Document Sample
ASTANA CALLING - PDF Powered By Docstoc
					                                                    ASTANA CALLING
                                                    A bi-weekly online publication of the Ministry of
                                                     Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
                                                                       Issue #26
                                                              Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Kazakhstan Gets Closer to Europe, One Magazine at a Time
(French magazine publishes an issue dedicated to Kazakhstan, its OSCE role)

Kazakh Presence Grows in Global Business Centre
(Consulate General and KazCham open in New York)

Museums Remind of Horrors of Stalinism, Never to Be Repeated Again
(Former ‘islands’ of GULAG Archipelago teach youngsters to respect rights)

Kazakhstan Brings Musical Best to Vienna to Help Launch Chairmanship
(Unprecedented concert of Kazakh folk and world classical music at OSCE seat)

Kazakhstan Gets Closer to Europe, One Magazine at a Time
                                         “Kazakhstan, Europe’s future?” That is the question
                                  journalists of the French magazine L’Essentiel des
                                  Relations Internationales ask in their January-February
                                  issue dedicated to Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the
                                  OSCE. As one reads through the issue, one might as well
                                  conclude that the future is now.
                                        “Europeans in general and the French in particular,
                                  have long been incapable of locating Kazakhstan on a
                                  world map.
                                        They might just about hazard that the largest country
                                  in Central Asia hangs rather like love handles beneath
                                  formerly Tsarist - and then Soviet - Russia. But several
                                  reciprocal visits by Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev and
                                  Nicolas Sarkozy have shed new light on the biggest
                                  country in the Eurasian region. With its 16 million
                                  inhabitants, a territory which is almost as large as the
                                     European Union, a subsoil brimming with raw materials, a
                                     philosophy of interethnic tolerance which is remarkable for
                                     the region, cordial relations with all its neighbors and a
                                     people who offer a warm and culturally diverse welcome,
Kazakhstan has become a major centre of interest for all European countries.
      And indeed in 2010 could well be the year of Kazakhstan. The country is going to be
heading up the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the first country in
Eurasia and the former Soviet Union to have this honour. This model state, a masterwork created
by its president, who has been in power for almost twenty years, ought to give Europeans food
for thought when it comes to the resolution of certain conflicts.”
      This is the lead to 100 pages of report devoted to Kazakhstan, a country that bridges the
East and the West.

      The reporters visited Kazakhstan on the eve of its OSCE chairmanship and met political
figures and experts.
      They interviewed President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Karim Masimov,
Secretary of State - Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, Chairman of the Constitutional Council
Igor Rogov, Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Bakhyt Sultanov, Minister of Transport
and Communications Abelgazi Kusainova, Minister of Labour and Social Protection and
Chairwoman of the National Commission on Gender and Family Policies Gulshara
Abdykalikova, Chairman of the National Bank Grigory Marchenko, and many others.
      The unique experience of inter-ethnic harmony in the country and its contribution to
dialogue between civilizations have been explained in an article by Chairman of the Senate
Kassym-Zhomart Tokaev and in an interview with Deputy Chairman of the Assembly of People
of Kazakhstan Eraly Tugzhanov.
      Besides Kazakhstan’s politicians and public figures, journalists talked to French Senator
Emery de Montesquieu, chairman of the Franco-Kazakhstan Interparliamentary Friendship
Committee Thierry Mariani, State Secretary, Ministry of Trade of France Anne-Marie Idrak, and
      The circulation of the journal is 100,000. Its audience includes political and economic
leadership in France and other European countries.
      (For full coverage please visit

