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Kazakhstan: Ties Established With Serbia, Montenegro

Almaty, 12 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Kazakhstan and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia,Montenegro) have established diplomatic relations. Belgrade's Ambassador to Moscow, Danilo Markovic, and Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Moscow, Tair Mansurov, met yesterday at the Kazakh embassy to sign the protocol on establishing bi-lateral relations. Ambassador Markovic said economical and political relations were very important for both Belgrade and Almaty. Ambassador Mansurov said he hopes diplomatic ties will lead to further cooperation.

Prominent Ethnic Russian Begins Protest Fast

The director of Kazakhstan's TRIADA company in Kostanay has begun a protest fast. And leading newspapers are printing his allegations of what he calls "criminal activities" among high-ranking officials. The TRIADA company is widely known and its director is a prominent ethnic Russian in northern Kazakhstan. The company director began his protest fast four days ago, demanding criminal charges be filed against officials. He cites widespread corruption in the agricultural sector of his nothern region, and in privatization of Kazakhstan's oil-and-gas resources.

New Pipeline Deal To Bring Profits And Jobs

Kazakhstan's Minsiter of Oil and Gas, Nurlan Balganbayev, says the oil pipeline agreement signed among Russia, Kazakhstan, Oman, and big oil companies last week will lead to profits for Almaty of $14 billion. Balganbayev also yesterday said the newly signed agreement would lead to a 67-million-ton increase in the volume of crude oil produced in Kazakhstan. He said more than 3,000 new jobs are expected to be created as a result of the project. Construction of the new pipe line is scheduled to start next year, and be completed in 1999.