Kazakhstan faces a prolonged economic crisis

Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev stated that the country is facing a crisis worse than that of 2007-2008, as he charged the government with drawing up an anti-crisis plan on October 19. Nazarbayev forecast that the country’s economic situation would not face an upturn soon, citing decreasing prices for natural gas and other resources exported from Kazakhstan as well as the current state of the global economy. Analysts claimed the president’s words signaled the government’s recognition of the long-term nature of the crisis, and predicted that the national budgetary expenditures would not decrease in the face of reduced income from sales of natural resources. Nazarbayev stated that recently begun social programs under the Nurly Zhol framework would assist poorer citizens in weathering the crisis, yet barred the government from using the National Oil Fund to prop up failing industries.

Nazarbayev’s statement came shortly before credit rating agency Standard and Poor announced that it would no longer take the Kashagan oil field into account for ratings due to its delayed development. S&P predicted the oilfield would resume normal operations no sooner than 2018, contrary to Prime Minister Kassimov’s June prognosis of a restart date sometime in 2017. Kassimov stated in July 2015 that the government would not compensate an international coalition of business interests for replacing faulty pipes in the oilfield. Kazakhstan continues to experience a destabilized economic situation amid effects from its August currency devaluation and a drop in natural gas and oil prices worldwide.

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News Briefs:

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