Kazakh Presence Grows in Global Business Centre
      Kazakhstan has widened its
presence in the United States by
opening it Consulate General and
Chamber of Commerce in New York
City, seeking to tighten business ties
with a wide range of companies
operating both in Kazakhstan and
      The Kazakh Chamber of
Commerce (KazCham) has been
uniting companies engaged in trade,
manufacturing and services. It is a
non-profit corporation and a chartered
bi-national organization, aiming to stimulate the trade exchange between Kazakhstan and U.S.,
offer information about Kazakhstan trade and commerce to its members and promote
Kazakhstan commercial interests.
      It serves both as a social and economic partner for small and medium-sized businesses,
corporations, as well as global business partners around the world. The Chamber has signed over
70 cooperation agreements with partners in foreign countries, including Italy, France, UAE,
Russia, India, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, South Africa, and Egypt.
      Through its 16 regional chambers, KazCham provides more than 70,000 services annually,
including consultations on foreign trade activities, customs clearance, and disputes settlement
processes. It provides information about Kazakh companies for members and non-members to
encourage and expand commerce through effective marketing. It also holds meetings to inform
its members about the latest commercial developments between Kazakhstan and the U.S.
      In its turn the American Chamber of Commerce in Kazakhstan is located in Almaty and
works since 1999. Today, its membership stands at over 200 companies from a very broad range
of countries. Membership consists of roughly one-half American companies, with the other half
from Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Kazakhstan.
      In 2009, the U.S.-Kazakhstan Public-Private Economic Partnership Initiative (PPEPI) was
launched under AmCham leadership. The program emerged from a meeting in 2007 between
Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov and U.S. State Department Special

Representative on Commercial and Business Affairs Frank Mermoud, and was guided to
realization by AmCham President Kenneth Mack.
      Another office that has opened its doors in New York City lately is the Consulate General
of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Consulate General in New York, the world’s biggest
financial and business center, in partnership with the Kazakhstan’s Embassy in Washington,
DC., will be engaged in further development of Kazakhstan-U.S. strategic partnership in
numerous areas such as political cooperation, business, culture, education, art and tourist
      The United States has recently opened its Consulate General in Kazakhstan’s financial
capital of Almaty. It is the only U.S. Consulate General in Central Asia.

Museums Remind of Horrors of Stalinism, Never to Be Repeated Again
                                             Kazakhstan is pursuing a concerted program of
                                       restoring museums and monuments to the victims of
                                       political repression during the Soviet times.
                                             Currently, a museum for victims of Karlag
                                       (Karaganda Corrective Labor Camp) is under restoration
                                       under the government’s Road Map anti-crisis program.
                                             The museum building, a former Karlag bureau, was
                                       built in 1933 and is located in Dolinka village. The
                                       government is spending 113 million tenge in order to
                                       reconstruct the museum, posing a task to the building
                                       company to provide it with special climate control system
                                       for better preservation of the exponents.
                                             The Akim of Karaganda oblast has recently visited the
                                       museum and checked on the progress of reconstruction
                                       works. He emphasized the need to safeguard the memory of
                                       those hard times and of the people who suffered the most,
                                       paying tribute to their spirit and dignity.
                                              The Karaganda Corrective Labor Camp was one of
                                        the largest of the notorious GULAG labor camps of the
                                        Soviet era, immortalized in Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s
                                        “GULAG Archipelago”.
                                              The Soviet government founded the camp in 1931 in
                                        central Kazakhstan, designing it as one of the largest
deportation spots in the USSR. About 800,000 inmates were interned in Karlag over its history,
most of them political prisoners.
      The Gulag once spread over the Kazakhstan steppe like a thick wreath. Eleven camps
housed hundreds of thousands of prisoners. Millions of families suffered from cruel and violent
repressions, leaving no space to mercy or understanding.
      At that time, Kazakhstan unwittingly became a place where people of scores of different
nationalities were brought together by the harsh Stalin regime. Despite the extreme living
conditions and psychological tensions many of the deported managed to stay strong and
courageously resist the hardships. At the same time, contribution made later by the deported
nations into the cultural and scientific development of the republic is immense.
      Another tribute to the severe Soviet past in Kazakhstan is an Alzhir memorial museum for
the victims of political repression and totalitarianism. The museum is located outside modern
Astana, the former Akmolinsk, where once stood the Alzhir camp (a Russian acronym for the
Akmolinskiy Camp for Wives of Traitors of the Motherland). One of the notorious camps of the
Gulag was reserved for the wives of political prisoners and “enemies of the people”.
      Another monument to the victims of political repressions was erected in Zhanalyk village
near Almaty in 2002. In 1990s, the building of former Almaty NKVD (People’s Commissariat
for Internal Affairs) has been transformed into a museum.

