Articles by Assel Satubaldina

Maulen Ashimbayev Voted as Kazakhstan’s Senate Chairperson

ASTANA – Maulen Ashimbayev, 51, was unanimously voted by the deputies of the Senate on Jan. 26 as Kazakhstan’s Senate Chairperson after President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed his candidacy for the position.  After addressing the newly elected and appointed deputies of the upper chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, President Tokayev put forward Ashimbayev’s candidacy for the…

Kazakhstan Allocates $312 Million in 2023 to Modernize Rural Areas

ASTANA – Kazakhstan will spend 143 billion tenge (US$311.5 million) in 2023 to implement 1,500 projects in 736 villages across the country as part of the Auyl – El Besigi (the Village is the Birthplace of a Nation) project, according to the Kazakh Ministry of National Economy, which is in charge of the project.  The…

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev Appoints Ten New Senate Deputies

ASTANA – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appointed ten new deputies to the Senate, an upper house of the Kazakh Parliament on Jan. 24, reported the Akorda press service.  The President’s right to appoint ten deputies to the Senate, which consists of 50 deputies, is enshrined in the country’s Constitution. Five of them are recommended by…

What You Need to Know About Upcoming Election in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Central Election Commission compiled a list of eligible voters for the Mazhilis and maslikhat election, including 11,976,406 citizens with the active right to vote, reported the CEC press service.  The largest number of voters – 1,177,507 – is registered in the Turkistan Region, the smallest – 138,277 – in the Ulytau Region,”…

Nearly 60 Afghan Women Pursue Higher Education in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – At least 56 Afghan women are continuing their studies in Kazakhstan’s universities as part of Kazakhstan’s year-long efforts to support Afghan nationals whose country is now in economic and social turmoil. The young women are participants of an academic scholarship program launched by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan and funded by the European Union…

What You Need to Know About Senate Election in Kazakhstan This Week

ASTANA – Two weeks into 2023, Kazakhstan prepares for Senate elections, the upper chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, on Jan. 14, which will have 55 candidates competing for 20 seats in the Senate. The registration of candidates wrapped up at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24. Out of 130 nominated candidates, fifty-five candidates, including 18 women…

Economic Growth in Central Asia to Remain Flat in 2023, Says World Bank

ASTANA – Economic growth in Central Asia is projected to remain flat at 3.9 percent in 2023, dragged down by weak external demand, rising inflation and global supply chain disruptions, according to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report released on Jan. 11. In 2022, the growth reached 3.9 percent, down from 5.1 percent…

Constitutional Court in Kazakhstan Rules in First Decision, Repeals Law on First President

ASTANA – The Constitutional Court, which began its work in Kazakhstan on Jan. 1, ruled on its first decision, repealing the law on the First President that granted Nursultan Nazarbayev exclusive rights and privileges, including retention of his and his family’s financial wealth and immunity from actions made while president and after, reports the court’s…

Young, Progressive Voices Surge in Kazakh Government

The past week in Kazakhstan witnessed several important appointments, signaling one significant and positive trend in the government – more young voices are rising to the highest ranks of the cabinet.  Amid the current government’s efforts to fulfill the tasks set by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, from energy to housing, it is inspiring to see that…

One Year On from the January Tragedy in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – The Kazakh Prosecutor General’s Office and the Kazakh Ministry of Internal Affairs delivered their reports on Jan. 5 on the investigation into the tragic January events that shocked the nation exactly one year ago.  One year into the worst unrest the country has seen over the years of independence that left at least…

Zulfiya Suleimenova Becomes Kazakhstan’s Youngest Minister at Only 32 Years-of-Age

ASTANA – The first working day of 2023 in Kazakhstan on Jan. 4 featured some significant reshuffles in the government, sending a strong message from the government that they are embracing younger and more progressive voices. Zulfiya Suleimenova made the headlines, becoming the youngest minister at 32 after she was appointed the Minister of Ecology…

2022 in Review: Major International Highlights of Kazakhstan Over Last Year

Welcoming 2022, the people of Kazakhstan hoped it would bring more good to the world, which is still reeling from two years of uncertainty and the pandemic that took many lives. 2022 can hardly be called an easy year – the ongoing pandemic, rising geopolitical confrontations, economic slowdown, and war. It reminded us all of…

Kazakhstan Wraps Up 2022 with Packed Diplomatic Schedule

ASTANA – Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov wrapped up the results of the ministry’s work in 2022 at a press briefing on Dec. 28, highlighting a packed diplomatic schedule the country has had this year.  “This year, we have done a lot of work on the foreign policy track, several major international events were…

