Astana Calling № 376-1

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Kyrgyz PMs Discusses Energy, Customs Union in Astana




Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan JoomartOtorbayev met with Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov at the fifth session of the Kyrgyz-Kazakh Intergovernmental Council in Astana on Oct. 13. The prime ministers discussed cooperation in the energy sector, transport, cultural and humanitarian ties and border cooperation.

Otorbayev was also received by President of Kazakhstan NursultanNazarbayev on Oct 14 where he briefed his host of the agreements reached, including on the terms of delivery of electricity. Last week Nazarbayev discussed this with his Kyrgyz counterpart AlmazbekAtambayev as the two leaders met on the sidelines of CIS meeting in Minsk.

“Kyrgyz-Kazakh cooperation has become dynamic and practical lately. Active political and economic dialogue is maintained [and] contacts are established at all levels, which make cooperation meaningful,” Otorbayev said.

Kyrgyzstan promised to finalise its position on the implementation of the plan for Kazakhstan’s accession to the Customs Union before the end of 2014.

The parties also agreed to speed up the establishment of a Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan private equity fund as well as to prepare a list of promising investment projects consistent with the principles of the investment fund for subsequent transfer to the fund.

At the request of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan agreed to sell an additional supply of electricity in the amount of 1 billion kilowatt-hours from November 2014 to May 2015.

The council ordered the acceleration of procedures for the signing of an intergovernmental agreement to build a ferro-alloy plant in Kyrgyzstan. The National Centre on Complex Processing of Mineral Resources of Kazakhstan will accelerate the development assessment of the environmental impact of the project and present it by December 2014.

The council also decreed on the quick resolution on the use of an 800-metre stretch of the Bishkek-Naryn-Torugart road passing through the territory of Kazakhstan, near Druzhba Village in Kyrgyzstan’s Chui Oblast.

The council asked the Kyrgyztemirzholu National Railway Company to pay its current debts to the joint-stock railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy in the amount of 893,132 Swiss francs (US$945,283) as soon as possible. The parties will also intensify the construction of the Russia-Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan railway line.

Pursuant to prior arrangements, the countries will explore the possibility of using Kazakhstan’s communications and broadcasting KazSat satellites series in the interests of Kyrgyzstan. The council requested the National Centre of Space Research and Technology of Kazakhstan and the Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences of Kyrgyzstan to continue to work together on using the existing GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) data network in the seismically active region of Tien Shan to study the geodynamics of the cross-border area.

In the sphere of customs and border protection, the governments agreed to grant the status of multilateral checkpoint at the Auhatty (Kazakhstan) – Ken Bulun (Kyrgyzstan) and Sartobe (Kazakhstan) – Tokmok (Kyrgystan) border crossings.

The status of the Besagash (Kazakhstan) – KichiKapka (Kyrgyzstan) checkpoint will be determined after Kyrgyzstan joins the Customs Union.

Kyrgyzstan’s delegates noted the need to establish cooperation with Kazakhstan to jointly provide an effective mechanism for addressing issues of legal and other protections for labour migrants from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan, particularly in terms of pensions, health and social insurance and other measures.

The parties agreed that when Kyrgyzstan enters the EAEC and submits a draft agreement, Kazakhstan will consider, on a parity basis, an exemption from the registration of incoming Kyrgyz citizens for up to 30 days (similar to agreements it has with Russia and Belarus).

Kyrgyzstan also resolved to undertake measures to protect works on the Chu River bank near Bast Village in the Alamedin district.

Kyrgyzstan will also take steps to complete internal procedures for the ratification of the agreement between the two countries on the establishment of a Centre for Emergency and Disaster Risk Reduction.

The parties agreed to hold the sixth meeting of the Kyrgyz-Kazakh Intergovernmental Council in 2015 in Bishkek.


Central Asia, EU Analyse Steps Taken to Ensure Rule Of Law




Officials of the judicial systems of the EU and Central Asia discussed justice system issues at the fourth Conference of the Ministers of Justice of the Central Asian States and the European Union, which was held on Oct. 14 and 15 in Astana.

“The Conference of Ministers of Justice is traditionally a platform for dialogue established between the Ministries of Justice, academics and practitioners in Central Asia and the European Union on the key issues of modern law,” Minister of Justice of Kazakhstan Berik Imashev said in his opening remarks.

The participants analysed measures taken by states of the EU and Central Asia in order to ensure the implementation of the rule of law of the EU Initiative for Central Asia in constitutional law, criminal law, justice, development and independence.

Interaction between Kazakhstan and the EU is directed towards dialogue and advancement in human rights, education, the rule of law, energy, transport, environmental protection and water resources and trade and economic relations, the Justice Ministry of Kazakhstan reported.

This year alone, Kazakhstan has adopted a new criminal code, along with the new criminal procedures and criminal executive codes to modernise criminal justice in accordance with international standards. The new code of administrative offences provides further reform of administrative and tort law.