       Kazakhstan never forgets those times, handing down from generation to generation the
testimony of predecessors’ history. A number of museums, memorials, and monuments to the
victims of Soviet repressions are scattered throughout the country, commemorating the true
patriotism and courage of our ancestry.
      May 31 is the Memorial Day of the Victims of Political Repression in Kazakhstan. One of
the first laws adopted by independent Kazakhstan was the law “On rehabilitation of victims of
mass political repressions” signed in April 1993. As stated by the President of Kazakhstan,
keeping the memory of the previous generations is our moral and sacred duty. That is why today
Kazakhstan exerts every effort to restore the historical justice in order to show respect and
solicitous attitude to all victims’ families and relatives.

Kazakhstan Brings Musical Best to Vienna to Help Launch Chairmanship
      Kazakhstan is bringing more than 100
of its best performers of folk and classical
music to Vienna to inaugurate its OSCE
Chairmanship in style.
      Just as the OSCE Chairmanship for
Kazakhstan is unprecedented, so is the
concert, taking place in Vienna on such a
scale. Kazakhstan became the first post
Soviet, predominantly Asian and Muslim
state to be given the honour of leading the
Organization for Security and Co-operation
in Europe.
      The 90-minute concert, to be given on
January 13 at 7 p.m. at Hofburg palace, the
official seat of the OSCE in downtown
Vienna, will feature performances by the
Kazakh State Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments after Kurmangazy, the Symphony
Orchestra and Choir of the National Theater of Opera and Ballet after Baiseitova. The cast also
includes famous singers, laureates of many international contests, including Maira
Mukhamedkyzy (Kerey) and Alibek Dnishev who both recently performed along Placido
Domingo. From the younger generation of Kazakh artists to perform in Vienna, the play list
includes an opera singer Azamat Zheltirguzov and violinist Amir Bissengaliyev.
      The repertoire of Kurmanghazy Orchestra includes more than four thousand pieces. Along
with compositions of national authors, the orchestra performs immortal compositions of
Schubert, Glinka, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and others, giving an unconventional sound for
European classics.
      The orchestra is to perform famous and spectacular Kazakh folk tunes such as Sary-Arka,
as well as the Brahms’s Hungarian Dance. It performed in Washington in 2005 to rave reviews
in the papers. “The impression of galloping horses across vast, grassy steppes... An intriguing
evening,” wrote The Washington Times. “Fast and bright,” commented The Washington Post.
      The talent of opera singer Maira Kerey knows no borders. Born to a Kazakh family in
China, she moved to Kazakhstan in 1994 and has made a brilliant career on the national and
international stage. She made her European stage debut at the Opéra National de Paris as
Musetta in la bohème with Roberto Alagna, and has since been heard as Adine in L’elisir
d’amore at the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy, Opéra de Rennes, Théâtre de Caen, and the
Opéra National in Bordeaux.
      In Vienna, she is to perform Gulderaiym, a Kazakh folk song, and Sylvia’s aria from Imre
Kalman’s Die Csárdásfürstin (“The Csárdás Princess”), which premiered in Vienna in 1915.
      Of particular note is the directing of the Baiseitova Orchestra by Alan Buribayev, a
renowned Kazakh prodigy who has already directed many famous international orchestras.
      Having graduated from the Kazakh State Conservatory’s course of violin and conducting,
Alan Buribayev was later a conducting student of Uros Lajovic in Vienna. He was a prize winner

in the Lovro von Matacic Conducting Competition in Zagreb and in the Antonio Pedrotti
Competition in 2001. His tenures as Principal Conductor since then included the Astana
Symphony Orchestra, the Meiningen Theatre in Germany, and Het Brabants Orkestr in the
      Currently, apart from his duties in Astana, Alan Buribayev is also the Principal Conductor
of the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, and his current contract with the orchestra is
through 2010. Last year Alan Buribayev was announced as the Principal Conductor Designate of
the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra also known as The National Symphony Orchestra of
Ireland and is scheduled to start his new assignment in September 2010.
      In an interview with Kazinform news agency on the eve of the concert, Buribayev, 30, who
comes from a family known for its musical traditions said the concert is likely to be a success
even with a picky European audience.
      “About 100 artists will be present including orchestra and chorus of Kulyash Baiseitova,
with whom I rehearse right now. There will be a lot of young talented performers among the
participants,” he said.
      “Our concert hopefully plays an important role in the events accompanying the
inauguration of Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship. Of course, the performance will be of serious
public significance, as it represents the nation’s achievements over the years of independence.
We can now speak of impressive results. We would like to show that Kazakhstan has something
to be proud of,” he stressed.
      Buribayev spoke of the growing prestige of Kazakhstan’s culture and stressed his
appreciation of the governmental support of arts in the country.
      “I am glad to note our state supports development of culture. This is visible through staging
new plays in theatres, through artistic achievements of our singers and musicians. And this is
great. Few countries witness such support from the government,” he stressed.
      The conductor also noted the significance of intercultural dialogue, which is seen as one of
priorities for Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship, as it raises the nation’s image abroad. “This is
very important – both at a political and human level”, he said.
      In addition to masterpieces of Kazakh music by Kurmanghazy, Zhubanov, Khamidi, and a
number of folk songs, the concert program will include works of Mozart, Strauss, Wagner,
Chopin, Donizetti, Verdi, Saint-Saens, Rossini and others.