President Tokayev Signs Law on Women’s Retirement Age, Extension of Childcare Benefits and Other Social Support Measures

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a law on Dec. 26 to amend the country’s legislative acts on youth policy and social security, reported the Akorda press service. The law envisages fixing women’s retirement age at 61 years by 2028, extending child care allowances from 12 to 18 months, increasing the age of youth from…

Leading Experts from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan Explore President Tokayev’s Recent Visit to Tashkent

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s state visit to Uzbekistan last week was under the spotlight of an international conference on Dec. 27 titled Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Prospects for the Development of Strategic Partnership and Alliance, reported the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies (KazISS).  Experts discussed political dialogue and new strategic prospects for cooperation in economy,…

Baitak Party Determined to Take Part in Upcoming Parliamentary Election, Forge Strong Green Agenda

ASTANA – Less than a month after the Kazakh Ministry of Justice registered a new party called Baitak, it paves the way for green reformists in the country, part of a broader reform agenda in Kazakhstan. The Astana Times spoke to Baitak party chair Azamatkhan Amirtai about the party’s priorities, objectives and plans ahead of…

Svevind Seeks to Establish Kazakhstan as Reliable Green Energy Supplier for Global Markets

ASTANA – Svevind, the company behind Europe’s largest wind farm in Sweden, is running a green hydrogen project in the Mangystau Region, seeking to establish Kazakhstan as a reliable supplier of green energy in the form of hydrogen and ammonia for the global markets, said the company’s CEO Wolfgang Kropp in an interview with The…

Baitak Party Registered in Kazakhstan, Seeks to Promote Environmental Agenda

ASTANA – A new party called Baitak with an environmental focus received registration from the Kazakh Ministry of Justice on Nov. 30, the party’s founder and chair Azamatkhan Amirtay shared on his Facebook. With the Baitak party, there are now six political parties in Kazakhstan, including the Amanat party, Ak Zhol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan,…

Expert Session in Brussels Focuses on Kazakhstan’s Internal Political Changes Amid Challenging External Circumstances

ASTANA – Kazakh and European political experts gathered on Nov. 28 in Brussels to share their views on the ongoing political changes in Kazakhstan and the country’s efforts to navigate the challenging circumstances that the world finds itself in today.   A panel session, titled Kazakhstan in 2022 – a Seismic Year of Change and Unprecedented…

Nuclear War Has No Winners and It Must Never Be Unleashed, Says Declaration Signed by Tokayev and Putin

ASTANA – There can be no winners in a nuclear war and it must never be unleashed. This is one of the premises in the declaration signed by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Nov. 28.  Tokayev’s visit to Moscow on Nov. 28, the first foreign visit since his…

Transfer from Kazakhstan’s National Fund to Budget to Reach $4.7 Billion in 2023, Expected to Decline Gradually

ASTANA – The guaranteed transfer from the National Fund of Kazakhstan to the country’s budget will reach 2.2 trillion tenge (US$4.7 billion) in 2023 and is set to decline moving forward, according to a law signed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Nov. 24.  The transfer will make two trillion tenge ($4.3 billion) in 2024 and…

President Tokayev Addresses CSTO Summit in Yerevan, Calls for Peace Talks between Russia and Ukraine

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia as he addressed the Collective Security Council session of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) on Nov. 23 in Yerevan, reported the presidential press service.  Tokayev emphasized the time has come for a “joint collective search for a formula for peace.”  “Any…

Experts Debate Kazakhstan’s Presidential Election, Emphasize Single Seven-Year Mandate

ASTANA – Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies convened on Nov. 21. political experts to discuss the presidential election that the country had on Nov. 20 and share forecasts for the development of the country’s political discourse in the future.  A final statement released by the Central Election Commission on Nov. 22 shows Tokayev winning 81.31…

Voter Turnout in Kazakhstan’s Presidential Election Hits 69 Percent

ASTANA – 69.43 percent of Kazakhstan’s eligible voters participated in the country’s presidential election on Nov. 20 as of 10 p.m. local Astana time, announced the Central Election Commission (CEC) at a press briefing on Nov. 20. Polling stations closed throughout the country at 8 p.m. local Astana time. In the country’s five regions –…

Voter Turnout for Presidential Election in Kazakhstan Hits 51 Percent

ASTANA – Voter turnout in Kazakhstan’s presidential election hit 51.16 percent as of 2 p.m. local Astana time, announced the Central Election Commission member Sabila Mustafina at a press briefing on Nov. 20.  Kazakhstan holds its presidential elections today, Nov. 20. As of 2 p.m. local Astana time, 6,113,621 people out of 11,950,485 eligible voters…

