ALMATY, Apr 13
On Saturday, twelve representatives of Kazakhstani societies will meet the US State Secretary, Madeleine Albright, in Astana.
The meeting entitled �Future of democracy and observation of human rights in Kazakhstan� will be held in the form of a round table.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in OKAN INTER-CONTINENTAL ASTANA Hotel, where the US State Secretary and 12 spokesmen of the community will discuss problems of democratisation in Kazakhstan.
Pyotr Svoik (Azamat), Seidakhmet Kuttykadam (Orleu), Serikbolsyn Abdildin (Communist Party of Kazakhstan) and Gaziz Aldamzharov (RPPK) invited from the political opposition. Organisations loyal to the government will be represented by Sergei Tereschenko (Otan), Azat Peruashev (Civil Party), Romin Madinov (Agricultural Party) and Yermukhan Yertysbayev (Institute of Strategic Researches subordinate to the Kazakhstani President).
Zhemis Turmagambetova (the Kazakhstani International Bureau on Human Rights and Observation of Laws) and Ninel Fokina (the Almaty Helsinki Committee) will represent international law organisations.
At the meeting Kazakhstani media will be represented by Tatyana Deltsova (former employee of �31st channel�) and Lera Tsoi (Panorama newspaper).
Each participant will have two minutes for a brief introduction, then a discussion will be held.
ALMATY, Apr 13 (THE GLOBE)
A next criminal case on suited against Akezhan Kazhegeldin, as in February 1995 he had signed a decree, according to which the sport club Daulet had been freed from customs duties, the Almaty Tax Police announced on Wednesday.
The leader of the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan (RPPK) is accused of abusing of power, according to the article 307, part 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
THE GLOBE asked Amirzhan Kosanov, the deputy chairman of the RPPK Executive Committee to comment on this issue.
�These are links of the same chain. According to our estimations, since October 1997 six criminal and administrative cases had been suited against Akezhan Kazhegeldin. I want to say, a lot of papers are always sent to the Prime Minister requesting to slacken taxes. That was a normal practice, and if it was necessary to support the social sphere, the government could do this,� Mr. Kosanov said.
According to him, �this depended on certain conditions and a concrete situation. When Kazhegeldin was Prime Minister, he signed some hundreds of such papers.�
�It is necessary to clarify was it a mercenary interest or supporting of sport? The decree comes to light in 5 years. This proves the Tax Police and other force structures were instructed to find �something� against Kazhegeldin,� the deputy chairman stressed.
Amirzhan Kosanov thinks this is purposefully done some days before the visit of Madeleine Albright and the next tour of Kazakhstani democrats abroad.
�Once I was the deputy Minister of Youth, Tourism and Sport and I know the situation surrounding sport. The Minister asked to support, to assist. There were different forms of support. If they find a malicious intent and the Tax Police blames Akezhan Kazhegeldin, I think he will be able to respond to this,� he concluded.
ALMATY, Apr 13
�On March 26, 2000 the election to regional Maslikhat were held in Sozak district, Southern Kazakhstan. The election was conducted with serious violations. The local authorities lobbied their candidate, Karimov. They tried to shove the candidate Shekeev back,� Gaziz Aldamzharov, the chairman of the RPPK Executive Committee announced on Thursday.
Similar problems characterise different level elections held in Kazakhstan. But the other thing is also characteristic.
Let's pay attention to the date of the election, March 26. And a press conference of the opposition members, who always fast responding, was conducted April 13, i.e. a day before the Madeleine Albright's visit to Kazakhstan. Is it happening by accident?
�I could not say about this before,� Mr. Aldamzharov explained the situation to the globe. Mr. Kosanov said they had postponed the information due to a striking.
We will not comment on their answers, we just say that such coincidences happen regularly to the opposition. For example, a day before President Nazarbayev's visit to the U.S.A. there was the information that the access to the scandalous site Eurasia had been blocked.
ALMATY, Apr 13 (IRBIS)
The Kazakhstan stock exchange (KASE) has opened recently the new official Internet Website (www.kase.kz) - "Music of the financial tools". The previous site of Exchange has been created and supported by USAID, and has been closed since April 01, 2000.
