Priorities of Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship will be search for compromises in resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: ambassador

Priorities of Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship will be search for compromises in resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: ambassador

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 4 / Trend , N.Abdullayeva/ Kazakh Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Azerbaijan Mr. Serik Primbetov spoke in an interview with Trend .

Trend : Which the most important event does expect us in further development of the Azerbaijani-Kazakh cooperation in 2009?

Serik Primbetov: Kazakhstan considers development of bilateral relations with Azerbaijan as priority. While speaking about development of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, we should note that at present our relations are of a positive character, as well as developing stably and at an ever-increasing rate.

There are not any special problems in bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Our countries always were friendly states. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are holding a constructive political dialogue since gaining independence.

In 2009 Baku will host two summits of head of states, including TURKSOY organization's 8th summit and the third summit of the Caspian countries' heads. Therefore, we expect activating our bilateral cooperation in the light of important political events and the Kazakh delegation's upcoming visits to Azerbaijan.

Q: How can Kazakhstan assist in settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under its chairing in OSCE in 2010?

A: In 2007 Kazakhstan offered Road map to OSCE members to strengthen interethnic and interconfessional agreement. The Kazakh President is sure our all efforts and experience testifies that a dialogue between cultures and civilizations is not only important, but also possible. Only through it, it will be possible to eliminate destructive stereotypes which make both sides rivals. Therefore, such a map is necessary to solve many conflicts in the Eurasian space.

In 2008 Kazakhstan developed an agenda for future presidency in OSCE and a special program Way to Europe. This program aims to deepen integration with the European countries in all fields. Thus, Kazakhstan has clearly stated its readiness to come to OSCE not only as a supernumerary, but as a state having own views to stabilize ethno-political situation in Eurasia.

Today Kazakhstan actively cooperates and enhances partnership with Azerbaijan. As a whole, the Caucasus has become one of the priorities of Astana's foreign policy for the last three years.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is under the OSCE auspice. The OSCE Minsk Group is the key player in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the OSCE. It is noticeable that Kazakhstan has its own traditions with this regard. On Sept. 21-23, 1991, when the Soviet Union officially existed, the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin together with the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the region of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict including Khankandi, capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. Presidents issued a joint statement on Sept. 23, 1991 in Zheleznedovsk. The Zheleznedovsk statement called for stabilization of situation in the region and return of deported people to their lands, release of hostages, deploying information groups from Russian and Kazakh representatives in the conflict zone and providing impartial information about the situation. Though the mission was not success (the armed conflict lasted until May 1994), the Zheleznedovsk statement retained positive reputation in the region.

Kazakhstan has opportunity to appeal to positive past. This is a significant resource. At long last, neither Kazakhstan nor Russia is not to be blamed for the fact that the conflicting sides could not reach compromise by delaying for two years and half.

Taking into consideration the aforesaid facts, Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the OSCE will not be easy. In any case, Kazakhstan will be happy to see all conflicting sides among its friends and allies in the course of 2010. Kazakhstan is guided only by mutually beneficial cooperation. Search for compromises will be Kazakhstan's priority within the OSCE for the coming year.

Kazakhstan hopes that Astana's chairmanship in the OSCE will open opportunities in terms of all-European security. Relying on support of its partners, Kazakhstan can step up security which will contribute to strengthening of its foreign policy authority and further integration to international organizations.

Q: What is your assessment of the document signed between the Socar and KazMunayGaz on establishment of Trans-Caspian oil transport system in November? What does this document promise? What are the next steps in this regard?

A: Agreement on key principles of realization of the Trans-Caspian project was signed by the Socar and KazMunayGaz in Baku on November 14, 2008.

The agreement identifies major conditions and principles of project's joint implementation, launch of joint project company by the Socar and KazMunayGaz, financing, forming tariffs, term of access to facilities to be built and step-by-step development of the Trans-Caspian system. I think this document fully meets Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan's national interest in terms of diversification of export and oil routes.

Question: To what degree the change in date of launch of production in Kashagan field will impact Kazakh Trans-Caspian oil transport system?

A: The above-mentioned Agreement on basic principles for the implementation of the Trans Caspian project defines the main terms and principles of the joint project. In 2009, the KazMunaiGas (KMG) intends to achieve all the necessary project agreements of the Kazakh Caspian Pipeline System (KKTS).

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev is very sensitive to the implementation of the project Trans Caspian system, thus the change of date to produce oil from Kashagan has been taken into account in the project

Question: When can I expect the signing of an agreement to move the transport of Kazakh oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline?

A:The Agreement between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to support and assist the oil transport from Kazakhstan through the Caspian Sea and territory of Azerbaijan to international markets via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) was signed by Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in summer 2006. The document was ratified at the plenary session of the Kazakh Senate.

It is expected that 25 million tons of oil from the two largest fields in Kazakhstan -Tengiz and Kashagan will be transported vie the BTC. The port of Kurik should be expanded to transport the Kazakh oil via BTC successfully.

In the end of October 2008, first tankers loaded with Tengiz oil was transported via the port of Aktau to Baku. The first oil was pumped via the BTC to the Mediterranean Sea and further to world markets since early November 2008.

In 2008, the volume of Tengiz oil delivered in Baku was also transported by rail to Georgia to the Black Sea port of Batumi. And in early November 2008 it started its shipment to world markets through the Black Sea.

Question: Does the world financial crisis and lower oil prices affect the priorities of the KazMunaiGaz in the implementation of infrastructural projects?

A: KazMunaiGaz has developed anti crisis draft to overcome the influence of the global financial crisis. The program was designed to retain the achieved potential, number of personnel and jobs.

The company developed a business plan for 2009, under which KMG is moving to the regime of austerity. KMG budget for the current year formed at 40 dollars per barrel. Cost of sales decreased by 44 percent, administrative costs - by 16 percent.

KMG carefully prepared an investment program in 2009 and identified it at a level of 696 billion tenge. The program includes 65 projects, including the largest Kashagan. According to KMG, the investment program is expected to be lowed to 5 billion tenge in terms of worsening of the financial situation.

In 2009, KMG will continue to implement infrastructure projects related to oil exports. Therefore, the investment program KMG in the current year included the following projects:
• Increase the Caspian Pipeline Consortium,
• completion of construction of pipeline from Western Kazakhstan - Western China,
• construction of pipeline Beyneu-Bozoy-Akbulak, which is of strategic importance for national security of Kazakhstan.

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