Candidates Vote for Next Kazakh President, Emphasize Need for Change and Reforms

ASTANA – The six people who sought to become the next president of Kazakhstan came to vote, exercising their constitutional right during election day on Nov. 20. Among the candidates, Zhiguli Dairabayev, running from the Auyl party, was the first to come to a polling station at around 7 a.m. in Astana. “The mood is…

We Vote for Bright Future, Says President Tokayev

ASTANA – The year 2022 was not easy for Kazakhstan and by voting today in the presidential elections, people are voting for a bright future for the country, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told journalists after casting his vote at a polling station located at the Palace of Schoolchildren in Astana.  Tokayev is among the six candidates…

Kazakhstan’s Presidential Election Sees Close to 24 Percent Voter Turnout

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s presidential election sees 23.37 percent voter turnout, announced Central Election Commission (CEC) member Shavkhat Otemisov at a press briefing on Nov. 20. Kazakhstan holds presidential elections today, Nov. 20. There are six candidates competing for the country’s highest office – incumbent president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Karakat Abden, Meiram Kazhyken, Nurlan Auesbayev, Saltanat Tursynbekova,…

Kazakhstan’s Presidential Election Begins Nationwide

ASTANA – Nearly 11 million citizens across Kazakhstan will head to polling stations today on Nov. 20 to vote for the country’s next President.  There are 11,950,485 eligible voters in Kazakhstan. On Sunday, 10,101 polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time nationwide and will close at 8 p.m.  Citizens traveling or residing abroad will…

Kazakh Citizens Abroad to Cast Vote on Sunday

ASTANA – Few days before the election day in Kazakhstan, Kazakh citizens will be able to cast their vote in 53 countries. The Astana Times spoke to Kazakh citizens residing abroad to learn about their stance regarding voting.  According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov, on election day citizens of Kazakhstan will have…

Astana Hosts Strategic Initiatives Forum, Gathers Top Level Experts and Scholars

ASTANA – Kazakh capital Astana hosted a Strategic Initiatives Forum on Nov. 16 gathering top scholars and experts to discuss their vision of Kazakhstan’s future and the priority reforms for the next seven years.  The four panel sessions were attended by the heads of state bodies, national companies, representatives of big businesses, public and political…

It Was Very Painful for Me as Almaty Native to See How Criminals Were Destroying City, Says President Tokayev Addressing January Unrest

ASTANA – The devaluation of the idea of justice and the mutual estrangement between the state and society were the main causes behind the January tragedy, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during his Nov. 16 meeting with the public in Almaty, reported the presidential press service.  The January tragedy refers to peaceful protests that broke out…

Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia Keen to Expand Cooperation

ASTANA – Saudi Arabia is keen to strengthen cooperation with Kazakhstan for the interests of both peoples, Yahya Ahmad D Okeish, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Kazakhstan, said in an interview with The Astana Times, a few hours after the diplomats’ meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the Akorda on…

Kazakhstan’s Legendary Dos-Mukasan Band: A Story of Perseverance, Love and Friendship

ASTANA – Kazakh songs have a distinctive sound that warms people’s hearts. The songs of Dos-Mukasan, a famous Kazakh rock and pop music group from the 1970s, have that effect every time you listen to one of their songs.  The Sept. 29 release of the movie that tells the band’s story, similar to “Bohemian Rhapsody,”…

Televised Presidential Debate in Kazakhstan Addresses Candidates’ Campaign Platforms

ASTANA – Five Kazakh presidential candidates and one representative of a candidate presented election programs in a Nov. 12 live televised debate at the Kazmedia Center in the capital. At the debate, Mazhilis Chair and Amanat Party Chair Yerlan Koshanov represented presidential candidate and incumbent President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Karakat Abden, Zhiguli Dairabayev, Nurlan Auesbayev, Saltanat…

Saltanat Tursynbekova: Presidential Candidate With a Strong Social Agenda and Commitment to Defend Rights and Interests of Underrepresented Groups

Editor’s note: As Kazakhstan heads to the presidential elections on Nov. 20, The Astana Times will contribute a series of articles in the format of reviews and interviews providing an outlook into the electoral programs of each of the candidates.   ASTANA – Saltanat Tursynbekova is running for the office of the president in the upcoming…

ODIHR Publishes Interim Report on Elections in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – The Election Observation Mission (EOM) of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) published an interim report on Nov. 4 outlining their findings as the mission continues its work, just 12 days before the presidential elections in Kazakhstan.  The mission began its work on Oct. 18 headed by Ambassador Urszula…

Constitutional Court in Kazakhstan to Ensure More Effective Protection of Human Rights

