Dmitry's Feed
May 26, 2011

Turkmenistan urged to commit gas for Nabucco

TURKMENBASHI, Turkmenistan, May 26 (Reuters) – Turkmenistan
must commit this year to building a trans-Caspian gas pipeline
in order to join a supply network designed to cut Europe’s
dependency on Russian fuel, an industry source said on Thursday.
An undersea pipeline to deliver gas to Azerbaijan and onward
would allow Turkmenistan, holder of the world’s fourth-largest
natural gas reserves, to become a major supplier to European
markets via the planned Nabucco pipeline.
A senior industry source familiar with the Nabucco project,
speaking on condition of anonymity, said Turkmenistan should
offer a firm proposal to supply gas before partners in the
project ink a deal with the Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan.

“The message is that the window of opportunity for defining
the size of Nabucco will close at the end of this year,” the
source said. “This is a message which is more or less aligned
with the Shah Deniz project.”

May 25, 2011

Turkmen gas field to be world’s second-largest

TURKMENBASHI, Turkmenistan, May 25 (Reuters) – The British
auditor of Turkmenistan’s South Iolotan gas field said on
Wednesday that its forthcoming report on the deposit would
reveal it to be comfortably the world’s second-largest.
Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) expects to present a
revised audit to Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in
mid-June that will show South Iolotan to be second only in size
to the South Pars field in neighbouring Iran.

“It appears that the South Iolotan field is now easily the
world’s second-largest gas field in terms of gas-in-place,”
Peter Holding, GCA general manager for Russia and the Caspian,
told an energy conference.

May 18, 2011

Kazakh bank BTA asks UK to arrest former head

ALMATY, May 18 (Reuters) – BTA BTAS.KZ, Kazakhstan’s No. 3
bank by assets, has asked Britain to arrest its former head
Mukhtar Ablyazov, from whom it seeks billions of dollars in
compensation for alleged misappropriation.

One of Kazakhstan’s richest men, Ablyazov was part of Kazakh
President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s inner circle and ran BTA, the
country’s largest bank at the time, before he fell out with the
state and fled to London in 2009.

May 14, 2011

Bin Laden’s death may spur fresh terror: regional body

ALMATY (Reuters) – The killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces can trigger a backlash from his supporters and a “new wave of terror” across a giant area surrounding Afghanistan, a regional security body said on Saturday.

Dominated by China and Russia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) also unites the mostly Muslim ex-Soviet Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and occupies three-fifths of Eurasia, populated by over 1.5 billion, or a quarter of the world’s population.

Apr 27, 2011

Kazakh Alliance Bank in stake sale talks with EBRD

ALMATY, April 27 (Reuters) – Alliance Bank ASBN.KZ,
Kazakhstan’s sixth-largest lender by assets, said it was in
talks with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
[EBRD.UL] on the possible sale of its stake.

“Yes, we are in talks with the EBRD about the potential
acquisition of a stake in Alliance Bank,” Maral Amrina, managing
director of Alliance Bank, told a teleconference on Wednesday.

Apr 3, 2011

Newsmaker: Kazakhstan’s “man of steel” poised to rule on

ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, certain of re-election to rule Central Asia’s largest economy for five more years, seems set on guiding the nation even after his long reign finally ends.

The 70-year-old former steelworker, popularly nicknamed “Papa,” has held an iron grip on power for two decades since Soviet days, paying little heed to home-grown opposition and pressure from the West for democratic reforms.

Mar 31, 2011

Economy trumps democracy ahead of Kazakh vote

ALMATY (Reuters) – Having set the pace among the post-Soviet economies of Central Asia, Kazakhstan’s president may need to twin further growth with some political reforms to emulate the route to prosperity of developed Asian economies.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, 70, has prioritised economic growth over democratic freedoms in more than two decades as leader of Kazakhstan. His supporters say higher incomes, industrial output and an economy worth $147 billion vindicate this policy.

Mar 28, 2011

Analysis – Successor question looms after Kazakh election

ALMATY (Reuters) – When he secures another five years in office on Sunday, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev will also win time to answer the question on everybody’s lips — who will succeed him? The 70-year-old former steelworker has steered his oil-producing Central Asian nation with an iron hand since Soviet times, brooking no dissent while putting in place market reforms and overseeing foreign investment. He left many of his critics and loyalists speechless when he set an early election for April 3 — a move some political analysts say was aimed at preventing a challenge from within his inner circle, rather than from the disparate opposition.

He is expected to win the presidential election easily.

Allowed by law to run for an unlimited number of terms, Nazarbayev has said he will rule for as long as he is fit. He also enjoys the official title “Leader of the Nation,” a status that will allow him to shape policy even after retirement.

Mar 17, 2011

Kazakh village believes God chose Nazarbayev to rule

USHKONYR, Kazakhstan, March 17 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s
veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev is set easily to win another
five years at the helm of Central Asia’s largest economy. His
native village thinks it knows why — Allah has chosen him.

In towns and cities across the oil-rich nation of 16.4
million, small groups of the disparate opposition are calling
for a boycott of a snap presidential election on April 3, while
three hopefuls challenging Nazarbayev smile down from posters.

Mar 15, 2011

Rights body closes Uzbek office after government pressure

ALMATY (Reuters) – Uzbekistan has forced Human Rights Watch to shut down its local office, the group said on Tuesday, calling for tougher U.S. and European Union policies towards the authoritarian Central Asian state.

“Human Rights Watch’s expulsion comes during a deepening human rights crisis in Uzbekistan,” New York-based HRW said.