The Russian Magnitka again Directed to Kazakhstani Ore
The Information and Public Ties Department, the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Plant (Chelyabinsk) said to the ITAR-TASS correspondent that of 13 million tons of imported iron ores required per annum, at least 8 million tons will be dispatched from the Sokolovsk-Sarbai concentrating mill. Heads of the two enterprises have signed the corresponding agreement.
After the collapse of the USSR, old partners situated 300 km from each other, occurred in different states. Their ties were destroyed. The Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Plant had to dispatch its ore from the Lebedinsky and Michailovsky deposit at a distance of thousands kilometers. Transport expenses abruptly grew, which affected the cost of metal.
After the Kazakhstani government changed the appropriator of the Sokolovsk-Sarbai concentrator, prices of raw materials fell by 50 percent. The Magnitogorsk plant had a chance to recommence the old cooperation. Today the supplies of the Sokolovsk-Sarbai ore came to 750,000 tons per month, which exceeds the projected volume. The Magnitka blast furnaces work steadily, while the cost of cast iron reduced.
The Special Advisor of the US State Secretary in the NIS is in Kazakhstan
ASTANA, Feb 7 (THE GLOBE)
In the late last week the Kazakhstani Prime Minister Kasymzhomart Tokaev received the US delegation headed by the deputy of the US Ambassador, the special advisor of the US State secretary in New Independent States (NIS) John Birly.
The delegation also included representative of the US State Department, the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Finance. Supposedly, this visit of the US delegation will end today, February 7.
According to Birly, the objective of the visit is to discuss the results of the sixth meeting of the joint Kazakhstani-American commission that was held in December 1999 in Washington.
According to the Kazakhstani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 1999 the consumable turnover between Kazakhstan and the USA was US$ 222.8 million, including export from Kazakhstan came to US$ 55.9 million, import � US$ 1666.9 million. Since 1991 the volume of the US investments to the Kazakhstani economy was US$ 1.9 billion, i.e. 28% of the total foreign investments, according to the Foreign Ministry.
At present there are 325 registered joint Kazakhstani-American venture, as well as over 100 representative offices of US companies and 49 - of non-governmental organizations in Kazakhstan.
ALMATY, Feb 7
�Despite the projected index of 21.3 billion tenge, the Almaty main Customs department deducted 15.7 billion tenge to the national budget,� Yermek Ismagulov, the head of the Almaty Main Customs Department (MCD) announced on Monday. He mentioned that the MCD �had turned its face� upon participants of the foreign economic operations. In particular, they introduced the round-the-clock registration regime.
Dauren Kunanbaev, the deputy the chairman of the Customs Committee, the Ministry of State Revenues of Kazakhstan spoke in details of the problem of corruption. He said that many negative facts are observed in the Zhetysu Customs service of the Almaty airport. It is surprise that according to MCD data, such facts as �lost ID�, �usage of a false diploma�, etc. are referred to the section �corruption�. By these and other articles, 145 Customs officers have been made answerable. To the question about the average salary of Customs officers, Kunanbaev answered that the salary remained the same � 5000 tenge.
Serikbek Yelshinbekov, the director of the Administrative Department, the Ministry of State Revenues, said that to liquidate corruption completely the Customs departments needed concrete facts on violation of the Customs legislation. He stated that people feared to notify of facts of exceeding the power by Customs staff.
From the editors: �Scandals, scandals, scandals��
It seems that the famous Belgium company Tractebel that came to the republic in 1996 is in the center of scandals.
The main dramatic personae of the scandal around Tractebel are as follows:
- the Almaty Akim Victor Khrapunov. According to Radio Liberty he is not an eternal Akim. According to Khrapunov, being young he was a boxer.
- Kanat Zhangaskin, former deputy the Akim; one of the people faithful to Khrapunov. Zhangaskin was against Tractebel�s demands to increase power tariffs.
- Akhan Bizhanov, new deputy the Almaty Akim. He is close to President Nazarbaev. �Now he will breathe into the Khrapunov�s nape�, according to Radio Liberty.
- Alexander Mashkevich. He promised to reveal many secretes and to give noted names.
- Akezhan Kazhegeldin, former Prime Minister. When Kazhegeldin was the PM Tractebel came to Kazakhstan.
The material by Radio Liberty devoted to the scandal cannot pretend to be a serious analysis. It is rather the informational review, as the author speaks of some things that are obvious, skimming the cream, but he did not taste milk.
At present Tractebel is the biggest investor in Kazakhstan. The policy that is followed in respect of the company known in the world contradicts much to the fact that our country is interested in attracting foreign investments. If Tractebel invested a lot to the Kazakhstani economy, leaves the local market, naturally it will not keep silent and will say to the world under what conditions it had to work. How will the international community perceive Kazakhstan? Who will occupy the vacancy? How will this affect the investment interest? Who will answer to these questions?
The previous week was full of scandals and pretentious statements. Probably, a new wave of redistribution of the national property began in the top ranks. The elite seems to be reorganized. Passions are especially hot around the Belgian company Tractebel.
On Monday the Almaty Akim Victor Khrapunov received the main Tractebel representative Marc Josz. At this meeting the city Akim almost beat Josz. Later Khrapunov boasted: �When I was young I was a boxer, and defeated seven men with one punch.� The Akim demanded the biggest power investor in Almaty to leave Kazakhstan.
A day before that the biggest informal meeting was held in Almaty. The opposition close to people criticized Tractebel. Analysts are surprised with the duet of the city Akim and his traditional opponents. Radio Liberty asked this question to the leader of the Working movement Madel Ismailov. He replied:
- In fact, both him and us are against Tractebel. But what will happen later? We want them to return the municipal system. We do not want a new misappropriation.