ASTANA – The Constitutional Court, which will start functioning on Jan. 1, 2023, will ensure the more effective protection of human rights in Kazakhstan as citizens will be able to appeal directly to the court, said Maulen Ashimbayev, speaker of the Senate, an upper chamber of the Kazakh Parliament.  President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed six laws…

Election Season in Kazakhstan to Сoncentrate on Social Obligations, Say Experts

ASTANA – As the election campaign period continues in Kazakhstan until Nov. 18, its focus is primarily on social obligations, said political expert Daniyar Ashimbayev.  “Apparently, there is a certain set of explicitly populist slogans that the electoral headquarters have agreed not to bring up for discussions, such as credit amnesty and the privatization of…

President Tokayev Signs Constitutional Amendments into Law to Expand Human Rights Focus in State Policies

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed into law the constitutional amendments to re-establish the Constitutional Court and expand the powers of the country’s Human Rights Commissioner and the human rights focus of the Prosecutor General, among other laws, at a public ceremony on Nov. 5 at Akorda, reported the presidential press service.  The six laws…

Civic Duty: Young People in Kazakhstan Ready to Cast Vote in November Presidential Elections

ASTANA – Ahead of the presidential elections in Kazakhstan scheduled for Nov. 20, the country’s youth is ready to head to the polls to vote for their new President. Though public opinion about the upcoming elections diverges, with people still questioning the need for an ahead-of-schedule election, casting a vote remains a civic duty for…

Experts Debate Political Transformation Processes in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s leading political scientists, public figures and scholars convened on Oct. 31 in Astana to discuss the ongoing political transformation in the country, reforms that aim to fulfill the Just Kazakhstan promise, reported the Kazakh Institute for Strategic Studies organizing an expert discussion. Welcoming the participants, Yerkin Tukumov, director of the institute, proposed…

Upcoming Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan Have Completely New Format, Says Head of ODIHR Observer Mission

ASTANA – The upcoming presidential elections in Kazakhstan, scheduled for Nov. 20, will be taking place in a completely new format, said the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) observer mission Urszula Gacek in an Oct. 27 interview given to the Jibek…

Counting Down Weeks Until 2022 Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan 

2022 has been an intense year for Kazakhstan. Beginning tragically as it did in January, the Nov. 20 presidential elections seem to be the year’s culmination in what officials are now describing as the “reset of the political system.”  The public sentiment around the elections diverges. Some expect change for the better from the elections,…

IFC Commits to Deepening Support to Kazakhstan’s Sustainable Development and Private Sector Investments

ASTANA – Hela Cheikhrouhou, International Financial Corporation (IFC) Regional Vice President for the Middle East, Central Asia, Türkiye, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, reaffirmed the commitment to deepening IFC support to Kazakhstan towards sustainable development through increased private sector investments in her first visit to Kazakhstan on Oct. 3-4. In an interview with The Astana Times, Cheikhrouhou…

Policeman in Taldykorgan Accused of Torture with Hot Steam Iron Taken Into Custody as Trial Continues

ASTANA – The Zhetisu regional court in Taldykorgan came out with a decision on Oct. 20 to amend a punitive measure for policeman Aidyn Kenzhebayev, accused of torture with a hot steam iron against a detainee involved in the January unrest, from house arrest to detention, Asem Tusupova, a lawyer at the Qantar Center for…

Six Candidates to Compete for Country’s Highest Office in Kazakhstan’s November 20 Election

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) registered six candidates to qualify for the country’s Nov. 20 presidential election.  Registration closed Oct. 21 and six candidates, incumbent Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Meiram Kazhyken, Zhiguli Dairabayev, Karakat Abden, Saltanat Tursynbekova and Nurlan Auesbaev, will campaign until Nov. 18 for election to the country’s highest office. All presidential nominees…

Kazakhstan’s State Counselor Addresses Expert Forum in Astana on Political Transformation

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s State Counselor Erlan Karin addressed an expert forum on Oct. 18, titled Kazakhstan’s Political Transformation: Trends and Prospects, organized by the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies, reported the Akorda press service.  Karin emphasized that the current electoral process stems from the constitutional reform initiated by the June 5 national referendum. He spoke…

Kazakh and Foreign Companies Sign $1.5 Billion in Deals at Investment Roundtable in Astana

ASTANA – Kazakh and foreign companies signed US$1.5 billion in agreements on Oct. 19 at the Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable that brought together over 500 participants, including government officials and top international executives, to explore investment prospects together. Agreements covered the fields of metallurgy, petrochemistry and gas processing, transport and logistics, production of building materials,…

Nearly $35 Billion Invested in Kazakhstan’s Transport Sector Over Last Five Years

