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Kazakhstan: Russian Officials Agree To Preparation Of New Treaties

Almaty, 11 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Russian and Kazakh officials have agreed to prepare a new package of agreements and treaties on oil and gas production, and on leasing the Baikonur space facility in Kazakhstan, reports our Almaty correspondent.

Talks were held on the issues after last week's Central Asia-Russia Almaty summit, which focused on developments in Afghanistan. This month, a special meeting of the Kazakhstan-Russia committee on economic cooperation is reported scheduled to discuss the proposed agreements, including a reconsideration of the Baikonur agreement.

Russia and Kazakhstan had agreed that Moscow would lease the space facility for more than $100 million a year. Almaty says no payment has been received, while Russia says Kazakhstan owes Moscow money for energy supplies.

Kazakh Senate Ratifies World Bank Oil Loan

Kazakhstan's Senate has ratified an agreement with the World Bank on a $109 million loan to rehabilitate the Uzen oil field. Kazakhstan hopes to start the project this month.

The Uzen oil field in western Kazakhstan is one of the country's largest, but reports say production has fallen steeply since 1990, in part because of Kazakhstan's aging oil field equipment.

Golden Arches Over Almaty

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev met this week in Almaty with a top official of the U.S.-based McDonald's Company. Plans were announced afterward to open the first McDonald's fast food restaurant in Almaty in 1998.