Today I start a new mini-series, based on two pieces from VZGLIAD, this one by Alina Nazarova, and this one by Irina Alksnis. Alina’s piece is headlined “Trump and Nazarbaev discuss switching the Donbass negotiations from Minsk [to Kazakhstan]”, and Irina’s piece is entitled “What Does the USA Want From Kazakhstan?”
The breaking news is that Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev went on a state visit to Washington (January 16) to meet with President Trump. Issues discussed ranged from bilateral trade to North Korea to Afghanistan. But also included Ukraine/Donbass, which is the topic of Alina’s piece. In the English-language piece I just linked, penned by a reporter with the unfortunate name of Catherine Putz, Trump was said to be praisatory of his fellow Prez: “Kazakhstan is doing very well. They’re really — they’ve turned things around,” Trump said, lauding Nazarbayev’s leadership, which has now stretched to 28 years. Nazarbaev is one of those guys who used to be a kleptocratic monster; after the break-up of the Soviet Union he somehow got his greedy hands on this power-position and can never be pried away from it; yet now that he’s making nice to America and humming to the right tune, he’s slowly but surely becoming a good guy in the eyes of Westie media. Putz goes on to write:
Nazarbayev said he would be attending a roundtable at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the evening of January 16 to discuss the technical modernization of the Kazakh economy and oversee the signing of 20 commercial contracts worth $7.5 billion. While there are not yet details on those 20 commercial contracts, Trump and Nazarbayev both mentioned American companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, General Electric and Boeing which have long had interests in Central Asia. Much American investment in Kazakhstan stems from the big business of energy: oil and gas being the primary drivers of the Kazakh economy and Chevron running lead on an expansion of production at the Tengiz field.
In other words, this relationship between America and Kazakhstan isn’t just about romance and friendship: There is a heck of a lot of money involved, as well!
Putz doesn’t mention the Minsk/Donbass issue and Nursultan’s pretensions of being a world-level peacemaker, so we need to turn to Alina for that part of the story.
[to be continued]