ASTANA – Nearly $35 billion have been invested in Kazakhstan’s transport sector over the past five years, with 2,500 kilometers of new railways being built, said Deputy Chair of the Kazakh Transport Committee Kassym Tilepov at a plenary session during the fifth Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable on Oct. 19 in Astana.  At a time when…

Kazakh Experts See Chance For Change in Upcoming Presidential Elections

ASTANA – Almost a month is left before the presidential elections in Kazakhstan, scheduled for Nov. 20. Experts and the public continue to debate the elections and the electoral process, with scholars generally agreeing on the growing need for change in the country, highly demanded by the public, and hoping that elections can bring about…

President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdymukhamedov Makes First State Visit to Kazakhstan

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev welcomed Turkmenistan’s President Serdar Berdymukhamedov during his state visit to Kazakhstan, marking the historic significance of the visit in the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, reported the presidential press service.  Berdymukhamedov arrived on a state visit on Oct. 14 to attend the meeting of heads of the Commonwealth of…

CEC Withdraws Three Candidates from Registration for Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan, Cites Lack of Public Service Experience

ASTANA – Three candidates nominated to run in the presidential elections in Kazakhstan have been withdrawn from the registration by the Central Election Commission with all of them lacking the required experience in public service, the CEC announced on Oct. 13.  Khayrulla Gabzhalilov, Talgat Yergaliyev, and Fatima Bizakova do not meet the requirements set out…

Five Candidates Register for November Presidental Elections in Kazakhstan, Seven More Pending CEC Approval 

ASTANA – Five candidates have been registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC) to run for the presidential elections on Nov. 20, while verification and approval of seven more candidates are pending at the time of writing.  The period for nomination of candidates closed on Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for…

Kazakhstan, South Korea Have Come a Long Way Together, But New Future Stands Ahead, Says Korean Ambassador to Kazakhstan

ASTANA – South Korea and Kazakhstan have gone through an unchartered path together, but now, 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the bilateral ties are at a mature age, said South Korean Ambassador to Kazakhstan Koo Hong-seok in an interview with The Astana Times. “The past 30 years have been a period when…

Kazakhstan Continues to Expand International Flights, as Countries Worldwide Relax COVID-19 Restrictions

ASTANA – The choice of where one can fly from Kazakhstan is steadily expanding, as countries worldwide continue to relax COVID-19-related restrictions, sending a signal that the world is ready to return to normal after more than two years of strict measures to address the global pandemic. Every week, nearly 489 flights carry people from…

Digital Nomad IT Professionals Committed to Developing Kazakhstan’s Digital Ecosystem

ASTANA  – Digital Nomads, a group of more than 400 IT professionals born in Kazakhstan but now spanning across the world, met on Sept. 21 with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev when he visited New York. What many would call a lifetime opportunity was also a chance for the group to explain their effort to develop a…

Book Telling Story of How Kazakhstan Gave Up Its Nuclear Inheritance Released in Kazakh Language 

ASTANA – The Kazakh capital of Astana hosted the presentation of the Kazakh language edition of the book “Atomic Steppe: How Kazakhstan Gave Up the Bomb” written by prominent nuclear non-proliferation expert Togzhan Kassenova on Sept. 29. It tells the story of how Kazakhstan navigated through multiple challenges after the collapse of the Soviet Union…

President Tokayev Meets Heads of Tech Companies in Astana

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met on Sept. 28 with heads of technological and IT companies who arrived in Astana to attend the two-day Digital Bridge Forum, a key event with a program featuring some of the biggest names in the IT industry, reported the presidential press service. Organized this year under the theme Central…

Turkistan Region Offers Significant Investment Opportunities, Embodies Kazakhstan’s Spiritual Legacy

ASTANA  –  The Turkistan Region has witnessed a 1.5-fold increase in industry and agriculture since 2019, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during his meeting with the region’s public on Sept. 27, reported the presidential press service.  The Turkistan Region located in southern Kazakhstan near the Syr Darya River boasts more than 1,500 years of rich history.…

Social Reforms in Kazakhstan Demand Fundamental Transformation of Broader Management System and Key State Institutions, Say Scholars

ASTANA – The success of social reforms in Kazakhstan is contingent upon its ability to reform the broader management system and key state institutions. That is one of the conclusions made by Albert Barro, a project associate at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, and Svante E. Cornell, director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road…

Kazakhstan to Select Supplier for Nuclear Power Technological Solutions in 2023

ASTANA – A supplier of technological solutions for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan will be selected in the first quarter of 2023, said Timur Zhantikin, general director of Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants company, in an interview with Jibek Joly TV channel.  Zhantikin said that the shortlist includes four companies – Chinese…