Also in the News
   • Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the official website of Kazakhstan’s
       chairmanship in the OSCE, The site provides surfers with relevant
       information on the activities of the organization, latest news on the activities of the
       chairmanship, and tips for mass media. It can be accessed via WAP and in RSS mode.
   • Kazpost introduced a special stamp dedicated to Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the
       OSCE. It features Kazakhstan’s chairmanship logo and its nominal is 230 tenge (KZT
       150 = 1 USD), enough to send a simple letter internationally.
   • On January 8, President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Law “On amendments to some
       legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on customs affairs directed at
       implementation of integrated control at automobile border-crossing points during
       movement of goods and transport means across the state border through transferring the
       functions of transport, veterinary, quarantine control and plant quarantine control to the
       customs authorities.”
   • Inflation in Kazakhstan equaled 6.2 percent in 2009, the State Agency for Statistics
       reported this week, a notable decrease from 7.3 percent in 2008.
   • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) congratulated Kazakhstan’s
       Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the inauguration of CARICC (Central Asian Regional
       Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs,
       Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors). Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director
       of UNODC said CARICC signifies the strong commitment of Kazakh authorities to
       tackling the drug trafficking problem within the region.
   •   The Swedish city of Vasterpas hosted the second youth conference of Kazakh Diaspora
       in Europe. The event’s purpose was to engage young people of the Kazakh Diaspora into
       national culture and traditions, as well as to establish educational, business and cultural
       links between Kazakhs in Europe and the land of their ancestors.
   •   The Kazakh tennis team produced a spirited performance in Perth, Australia, as they
       narrowly missed making the final of the Hopman Cup 2010, an unofficial world cup for
       mixed teams (see more in the previous issue of Astana Calling), despite being rated last
       among 8 participants of the prestigious tournament. In the second game of their group
       Yaroslava Shvedova (World Number 51) and Andrey Golubev (World No 136) reached a
       sensational victory of 2-1 against the Russian team, which included Elena Dementieva
       (World No 5, finalist of two Grand Slam tournaments) and Igor Andreev (World No 35).
       In the third game of their group, the Kazakhs recorded a confident win of 2-0 against the
       strong German team of Sabine Licisky (World No 22) and Philipp Kohlschreiber (World
       No 27). The group, however, was beaten by the British team of Andy Murray and Laura
       Robson, who narrowly beat Russia in their third game, following previous wins against
       Germany and Kazakhstan, the latter being won in a tie-break.

Things to watch
   • Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State – Minister of Foreign Affairs Kanat Saudabayev will
      present the country’s priorities for its OSCE chairmanship at the OSCE Permanent
      Council in Vienna on January 14.
   • Cyrill, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia of the Russian Orthodox Church will pay
      an official visit to Kazakhstan on January 15-18, where he is expected to attend the
      unveiling of a new cathedral in Kazakhstan’s capital.
   • From January 15 to 20, Astana will host the Kazakhstan Boxing Championship. The
      Championship seeks to select sportsmen for participation in international competitions
      and tournaments until 2012.
   • On January 17-21, the Kuwait City hosts the 2nd meeting of the Kazakh-Kuwaiti
      intergovernmental commission on economic and technical cooperation. Natalya
      Korzhova, the state secretary of the Ministry of Finance, will lead the Kazakh delegation.

                        ASTANA CALLING is a bi-weekly online publication of
                      the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
                        Please send your requests and questions to