Aletho News


The United States and Britain continue secret biological research in Central Asia

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 19.10.2022 

Despite numerous publications about military research in secret US biology laboratories in the post-Soviet space and demands to place their activities under strict international control, there is, unfortunately, no qualitative improvement of the situation in this matter. Therefore, it is not surprising that at the recent 22nd Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State, the Chinese president additionally drew the attention of the association’s member countries to the need “to effectively meet the challenges in biosecurity, and other non-traditional security domains”. As part of the Samarkand Declaration of 2022, SCO countries were urged to strictly adhere to the Biological Weapons Convention and to adopt a protocol to it that provides for an effective verification mechanism.

After Russia initiated the special operation to denazify Ukraine, alongside publicly exposing the illegal US biological weapons development activities in secret biolabs, the Pentagon sought to move unfinished programs in Ukraine to other countries in the post-Soviet region as quickly as possible. This particularly pertains to the territory of the states of Central Asia (CA) and Eastern Europe.

Recently, Russia Today journalists have found out that the US has decided to study the deadly anthrax in a bio-lab in Kyrgyzstan. In this regard, the US Department of Health & Human Services plans to fund this work and allocate about a quarter of a million dollars for this purpose. According to the tender published on the procurement portal of the US government, the regional hospital in the city of Osh in the south of the republic will become the base for these tests. At the same time, the publication reminded that Kyrgyzstan and the United States are negotiating a new agreement between the two countries in the field of US biological laboratories in the Republic of Kazakhstan, but the nuances and points of the future document are hidden from the public.

Very disturbing information in this regard has recently come from Uzbekistan, where, according  to the Telegram channel, the active work of US representatives to create a powerful military-biological cluster in that country is confirmed. This is particularly evidenced by the growing “work” in Uzbekistan in recent years on the part of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). On this issue, the publication has prepared an infographic on US military-biological activities in Uzbekistan, which clearly indicates the potential damage to the security of the countries of Central Asia, the Russian Federation and China, the main political opponents of the White House.

There is also information that the United States and the United Kingdom continue to conduct joint research at the Kazakhstan Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) in Almaty. In early 2022, the United Kingdom shipped a large number of samples of virus strains, laboratory equipment, diagnostic instruments, etc. through the British shipping company WN Shipping the first half of the year.

Kazakhstan’s CRL in Almaty was built with Pentagon funds and has a third level of biohazard because a repository for particularly dangerous infectious agents is located on the premises of this facility, which are examined by staff of specialized laboratories for plague, cholera, zoonotic bacterial and natural viral focal infections. According to Kazakhstan’s official information, no US military experts (biologists and virologists) reportedly work at CRL, and as of January 1, 2020, it is fully funded and owned exclusively by Kazakhstan’s budget. However, in reality, this facility is not directly funded by the United States, but through a system of American grants, i.e. the research is carried out in the interest of the United States under a certain program of the Pentagon. And apparently this “cooperation” continues.

This is confirmed, in particular, by the fact that on November 5, 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan initiated the process of public discussion on the construction project of the BSL-4 laboratory for work with especially dangerous strains and an underground storage facility for a collection of dangerous and especially dangerous strains in the village of Gvardeisky in the Zhambyl region, the construction of which is planned for 2025. The fourth biological safety code BSL-4 (Biosafety Level 4) of this planned biological laboratory alone indicates that the facility poses a high risk to people and society of the viruses being studied, most of which are simply impossible to handle.

The Kyrgyz public has already reacted very critically to this project. Protesters have gathered in front of the US Embassy, outraged that the lab will be built near the border with Kyrgyzstan, just 90 kilometers from Bishkek. Kyrgyz experts, together with the International Association for the Control of Biological Research, sent a letter this summer to the president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, asking that the construction of a biological laboratory in the border region be stopped.

