearsed talking points: 
all are equal under the law, Zhovtis killed a Kazakhstani 
citizen and must now pay the normal price like every other 
citizen who is equal under the law, the Kazakhstani judicial 
system is professional and independent.  I didn't argue the 
fine points of the case.  I told Umarov, "Kairat, everyone 
knows, although we normally don't say it directly because of 
diplomatic discretion, that your court system is corrupted by 
political influence.  This kind of thing endangers what your 
president says he wants in the bilateral relationship." 
Umarov suggestedm "This will blow over."  I replied, "No, it 
won't.  It will be a long-lasting dark spot." 
 
4.  (C) Umarov tried again with the approved talking points. 
I responded, "Washington, Brussels, and the separate European 
capitals are buzzing with criticism of Kazakhstan.  Your very 
real and positive good intentions easily get overwhelmed by 
this kind of old-guard, Soviet-style idiocy.  Your boss 
(Saudabayev) needs to hear this." 
 
5.  (C) I asked Umarov whom I could see on October 21 to pass 
on this message.  Now glum, Umarov told me that Saudabayev 
would be tied up in the morning with the OSCE ambassadors' 
delegation and then would fly off to join President 
Nazarbayev in Turkey.  Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin 
Zhigalov, whose portfolio includes OSCE, is traveling.  And 
Presidential Foreign Policy Adviser Kairat Sarybay is also 
out of the country. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks