Articles by Assel Satubaldina

Diplomats Test Togyzkumalak Skills at Tournament in Astana

ASTANA – The halls of a hotel venue in Astana echoed rich diplomatic discourse and the click of stones on wooden boards on May 21 as diplomats gathered for a togyzkumalak tournament. This traditional Kazakh game, often likened to chess for its deep strategic elements, became the focus of an event celebrating cultural heritage and…

Washington D.C. Hosts Annual Trans-Caspian Forum, Outlines Challenges

ASTANA – The Caspian Policy Center organized the eighth Annual Trans-Caspian Forum on May 21 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the current challenges and prospects for a multi-modal Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) to maximize its capacity. TITR is a multi-modal route that runs through China, Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia and further to…

Kazakhstan Co-Chairs Int’l Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna

ASTANA – Kazakhstan co-chairs the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Shaping the Future (ICONS 2024) in Vienna on May 20-24 with Australia. Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister of Energy Sungat Yessimkhanov addressed the opening session on May 20 with co-president and Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia Tim Watts and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)…

Forum in Almaty Explores Kazakhstan’s Financial Sector 

ASTANA—Almaty hosted a forum dubbed Financial Sector of Kazakhstan: 25 Years of Strategic Challenges on May 21, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Association of Financiers of Kazakhstan, reports the association’s press service. The association was founded at the First Congress of Financiers in May 1999 to unite financial market participants and ensure the…

Enhancing Relations with Afghanistan Offers Mutual Benefits, Says Kazakh Official

ASTANA – A top-level Kazakh delegation, led by Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin, visited Kabul last week to forge closer trade ties with Afghanistan. Kairat Torebayev, Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister for Trade and Integration, who was part of the delegation, disclosed the details of the trip and shared assessments of the prospects for relations between Kazakhstan…

Central Asia is Region that Needs to Be Addressed by Itself, Says Researcher

ASTANA—Central Asia is a region with its own dynamics and should be addressed by itself rather than simply as a secondary concern related to conflicts in neighboring areas, said Luсa Anceschi, a professor of Eurasian studies at the University of Glasgow, in an interview with The Astana Times. An “excellent place to be” Speaking of…

Kazakhstan Celebrates Day of Unity of People on May 1

ASTANA—On May 1, Kazakhstan celebrates the Day of Unity. Celebrated since 1996, the holiday is meant to cherish peace and harmony among Kazakhstan’s diverse ethnic groups. It symbolizes the unity and cohesion of the Kazakh people regardless of their ethnic, religious, or cultural backgrounds.  Kazakhstan has been celebrating the Day of Unity since 1996. Prior…

David Cameron’s Diplomatic Tour to Central Asia Ushers ‘New Era’ in UK Relations with Region

ASTANA—This week, the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron embarked on a diplomatic tour across the five Central Asian republics, which Cameron himself said opens a “new era” in the relations between Central Asia and the United Kingdom. Starting in Tajikistan, Cameron visited the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Speaking about the broader…

Kazakh IT Professional Shares Inspiration, Challenges in Tech Journey 

ASTANA – A native of Kazakhstan, Nazerke Seidan’s career journey has spanned continents – from Europe to the United States and back to her home country, where she now works in a global IT company. In an interview with The Astana Times, Seidan shares what inspired her to choose tech as a career path and…

Kazakhstan’s Groundbreaking Law Prioritizes Family Protection, Says Human Rights Commissioner

ASTANA – This week, Kazakhstan passed a landmark law that strengthens protections for women and children by criminalizing domestic violence, introducing tougher penalties for crimes against children and for bullying, among other provisions. Human Rights Commissioner Artur Lastayev said the new law is aimed at protecting the families, reported the commissioner’s press office. According to…

World Bank Country Manager Unveils Details of Long-Standing Partnership with Kazakhstan

ASTANA – The World Bank supported Kazakhstan across diverse policy areas in more than 30 years of cooperation, contributing more than $8 billion. World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan Andrei Mikhnev spoke to The Astana Times, unveiling key details of this long-standing partnership.  A ‘very active’ year Mikhnev, originally from Ukraine, has served…

Tokayev’s Address at Boao Forum to Facilitate Kazakhstan’s Economic Opportunities

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s address at the Boao Forum for Asia on March 28 is meant to significantly elevate the international profile of Kazakhstan, including amplifying the visibility of Kazakh brands and expanding opportunities for the Kazakh economy, said Adil Kaukenov, the chief expert at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies (KazISS), in an…