- Hence, do you support the Akim Khrapunov�s demand?
- I do not know Khrapunov�s true desire. Maybe, he wants to deceive people. But the people�s property should be returned to its true owner.
In the beginning of the week two top functionaries swore at each other because of the same Tractebel. The head of the Almaty Antimonopoly Department Kanat Zhangaskin has been fighting with Tractebel for some years. Zhangaskin is Khrapunov�s faithful person. The head of the governmental chancellery, the former Minister of Economy Altai Tleuberdin dismissed this self-sacrificing man. Zhangaskin blamed Tleuberdin for conniving at Tractebel. On Wednesday at the governmental meeting Tleuberdin refuted Zhangaskin�s accusation.
The situation is strange. President Nazarbaev turned gray looking for investments all over the world. His proxies destroy investors and expatriate them. This does not concern Tractebel. But none of the city functionaries either calmed down Khrapunov or changed the route of his fist from investors to corrupted people. Khrapunov is not an eternal Akim. Maybe, he hopes to head the filed cleared from Tractebel? President Nazarbaev did not repulse an attack by Khrapunov, but the big investor Alexander Mashkevich did that. His appearance on the scene on Thursday make us think. Mashkevich is called Kazakhstani Berezovsky. He is a citizen of Israel. He gained tasty pieces of Kazakhstani non-ferrous metallurgy any and power industry. Once he forced out the international syndicate TWG. Literally some days before the Belgium scandal �Kazakhgate� the Israeli citizen headed the newly-established the Jewish Association of Kazakhstan. Maybe, he smelled the smoke? Now Mashkevich refutes accusations, calls himself a man who is whiter than milk, and clearer than water. Mashkevich promised that soon he would reveal many secretes and give noted names. It seems that he invites top functionaries and other partners for a political haggle. Mashkevich is interested in lobbying Tractebel�s interests. Nazarbaev rather listens to Mashkevich, than Khrapunov. According to Express K newspaper, the present city Akim will be dismissed soon. On Wednesday Akhan Bizhanov was appointed the deputy the Almaty Akim. Once he was the chief assistant of the President Nazarbaev.
On Friday the opposition around Tractebel was again tensed. The General Prosecutor Yuryi Hitrin considered the scandal Kazakhgate as an idle sound. Thus, Hitrin wants to say that there was no bribe of US$ 55 million to Kazakhstani functionaries. Then how did Tractebel that did not participate in the investment tender came to the Kazakhstani market? This is a great secrete.
People gathered on the last Sunday at the main Almaty square severely criticized Tractebel as their sworn enemy. The Attan leader Amantai-hadji Asylbekov (as usual, with the name of Allah) measured economic problems with moral categories. Amantai-hadji did not give up his credo in his interview to Radio Liberty:
- Kazhegeldin sold Tractebel for US$ 50 million. Since 1995 I have been fighting against Kazhegeldin. When they began to sell Kazakhstan, I came to Nazarbaev and said: �It�s disgraceful! They sell the entire Kazakhstan! This will lead to a serious catastrophe. We will lose both the language and the culture!� that happened seven years ago, on Wednesday, January 20, 1993 at 7 p.m. Nazarbaev nodded to calm me down, but since that time he follows his sacred way. At present it is not too late to come to our senses. Deviation will cause serious punishment to Nursultan. Allah forbid! Mashkevich is not from Kazakhstan, he is a betrayer. If you like, he is the enemy of Kazakhstan. Being the Israeli citizen he lives in Belgium. What he makes here people call business. It is terrible! He is concerned in the �gold scandal� in Kyrgyzstan. He possesses millions of money. Did he give a ruble to Kazakhstan? Did he do something for the state? The President gathered such betrayers around him. People whom he brought up, became his enemies. Abykaev, Kazhegeldin� That was the punishment, as he escaped God! We call the first Kazakhstani President to return to the God�s way. It is shameful to blacken the country�s leader before people. But our forbearance may cease.
The last week was full of trials. On Friday the closed trial on the illegal sale of fighters to North Korea completed. The general Bakhytzhan Yertaev acquitted. The businessman Alexander Petrenko forgiven. The latter was admitted to be guilty and sentenced to five years of imprisonment. Many observers estimated the sentence and the trial as the political show. People who made a great harm to the state, were not punished. Will the same mercy be granted to people�s protectors? Some activists if the Sunday meeting are being made answerable. Their guilt is the expression of civil position. The Zhangyru society leader Dauren Satybaldy said in his interview to Radio Liberty:
- When I was out, three policemen came into my house. When I came back, I found a note. My wife who was very alarmed wrote it. Later policemen came again. I wrote their names. They wanted me to write an explanatory note and tried to hand me the subpoena. I rejected to do that and to go anywhere. I said I was not guilty. They began to calm me down and referred to the article of the law. I looked at the article, it was obviously nonsense. Whoever sent them was evidently an illiterate person. This illiteracy discredits the police. I warned them that the illiterate man who sent them would be made answerable. Then policemen went, having taken us in, as they were in my house for a long. I did not explain anything. They did not come again.
The senior prosecutor of the Almaty city office of public prosecutor Yuryi Kolpakov announced that activists� actions were not criminal. On January 30 the protest meetings were held in eight biggest towns of Kazakhstan. The point is not the degree of criticism. It is difficult to make a Kazakh man close his mouth. The main thing is not to lose keys for the integrity of the state.
THE GLOBE based on materials from the Kazakh Service of Radio Liberty
(Translated from Kazakh by THE GLOBE, full text)
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