Twenty-two years ago, the Kazakhstan Navy was established as part of the Armed Forces of a new independent state. The corresponding presidential decree was issued on April 2, 1993, according to press service of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defence.
Aktau city, being the main sea gate of the country on the Caspian Sea, has organised several festive events in order to commemorate the date. A public wreath laying, a parade of naval servants and a gala concert were part of the celebration programme.
“The Caspian region is of a paramount importance for the economy of Kazakhstan and neighbouring countries. To ensure its protection, as well as to secure economic interests and state borders, Kazakhstan decided to establish naval forces twenty-two years ago,” noted the press service of the ministry.
The Caspian Sea is considered the largest inland body of water in the world. Five countries, Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran border the sea. The strategic importance of the sea lays in its abundance of energy resources. The sea contains large volumes of natural gas and oil in both offshore deposits and onshore fields. Moreover, it is endowed with vast marine resources.
Over the past 22 years, the five countries have been negotiating over a Caspian Sea legal status and at the September 2014 summit in Astrakhan agreed to move forward with determining the principles of the status. The next Caspian Sea littoral states summit is to take place in Astana in 2016.
Kazakhstan’s fledgling Navy has been helpful in protecting the country’s economic interests, including against poachers.
“Over the past three years, we have introduced three rocket-artillery ships, which were built on the base of the domestic enterprise Zenit Ural Plant. Also, a mine vessel is under construction now in the Russian ship-building yard Alatau. Moreover, we are considering the possibility of acquiring a new heavy guard ship,” according to a Defense Ministry representative.
Naval officers in Aktau congratulated the navy seaman and noted that the naval force of the country successfully executes its duties and protects Kazakhstan’s western borders.