Obviously, Washington is eager to preserve the countries of Central Asia as a testing ground for its military biological research. Hence the US efforts to develop similar projects in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. At the same time, Washington has an increased interest in Tashkent and Alma-Ata, as these two countries have better developed infrastructure and more qualified personnel compared to other Central Asian states. The increased US interest in Uzbekistan is also due to the fact that the country is not a member of the CSTO, which gives Washington more freedom of action.

October 19, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran given roadmap for joining Russia and China in major bloc

Samizdat | September 15, 2022

Iran has signed a memorandum paving the way to transition from its current observer status to full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The Middle-Eastern nation, which the US has long sought to undermine with diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions, made a formal step on Thursday to become the ninth member of the organization. Among the SCO’s heavyweights are Russia and China, two major powers that are on Washington’s list of geopolitical opponents.

The SCO was created in 2001 as an intragovernmental forum aimed at fostering trust and developing economic and humanitarian ties in Asia.

It currently has eight permanent members: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The last is currently hosting the annual summit of the leaders of the member states in the city of Samarkand.

Iran has been an SCO observer since 2005. Its delegation to the summit is headed by President Ebrahim Raisi, who met with senior Uzbek officials on Wednesday.

The memorandum, which spells the commitments that Tehran will undertake to become an SCO member, was signed by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming, the host country’s foreign ministry reported.

Yury Ushakov, a foreign affairs advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said earlier this week that Iran could qualify for being upgraded to full membership before next year’s SCO summit in India.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev touted this year’s event as a turning point for the organization. He cited the rapidly growing interest of nations in closer involvement with the SCO and said that it served as an example of how a “deep crisis of trust at the global level” can be overcome by parties willing to do so. He also stressed the scale of the group, which accounts for roughly half of the world’s population and a quarter of global GDP.

Belarus, also an SCO observer, is set to start the formal process for full membership this year. Egypt and Qatar formally joined the organization as dialogue partners on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia is scheduled to do the same, while Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Myanmar, and the Maldives are expected to begin their respective paths to receiving the same status.

September 15, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran and SCO sign protocol to start accession process for Tehran

Press TV – March 12, 2022

Iran and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have started a formal process for Tehran’s accession to the major economic bloc.

A Saturday report by Iran’s IRIB News said that a document had been signed a day earlier in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent between representatives of the eight-member SCO and Iran to allow the organization to consider Iran’s accession bid.

Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the signing of the protocol would practically allow the implementation of decision by SCO heads of state in Tajikistan last year to provide membership to Iran.

The next step in the process will be for Iran to sign a memorandum of commitment at an SCO summit in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand in September 2022, said the statement, adding that SCO heads of states will then decide to include Iran in the bloc.

Iran was an observer member of the SCO before applying to join the bloc that includes Russia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Experts says Iran’s accession to the SCO will be a major boost to the bloc’s influence in the region mainly because Iran’s massive transportation network can facilitate regional and international trade.

Iran is also expected to benefit economically from membership in the bloc. The Iranian customs office (IRICA) said on Saturday that Iranian exports to SCO members had increased by 41% year on year in the 11 months to late February to reach nearly $18.3 billion.

IRICA figures showed that Iran had imported $14.4 billion worth of goods from the SCO countries between March 2021 and February 2022, an increase of 31% against the previous similar period.

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Imran Khan hits out at West for treating Pakistanis like ‘slaves’

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Moscow, February 24, 2022 © Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik
RT | March 7, 2022

Prime Minister Imran Khan lashed out at foreign diplomats who pressured Pakistan to join a UN resolution condemning Russia over its military attack on Ukraine, accusing the envoys of treating Pakistan like “slaves.”

At a rally on Sunday, Khan shot back at a March 1 letter from diplomats representing 22 missions, including countries in the European Union along with Japan, Switzerland, Canada, the UK, and Australia, which called on Pakistan to drop its neutrality and join them in condemning Moscow.

“What do you think of us? Are we your slaves… that whatever you say, we will do?” questioned Khan, before asking EU ambassadors whether they wrote “such a letter to India,” which also remains neutral.

