Foreign Minister Talks Security Issues at CSTO, CIS Meetings

President of KTZ Express Sanzhar Yelubayev
comments on new project of the company
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States during a recent meeting in Bishkek
Foreign Minister Talks Security Issues at CSTO, CIS Meetings
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov took part in
the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) meeting of the
Council of Foreign Minister (CFM) in Tajikistan and the CFM meeting
of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Kyrgyzstan in
early April.
The foreign ministers of the CSTO member states met on April
2 in a narrow format to discuss international issues, particularly
in Afghanistan and Ukraine, and directions for the organisations’
development in the near future.
In the later extended format of the talks, Serbian Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, who is the Organisation for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) chairperson-in-office,
and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for
Central Asia (UNRCCA) Miroslav Jenca also participated. In this
format, participants explored possibilities for increasing cooperation
between international and regional organisations and options for
enhancing security in Central Asia in light of the ongoing transition
in Afghanistan.
Idrissov addressed instability in Afghanistan, saying, “It is necessary
to note a qualitative change in the situation in Afghanistan, caused
by the appearance of representatives of the so-called ‘Islamic State’
on its territory. It was agreed to deal with this situation, carry out
careful analysis and develop a plan of action in order to prevent new,
emerging security threats to our region in this connection.”
The CSTO foreign ministers approved a list of joint statements for
2015 and the plan of consultations for representatives of the CSTO
member states on foreign policy, security and defence for the second
half of 2015 and the first half of 2016. They also adopted a statement
on the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory against Nazism in World
War II, and decided that the next CSTO CMF meeting would be
held in Dushanbe in early fall, just ahead of the session of the CSTO
Collective Security Council of the heads of state.
On April 3 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Idrissov participated in a meeting of
the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers.
The CIS CFM agenda focused on increasing cooperation within
the organisation. At Kazakhstan’s initiative, the foreign ministers
of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan
adopted a joint statement on the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki
Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
(CSCE). The council emphasised their commitment to the principles
of the Helsinki Act and their dedication to building a common
security community within the OSCE space, a goal of the 2010 Astana
Declaration.
The CFM also approved a plan for multi-level ministerial consultations
for 2015, in order to help the organisation promote foreign policy
initiatives jointly and coordinate the organisation’s activities within
international organisations.
The CFM approved a list of draft documents after the talks, including
a cooperation programme between CIS member states to strengthen
external border security for 2016-2020 and agreements on disaster
prevention and response and on a unified registration system for third
country nationals and stateless persons.
At the talks, Idrissov reported that a regular meeting of the Council of
CIS heads of government had been set for May 29 in Borovoye near
Astana, and that the summit of the heads of state would take place in
Astana in October. A special declaration on the occasion of the 70th
anniversary of the UN, which will be celebrated on Oct. 24, will be
approved then. Kazakhstan is the chair of the CIS for 2015.
“We note a huge potential for the development of CIS,” Idrissov said
at a press conference following the meeting. “Continuity is the main
priority of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the CIS in 2015. Together we
are taking great efforts to increase cooperation in trade, economic,
humanitarian and other spheres.”
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon also received the
CSTO foreign ministers for a discussion on cooperation with the
organisation, regional issues and Tajikistan’s priorities.
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President of KTZ Express Sanzhar Yelubayev comments on new project of the company
KTZ Works to Speed Up Transport of Goods from China to Europe
In December 2014, the KTZ Express joint stock company
implemented the Rail-Air project to transport goods from
China to Europe quickly. In an interview with The Astana
Ti m e s n e w s p a p e r, P r e s i d e n t o f K T Z E x p r e s s
SanzharYelubayev discussed the results of the project.
“Rail-Air is a unique decision on cargo transportation.It is
the first multimodal transportation pilot project [to bring
goods] from China by railway to Almaty airport and then by
air to Europe. Jointly with the logistics partners, KTZ
Express implemented a successful transfer of electronic
equipment from China to Europe, a distance of 9,900
kilometres, in just seven days,” Yelubayev said.
