One 12 months after tragic January occasions, Kazakhstan says it’s modified –


One 12 months after the tragic unrest and crackdown of January 2022, which resulted in 200 deaths, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Overseas Minister Roman Vassilenko advised EURACTIV that the nation has modified considerably.

He mentioned that President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev “labored onerous” to handle the individuals’s grievances and that the land-locked Central Asian nation was now “a land of change”.

Vassilenko, the chief communicator of his nation with its EU counterparts, highlighted the inner reforms in Kazakhstan but additionally its busy EU agenda, by which tasks similar to important uncooked supplies, power together with inexperienced hydrogen, connectivity below the so-called “Center Hall”, take centre stage.

Requested in regards to the occasions from final January, Vassilenko supplied written data, explaining that Karim Massimov, former president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s chief safety official, and his former deputy Anuar Sadykulov, have been on trial for treason, abuse of energy, and actions geared toward violently seizing energy.

In response to the official narrative, that “clearly proves” that the January occasions have been “a well-planned coup try”.

The previous chief Nazarbayev is reportedly not but prosecuted, however the parliament just lately lifted his and his household’s immunity. Within the meantime, the capital was renamed from Nursultan to Astana.

The essence of what actually occurred within the tragic week of two January 2022 stays unclear, though a chronology was established, based on which protests didn’t cease when their purpose – the rise of the value of liquified gasoline, used as automotive gasoline – was revoked.

“The nation has actually moved on since January final 12 months, and the president has labored onerous to handle the grievances of the individuals and construct a brand new political system that’s extra consultant of the needs of the individuals”, Vassilenko mentioned.

He referred to the accelerated cycle of elections near being accomplished, with early presidential elections held on 20 November, the elections for half of the Senate going down on 14 January, and now elections for the Majlis, the decrease home of parliament, and the native assemblies (Maslihats) due on 19 March.

He mentioned these elections could be “very completely different” from the previous as a result of, following constitutional modifications, the elections will happen below a combined system, with 70% of the deputies of the Mazhilis elected from celebration lists and 30% in single-mandate districts.

Additionally, he mentioned, now a complete of seven events have been registered for the elections, up from 5, due to a decrease threshold of signatures wanted (5,000, down from 20,000), and probably much more events might qualify in time.

“This shall be a really aggressive election”, he harassed.

Vassilenko principally spoke in regards to the Kazakhstan-EU agenda as his nation will mark the 30th anniversary of its relations with the EU on 2 February. He mentioned this was the proper time to the touch base, highlighting a number of financial tasks of main significance.

Considered one of them, he mentioned, was Svevind, a Swedish-German mission aiming to construct a 45GW inexperienced hydrogen complicated in Kazakhstan.

Svevind plans to put in wind and photo voltaic farms with a complete capability of 45 gigawatts (GW) in primarily steppe areas in Western and Central Kazakhstan. The inexperienced electrical energy will feed 30 GW of electrolysers to provide about three million tonnes of inexperienced hydrogen yearly.

Vassilenko mentioned this amounted to twenty% of the EU’s want for inexperienced hydrogen.

Requested about Kazakhstan’s oil exports to the EU at a time when its large neighbour, Russia, which is below EU sanctions, has tried to disrupt Kazakhstan’s export to the EU, he acknowledged there had been “some disruptions”, however ultimately, Kazakhstan had been in a position to ship “virtually the identical export quantities because the 12 months earlier than [the sanctions].

He mentioned that these “incidents” had made his nation realise that different choices have been wanted, mentioning that for the primary time, small quantities of Kazakh oil had been shipped by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.

Vassilenko spoke at size about the necessity to handle bottlenecks within the so-called “Center Hall” linking China to Europe by land, which grew in significance after Russia began the warfare in Ukraine.

Among the many vital tasks, he talked about the extension of the ports of Kuryk, close to Aktau, on the Kazakh shore of the Caspian Sea, and on the opposite aspect, the Alyat port close to Baku, in Azerbaijan.

He additionally talked about the necessity to construct railroad connections similar to Dostik-Mointy, on the border of Kazakhstan with China, and railroad bypasses of his nation’s greatest metropolis, Almaty, and the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent.

The Kazakh diplomat mentioned that a lot was anticipated from an EBRD examine, which was anticipated to determine these bottlenecks and probably turn out to be a foundation for tasks to beat them.

[Edited by Alice Taylor/Zoran Radosavljevic]

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