Kazakhstan: Upcoming Presidential Elections Offer Chance to Renew Credibility and Public Trust in State Institutions

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced early presidential elections for Nov. 20, kicking off yet another politically important season for the nation. With two months left, experts say that elections can help renew credibility and public trust in key state institutions and minimize risks from the potential deterioration of the economy.  Announcing the date of…

President Tokayev Urges Proactive Approach in Addressing Global Challenges, Stresses Growing Mutual Distrust and Discompliance with UN Charter

ASTANA –  President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged world leaders to take a proactive approach in addressing global challenges by trying to prevent them from happening, rather than responding to emerging crises during his address at the General Debates of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 20, reported the presidential press service.  The General Debates, which…

President Tokayev Wraps Up First Day of His Visit to New York, Reaffirms Kazakhstan’s Keen Interest to Forge Ties with US

ASTANA – The first day of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s visit to New York was busy as he met with representatives of dozens of American companies and attended the Kazakh-American business council meeting reaffirming the country’s keen interest in intensifying bilateral ties with the United States, reported the presidential press office.  The program of Tokayev’s visit…

Final Decision on Digital Tenge Still Pending in Kazakhstan, Says Project’s Head

ASTANA – The final decision on the Digital Tenge project has not yet been made, but is expected to be announced by the end of 2022, the project’s head Ainur Kenzhayeva said in an interview with The Astana Times.  The project, which the National Bank of Kazakhstan has been working on with financial market participants,…

Kazakhstan to Host International Education Fair Next Week, Sees Growing Demand for Education Abroad

ASTANA – As Kazakhstan prepares to host the International Education Fair, the largest education exhibition in Central Asia, from Sept. 22 through Sept. 27, the nation witnesses a growing demand for education abroad, said Aizada Koigeldiyeva, director of Univero, one of the organizers and one of Kazakhstan’s leading educational agencies, in an interview with The…

President Tokayev Signs Decree Limiting Presidential Term, Renaming Capital City Back to Astana

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a decree on constitutional amendments on Sept. 17 that officially restores the former name of the Kazakh capital city – Astana, and limits presidential tenure by a single non-renewable seven-year term, reported the presidential press service. The change is effective immediately. Astana became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997…

SCO Summit: President Tokayev Focuses on Transit and Transport, Food and Energy Security 

NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states to expand economic cooperation and in doing so to focus on the transit-transport sphere, food, and energy security during the сouncil of heads of the SCO member states on Sept. 15-16 in Samarkand, reported the presidential press service.  The summit was in…

Kazakhstan Set to Return Astana as Name of Its Capital

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s capital is set to soon be renamed back from Nur-Sultan to Astana after the Parliament endorsed the draft law on constitutional amendments required to rename the capital on Sept. 16. The document now awaits President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s discretion. The adoption of a package of constitutional amendments, which also include a norm for…

China’s President Xi Jinping Pays State Visit to Kazakhstan, Confirming Excellent Relations Between Neighbouring Countries

NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Akorda on Wednesday, who is making his first foreign visit since the start of the pandemic, announced the Kazakh presidential press service.  The two counterparts, who met in Beijing in February when Tokayev flew to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter…

Kazakh President Urges Swift Resolution to Armenia-Azerbaijan Border Conflict at CSTO Extraordinary Session

NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev participated in an extraordinary online meeting of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on Sept. 13 convened at Armenia’s request, reported the Akorda presidential press service. The session, which was attended by President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of…

Pope Francis Stresses World Needs Peace to Recover Its Harmony In Address to Civil Society, Diplomatic Corps in Kazakh Capital

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Pope Francis addressed the representatives of civil society and the diplomatic corps on Sept. 13, a few hours after Pope Francis arrived in the Kazakh capital for his 38th apostolic journey, reported the presidential press service.  Pope Francis is also attending the seventh Congress of Leaders of World…

Single Term Limit for Kazakh Presidents Should Be Introduced Before Early Election, Akorda Explains

NUR-SULTAN – The Constitutional Council will convene soon to consider amending norms in the Constitution to introduce a single-term presidential tenure in Kazakhstan before the early presidential elections scheduled for this fall, reported the council’s press service. Limiting presidential tenure to a single seven-year term with no right for re-election was the major headline of…

Good Neighbors, Loyal Friends, Reliable Partners: Chinese President Xi Jinping Commends Bilateral Ties with Kazakhstan Ahead of State Visit