Creation of tThe new server of Exchanges is a joint project KASE, IRBIS agency and Actis System Asia (Almaty, firm-builder). It exceeds the old one by the information volume and by the technological level. Today server is in the stage of improvement and its official opening will be later. But the most part of sections are prepared to use. After completion of work, some of them will become pay.
The new server KASE shows the Kazakhstan stock exchange as well as the financial market of Kazakhstan. It offers an unique possibility to observe the Exchanges trades in the real-time mode.
ALMATY, Apr 12 (THE GLOBE)
Serikbolsyn Abdildin, leader of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan:
�I think the visit of the US State Secretary Madeline Albright to Kazakhstan and her meeting with Nazarbayev can influence him. I think, she will be able to press him diplomatically to persuade him to issue a new law on elections and to make other steps toward democratisation.�
In Abdildin's opinion, the visit of Mrs. Albright is directly connected with the election of Russia's new President.
Nurbulat Masanov, political scientist:
�I expect nothing from the visit of Mrs. Albright. I think this visit is inopportune and is not useful for the development of democracy in Kazakhstan. The U.S.A. needs to be more strict in principal on human rights and democracy.
This meeting will not give any serious cause for democratic development. Limited tasks such as resolving the developing conception of a "preventitive" corridor on Russia's southern borders may be settled, i.e. they will discuss certain geopolitical interests in connection with recent changes in Russia.�
Azat Peruashev, leader of the Civil Party:
�I think, this visit will be useful, as Kazakhstan has came about as a state, and is subject to the interests of many leading countries. Efforts made to promote democracy will be noted by the US State Secretary.
On the other hand, this is not intended to attract the attention of such respected people, as Kazakhstan is interested in this meeting for itself. We should determine ourselves, in what kind of a country we want to live, what economic and political direction to choose. On the other hand, this visit may help in exchanging experiences and to introduce something new to our choice of direction.�
Seidakhmet Kuttykadam, leader of Orleu movement:
�The visit of an official of on this scale is, of course, an important event not only for Kazakhstan, but for the entire Central Asian region. We hope, we will be able to express our point of view on the situation in Kazakhstan. We would like her to know the true situation.
As far as her meeting with the authorities is concerned, I do not think anything important will happen. The authorities will play the usual game, they will again excuse their actions. Although it is impossible to mislead such a politician as Mrs. Albright, dialogue with her will change nothing. If she meets only official circles, this will be of a little use, some geopolitical issues will be settled, but from the point of view of the democratic development, the situation will remain deadlocked.
As far as pressure by the U.S.A. is concerned, it was all started long ago. For the last year they have been pressing the regime, and this time they will press again. In a scenario where Putin's Russia does not favour Nazarbayev much, and relations with China are complex, he hopes only for West approval, including that of the U.S.A. He has to gain their trust again, and the US will use this for sure. Geopolitical interest will prevail yet they will also discuss stability in the region, in any case pressure will be strong enough.�
Pyotr Svoik, co-chairman of Azamat Party:
�In connection with this visit, our party made a political announcement, we wrote a letter to the US Ambassador in Kazakhstan to notify Madeleine Albright of our proposals. As far as any expectations from the visit are concerned, given that she is coming only to Astana, Almaty as a political centre is being ignored, and no meeting with parties and movements are planned, makes us think that we should not expect much from the visit.
Possibly, they will discuss only security problems, Americans seem to divide problems of security and democratisation. We think it is the same problem. No real security may exist without a democratisation of the system.
Anyhow, this is just a visit, and we have to recognise and deal with our weak spots ourselves.�
ATYRAU, Apr 12
(Specially for THE GLOBE)
For the time being, in the western part of the Kazakh-Russian border no problems have emerged between heads of the delegations, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry advisor, Mr. Turarbekov, and the Russian Ambassador for special missions, Mr. Ostrovenko.
On April 5 to 7 the governmental delegations of Russia and Kazakhstan delimited the state border. This third meeting of the two countries' specialists recommenced a mammoth negotiating process on the specification and determination of the borders between the adjoining states to fix them with an agreement able to be included on maps. This process was started some years ago.
For the time being the parties did not have any territorial claims. According to the deputy Akim of Atyrau oblast, Mahashev, a member of the Kazakhstani governmental delegation, the only problem that could bring problems is the issue of ownership. For example, the final railway station of the Kazakh railways which officially is on the Kazakh side, ends in Russia, in Aksaraisk. This means that from the station D. Nurpeisova, about 12 km of railways pass through Astrakhan oblast, etc. But specialists made it clear that these issues were to be adjusted by economic entities of both countries.
