by Georgiy Voloshin (03/20/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Since the reorganization of Kazakhstan’s Government ordered by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his keynote address to the nation (“Kazakhstan-2050”) delivered in December 2012, several Kazakhstani ministries have already put forward ambitious modernization proposals. On March 12, the newly established Ministry of Regional Development, whose head is also serving as the first deputy of the country’s Prime Minister, proposed to set up entrepreneurship support centers in every provincial capital as well as in the cities of Astana and Almaty and several preselected remote locations. Currently, two pilot projects are already underway in Almaty and Shymkent, while five provinces benefit from the presence of mobile centers providing information and consultative services to local small and medium enterprises. The purpose of such new structures would be to offer exhaustive information about the latest legal and regulatory changes in Kazakhstan, available funding opportunities and potential ways of further economic development.
by Richard Weitz (03/20/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In accordance with its efforts to diversify its allegiance with major powers, Kazakhstan supports a strong U.S. economic and defense presence in Central Asia. The U.S. is equally interested in preserving Kazakhstan’s balanced relationship with the other great powers. Renewing the partnership requires realigning its focus as the U.S. military presence in Central Asia declines but U.S. interests do not, while Kazakhstan responds to China’s growing regional role and strong Russian interest in maintaining Moscow’s primacy in the region. An effective U.S. diplomatic approach toward the region requires reaffirming U.S. support for the political and economic independence of Kazakhstan and its neighbors.
by Georgiy Voloshin (03/06/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On February 26-27, Kazakhstan’s southern capital, the city of Almaty, hosted another round of international talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program. This high-level meeting attended by representatives of the P5+1 group of countries and Iranian officials was earlier confirmed by the European External Action Service, which is currently acting as one of Tehran’s main interlocutors. Although Kazakhstan is not formally involved as a negotiating partner, it decided once again to use its global reputation as a firm supporter of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the non-proliferation policy in providing its territory for the first round of talks in 2013.
by Dmitry Shlapentokh (02/20/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In 2011, Kazakhstan’s President expressed strong support for Vladimir Putin’s initiative of creating a Eurasian Union. In fact, Nursultan Nazarbaev himself presented similar ideas almost 20 years ago. While Putin sees the new Eurasian Union as a Russia-centered geopolitical entity with exclusive ties between Russia and other members, Kazakhstan regards its relationship with Russia as just one among several others. Kazakhstan is actually distancing itself from Moscow, which has increasingly lost its attraction as a center of science and technology for Kazakhstan’s elite. One indication is Astana’s decision to phase out Moscow’s control over the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.