Kazakhstan News Bulletin Released weekly by the Embassy of The Republic of Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan News Bulletin Released weekly by the Embassy of The Republic of Kazakhstan

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Vol. 4, No. 50, November 27, 2001

Politics
·Tribute to the people of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Hon. Robert Wexler
·Pope John Paul II declares President Nazarbayev Knight of Piux Order
·Kazakhstan forms body to clean up former Aral Sea weapons dump

Economy
·U.S. Senators and Congressmen: Caspian Pipeline Consortium's pipeline a "significant economic milestone"
·Oil and gas condensate exports rise by 13% in first nine months
·National Bank cuts refinancing rate for fourth time

POLITICS
Tribute to the people of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL)
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence Representative Robert Wexler (D-FL), member of a newly created Congressional Silk Road Caucus, made a statement in Congress and wrote a letter to President Nazarbayev congratulating the people of the Republic of Kazakhstan with this remarkable event. "This important occasion highlights Kazakhstan's economic, political, and cultural growth over the past decade. In light of the many difficulties facing the people of Kazakhstan following the collapse of the Soviet Union, this resourceful nation of over fourteen million people has persevered by overcoming numerous obstacles to emerge as one of Central Asia's most dynamic nations", said Rep. Wexler.
"As the people of Kazakhstan continue the process of building their nation on the foundation of democracy and economic liberalization, they should know that the United States will be there to assist them in their efforts. Following the barbaric attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the government of Kazakhstan immediately offered its unconditional assistance to the United States in our fight against the international scourge of terrorism. Their heartfelt support for the American people in our greatest time of need has only served to strengthen United States-Kazakhstan relations.
"The future success of a democratic and free Republic of Kazakhstan will directly benefit the United States by helping to create stability and increased prosperity in the Central Asian region. Many of the nefarious international terrorist organizations, like al Qaeda, that seek to inflict harm on the United States and our allies are also trying to destabilize Central Asian nations like Kazakhstan. The United States and the international community must not miss this opportunity to assist Kazakhstan as she takes courageous steps to build a democratic society with an open market economy in a region of the world that is rife with terrorism and discord.
"Fortunately, Kazakhstan has brought much needed stability to the region. As a moderate and tolerant Muslim nation, Kazakhstan, has already joined like-minded nations in Central Asia and the Middle East in opposing the use of Islam for terrorist purposes, stated Mr. Wexler.
"I wish the people and government of the Republic of Kazakhstan the best success as they build on their impressive accomplishments of the past decade. As a Member of the House International Relations Committee, I join many Americans in celebrating the tenth year of Kazakhstan's independence and look forward to increased cooperation and relations with this emerging Central Asian nation", concluded the congressman.

Pope John Paul II declared President Nazarbayev Knight of Piux Order
Pope John Paul II commissioned the Apostolic Nuncio in the Republic of Kazakhstan Marian Oles to present to the President N.Nazarbayev the highest Vatican's reward for the heads of foreign states  Knighthood of Piux Order.
The Knight's Charter says: "To Prominent and Venerable Mr. Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. On happy occasion of the tenth year of independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, appreciating bright humanity and respect rendered to Us during Our recent visit to You and also skills and talents You have while fulfilling the duties of the President of noble and beloved Kazakhstan's Nation with pleasure I want to pay my special benevolence and sincere gratitude to You.
Therefore, with the following Charter we elect, create and declare You the Knight with our chain of Piux Order and include You in famous society of these Knights. Thereby, We give You, Prominent and Venerable Mister, the right to wear the clothes appropriate for the Knights with our chain of the Order and to wear freely and legally the decorations".
Pope John Paul II's visit to Kazakhstan in September 2001 drew the world's attention to freedom of religious life for all of its 130 ethnic groups who follow the teachings of 46 different religious denominations, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism and others.

Kazakhstan forms body to clean up former Aral Sea weapons dump
Kazakhstan's Scientific Epidemiological Research Center has developed a project to clean up the former Soviet chemical and bacteriological weapons testing and dump site on Vozrozhdeniye Island in the Aral Sea. The government-backed plan implies trilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the United States in the effort to clean up Vozrozhdeniye amidst concerns that some of the tons of anthrax and other pathogens buried by the Soviets could somehow reach the mainland as the water-level in the Aral Sea continues to drop.
The government of Kazakhstan is planning to form a special commission to conduct research on the northern section of the island, which belongs to the republic, on how to prevent the spread of its potentially deadly weapons dump. The United States is expected to assist in the clean-up effort.

ECONOMY
U.S. Senators and Congressmen: Caspian Pipeline Consortium's pipeline a "significant economic milestone"
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), co-chairs of Congressional Silk Road Caucus, sent a letter to President Nazarbayev congratulating the government and people of Kazakhstan "upon the arrival of first oil from the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC)". The official opening ceremony of the CPC Tengiz-Novorossiisk pipeline, that will be able to export 20 million tons of oil a year by 2002, and will have shipped one million tons by the end of this year, took place on November 27 in the Russia's Black Sea port.
"The CPC stands as a testimonial to what can be accomplished through international cooperation between the public and private sectors of Russia, the United States and Kazakhstan", the letter said. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Assistant Majority Leader, senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Breaux (D-LA), as well as representatives Phil English (R-PA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Marion Berry (D-AK) joined their colleagues in signing the letter.
The members of Congress believe the 935-mile pipeline plays an "important role in the development" of the countries of the region by encouraging economic independence through the growth of the private sector.  The CPC, to which the U.S.-based ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil contributed 48.5 percent of the 2.6 billion dollar construction cost, can also spur economic growth "through the promotion of U.S. investment in the region".
"This vital and long awaited transport link will help unlock the energy resources in the Caspian Basin", and it is "a necessary component of the long-term regional crude oil transportation network". Furthermore, by bringing the Caspian energy resources to the world market, Kazakhstan is helping "to diversify the world's energy supply", underscored the legislators.

Oil and gas condensate exports rise by 13% in first nine months
According to the State Statistics Agency, Kazakhstan exported 23.899 million tons of oil and gas condensate during the first nine months of 2001, 13% more than was exported during the corresponding period last year. Total revenue from oil and gas condensate export in the first three quarters totaled USD 3.293 billion, 7% higher than last year. At the same time, the republic also imported 3.0346 billion worth of natural gas during the reported period, 9% more than last year. In monetary terms, the republic's natural gas imports totaled USD 101.2 million, 22% more than last year.

National Bank cuts refinancing rate for fourth time
Kazakhstan's National Bank reduced its key refinancing rate from 11% to 9% on November 20.  The rate reduction, aimed at further stimulating economic growth amidst falling inflation, is the fourth of the year.  From January to September inflation rose by only 4.5%, down from 6.9% during the reported period in 2000.  The refinancing rate started the year at 14%. The GDP growth this year is expected in the area of 10 percent.
     
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News Bulletin of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
(Compiled from own sources and various agencies' reports)
Contact persons: Roman Vassilenko, Aibek Nurbalin
Tel.: (202) 232- 5488 ext. 104, 115
Fax:  (202) 232- 5845