Khan claimed that Pakistan had suffered for previously supporting NATO’s military action in Afghanistan and declared, “We are friends with Russia, and we are also friends with America; we are friends with China and with Europe; we are not in any camp.”

Pakistan, along with 34 other countries, abstained from voting on the UN’s resolution condemning Russian “aggression against Ukraine” last week. Pakistan’s neighbors India, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan also abstained.

Khan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on February 24, the day Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine, to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues.

Moscow maintains that the attack was launched with the purpose of “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine, and that it was the only possible option left to protect the people of eastern Ukraine following years of a grueling blockade that claimed thousands of lives. Kiev insists the invasion was unprovoked, saying it had no plans to retake the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk republics by force.

March 6, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kazakhstan turns into graveyard for US diplomacy

A Pentagon-funded bio-lab near Almaty, Kazakhstan, has become focus of attention for its research on “dangerous pathogens”

The Kazakh Ministry of Health issued an innocuous disclaimer today denying social media reports about the seizure of a “military biological lab near Almaty by unidentified people.” 

According to Tass news agency, the social media had speculated that specialists in chemical protection suits were working near the lab as “a leak of dangerous pathogens” occurred. 

The carefully worded press release by the Kazakh ministry clarifies: “This is not true. The facility is being protected.” Period. 

The intriguing report highlights the tip of an iceberg which has implications for public health and holds serious geopolitical ramifications. 

Since the late 1990s, when it came to be known that the US was steadily establishing and building up partnerships in biological research with several ex-Soviet republics, Moscow has repeatedly alleged that such cooperation posed a threat to Russia. 

These biological research facilities were originally envisaged as part of the so-called Nunn-Lugar Biological Threat Reduction Program to prevent the proliferation of expertise, materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development of biological weapons.

But Moscow suspected that the exact opposite was happening — in reality, the Pentagon has been sponsoring, lavishly financing and providing technical assistance to these laboratories where “under the guise of peaceful research, the US is building up its “military-biological potential.” 

In a sensational statement in October 2018, Major General Igor Kirillov, the commander of Russia’s Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops went to the extent of disclosing a discernible pattern of the network of Pentagon labs being located near the borders of Russia and China.

The US-Kazakh partnership in this field dates back to 2003. Kazakhstan has been an interesting “hotspot” for infectious disease occurrence and surveillance due in part to its history, geography, and its diversity of host species. Kazakhstan has long maintained an infrastructure and tiered network for infectious disease surveillance since the time of the Tsars.  

The US-funded research projects centred on studies involving select agents including zoonoses: anthrax, plague, tularemia, highly pathogenic avian influenza, brucellosis, etc. These projects funded researchers in Kazakhstan, while project collaborators in the US and UK mentored and guided these researchers to develop and test their hypotheses. 

It has been a “win-win” arrangement. The Kazakh institute staff got trained in modern diagnostic and data management techniques, and did research work with lavish external funding, while the Pentagon obtained through such labs valuable inputs for US covert biological weapons programs with military application specifically directed against ethnic groups in Russia and China. 

The unassumingly-named Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) in Almaty figuring in the Tass report was originally planned in 2013 with the US investing $102 million in a biosecurity lab to study some of the most deadly pathogens that could potentially be used in bioterrorism attacks. 

Rather than locating the new facility in some obsecure tract of land in Nevada, the Pentagon deliberately chose a site near Almaty to securely store and study the highest-risk diseases such as plague, anthrax and cholera. 

The rationale was that the lab would provide gainful employment to talented Kazakh researchers and get them off the streets, so to speak — that is, discourage them from selling their scientific expertise and services to terrorist groups who may have use for biological weapons! 

But the CRL, now operational, is anchored on institutional cooperation between Kazakh government and the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency under the the Pentagon, which is tasked with protecting “US National Security interests in a rapidly evolving, globalised threat environment to enable a greater understanding of our adversaries and provide solutions to WMD threats in an era of Great Power Competition.” 