The new draft of the civil procedure code, aiming to modernise civil procedural law and provide for the development and integration of the institute of mediation, is being drafted, as is a new project on an entrepreneurial code. New laws aimed at improving enforcement proceedings are also being adopted, the justice ministry reported.

The participants worked in five themed sessions: promoting the rule of law through the development of administrative law in Central Asia; access to justice and alternative methods for the administration of justice; the development of human rights and freedoms under the constitution and criminal justice; contributing to more efficient administration of justice, including mediation; and commercial litigation and secure investment as the necessary conditions for the development of the rule of law.

Further cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU in the framework of the project will contribute to deepening and improving discussions in this area.

In particular, events such as conferences, seminars and workshops and the development of specialised programmes create favourable conditions for the active exchange of experience among experts in the field of law and the development of specific recommendations to improve the national legal system.

“In the face of new challenges in a globalised world, the main task of the legal policy of each state is on the one hand, to ensure the rule of law; on the other hand, to minimise the security risks of society and the state,” Imashev noted.

The conference was organised by the EU and coordinated by France and Germany under the chairmanship of Italy and the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan.

It was attended by representatives of 13 delegations of the Ministries of Justice of the EU and Central Asia, representatives of international and nongovernmental organisations, representatives of state agencies and organisations of Kazakhstan, the academic and business communities, members of the Parliament of Kazakhstan and diplomatic missions of EU member states in Kazakhstan.


Armenia Joins New EEU During Presidents Meeting in Minsk




Armenia officially joined the yet-to-be-launched Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) at a meeting of the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia in Minsk on Oct. 10, while Kyrgyzstan’s progress on implementing a plan for its accession to the group’s predecessor, the Common Economic Space of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia was commended.

The EEU was established on May 29, when the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed the final treaty on the organisation. It will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2015.

Presidents Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia and Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan joined President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus at the Oct. 10 meeting to participate in talks and sign respective documents.

At the gathering, Nazarbayev emphasised the need to better inform the business community and general population of the member states of the real and practical advantages of the EEU. He also called for Kazakhstan’s representation among the personnel of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the permanent ruling body of the EEU, to be increased and for the commission to make quick, correct translations of its documents into member states’ national languages.

The next meeting of the highest level of the Eurasian Economic Union will be held in Moscow in December.

Nazarbayev, Lukashenko, Atambayev, Putin and President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan also participated in the last meeting of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) interstate council, signing a treaty terminating the EurAsEC as of Jan.1, 2015. The organisation had been created by those nations in 2000 to build stronger economic connections.

The parties agreed to save the EurAsEC anti-crisis fund and recognised the need to continue intergovernmental programmes for biotechnologies and for reclaiming territories within the member states affected by uranium mining. This session was the final official event of the EurAsEC.

In Minsk on the same day, the heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) signed a number of documents intended to foster their increased cooperation in humanitarian issues, security and other areas. Agreements on law enforcement cooperation, including a programme of cooperation in combating illegal migration for 2015 to 2019 and a cooperation concept for combating human trafficking, were signed, and the leaders considered a statement expressing the willingness of the CIS to increase international efforts to combat the flow of drugs, based on strict compliance with international obligations.

Special attention was also paid to humanitarian cooperation, in particular cooperation in education. The participants declared 2016 the Year of Education in the Commonwealth of Independent States and 2015 the Year of the Veteran. They also agreed to hold a joint celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, as proposed by President Putin.

The leaders discussed development activities within the CIS and the execution of the action plan for implementing the CIS development concept in narrow and expanded formats before the document signing ceremony.

Kazakhstan will chair the CIS Heads of State Council in 2015.

“We will continue to work on the development of trade and economic relations, free trade zones, cooperation in transit, agriculture and food security and the humanitarian area,” Nazarbayev said.

“The documents signed at the CIS summit lay a good foundation for further cooperation. Assuming the CIS chairmanship in 2015, Kazakhstan will prepare for the next council of heads of state. It will take place in Astana. Kazakhstan considers the CIS a unique political platform that unites the post-Soviet countries. “There is no other such organisation in our region. It is the best platform for solving arising issues, holding debates and exchanging opinions,” Nazarbayev said.


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Diplomatic relations established between Kazakhstan and Togo

Permanent Representative to the United Nations from Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov and his counterpart Kodjo Menan from the Togolese Republic signed a joint communiqué establishing diplomatic relations between the two states on Oct. 9 in New York.

