No problems will emerge on oil volumes through the Baku-Ceykhan pipeline, according to John Wolf.
On Tuesday, John Wolf, the US President and State Secretary's special advisor on energy in the Caspian region, held a press conference in Almaty. Issues concerning policy in the field of Caspian oil transportation were touched on at the meeting.
In answer to the question by a Reuters journalist, what the U.S.A. was going to do if the Azerbaijani oil volume for transportation through the pipeline was insufficient, Mr. Wolf answered that the transportation tariff would be made so that no problems with oil volumes would emerge.
The U.S.A. is eager for successful co-operation with the Russian company LUKoil. �We hope LUKoil will participate in the Baku-Ceykhan pipeline ,� Mr. Wolf said.
Bill Clinton's administration has prepared a range of proposals for the Iranian party and ready to co-operate with Iran, the President's advisor announced.
A New NGO Established in Almaty
On Wednesday a new non-governmental organisation, �Democracy and Law�, announced that it had passed registration and had come into service. According to its representative, Bareta Yergalieva, their major objectives are to participate actively in the working out and expert evaluation of bills and other standard acts, studying and spreading of the international law organisation experience.
Organisers are also going to render charitable aid those repatriated, suppressed peoples and representatives of deported people.
Finest horses of Central Asia to feature in Uzhet celebration
As part of the Year of Culture 2000 and Nauryz celebrations, a celebration will be held in Uzhet on April 23. The celebration program includes a concert, festival, and equestrian displays. Some of the finest Central Asian horses will participate in the equestrian competition.
ALMATY, Apr 19-20
RPPK PLANS TO HOLD CONFERENCE ON 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV'S PRESIDENCY.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that Kazakhstan's Republican People Party led by Akezhan Kazhegeldin from exile is planning to hold conference devoted to the 10th anni versary of Nursultan Nazarbayev's presidency. Akezhan Kazhegeldin - the former Kazakh Premier, is known as the main political opponent of President Nazarbayev. The conference is scheduled for April 28. In May, 1990 Supreme Soviet of then Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic elected the First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party Nursultan Nazarbayev as President of the Kazakh SSR. Chairman of Republican People Party's Executive Committee - Ghaziz Aldamzharov told correspondents of RFE/RL that the main task of the conference would be to analyze economic, social and political situation in the country in the 10 years of Nazarbayev's Presidency.
ALMATY, Apr 20
�The murder of Talgat Ibraev is obviously an ordered one,� according to a highly informed retired general and active participant in arm sales in Kazakhstan, in his exclusive interview with THE GLOBE on April 19 in Almaty.
�Ibraev's murder is hardly directly connected with the passing of information or the sale of MIG fighters to North Korea,� he said. �The point is that Talgat Ibraev managed to establish partnership relations with the Russian state company, Rosvooruzhenye, without which Kazakhstan would not manage to enter the arms market.�
�Anotherset of events gives evidence to support this claim: Ibraev's appointment as the head of the national state enterprise �Kazspecexport� touched the interests of a certain group of people that are dealing with the illegal export of weapons in Kazakhstan. I am confident that the person who ordered this murder is inside the country,� our source believes.
Kazakhstan? Route via
North Korea and Yugoslavia?
Talgat Ibraev, the Kazspecexport General Director, was killed in the entrance of his own house with five point-blank shots on the night of April 15 in Almaty, when he had returned from Astana and literally a few hours before the US State Secretary, Madelene Albright, arrived to Kazakhstan.
Sales of weapons from Kazakhstan is associated with a range of notorious scandals, giving rise to considerably negative comments in the West, first of all in the U.S.A. This repeatedly places Kazakhstan in an embarrassing situation.
Possibly, the most notorious scandal was the seal of several MIG-21 fighters to North Korea. In summer 1999, a criminal case was brought against the commander of the General Headquarters, Bakhytzhan Yertaev, and the businessman, Alexander Petrenko, for the illegal sale of the fighters.
Later Yertaev was acquitted, charges against Petrenko were changed and he was released from custody on the basis of the amnesty.
The then Defense Minister, Mukhtar Altynbayev, and the KNB chairman, Nurtai Asbykaev sent in their resignations.
Recently Abykaev returned to the post of the deputy Foreign Minister and this caused a tensening of relations between the US State Secretary, Albright, and President Nazarbayev at their meeting in Astana.
Another well-known event happened in 1995 when Kazakhstan transferred missile complexes, Igla, to Yugoslavia, despite the international embargo. The deputy Minister of Armament, Valery Sapsai, sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment, and the head of the Department of Tangible Assets and Foreign Ties, Zhailaubai Sadibekov, were acknowledged to be guilty.
As far as we know, currently Sapsai is the marketing director of one of the private companies and Sadibekov heads one of the departments of the national company Kaztransoil.
At the end of 1992 the Cabinet of Ministers established a commission on governing military property. The commission's functions included control of the export of weapons. General-mayor, Valery Sapsai, headed the commission.
At around the same time, the state foreign trade company (SFTC) �Kazakhstan Sauda� emerged, our source states. In his opinion, the company was the first that concluded a deal infringing arms export rules. The Air Forces commander and the future Minister of Defense, Mukhtar Altynbayev, was directly concerned in the deal.