The length of the border between Atyrau and Astrakhan oblasts is about 390 km, but in this sitting the parties could determine only 260 km (the total length of the Kazakh-Russian border is 7,400 km).
We should mention that the start of real delimitation of the land border disturbed the community and media in Astrakhan oblast. Everybody wondered if this result in putting of boundary posts between the neighbouring oblasts, where friendly relations have existed since olden times.
Currently foodstuff markets of Astrakhan are maintaining the Atyrau population. Heads of the delegations stated it was too early to speak of this and borders would hardly be demarcated.
The work will be more difficult in western Kazakhstani oblast, bordering on five administrative units of Russia (Astrakhan, Samara, Volgograd, Orenburg and Saratov oblasts), occupying � of the total border. There are settlements divided by the bordering river into two countries.
In connection with this, publications of Russian media devoted to this topic are notable.
�Today a curious trend was fixed in Volgograd: Kazakhstani citizens purchased real estates, plots and farms in the territory of Pallasov region. The analytical material prepared by federal departments stresses �soon this may create difficulties for determining of an accurate border on Kazakhstan.� In other words, in the bordering areas a "quiet� redistribution of the land and the property has started, and by the beginning of the delimitation Russia may have another hot bed, a territorial conflict. Local observers consider it possible that in the long run the number of territorial disputes and conflicts may qualitatively change, which does not favour either Volgograd oblast or Russia�, Regiony NG writes.
Further the newspaper says of the interethnic situation in the bordering regions: �Today 40% of Kazakhs and 46% of Russians and Ukrainians live in Pallasov district. Chechens and Azerbaijanis, who did not live here traditionally, are actively coming to the district. The mass and uncontrolled character of the new groups of those nationalities, which have not lived here before and to associate with whom the local population is not ready psychologically, may soon cause conflicts between national communities, Diaspores, experts suppose. The uncontrolled "international redistribution� may become hotter than the territorial one, as it will not be warmed only by economic difficulties, but also by emotions, national feelings, old and new mutual offences.�
Determination of the western part of the Kazakh-Russian border having the most important economic and trade interests, and even more � strategic meaning for both countries, harbours a lot of questions. This first of all concerns delimitation of the sea part of the border. The major problem is status of the Caspian, which has not been determined yet.
It is expected that in June-July governmental delegations of Kazakhstan and Russia will hold meetings in Astrakhan to specify the sea border co-ordinates. The Kazakh delegation will be headed by the NOC Kazakhoil former President, Nurlan Kapparov.
In specialists' opinion, for the time being the parties will determine the sea border based on the Caspian seabed status. But there are a lot of issues discussion of which may cause tension in interstate relations. For example, even Russian newspapers mentioned the version by Kazakh specialists that the state border might pass through Severny, where oil industrial production from the seabed had been recently started in Hvalynsky structure. These rumours are being promoted by a nervous situation where neither Kazakhstani nor Russian specialists could determine to which country the Ukatny Island belongs. This island lies on a productive structure being a continuation of the Kurmangazy structure, Atyrau oil specialists think. Severny is located a bit further, and, possibly, covers the Ukatny Island.
The OKIOC seriously fears that the Caspian status will be determined as a sea. Then the Kashagan structure will be in a neutral territory and will not be under the jurisdiction of Kazakhstan. The Russian deputy Minister,, Hristenko added fuel to the fire, when he announced Russia would not divide the Caspian into national sectors.
Russia is rapidly stirring up in the sea. Astrakhan is being turned into a basic town for sea operations. If Astra is at the depth of 28 metres and will function under difficult conditions of an intensive ice drift, 5 special sleetproof platforms will be built soon to produce oil all the year round, according to Russian media. Currently the Astrakhan �Sea shipbuilding plant� is building a semi-submersible device �Shelf-7� for Lukoil. This device will be capable to work at a depth of 800 metres and will drill wells of up to 8 km in depth.
�With the help of this equipment, the Tribune newspaper distributed in the Volga basin writes, Lukoil plans to develop other oil and gas regions of the Caspian Sea.� It is a serious claim, which, possibly, characterises the position of Russia concerning the Caspian status.
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