Kazakhstan: Country Votes in ‘Hardly Visible’ Election

Presidential elections are being held in Kazakhstan this week. Though there is a multiplicity of candidates in the running, only one is expected to receive a significant percentage of the vote: incumbent Nursaltan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev, the first and only president of Kazakhstan following the collapse of the Soviet Union, published an op-ed in a prominent…

Kazakhstan: Government Mulls Snap Election

Kazakhstan appears poised to hold a snap presidential election. The group that govern the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan (APK),the organization that represents Kazakhstan’s ethnic groups, has called for the election on the grounds that holding it now would allow Kazakh president for life Nursultan Nazarbayev to focus on issues most pressing to the country.…

Kazakhstan: President Declares Readiness for $40/Barrel

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his government’s readiness for oil prices as low as forty dollars per barrel. The Kazakh leader convened a press conference which was broadcast across the country seemingly to reassure anxious Kazakhs that the company does indeed “have a plan” should oil prices continue to drop. The speech, while replete…

Kazakhstan and Afghanistan are preparing to enter the WTO

Kazakhstan and Afghanistan are participating in active discussions to enter the World Trade Organization, said Director General Roberto Azevedo. The accession negotiations of Kazakhstan in particular are now “at an advanced stage of maturity and on the threshold of conclusion,” according to Azevedo’s statement. The expected date of matriculation will be early next year. Afghanistan…

Kazakhstan: More than 300 citizens are now members of ISIS

The intelligence agency of Kazakhstan has provided an estimate for how many Kazakh nationals are fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and apparently, half of them are women. Nurtai Abykayev, chairman of the Kazakh National Security Committee (NSC), reported that a new fighting unit or “jamaat” was created by these nationals. These…

Kazakhstan: Kashagan to Renew Production in 2016

Kazakhstan appears poised to reclaim its place among the world’s leading gas and oil producers in the coming years. Kazakh Deputy Energy Minister Magzum Mirzagaliyev recently announced that Kazakhstan’s long-awaited Kashagan oil field will resume crude oil production during the second half of 2016. The supergiant (>10 billion barrels) which became operational in 2013 but…