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How Technical Stop of Berlusconi's Plane at the Airport of Astana at Night in Kazakhstan Was Declared Official Visit

How Technical Stop of Berlusconi's Plane at the Airport of Astana at Night in Kazakhstan Was Declared Official Visit
Sergey Rasov 29.12.2008

At the end of October, 2008 Kazakhstan was visited by two delegations: headed by the president of United Arab Emirates sheikh Halifa ben Zaid al-Nahayan and the prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi. If to take verbal peel of communiqués of the Kazakhstan mass-media away, "nett" of these visits will be the following.

On October, 28 of the current year prime-minister K.Masimov urgently rushed out to the airport of Shymkent for a meeting with the president of United Arab Emirates sheikh аl-Nahayan arrived to Kazakhstan for hunting houbara in the territory of the state preserved area of republican value. According to the decision of the government RK №908 dated October, 1, 2008, al-Nahayan received quota for 45 birds, two other sheikhs from United Arab Emirates - for 10 birds to everyone and sheikh from Qatar - 8.

Besides at night from Saturday to Sunday (25th - 26th of October, 2008) a plane of chairman of the government of Italy S.Berlusconi landed in Astana. According to messages, at the airport he was greeted by Kazakh president N.Nazarbaev who intended to discuss questions of mutual relations. The Italian prime-minister stopped off on a way to Italy from Peking where he took part in 7-th Asian - European summit.

The Kazakhstan mass-media headed by the press-service of the president greedily informed about that fact as about "S.Berlusconi's official visit to Kazakhstan". Moreover, information was diluted with message that the head of the government of Italy even had time to participate in the cultural program, having had a look at the sights of Astana at night and "having expressed high appreciation of works of architects and builders created modern city on left bank".

I can't stop amazing with eagerness Nazarbaev tries to present "on hurrah" any insignificant event, no matter a short-term technical stop at the airport or "friendly flight" on air space of Kazakhstan of one of the delegations of foreign states on the way to economically growing Southeast Asia. Each time Nazarbaev gazes after receding fuselage with special jealousy and browsing melancholy, considering it almost as personal insult.

On the one hand, "joyful excitation" of management of Kazakhstan from S.Berlusconi's stop at the airport can be understood, as leaders of the western countries do not visit Astana, short of two "former" chancellors of Germany G.Schroeder and the Japanese prime-minister D.Koidzumi. Today Nazarbaev has more and more reasons to peer into the boundless Kazakhstan sky with melancholy. Having sold out almost all national riches to the West and having failed to create any similarity of stable system in the country, Kazakhstan has already nothing to offer the large international capital. It has only to press Kashagan which, in opinion of experts, has become more similar to deep bog in which everything falls. There is no end to it.

Taking into account that the scale of participation of the western companies in Kashagan project is essencial (such companies as Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Total owning 18,52% and also ConocoPhillips - 9,26% and Japanese Inpex - 8.33% are the largest participants of the project now), to organize visit to Kazakhstan Nazarbaev each time has to press partners. Most likely, patience of the Italian prime-minister gave out and he agreed to stop at the airport of Astana with desire to bring Nazarbaev host of senses of moderation to his level, who in conditions of economic crisis searched for every means for rescue of national economy. It is not surprising! "Clear head of economy" Nazarbaev began simply blackmailing participants of the project on Kashagan with purpose to compel them to sell their shares fully or partially to the Kazakhstan party.

By off-schedule checks, by results of which ENI was laid different sort of claims - from death of seals up to tax additional charges for the sum over $14,3 million, bringing criminal cases against several basic managers of the project on the facts of delinquency in payment of customs charges and duties for the sum of more than $2,5 million, he achieved increase of its share in the project from 8,33% up to 16,81%.

Customs duties on export of the crude oil making 70% of export structure has sharply increased in Kazakhstan, ostensibly, for stimulation of its processing inside the country but actually to find any means for budget in the country which doesn't have manufacture. Besides, at coordination of terms of shifting of commercial extraction on deposit Kashagan from 2011 to 2013 Kazakhstan demanded payment of a royalty which was absent in the initial agreement and put an enslaving condition that if industrial extraction on the deposit would not begin till October, 1, 2013, charges of consortium of the foreign companies would not be compensated.

Moreover, in due time Nazarbaev using similar pressure managed to lean on the Italian prime-minister of that time R.Prodi and got from him support of presidency of Kazakhstan in OSCE in 2010. Thus, Nazarbaev hopes to receive about $5 billion due to royalty and bonuses for "delay" of realization of the project. However, it is doubtful that the money already named "strategic" would go on development of economy and improvement of a social status growing poor Kazakhstani. Most likely they would disappear in a growing stream of payments of multi-billion debt of Kazakhstan to international creditors.

Besides, Nazarbaev chose bad time for pressure upon world leaders. S.Berlusconi is not R.Prodi, he is southerner. Experts are unanimous that today elementary self-preservation of Nazarbaev and well-being of population of the country depend on, whether the Kazakh companies will manage to receive credits in the West which banks are also searching for means for survival. While the Kazakhstan banks simply are not able to do anything else!

Only in the current year Kazakhstan should pay about $13 billion of external debts! Whence it could take money on development of the country and for citizens? Besides, the EU blocked way to WTO for Kazakhstan to punish for increase of the customs on export of crude oil. The Italians till now thirst for "vendettas" for at the suggestion of the current chief of administrative services of the president Nazarbaev B.Utemuratov they were done out being sold in 2007 Kazakhstan "АТF Bank of Kazakhstan" to the Italian bank "UniСredit" for 1,7 billion euro ($2,275 billion). Common stock was redeemed at the price of $84,4 for the share, preference one - at $47,05 for the share. Moreover, in July 2007 bank was forced to take more loans on $100 million. Now market cost of this bank has fallen in price many times and shares - in 14 times! Nazarbaev won't be forgiven for such lay of things just for fun.

Thus it becomes clear that in fact during night conversation Nazarbaev begged the West in person of Berlusconi to help him to keep authority and to give out to Kazakhstan new credits. Obviously, Nazarbaev is ready to everything. Even to pay on accounts of "clever" assistants, to send member of bureaucratic elite to the West, for example, Minister of Defence Ahmetov to ask to lift relations "on qualitatively new level". The aforesaid means only one thing - no matter how management of Kazakhstan was proud staying in a dope of oil streams, it would have to pay off for unreasoned policy already in the near future. Not only by loss of sovereignty but also by well-being of future generations.


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