International Partnership: the USA and Kazakhstan

Comments on the Final Report by the American-Kazakhstani Joint Commission



ALMATY, Jan 30


During President Nazarbaev�s December visit to the USA he met the US vice-president Albert Gore to consider the results of the sixth annual meeting of the American-Kazakhstani commission.

The results of the bilateral relations between the USA and Kazakhstan were provided in the final report of the joint commission.

Bilateral relations

The report states that the illegal sale of MIG-21 fighters to North Korea was a serious ordeal for the partnership between the two countries. The Kazakhstani delegation informed in details the USA of the investigation and law measures regarding people guilty in the incident. We remind you that before the annual meeting of the joint commission held in the USA, in Almaty the criminal suit had been instituted against the commander of the General Headquarter Bakhytzhan Yertaev and the businessman Alexander Petrenko, who are accused of the illegal sale. Some observers, including the advocate of the general Yertaev, think that the scandal around MIGs is intended for producing a positive impression on Washington. As far as democratization and reforms in Kazakhstan are concerned, the commission marked the issue of the new law �On media�. However, the USA emphasized double entendre of some provisions of the law, which are to be explained. Americans were especially solicitous about paragraph 3 of the article 2 of the law �On media�, in particular, prohibitions for journalistic materials that �undermine the national security,� propagandizing �class, social, race, national or religious superiority� or �the cult of brutality and violation.� Governmental functionaries against a wide number of materials may use these prohibitions, according to the American party. Even if these prohibitions are not applied to, these interpretations are possible, and this will result in the self-censorship.

Discussing regional problems, the parties worried about growing religious extremism and its possible destabilizing influence on the situation in Central Asia. The former OSCE chairman said that in future the war was possible in Central Asia and in this region another Yugoslavia might appear.

Trade and investments

Both delegations concluded that if Kazakhstan settles present business trade disputes, this will make it more attractive market for foreign investments. The American party agreed to consider the including of cellular titanium produced and exported by Kazakhstan in the US General preference system. This will mean the withdrawal of 15% Customs duty on its supplies from Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan was satisfied with the decision of the US Foreign Trade Commission (FTC) on stoppage of the anti-damping investigation regarding Kazakhstani uranium. We remind you that the investigation started in 1991, but was temporary stopped, when Kazakhstan agreed with the US Trade Ministry to limit its export to the US market. This agreement was valid from October 1992 to January 1999. Then Kazakhstan cancelled the agreement and the Ministry recommenced its investigation.

In June 1999 the Trade Ministry took a decision regarding claims, having calculated that the damping level was 115.82%. On July 12 in Washington all 6 FTC members unanimously decided that the import did no harm and did not threaten the US industry.

The parties discussed joint plans for creation of conditions for the US Congress to abandon Jackson-Vanik amendment regarding Kazakhstan. Initially this amendment was supposed to punish the former USSR for its policy on restraining the emigration of Soviet Jewish people. Sections 402 and 409, chapters 4 of the 1974 Trade Treaty forbid the US government from extending �the most-favored-nation� (MFN) trade relations to any �non-market economy� that restricts its people�s right to emigrate.

While the law is still valid regarding Kazakhstan, the US President formally ordered that Kazakhstan is quietly complying with the Jackson-Vanik provisions. However, to withdraw Jackson-Vanik-s restrictions, the US Congress is to issue a decree on cancellation of the restrictions. For the time being the USA still have MFN relations with Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan�s entering the WTO was an important topic of the agenda of the American-Kazakhstani negotiations. The USA are ready to continue the expert assistance and support to hold meetings of the Working group within the WTO, as well as to hold bilateral meetings in this year. The detailed analysis of problems, possibilities and hazards of Kazakhstan�s entering the WTO is given in the new issue of The Energy of Kazakhstan (The Energy of Kazakhstan #6, 1999).

Power issues

The USA approved the Kazakhstani government�s intention to realize contracts that will allow the company Advice Energy Services (AES) to continue investing to Kazakhstan. AES was established in 1981 and deals with 11 types of different business activity in Kazakhstan. The company mainly works at power enterprises in eastern Kazakhstan and in Ekibastuz (Power Electric Station-1). Since 1996, when AES purchased the first enterprise PES-1, the company has been investing the power sector of Kazakhstan.

The USA and Kazakhstan are going to cooperate further to develop multi-purposes oil and gas pipelines. Both parties support the CPC and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceykhan projects. The USA approved the appointment of Maskhat Idenov the President�s advisor on power and Caspian pipelines issues. He was appointed according to the President�s order dated November 8, 1999. Before in 1995 to 1996 he worked in the power group of the international law company in Washington. Then in 1997 he worked in the power department of the World Bank in Washington. He worked there as the international juridical consultant on power projects in Europe and Asia.

The USA worried about division of the national oil company Kazakhoil�s authority regarding monitoring of the oil and gas industry by the Kazakhstani government. The American party called to transfer all monitoring functions to central governmental departments.

The USA made it clear that they considered the multi-purpose cooperation with Kazakhstan as a key element of their policy in Central Asia.

Monitor of public opinion

Party�s Reputation Depends on the Party

Bakhytzhamal BEKTURGANOVA, President of ASaP

Almaty, Feb 3

25-26 of Jan 2007 persons were questioned

Which party has: (in % of the polled people)

Options of the answers Positive reputation & authority Negative reputation, no authority It�s difficult to answer No answer
Republican party Otan 19.9 30.9 20.6 28.6
Civil Party of Kazakhstan (CPK) 12.9 24.5 23.6 39
Communist Party of Kazakhstan (CPK) 30.4 14.4 22.2 33
Social-democratic Party (Azamat) 29.3 14.1 21.4 35.2
Agricultural Party of Kazakhstan (APK) 11.3 17.3 30.3 41.1
Party of Kazakhstan�s Rebirth (PKR) 8.4 19.2 30.5 41.9
People�s Congress of Kazakhstan (PCK) 8.1 20.6 30.4 40.9
Republican Labour Party (RLP) 9.6 17.8 33 39.6
Republican People�s Party of Kazakhstan (RPPK)   14.7 17.6 26.7 41


Whose interests each of the below parties presents? (% in the column)

Options of the answers Otan CPK CPK RPPK Azamat APK PKR PCK RLP
Authorities 40.5 20.9 3.7 5.4 7.8 14 18.6 12.2 12.7
People 11.6 7.2 27 10.6 16.9 8.8 5.7 9.6 7.3
Opposition 3.5 9.9 19.4 20.2 24.9 7.9 5.8 8.3 5.6
Big capital 8.8 21.4 6 13.1 7.7 6 5.7 7 9.4
Some social groups 8.3 7.7 11.4 11.4 8.5 17.7 12.3 14.8 12.4
Members of their parties 8.2 7.4 8.8 6.1 10.6 11.9 9.7 8.9 13.7
It�s difficult to answer 19.1 25.4 23.7 33.2 23.6 33.7 42.3 39.2 38.9

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