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Kazakhstan: Debt Talks With Russia Expected Soon

By Merkhat Sharipzhan

Almaty, 5 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Our Almaty correspondent reports that a delegation from Russia is expected in Almaty soon to discuss debt payments.

Kazakhstan owes Russia about $400 million for energy supplies. Russia, on the other hand, owes Kazakhstan about the same amount in lease payments on the Baikonur space center.

Russia cut off energy supplies to parts of northern Kazakhstan in August, forcing the closing of enterprises, including coal mines that supply fuel for Russia's power-generating plants. Agreements were reached last month on restoring energy and coal shipments.

Kaz-Sino Border Smuggling Increasing

The number of smuggling cases is reported increasing on the Kazakhstan-China border.

Last week, Kazakh authorities say 180 containers, each containing 100 liters of pure alcohol, were confiscated from Chinese citizens trying to cross the border into China. Airborne Kazakh patrols recently also discovered expensive foreign cars, which authorities said were being prepared for smuggling across the border.