During the signing ceremony, the sides exchanged views on current bilateral cooperation and its prospects and discussed solutions for the problems of landlocked countries and other issues on the UN agenda important for Kazakhstan and Togo. The two sides underlined the importance of sharing experience in economic development and expanding contacts between their nations, especially in trade, mining, energy, access to regional markets and education. Kazakhstan also officially invited the government of Togo to participate in the international exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana. Menan also expressed interest in Kazakhstan’s assistance in developing cooperation between the African state and Central Asia. (

Astana mayor briefs President on capital’s development


Akim (Mayor) of Astana Imangali Tasmagambetov briefed President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the socioeconomic development of the capital, including the implementation of investment projects and key government programmes and the growth of investment, services, trade and construction in the capital. The President drew attention to Astana’s increasing self-sufficiency and the tangible effects of the investment the city has received. Tasmagambetov noted the decline in transfers from the national budget due to the growth of the city’s own revenue. The President gave the mayor instructions after the meeting. (


Kazakhstan and Malaysia discuss deepening cooperation in law enforcement

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Malaysia Daniyar Sarekenov met with Attorney General of Malaysia Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail in Malaysia’s administrative centre on Oct. 10 to discuss expanding cooperation in law enforcement as stipulated by the joint statement issued during the official visit of Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak to Kazakhstan in May. During their meeting, the ambassador and the attorney general also discussed their countries’ major threats and challenges and domestic and international efforts being made to address them. The parties acknowledged the need to expand the legal framework for bilateral cooperation in law enforcement. A delegation from the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan will visit Malaysia on October 27 and 28 to study the best Malaysian practices in combating religious extremism and terrorism. (


EXPO commissioner visits Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan

EXPO 2017 Commissioner and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshybayev visited Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkmenistan to distribute invitations to EXPO 2017 and to discuss bilateral cooperation. In Armenia, Zhoshybayev met with the foreign minister and minister of economy; in Georgia, with President Giorgi Margvelashvili and the ministers of economy and sustainable development and foreign affairs; in Azerbaijan, with deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Novruz Mamedov and the ministers of energy and culture and tourism, and in Turkmenistan, with Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Palvan Taganov and Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Dovran Orazmuradov. The countries discussed attracting corporate partnerships to EXPO 2017 and increasing interparliamentary cooperation. (


Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan meets State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice of Slovakia

Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan Askhat Daulbayev met with State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice of Slovakia Monika Jankovska on Oct. 13 in Astana to discuss the prospects of the countries’ legal cooperation and widening their foundational legal agreement. It was emphasised that that the visit of the Slovak delegation is an important step in developing cooperation and exchanging experience in enhancing the legal systems of the two countries.
Daulbayev updated his colleague on law enforcement reform in Kazakhstan, the country’s new criminal law concept and measures taken to guarantee human rights protection. They also discussed combating crime and Kazakhstan’s cooperation with foreign authorities to fight transnational crime. The parties confirmed their interest in widening and strengthening their interaction. (


Education grants will be allocated in Kazakhstan to attract talented youth

Young and talented people from other countries will be encouraged in Kazakhstan, Health and Social Development Minister Tamara Duysenova said. “One of the directions for improving migration policy will be the attraction of talented young people from neighboring countries, who will be awarded with grants,” Duysenova told at a joint meeting of the Social Council under Nur Otan party fraction and of the Mazhilis Committee for social and Cultural Development. She added that it is the practice of Singapore, Malaysia, UK and other developed nations. According to the minister, if these young people choose to study in Kazakhstan, after a three-year training course they will be given the opportunity of working in their qualification field in the country regardless of quotas and permits. (


Almaty’s Medeo skating rink opens for the season

Almaty’s outdoor skating rink, Medeo, opened for the season on Oct. 4. Medeo is 1,691 metres above sea level, making it the highest skating rink in the world. The rink’s hours of operation will be from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays and weekends the rink will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m.

Two-hour skate rental starts from $10 for adults, $4 for students, while children under 7 years old and pensioners are allowed to skate for free. Rooms at the adjacent Medeo Hotel can also be rented for $30 for a regular room or $100 for a deluxe room. The facility also offers a sauna, gym and conference hall for business meetings. (


Kazakh folklore presented at World Book Fair

“Babalar Sozi,” a 100 volume collection of Kazakh folklore, was presented at the World Book Fair in Frankfurt am Main. The illustrated collection of epics, legends, myths and proverbs contains almost all genres of Kazakh folklore and includes manuscripts recorded in old Arabic print and other works. To restore the historical picture of the past, folklorists searched the collections of Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and China. Folklorist Seit Kaskabasov in particular has spent 10 years producing the collection, issuing 10 volumes a year. According to him the work was difficult, and many texts of the songs were banned for publication in the Soviet period.

The presentation of the collection gathered eminent Turkologists, literary critics and scientists from different countries. Turkologist from Germany Thomas Wyrwal said, “Not every country can show off such a rich culture and, beyond that, publish it for the masses. It is really great work. This is an opportunity for younger generations to know their history …” More than 100 countries made presentations at the Frankfurt Book Fair. (




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