By the way, Germany also has a similar arrangement under the rubric German-Kazakh Network for Biosafety and Biosecurity, which is co-managed by the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology (a military research facility of the German Armed Forces for Medical Biological Defence.) 

Why is Kazakhstan a sought-after partner? Simply put, the country provides unique access to ethnic Russian and Chinese groups as “specimen” for conducting field research involving highly pathogenic, potential biological warfare agents. Kazakhstan has 13,364 km of borders with its neighbouring countries Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. 

Is China indifferent to all this? Far from it. Beijing Review featured a report sourced from BBC Monitoring in 2020 conveying China’s concerns in the matter. As recently as in November last year, a Russian commentator wrote that these bio-labs are virtual Pentagon bases and demanded an international  inquiry. He highlighted that the Kazakh ministry of education and science “now works mainly on Pentagon research programmes.”

How could Kazakhstan, a CSTO member country, have got away with such conduct? This needs some explaining. 

Paradoxically, these biological labs are living examples of something sinister that has been going on which everyone knew and no one wanted to talk about — namely, the extensive penetration of the decadent Kazakh ruling elites by the US intelligence.

This penetration has been going on for years but significantly deepened as the 81-year old former president Nurusultan Nazarbayev’s “hands-on” leadership began to loosen and his family members and cronies increasingly began moonlighting (under the patriarch’s benevolent gaze, of course) — something akin to Yeltsin years in Russia. 

Sadly, it is a familiar story. The Kazakh elites are notoriously corrupt even by Central Asian standards and the parasitic elites have preferred to keep their loot in safe havens in the western world . Unsurprisingly, they are hopelessly compromised to the US intelligence. It’s as simple as that. 

Most certainly, Moscow sensed that popular disaffection was building up and the ground beneath the feet of Nazarbayev, a close friend of Putin, was shifting. But it did not — or more likely, would not — interfere since the US was operating through powerful comprador elements who happened to be the ageing patriarch’s family members and associates.

Given the clan affiliations in that part of the world, Moscow probably felt it prudent to keep its counsel to itself. An added factor would have been the fear that the US might manipulate the ultra-nationalist forces (as happened in Ukraine) to inflict harm on the vulnerable 3.5 million ethnic Russian minority (18% of the population.) 

Above all, the fact of the matter is that Nazarbayev cronies held the levers of state power, especially over the security apparatus, which gave Washington a decisive edge. 

But things have dramatically changed this past week. Nazarbayev may still have some residual influence but not good enough to rescue the elite who subserved US interests. President Tokayev, a low-profile career diplomat by profession, is finally coming on his own. 

Two of Tokayev’s decisive moves have been the replacement of Nazarbayev as the head of the National Security Council and the dismissal of the country’s powerful intelligence chief Karim Masimov (who has since been arrested along with other unidentified suspects as part of a probe into “high treason.”) 

Indeed, Washington has much to worry about because, at the end of the day, Kazakhstan remains an unfinished business unless and until a colour revolution can bring about regime change and install a pro-West ruler in power, as in Ukraine. The current turbulence signified an abortive attempt at colour revolution, which boomeranged.

Unlike in Afghanistan, the CIA and Pentagon are not in a position to “evacuate” their collaborators. And the torrential flow of events has shocked the Washington establishment. Kazakhstan is a large country (two-thirds the size of India) and sparsely populated (18 million), and the CSTO forces who moved in are well-equipped and led by a tough seasoned general who crushed the  US-backed insurgency in Chechnya.

The Russian forces have taken with them the advanced Leer-3 electronic warfare system, which includes specially configured Orlan-10 drones, jamming devices, etc. Borders have been sealed.

The mandate for Russian forces is to protect “strategic assets”. Presumably, such assets include the Pentagon-funded labs in Kazakhstan.

