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Kazakh Report: April 20, 1999


20 April 1999

CZECH PRIME MINISTER MILOS ZEMAN VISITED KAZAKHSTAN.
RFE/RL correspondents report from Astana that an official delegation of the Czech Republic led by Premier Milos Zeman visited the Kazakh capital on 19 April. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev held talks with Zeman and discussed further bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic. Mainly bilateral cooperation in transportation and agricultural sphere was taken into account during the negotiations. The issue of Kazakh natural gas supplies to the Czech Republic was discussed. Kazakhstan's debts to the Czech Republic remaining from the Soviet era are reported as 156 million Soviet Rubles. Kazakhstan agreed to transport 1,5 billion cubic meters of natural gas as a compensation of those debts. It was reported at the press conference held by the Kazakh Premier Nurlan Balghymbayev and his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman the same day, that Russian Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov agreed to allow Kazakh natural gas to flow to the Czech Republic through the Russian gas pipelines. Milos Zeman is scheduled to leave for Uzbekistan on 20 April.

NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV TOOK PART IN THE SESSION OF THE KAZAKH STATE COMMISSION ON FIGHT AGAINST ORGANIZED CRIME.
RFE/RL correspondents report from Astana that President Nursultan Nazarbayev participated in a three-hour session of the Kazakh State Commission on Fight Against Organized Crime on 20 April. The chairman of the Kazakh Committee on National Security and Chief of the State Commission on Fight against Organized Crime, Oralbay Abdikarimov, told RFE/RL correspondents afterwards that new names of some regional officials involved in some financial mishandling and power misuse had been revealed at the session. Among the "corrupted" officials there were mentioned such regional governors as Mr. Tolqatarov - former Vice Governor of Atyrau Oblast, Western Kazakhstan, Mr. Lukin - Mayor of Oskemen City, Eastern Kazakhstan, Mr. Dmitienko - regional governor of a region in the North Kazakhstan Oblast, and others.

COMMUNISTS AND SOME OTHER OPPOSITION MOVEMENT PROTEST NAZARBAYEV'S TRIP TO WASHINGTON DC.
RFE/RL correspondents reported from Almaty that members of the SOYUZ movement, Workers Movement and Communist Party of Kazakhstan held a press conference at Democracy House in the former capital on 20 April, where they expressed their protest against Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's visit to Washington DC. scheduled for April 22. The Kazakh President is expected to take part in the official ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of NATO. The leader of the Workers Movement, Otegen Qabaziyev, and a member of the SOYUZ movement's Executive Committee Lev Balaian, told RFE/RL correspondents that they oppose NATO's anti-Yugoslavia airstrikes, adding that such serious actions should have been undertaken only after the UN had voiced its approval. They also said that they call for Kazakhstan to leave UN, which they argue should be dissolved, "since there is no meaning of such an organization any more."

MURAT AUEZOV ON KAZAKH-CHINESE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE JOINT USE OF RIVERS CROSSING THE SINO-KAZAKH BORDERS.
The co-chairman of the AZAMAT movement, Murat Auezov, held a press conference on 19 April in Almaty, at which he called on Kazakhstan to attract Russia and Kyrgyzstan to the issue of the Kazakh-Chinese joint use of the rivers crossing the two states boundaries. Kazakhstan had sent its proposals on the matter to Beijing earlier this year. Official Sino-Kazakh negotiations on use of the waters of the Irtysh (Ertis) are scheduled for this year. Mr. Auezov thinks that without Russia the matter will not be solved with the necessary balance. The Chinese side has moved about 3 million ethnic Han (Chinese) to Xin Jiang (Eastern Turkistan), which was traditionally inhabited by ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities. New dams and power stations are being built on the banks of Chinese Irtysh. Huge constructions are going on in Qaramay town in Eastern Turkistan. There is a danger that all those construction projects will make the waters flowing in the Kazakh and Russian territory shallow. Murat Auezov is a Sinologist and served as Kazakhstan's Ambassador to China in the early 1990s.

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