NUR-SULTAN – Chinese President Xi Jinping commended relations with Kazakhstan emphasizing the thousand-year history of friendly ties and calling the two countries good neighbors, loyal friends, and reliable partners in his article published in Kazahstanskaya Pravda newspaper on Sept. 13.  “Our people, sharing a thousand-year history of friendly contacts, are witnesses to the brilliant era…

Kazakhstan, Germany Explore Opportunities in Industry, Energy, and Logistics

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan hosted the Kazakhstan-Germany business forum on Sept. 6 gathering more than 150 delegates to explore opportunities in the industry, energy, and logistics, reported the Kazakh Invest national company.  The forum, organized by the Kazakh Embassy in Germany and Kazakh Invest, was attended by heads of central and local government…

Forest Fires Turn into Yet Another Stress Test for Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – 2022 has not been easy for Kazakhstan. A few days after massive fires were burning in the small Auliekol village of the Kostanai Region, it gives a chance to think of how this natural phenomenon serves as yet another stress test for the country and shows once again the power of people to…

Kazakh Citizens and Government Unite to Help Victims of Kostanai Forest Fires

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s citizens and the government join efforts to provide help to victims of the forest fires that broke out on Sept. 3 in the Kostanai Region in the northern part of the country.  The fires, which burned 43,000 hectares of land, displaced 1,841 people. Many were forced to leave their houses, livestock, and…

Public and Experts Express High Hopes for Tokayev’s Address to Nation But Give Cautious Assessment

NUR-SULTAN – Every year, the presidential address to the nation kicks off the political season, but this year was unlike the others. The Sept. 1 state-of-the-nation address of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was the second address he delivered this year, vowing bolder reforms in light of growing public demand for changes. Early presidential elections this fall…

Mukhtar Auezov’s “Impressions of America” Grows in Significance 60 Years Later

NUR-SULTAN – In 1960, the idea of four Soviet writers traveling to the United States to spend a month traversing the country, meeting public officials, artists, and writers would seem like a miracle, but in the era of the so-called Khrushchev Thaw, a period of rapprochement and rising optimism, this idea became a reality thanks…

Experts Highlight Special Nature of President Tokayev’s Visit to Baku

NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev went on his first official visit to Baku on Aug. 24, which many experts deemed historic and notable after President Tokayev and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev agreed on the strategic nature of bilateral relations. Both demonstrated a strong desire to boost cooperation across all areas. For President Tokayev, it…

Demand for Business Loans Growing, According to National Bank’s Latest Survey

NUR-SULTAN – The demand for loans from businesses is witnessing a significant rise, despite the continued growth in the cost of credit resources and some tightening of loan conditions, according to the results of the survey conducted by the National Bank of Kazakhstan for the second quarter of 2022, reports the bank’s press service. Twenty…

Volunteerism in New Reality: Kazakhstan Hosts First Central Asian Volunteers Forum

NUR-SULTAN – The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons. People can have different opinions and views, but joining efforts to lend a helping hand for a common cause is what can bridge many divides, while promoting civic virtue and generosity. Last week, from Aug. 15 to Aug. 19, nearly 200 volunteers from across Central…

President Tokayev Meets Vladimir Putin in Sochi to Intensify Bilateral Ties

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Aug. 19 to intensify bilateral ties that this year mark 30 years, reported the presidential press service. The two leaders voiced solid optimism about the development of bilateral relations. According to Tokayev, the two countries…

Afghanistan is Key to Preserving Peace and Security in SCO Region, Say Secretaries of SCO Security Councils in Tashkent

NUR-SULTAN – The secretaries of the Security Councils of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) focused on addressing security and stability issues in the SCO region during their 17th meeting in Tashkent, reports the Akorda press service. Kazakhstan was represented by the Assistant to the President – Secretary of the Security Council Gizat Nurdauletov. The sides…

Central Asian Cooperation: Experts Outline the Benefits and Risks

NUR-SULTAN – While the development of cooperation and integration in Central Asia will benefit its economies and people, the road ahead is long, challenging and bumpy. Experts from Central Asia gathered in Almaty on Aug. 18 for the roundtable organized by the Institute of World Economy and Politics (IWEP) to share how they see regional…

First Central Asian Volunteers Forum Continues in Nur-Sultan

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan is hosting the first Central Asian Volunteers Forum on Aug. 15-19 with the national level kicking off today in the country’s capital Nur-Sultan. The forum, organized by the Kazakh Ministry of Information and Social Development, brings together volunteers and volunteer organizations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan as well as Azerbaijan and…

Kazakhstan and Singapore Seek New Economic Opportunities in Transit, Transport, and Digital Transformation