According to him, for the first time, the company found a
solution using a regular container route from Chongqing to
Duisburg as a component. The pilot project is carried out in
a single customs-transit regime, which was approved by
the airport, the Customs Committee and KTZ Express. It
was necessary in order to avoid customs clearance
operations while taking the rail cars with cargo to the
airport.
“The operation started in Chongqing, where one special
45-foot container maintaining a certain temperature was
connected to the train. At the Dostyk border station, the
railcar was disconnected and sent to Almaty. There it was
unloaded at the temporary storage warehouse and
afterwar
d sent by cargo flights to Amsterdam,” Yelubayev said.
In terms of transit time, explained Yelubayev, the potential
of this pilot project is six days, which is a good indicator. For
example, air delivery would have cost about $50,000; rail
transportation takes 14 days and costs $10,000. Rail-Air
costs about $30,000. The cargo could reach the destination
by air in one day. But it would have cost more.
Rail-Air includes reorientation and a good alternative to air
transportation in terms of reducing the price and
introducing an important option for cargo that needs to
quickly get to the market. This approach is the perfect
solution for freighters who are interested in the prompt
arrival of goods to the market, Yelubayev said. KTZ
Express is the first to work out such a scheme with the
railway, customs, airport and airline.
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Yelubayev explained that the cargo is assembled in
refrigerators in Chongqing. The representative of KTZ
Express in Chongqing observes the process. At the
Dostykstation the container is being loaded. One of the
advantages of the scheme is the fact that containers are kept
closed until it reaches the final consumer.
Answering the question about a loss of profit on railway
transport turnover for KTZ Express,Yelebayev noted that
goods are not diverted from rail transportation, but from air
transportation. It is an alternative to air transportation. If the
company did not introduce this service, the cargo would pass
straight by plane from Chongqing to Europe.
In order to accomplish cargo transportation year-rounda
special type of rolling stock had been obtained. These are
specialised 45-foot refrigerated containers with climate
control Unit-45 systems, which can operate in autonomous
mode for up to 22 days. For any sub-zero temperatures in
winter and above zero temperatures in summer, the
temperature essential to the customer can be maintained.
At the moment, the pilot project is being evaluated, said the
company Director answering the question on using this
method commercially. Then negations will be held with the
company freighters [and] major manufacturers of sensitive
electronic equipment.
Yelubayev added that a similar product is being elaborated
with the provinces of Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu.
According to him, the monthly volume of the Rail-Air scheme
is not very large – from five to 30 containers. However, in
marginal commission it exceeds the forwarding of cargo by
railway transportation by several times.
“Jointly with the logistics partners, KTZ
Express implemented a successful
transfer of electronic equipment from
China to Europe, a distance of 9,900
kilometres, in just seven days”
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Country’s three official presidential candidates have begun taking their messages around the country
Election Candidates Take Their Platforms Around the Country
Kazakhstan’s three official presidential candidates continued
campaigning around the country ahead of the April 26 election. The
candidates’ campaigns highlight social equality and traditional values,
environmental and industrial safety, and economic development and
institutional reform.
Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan (CPPK) Turgun Syzdykov
has opened his campaign headquarters in Astana and went on
with his election campaign platform, which focuses on countering
“dangerous” Western culture and values. Social equality can be
achieved through communist socio-economic structures, his
campaign says.
Consumer social structures in Europe are responsible for cultural
decline, Syzdykov has earlier stated, and Western-style consumption
reduces life to a process of satisfying material interests. His campaign
opposes Hollywood films, Western literature and fast food, all of
which Syzdykov calls aspects of the Western view of culture as a
depraved but lucrative business.
Opening his Astana headquarters, Syzdykov said, “We are taking part
in the election process not for the first time. For us, it is not new: we
want to use this opportunity to once again introduce our goals and
objectives to the people,” Kazakh media reported earlier this week.
Syzdykov presented his campaign to students at Eurasian National
University in Astana on March 28 and to employees of the Astana
Thermoelectric Power Company on March 30. On March 31, he
spoke to employees of the Munai Mash public-private company in
Petropavlosk, and to industrial workers and university students in
Kokshetau on the same trip. He met agricultural workers in North
Kazakhstan on April 1 and spoke with garment and food industry
workers in Kostanai on April 2 and 3.