Second Day of Tokayev’s Visit to China Features Meetings with Top Executives

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s visit to China continues on March 29 with several meetings with top Chinese executives, reported the Akorda press service. President Tokayev met with Liu Mingsheng, сhairman of the Board of Directors of the State Power Investment Corporation, one of the country’s key state-owned enterprises and a major player in the…

Number of Electric Cars in Kazakhstans Grows Ninefold in One Year

ASTANA – Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in Kazakhstan. The number of electric cars in the country surged ninefold in January compared to January last year, according to data from the Bureau of National Statistics. “The number of passenger cars powered by electricity has increased 9.2 times, from 914 to 8,366 units. The highest…

Astana International Forum, Boao Forum for Asia Ink Memorandum of Cooperation

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s flagship Astana International Forum and the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) signed a memorandum of cooperation as part of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s participation in the annual session of BFA in Hainan, reported the Akorda press service.  “The sides intend to jointly promote the international and regional agenda, as well as support global…

Drone Tech Center Opens in Astana to Spur Innovation and Exchange

ASTANA — Astana Hub international technopark unveiled the Drone Tech Center on March 27, a facility aimed at fostering the exchange of experience and the development of innovative solutions in drone technologies, reported the Astana Hub press service.  The event, organized by Astana Hub and Aardvark company, gathered top experts, business and education representatives, and…

Kazakhstan Anticipates Up to Half a Million Chinese Tourists in 2024

ASTANA – Kazakhstan anticipates up to 500,000 tourists from China in 2024, said Kairat Sadvakasov, chairman of Kazakh Tourism national company, at the Kazakhstan-China Tourism and Investment Forum in Beijing, reported Kazinform news agency.  The forum officially kicked off the Year of Kazakhstan’s Tourism in China with more than 30 events planned. Sadvakassov said that…

Young People from Central Asia Embark on Week-Long Journey Across India

NEW DELHI – The youth delegation from Kazakhstan visited India on March 5-13 to attend the Central Asia – India Youth Forum as part of a broader 100-member youth delegation from all Central Asian countries at the invitation of the government of India. In a world often divided by borders and beliefs, the visit of…

Kazakhstan’s Non-Oil Exports Reach $35.1 Billion as Nation Diversifies Economy

ASTANA – Increasing non-raw material exports has been a priority for Kazakhstan. In 2023, non-raw material exports reached $35.1 billion out of $78.7 billion in total exports, said Nurlan Kulbatyrov, deputy director of QazTrade Trade Policy Development Center, in an interview with The Astana Times. This demonstrates an increase from $26.5 billion in non-raw exports…

Spirit of Cooperation in Central Asia Has Never Been Higher, Says US Scholar

ASTANA—A spirit of cooperation in Central Asia is at an unprecedented high, said a prominent American scholar, Dr. Frederick Starr, in an interview with The Astana Times. Starr, the founding chairman of the Central Asia – Caucasus Institute and the Silk Road Studies Program, shared his insights into the region’s dynamics, the importance of regional…

Austrian Ambassador Sees Ties with Kazakhstan Growing

ASTANA –  Ambassador of Austria to Kazakhstan Willy Kempel shared insightful perspectives on the evolving dynamics of bilateral relations and new avenues of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Austria in an interview with The Astana Times.  Emphasizing the depth of political alignment and mutual respect between the two nations, the ambassador highlighted the significance of upcoming…

Middle Corridor, Turkic World: Key Highlights from President Tokayev’s Visit to Baku

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev paid a state visit to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, from March 11 to 12, further deepening the strategic and brotherly ties between the two nations and signifying a new chapter in Eurasian diplomacy.  Among the key highlights, he met with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, participated in the first meeting…

EBRD Touts Kazakhstan’s Reforms Amid Global Challenges

ASTANA — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) Director for Kazakhstan Huseyin Ozhan shared an insightful perspective on the country’s journey of reform and growth in a recent interview with The Astana Times.  Reflecting on his observations, Ozhan, who has been in Kazakhstan since September 2021, highlights the significant strides Kazakhstan has made,…

Reforms and Change: Kazakhstan, ADB Celebrate 30 Years of Partnership

ASTANA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Kazakhstan are set to celebrate a momentous milestone in 2024, marking 30 years since Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia, joined ADB in January 1994. ADB Regional Director for Central Asia and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov spoke to The Astana Times about the key projects over…

Kazakh Tourism Chairman Reveals Hidden Gems, Tauts Sustainable Tourism, Authenticity

ASTANA – Kazakhstan, a country where astronauts return to Earth and ancient traditions thrive in modern cities, is on the brink of a tourism renaissance as the tourism industry has momentum, said Kairat Sadvakassov, the chairman of Kazakh Tourism national company, in an interview with The Astana Times. In an insightful conversation, he shared how…