NUR-SULTAN – Singapore is interested in seeking new economic opportunities with Kazakhstan by exploring markets and export routes, after the two-day visit of the Kazakh delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs Mukhtar Tileuberdi to Singapore, reported the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. On the second day of the visit on Aug. 16,…

Cultural and Emotional Closeness Make Korean Pop Culture Welcome in Kazakhstan as Two Countries Celebrate Year of Cultural Exchanges

NUR-SULTAN – Over the past decade, Korean pop culture has swept the globe. Many countries have witnessed a massive rise in K-pop fans. While Kazakhstan was no exception, Korean culture has been particularly welcomed in Kazakhstan, said Lee Hyeran, director of the Korean Cultural Center in Kazakhstan in an interview with The Astana Times. This…

Kazakhstan Comes Up with Innovative Ways to Celebrate Day of Abai

NUR-SULTAN – “The source of humanity is love and justice. They are omnipresent and decide everything.” That’s how the 45th line in Abai Kunanbayev’s famous “Book of Words” reads. Interestingly enough, the ideas he cultivated back in the 19th century become ever more relevant to the current generation and will for sure earn their place…

Building a Digital Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan Seeks to Provide 100 Percent of Population With Internet By 2025

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan has set the ambitious goal to ensure 100 percent coverage of the country with high-quality internet and 95 percent with home broadband access networks by 2025. Measures necessary to achieve these targets and other challenges in the development of broadband internet access were the focus of an international forum titled Towards a…

Kazakh Women’s Team Finishes Fifth at World Chess Olympiad in India

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh women’s team finished fifth as the 44th World Chess Olympiad concluded on Aug. 9 in Chennai, India, reported the country’s Chess Federation. The players beat India-3 in the final round scoring 2.5-1.5. This year, India welcomed over 2,000 participants, including 189 men’s teams and 162 women’s teams. The Kazakh team, one…

Kazakhstan Has Right Fundamentals to Become Regional Powerhouse, Says StartX Business Development Director

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan has all the right fundamentals to become a powerhouse in the region, Head of Business Development and Partnerships at StartX Darsh Mann told The Astana Times. He was on a one-week visit to Kazakhstan to meet with the country’s entrepreneurs in Nur-Sultan and Almaty to build solid partnerships and understand the country’s…

Kazakhstan’s Foreign and Domestic Trade Shows Positive Dynamics

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s foreign and domestic trade has demonstrated a positive trend, said Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov during the ministry’s board meeting on July 29, the press service of the ministry reported. Summing up the results of the ministry’s work in the first half of 2022, Vice Minister…

Seven Months Since January Riots Investigation Continues

NUR-SULTAN – Seven months since the January riots shocked the country, the investigation is still ongoing. The press briefing on Monday convened representatives of the Prosecutor General’s office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to disclose some details of the month-long investigation. What happened in January? Peaceful protests broke out on Jan. 2 in the…

Our Economies Are Complementary, Says Israeli Ambassador to Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – The economies of Kazakhstan and Israel do not compete, but complement each other, Israeli Ambassador to Kazakhstan Edwin Nathan Yabo Glusman told The Astana Times. As the two countries mark 30 years of diplomatic relations this year, the Ambassador of Israel spoke about the dynamics in the bilateral ties and how Israel sees…

President Tokayev’s Visit to Saudi Arabia Opens New Chapter in 28 Years of Bilateral Relations

NUR-SULTAN – This past weekend, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia, one of Kazakhstan’s strategic partners. Just a month after Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud visited Nur-Sultan, the high-level visit ushered in a new chapter in 30 years of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.  From the…

Cholpon-Ata Meeting Opens Up Opportunities For Central Asia Amidst Increasing Geopolitical Tension

NUR-SULTAN – The fourth consultative meeting of Central Asian leaders in Cholpon-Ata on July 21 was indeed a milestone for regional cooperation as current geopolitical developments open up new opportunities for Central Asia, a huge region of nearly 80 million people with potential that is yet to be discovered. Addressing the meeting on Thursday, President…

Kazakh Foreign Minister Commends Central Asian Cooperation During Ministerial Meeting in Cholpon-Ata

NUR-SULTAN – Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi addressed the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Central Asian states commending the current five-sided cooperation, reports the ministry’s press service. The ministers discussed the preparation for the upcoming fourth consultative meeting of the heads of Central Asian states scheduled…

January Riots in Kazakhstan: 429 Criminal Cases Sent to Court, 545 Suspects Convicted

NUR-SULTAN – As the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan continues its investigation into the tragic January events, 429 criminal cases have been sent to court and 545 suspects have been convicted, said Yeldos Kilymzhanov, deputy head of the Criminal Prosecution Service of the General Prosecutor’s Office at a July 18 press briefing at the Central…