Self-nominated candidate Abelgazy Kussainov is campaigning for
environmental and industrial safety and for bringing about a change
in the relationship between Kazakhstan’s society and its natural
resources.
His campaign advocates for more public control over enterprises
and stricter safety standards for products and processes; technical
regulations that are actually binding and enforced; and stronger
protections for natural landscapes.
“In my programme, I try to explain the basic idea and meaning of the
principles of a clean environment and industrial safety in our country.
Our common goal is to create a new, balanced model of development
based off of the principles of safety and environmentally friendly
development for the third millennium,” Kussainov said, launching his
campaign.
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Kussainov visited Kostanai and North Kazakhstan early in his
campaign, meeting citizens and industrial workers. Most recently,
in Kyzylorda, Kussainov met with students and teachers from the
oblast’s regional medical college.
Incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev has also presented his
platform, focuses on continuing Kazakhstan’s economic development
and reforming the country’s institutions in five key ways. Nazarbayev,
of course, is campaigning on his performance as president, which he
notes has seen incomes and life expectancy increase. His campaign
is focusing on the Nurly Zhol economic stimulus package to manage
Kazakhstan’s progress through a period of falling oil prices and global
instability.
In late March and early April, Nazarbayev visited South Kazakhstan,
West Kazakhstan, Aktobe, East Kazakhstan and Zhambyl regions to
deliver his campaign message.
Nazarbayev’s five key reforms are creating a modern civil service
corps; strengthening the rule of law; ensuring a stable economy;
uniting the nation culturally and linguistically; and ensuring
transparent and accountable governance. He suggests rewarding
merit in the civil service, making requirements for judges and police
officers stiffer, investing in industrialisation and the development of
exports, developing trilingual education and making heads of state
enterprises more accountable, among other specific programmes.
“Each of the five institutional reforms is a huge challenge for the
country. It is hard work, requiring financial costs and professional
management. Success in these reforms can only be achieved with
the strong will of the government and the people. The proposed
measures will radically change the system of social relations,”
Nazarbayev said at his campaign launch. He proposed establishing
a national commission on modernisation to carry out and coordinate
these reforms.
The incumbent’s campaign suggests rewarding civil servants for
performance, increasing safeguards protecting private property and
individual rights and creating stiffer qualifications for judges and a new
system of selecting and promoting police officers. An industrialisation
programme aimed at the middle class is intended to create jobs and
develop Kazakhstan’s export potential and economic diversification.
Russian, English and Kazakh are to be developed and the Mangilik El
concept will promote common civil values. The heads of state bodies
are to be held more accountable for their performance, decisionmaking processes are to be made more transparent, and some
responsibilities, including aspects of budgeting, are to be shifted from
the government to civil society.
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Also In The News...
•
President Nazarbayev visits EXPO 2017 construction site
President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the construction site of
the exhibition complex for EXPO 2017 in Astana, where he saw
models of the future complex, including international and themed
pavilions, entertainment and service facilities and the development
of Kazakhstan’s national pavilion. The President also discussed
the progress of construction with developers, in particular the
need to adhere to the construction schedule and the importance
of identifying appropriate post-expo purposes of any buildings.
He suggested post-expo uses including for other exhibitions or
to house international companies, banks or media organisations,
and said all buildings must be commissioned for further use in
autumn 2017. At the end of the meeting, the President gave specific
instructions on further implementation of the project. (kazpravda.
kz)
•
Deputy prime minister meets EU ambassadors, delegation to
discuss EAEU
First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev
met with the ambassadors of 18 EU countries and the head of the
EU Delegation to Kazakhstan on April 8 to discuss the Eurasian
Economic Union (EAEU) and prospects for its development,
particularly the formation of common markets for electricity, oil and
oil products, medical products, and the transportation of goods.
The EU is Kazakhstan’s leading trade and investment partner,
making up 44.4 percent of Kazakhstan’s total trade turnover.
