Kazakhstan
News Bulletin
Released weekly by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
www.kazakhembus.com
                                               
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No 11, October 10, 2007

POLITICS
President Nazarbayev welcomes Italian Prime Minister in the Kazakh capital
Navy to help Kazakhstan with security

ECONOMY
Kazakh Energy Minister sees no reasons for suspending Kashagan project over environmental  claims
EBRD may acquire a stake in Kazakhstan Investment Fund

OTHER NEWS
Area phone codes in Kazakhstan changed as of October 5
Chief Rabbi in Kazakhstan's Largest City Feature on State Television Program


POLITICS

President Nazarbayev welcomes Italian Prime Minister in the Kazakh capital

“I am grateful for Mr Prodi’s positive assessment of Kazakhstan’s economic and democratic achievements as well as the international role of our country. Kazakhstan and Italy share common views on the majority of acute issues of regional and global politics,” President Nazarbayev said at a joint press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi on Monday, October 8, in Astana.

"We will support Kazakhstan’s accession to any international organization, in particular the WTO. We will also support the country’s bid to chair the OSCE in 2009”, - Romano Prodi promised during the visit.

“Kazakhstan is the gate to Central Asia. Your country enjoys strong friendly relations with Russia, positive with the US, growing with China… I think we have common interests in this regard. Italy will rely on its partnership with Kazakhstan to enhance cooperation with other countries in Central Asia”, - added the Prime Minister.

“We appreciate Italy’s backing our bid to chair the OSCE in 2009 and join the WTO,” the Kazakh leader replied.


Navy to help Kazakhstan with security

United Press International, 8 October, 2007

A top U.S. Navy commander met with officials in Kazakhstan in an effort to help the country's fledgling naval and border-security operations.

Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command U.S. 5th Fleet, met with the officials in Astana, Kazakhstan, the largest country in the NAVCENT area of responsibility to discuss the range of activity needed to build and sustain a ready and relevant force in the region, according to the U.S. Navy.

The trip was Cosgriff’s first visit since assuming command of NAVCENT/C5F in February.

“One of the challenges the U.S. Navy has historically faced and has repeatedly managed to successfully overcome is how to take a force that was designed for one type of work and apply that force to be successful in a new mission,” Cosgriff said, in a statement. “We have learned how to continually adapt to the changes demanded by changing times, and this may be of interest to Kazakhstan.”

Officials say Cosgriff made an effort to draw similarities of the challenges facing Kazakhstan in the Caspian and Persian Gulf states and that Kazakhstan could benefit from NAVCENT experience in the Gulf.

“I think the challenge for Kazakhstan is pretty complex,” Cosgriff said. “You must educate the public that the Caspian is Kazakhstani territory, and you must have a vision of a Kazakhstani navy that exists within the foundation of other forces, such as the Border Guard Service. Then you have to get the money for your concept, and then the people. And you have to do it all at once.”


ECONOMY

Kazakh Energy Minister sees no reasons for suspending Kashagan project over environmental claims

Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Sauat Mynbaev, sees no reasons for putting the Kashagan project on halt over the claims of environmental and emergency authorities, the Embassy of Kazakhstan reports referring to the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency.

“Claims were put forward by environmental authorities and the emergency agency. In terms of environmental requirements, the Ministry for Environmental Protection and the consortium will probably reach an agreement and sign a certain memorandum. The consortium has agreed with some requirements and now it is in the process of addressing the matters in question. We see no reason to suspend the project over environmental issues”, he said at a press conference on October 2 in Astana.

But he stressed that Kazakhstan certainly does not accept the plan and the budget for development of the field suggested by the consortium.

"We see no progress in talks on the plan and the budget. The main negotiation is still ahead. There is no way Kazakhstan will approve of the current plan and the budget," Mynbaev said.

He also said that "this awkward situation can’t be drawing on forever. Kazakhstan and the consortium have to make certain steps.”

He also said that due to the delay in the oil production on the Kashagan field adjustments would be made to the oil production plan for Kazakhstan’s Caspian Shelf Development 2015.

"Adjustments will pertain to Kashagan oil production estimates," Mynbaev said.

He stressed, however, that the Kashagan situation should not be viewed as a campaign for revising earlier concluded contracts with subsoil users. "The government has a right to raise the issue of revising those contracts that are being violated, but it is not a general stance of the Government,” he emphasized.


EBRD may acquire a stake in Kazakhstan Investment Fund

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) examines the possibility of acquiring a stake in the Kazakhstan Investment Fund incorporated in the Kazyna Fund for Sustainable Development, the Embassy of Kazakhstan reports referring to the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency.

“The EBRD has clearly shown eagerness to study the situation in the Investment Fund of Kazakhstan and then proceed with co-management in the Fund, i.e. become a shareholder of the Investment Fund following relevant procedures,” Kazyna’s chairman of the board Kairat Kelimbetov told journalists on Thursday in Astana.

“Investment Fund is one of the development institutions established in 2003, currently it implements direct investments in Kazakh economy, and today, according to preliminary talks, the EBRD expressed interest in co-investments into the economy of Kazakhstan,” Kelimbetov said.

Kazyna chairman indicated that the EBRD shareholding in the Investment Fund may make up to 20-25%.


OTHER NEWS

Area phone codes in Kazakhstan changed as of October 5

Please note that area phone codes in Kazakhstan have been changed as of October 5.

The first digit “3” in all the area codes in Kazakhstan has been changed for “7”.

In other words, if you make a call to Almaty, for instance, you should dial “7272” before a phone number instead of the old area code “3272”.

The country code remains the same: +7. To make an international call now to Kazakhstan please dial:

Astana: +7-7172 – local 6 digit phone number

Almaty: +7-7272 – local 6 digit phone number (if the local Almaty number has 7 digits starting with “2” then instead of “7272” dial simply “727” preceded by “+7”).

New local area codes for Kazakhstan’s main cities:

Karagandy (7212), Uralsk (7112), Atyrau (7122), Aktobe (7132), Kostanay (7142), Petropavlovsk (7152), Kokshetau (7162), Pavlodar (7182), Semey (7222), Oskemen (7232), Kyzylorda (7242), Shymkent (7252) Taraz (7262)


Chief Rabbi in Kazakhstan's Largest City Feature on State Television Program

Chabad.org, 9 October, 2007

Millions of television viewers in Kazakhstan turned on their televisions this week to see Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gershovits, chief rabbi of Almaty and co-director with his wife Elka of the city's Jewish community, lead a discussion about the holidays taking up most of the Hebrew month of Tishrei and the traditions associated with them.

The program which was aired on the state television channel featured a talk between Gershovits, Ran Yishay, Israeli ambassador to Kazakhstan, and the country's Jewish Agency head, Iosef Leibovitch. It took place in the sukkah built next to the Ohr Avner Chabad Jewish Community Center in Almaty.

Leibovitch saw in the program a message highlighting the national uniqueness of the former Soviet republic's Jewish minority, an important factor in preventing any form of xenophobia or prejudice.



News Bulletin of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Contact person: Zhanbolat Ussenov
Tel.: 202-232-5488 ext 104; Fax: 202-232-5845
E-mail: info@kazakhembus.com
Web-site: www.kazakhembus.com  


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