January 9, 2022 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

There Was an Element of Medical Freedom Uprising to Kazakhstan’s Revolt

It sprung up just as new bans for the unvaccinated (55% of the population) were to go into effect

RIA Katyusha | January 5, 2022

Anti-Empire : Did pan-Turks, Islamists, and Soros try to jump on the train? They would be stupid not to. But social unrest doesn’t start because Joe Kazakh wants more CIA black sites, but because his bread costs twice as much, he will have to lockdown his shop for the fourth time in two years, and he’s having to get experimental mRNA or lose the ability to feed his family. That he has been ruled by the same authoritarian and corrupt guy and network of clans since 1989 doesn’t help things either. The Russian alternative media outlet RIA Katyusha has more.

Machine-translated from Russian. 

Last Kazakh warning to Putin: vaccination and greed of elites as the cause of the revolution in Kazakhstan

Another republic of the former USSR and Russia’s strategic ally, Kazakhstan, found itself embroiled in the classic color revolution. And although it is obvious that the conductors of current events are located in Paris, London and Washington and their goal is to weaken China and implement the old Masonic idea of ​​a “united Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok”, the local authorities, which cared exclusively about their own pockets and following the covid instructions of the globalists, hoping to come to terms with the devil. That is, she was doing the same thing as the Russian “elite”. 

Gas prices shouted about by the Russian state media have become nothing more than a pretext for massive protests. The “technocrats” in power in Kazakhstan (hello to “ours” Mishustin and Kiriyenko) brought the people to seething anger with a drop in living standards and mandatory vaccination with QR codes, and also missed the preparation of protests by Soros structures.

This — namely, the stupidity and inability to discern the threat even to one’s own skin — is one of the main differences between technocrats and traditional rulers, of which Alexander Lukashenko can serve as an example. But Lukashenko sat there because he had someone to rely on. Putin and his comrades have no one to rely on – the people and the army with the Church will not defend the servants of the globalists. Therefore, the Russian elite need to study the Kazakh experience very deeply if, of course, they do not want to step on the neighbor’s rake.

Apparently, Russia is on the verge of losing one of its main allies, without which it will lose its influence throughout Central Asia. Power is slipping away from the hands of local technocrats and the former head of the country Nazarbayev in real time, and it is time for President Tokayev to sit next to Yanukovych and start writing the second volume of the book: “How to lose everything and understand nothing.”

Formally, the protests began on January 2 in the west of the country in the city of Zhanaozen, Mangistau region, after the price for a liter of liquefied gas rose to 120 tenge ($ 0.27) from January 1. The protesters demanded to lower the gas price to 60 tenge ($ 0.13), but they were simply not noticed by either the authorities or the media, and therefore calmly spread to the rest of the country. Moreover, the country’s leadership was fully confident that everything would “dissolve by itself,” and TV experts cited the Europeans as an example, where, they say, they walked around and went home. But these experts did not take into account the most relevant things – there is no Soros in Europe, USAID (recognized as undesirable in Russia), which openly work with both government officials and civic activists, and the NED fund, which openly and since mid-December have been waiting for a riot and supported the movement.”

But that’s not the point. The main thing is that the authorities of Kazakhstan, just like the authorities of the Russian Federation, refused to see people’s protests against compulsory vaccination, vaccination of children and pregnant women and QR codes. They were unable to resolve issues with wild food prices, shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel, drought and deaths of livestock, but, like their Russian colleagues, they followed all the instructions of the WHO and the IMF, leading people to the point that any pretext would become the spark that Lenin talked about more than a hundred years ago. As a result, technocrats began to react only when the Kazakh revolt turned from a pure economy into politics, and militants and protesters began to seize administrative buildings and television channels. But the protesters seized the president’s residence in Alma-AtaThe total number of victims in Kazakhstan has already exceeded 700 people, of which 150 are policemen and soldiers. So far, there is no confirmed data on the deceased.