During the meeting, Sagintayev noted that the growth of trade and
economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Europe reflects
the commitment of Kazakhstan to strengthening and deepening
cooperation with the EU. (bnews.kz)
•
•
Kazakhstan’s commissioner for human rights meets new regional
director of Penal Reform International in Astana
Commissioner for Human Rights Askar Shakirov met the newly
appointed Regional Director of the Penal Reform International
(PRI) organisation in Central Asia Azamat Shambilov in Astana
to discuss cooperation between Kazakhstan’s national human
rights institution and PRI, particularly the joint work plan on the
protection of individual rights in closed public institutions in 2015.
Shakirov commended the bilateral cooperation, regular trainings
and seminars with international and national experts, experience
swaps and the organisation’s help in launching and establishing
Kazakhstan’s preventive mechanism against torture. Shambilov
expressed full support for further cooperation and announced a
number of new initiatives. The parties also reviewed upcoming joint
activities, including the study of prison conditions, staff training
for closed institutions and improving tools for exposing torture.
(kazpravda.kz)
More money allocated for spring fieldwork, larger harvest
expected in 2015
A total of 60 billion tenge (US$320.98 million) has been allocated
from the state budget this year for spring fieldwork, 20 billion tenge
(US$107.67 million) more than last year. The gross grain harvest this
year is expected to total no less than 17.2 million tonnes, the amount
harvested last year, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Saparkhan
Omarov announced at a recent Central Communications Services
(CCS) briefing. According to preliminary data, in 2015, the country’s
total crop area totals 21.5 million hectares, and 18.5 million hectares
of crops are expected to be sown this year, Omarov said. Of these,
12.2 million will be wheat, 2.2 million will be oilseeds and feed
crops will take up 3.7 million hectares. According to the Ministry
of Agriculture, the sowing season has already begun in Southern
Kazakhstan and more than 160,000 hectares have been planted.
The wheat crop has been reduced in an effort to increase crop
diversity: wheat planting will shrink by 235,000 hectares compared
to 2014 and rice by 8,500 hectares, making way for more feed grain,
legumes and cereal crops, which will increase by 103,000 hectares
(astanatimes.com)
•
Astana Employment Centre reaches out to citizens with
disabilities
The Employment Centre of the Astana Akimat (city administration)
recently hosted a job fair for people with disabilities. This is the
third year the job fair has been held, organisers noted, and every
year interest in the event grows. This year’s fair drew more than 30
organisations, Olzhas Omar, director of the Employment Centre
of the akimat, said. Most are small and medium-sized businesses,
including catering companies and call centres, he noted. The centre
tracks the employment activity of citizens, including where they
work and how faithfully an employer behaves. Statistics show that
about 60 percent of those who receive jobs through the centre are
women. In 2014, 90 people with disabilities found jobs, according to
statistics. (astanatimes.com)
•
French cinema festival to be held in Almaty
The sixth French Cinema Today festival will open in Almaty on
April 23. The festival traditionally introduces new French films to
Kazakhstan’s movie lovers. Festival organisers say that the annual
event has become an important part of Kazakhstan’s cinema
year, and that it provides an opportunity to meet French film
professionals and share experience, exchange information and
introduce them to the Kazakhstan’s culture. This year, French
Cinema Today brings Benoît Jacquot’s “Three Hearts,” Riad
Sattouf’s “Jacky au Royaume des Filles,” “Les Yeux Jaunes des
Crocodiles” by Cecil Telerman, “Dans la Cour” by Pierre Salvadori,
Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Elle L’adore” by Jeanne
Herry. French stars Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche play
in four out of six films to be screened at the festival. Attendees will
also see the short film programme, Noch Korotkogo Metra, which
brings 19 shorts. (tengrinews.kz)
•
Women’s ice hockey team beats U.K., advances to World
Championship Division I for 2016
The Kazakhstan national women’s ice hockey team ended the
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Division 2a tournament
in Scotland undefeated and were promoted to the 2016 IIHF Ice
Hockey Women Championship Division I, Group B. In the final
game against host Great Britain, Kazakhstan scored twice, with
Madina Tursynova and Olga Konysheva both getting pucks into
the net. Kazakhstan scored the most goals and allowed the fewest
goals against (30-2), to claim the top spot in Group A of the
second division. They beat South Korea in the opening match,
2:0, then defeated Poland 4:1, New Zealand 10:0 and Croatia 12:1.
(astanatimes.com)
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