News Digest: Foreign Media on Int’l Day Against Nuclear Tests, Kazakh Uranium Exports, and More

ASTANA – The Astana Times has picked a selection of articles on Kazakhstan published in international media. This week’s foreign media digest includes articles on International Day against Nuclear Tests, Kazakhstan’s uranium exports, gross domestic product growth forecast, and more.

Astana. Photo credit: Tripster.

Today: International Day against Nuclear Tests

Daswetter published an article on Aug. 29 dedicated to the International Day against Nuclear Tests established by the United Nations in December 2009 to commemorate the closure of the largest nuclear test site in Kazakhstan in 1991. 

“Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, popularly known as the polygon, was the largest nuclear test site in history used by the Soviet Union and had numerous consequences for the population,” the article reads. 

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is the primary instrument for eliminating nuclear testing. Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1996, it has been signed by 186 countries and ratified by 178. However, the agreement has not yet entered into force as it still has to be confirmed by 44 countries with special nuclear technology, such as China, North Korea and the United States.

Kazakhstan to EU: We can increase uranium exports in wake of Niger coup

POLITICO released an interview with Kazatomprom CEO Yerzhan Mukanov on Aug. 28 about uranium exports to the European Union (EU).

“Kazakhstan is prepared to ship more uranium to Europe if necessary thanks to worries over supply risks caused by a military coup in Niger. Niger was the EU’s second-largest raw uranium exporter after Kazakhstan last year, accounting for up to a quarter of supplies. A July military coup sparked concern about access to its uranium, even though the junta has not banned uranium trade with the bloc,” the article reads. 

Kazakhstan National Bank raises GDP growth forecast

The National Bank of Kazakhstan has updated its macro forecasts and raised its growth forecast for the country’s economy for 2024–2025, the Trend reported on Aug. 25. 

“According to the official message of the regulator, the economy is expected to grow at a rate of 4-5% per year, which is an improvement over previous estimates in the range of 3.5–4.5%. This year, the expectation of GDP growth in the range of 4.2–5.2% remains the same as before,” the article notes. 

Top uranium producer is shaking up nuclear decision making

Kazakhstan, one of 17 countries excluded from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board, is preparing to file a legal demand to make it eligible for a seat, reported Bloomberg on Aug. 25.

“Kazakhstan, which produces about two-fifths of the world’s uranium, says it’s tired of being treated like a second-class citizen at the IAEA and is preparing to file a legal demand to make it eligible for a seat on the board, according to a statement dated Aug. 18 circulated among diplomats,” the article reads.

The Central Asian nation’s exclusion from the IAEA’s chief decision-making council is “deeply discouraging” and “leads to a violation of the fundamental principle of equality,” Kazakhstan said in the statement.

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