According to the 1993 governmental decree, the company �Ulan� was established. Talgat Ibraev was appointed the head of the company, and general Abdrakhmanov as his deputy. The main activity of Ulan was transporting and using of rare metals. In autumn 1995 the company managed to sell anti-aircraft guns to North Korea, our source says.
In the same year that Ulan was closed down, as a replacement the Defense Ministry established �Kazvoentehinpex�, the head of which was colonel Alchibayev.
The company existed for a year, while Alibek Kasymov was the Minister, from October 1995 to October 1996.
The new Defense Minister, Mukhtar Altynbayev, created a new enterprise �Karu-Zharak.� It was subordinate to the Committee of Defense Industry, the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan.
In summer 1999 the Committee was transferred to the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Trade. However, �Karu-Zharak� appeared to be subordinate to the secret sector of the Prime Minister, Balgimbayev's, Chancellery.
In autumn 1999, the national state enterprise �Kazspecexport� was established, and in November Talgat Ibraev was appointed the head of the enterprise. It is an interesting fact that the former Minister of Defense, Sagadat Nurmagambetov, who had left the post after the scandal surrounding the weapons sold to Yugoslavia, was appointed his first deputy.
From the editors:
Both the sale of missile complexes Igla and MIG-21 fighters to Northern Korea evoked a great international outcry. Yet everything settled down in Kazakhstan, following the same pattern.
In both cases the country's administration dismissed two people. In the first case, they were the deputy Minister of Armament Valery Sapsai and the head of the Department on Tangible Assets and Foreign Trade Ties Zhailaubai Sadibekov. In the latter case they were the commander of the General Headquarters, Bakhytzhan Yertaev, and the businessman, Petrenko.
Their heads sent in their resignations in order later to exchange their former posts to the new ones. The former Defense Minister, Sagadat Nurmagambetov, after he had been dismissed, became a President's advisor, then he was appointed the first deputy General Director of �Kazspecexport�.
Nurtai Abykaev changed his post of the KNB chairman to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Mukhtar Altynbayev, became the head of the Kazakhstani Air-Raid Defense, after he had left the Minister's seat.
These both cases as well as other had had a hand in casting shadows over the image of the country and of President Nazarbayev.
Apr 20 (Stratfor)
Three days after an unproductive meeting with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev characterized Iran as the anchor of security and stability in Central Asia, reported Iranian state media April 18. A dispute over shipping routes for Kazakstan's oil was the major point of disagreement for Albright and Nazarbayev. His comments indicate that Kazakstan values a relationship with Iran more than its relationship with the United States, so much so that it would publicly snub the U.S. Secretary of State.
Nazarbayev said Iran and Kazakstan should attempt to harness their potential economic growth in the field of shipping � an obvious reference to plans for moving Kazak oil through Iran to the Persian Gulf. Iran is constructing a new pipeline system that can transport oil from the Caspian Sea port of Neka to Iran's northern industrial regions. Iran will use that oil while exporting its own oil � under the Kazak label - from fields bordering the Persian Gulf to the south. Thus the "virtual pipeline" offers an easy export route for Kazakstan and substantial transit fees for Iran.
The United States opposes this plan, despite its warming relations with Iran. In meetings with Nazarbayev, Albright specifically pressed the U.S. counterproposal � a pipeline running from Baku, Azerbaijan to Ceyhan, Turkey. This pipeline would further U.S. interests by ensuring that neither Russia nor Iran could control the flow of oil from the Caspian region. Unfortunately, a combination of high costs and concerns about the region's stability have discouraged funding for the pipeline; and construction has yet to begin.
Nazarbayev's nod toward Iran illustrates a simple reality � the United States didn't offer Kazakstan any real incentive to adopt U.S. policies. Pipelines have a larger significance than simply moving oil; they are a barometer of relations between nations. The United States does not appear willing to put much effort into maintaining its influence in the region. Albright arrived bearing promises of a few four-wheel drive vehicles and training programs for the Kazak border patrol � rather paltry incentives to sign on to an economic and political fiasco in the making.
As the United States fades out of the Central Asian picture, Kazakstan retains two options: Russia and Iran. Russia currently ships most of Kazakstan's oil exports and benefits not only from transit fees, but from the influence it gains by being able to cut off Kazakstan's exports. But Kazakstan's oil production is expected to increase by up to 2.5 million barrels per day over the next decade according the Energy Information Agency � and control of those exports will be the key to Kazakstan. Russia has nearly finished a pipeline to connect the Kazak oil fields to its Black Sea port of Novorossisk, but the Iranian route remains a viable option � which directly affects Russia's hold over its neighbor.
Edging toward Iran gives Kazakstan the semblance of economic independence and a useful bargaining chip with Russia. The result will be increased tension between Tehran and Moscow. Those relations have already begun to fray, most recently manifesting in the expulsion of 17 Iranian students from a Russian engineering program. As Russia and Iran move further apart, the two are likely to increase their competition for influence in the rest of Central Asia, especially now that the United States is out of the picture.
All Over the Globe is published by IPA House.
© 1998 IPA House. All Rights Reserved.