Now President Tokayev has already agreed to everything, even having fired Nazarbayev [and the PM and the cabinet], but the time has passed and no one wants to talk to him anymore. The only thing that can still save his skin is the introduction of martial law and the brutal suppression of the protest. However, he is unable to do this, for he is too tied to the West, which already considers the “buns” from the emergence of a “new Ukraine” under the belly of Russia and China. It is pointless to list everything that is happening there now – events are developing at such a speed that any information by the time of publication will be outdated. It is much more important for us to understand the reasons, because much of what is happening there is too similar to what is happening in Russia.

Let’s start with the main factors that drove people to the streets. The main one is the fall in the standard of living of the population (which is officially not there) and the rise in prices (hello to Rosstat named after the Ministry of Economy of the Russian Federation together with the Central Bank and who else is counting inflation for us). Last year, according to official data, prices for goods in Kazakhstan soared by 8.9%, which is higher than in Russia. The prices for food products rose most noticeably in Kazakhstan: plus 11.3% for the year in October 2021. In July-August of this year, there was a growth in prices for vegetables of long-term storage (potatoes, carrots, beets), which was not typical for the summer months and a record in recent years, against the background of a shortage of their supply by the end of the off-season. Amid depletion of domestic stocks before the arrival of the new harvest, the monthly price increase for these products in June showed record values ​​in recent years, which led to a sharp jump in the annual inflation rate (immediately by 30.6% over the same period a year earlier). In October 2021, the annual growth in consumer prices for vegetables was 25.5%. Meat rose 10.3%, sunflower oil 56.2% year on year and sugar 32.1% year on year.

Also in October, the country faced a diesel shortage. The situation influenced not only the increase in the cost of diesel fuel, but also gave rise to problems for transport companies, KTZ, and also created risks to ensure the stable operation of utilities and road services. Diesel fuel was sold at many gas stations in the country only with coupons during these weeks, some of them did not have it at all. According to official data, the growth in gasoline prices was (+ 15.6% per year), diesel (+ 24.4% per year), or by a quarter. The shortage of fuel was added to the shortage of electricity. In a number of regions, in order to save electricity during peak hours, its supply was suspended. In addition, in the west of Kazakhstan in the summer of 2021, there was an intense heat and lack of rainfall, which led to a large-scale drought. Farmers have suffered huge losses in the Mangistau region and the Aral region of the Kyzylorda region, livestock deaths were recorded everywhere. The network spread eerie footage of emaciated animals, which the owners were forced to feed with cardboard paper. Despite the difficult situation, the Ministry of Agriculture was in no hurry to provide prompt assistance to farmers.

Objectively speaking, the price of autogas in Kazakhstan is several times lower than in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine – even after the increase. But if it was only a question of gas, then there would be no protests. As the inhabitants of the Russian north of the country write, the worst thing in this situation is that the technocrats did not have any positive plan to improve the situation of people, but they had plans to drag people through lockdowns and stab them to death.

In Russia, the state media are trying to keep silent about this, but one of the main reasons for the current protests is not the economy, but new restrictions that were planned to be introduced there from January 5. Due to the rapid spread of the omicron strain, unvaccinated citizens were disallowed from crowded places: banks, post offices, baths, fitness rooms, public service centers, not to mention shopping and entertainment centers.

This is after lockdowns and vaccinations in the worst European and Australian traditions. The news of a new lockdown was the second reason for the riot. For understanding – Kazakhstan has become the toughest country in terms of vaccinations, QRs and restrictions in the ex-USSR, constantly testing its people for strength. Aizhan Esmagambetova, Chairperson of the Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan, stated that since the beginning of the year, workers in labor collectives who refuse compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 will be fined: Administrative responsibility is provided for both individuals – 5 monthly calculation indices, and for legal entities”, – Yesmagambetova said at a briefing, answering the question of what sanctions are provided for refusing vaccination and undergoing PCR testing for coronavirus. She noted that the employer in case of non-fulfillment of the requirements can also be involved to administrative responsibility. The current lockdown, after all the restrictions and vaccinations, would have become the 4th for Kazakhstan since the beginning of 2021although a number of them were not in the entire country. It makes no sense to say how many small businesses were closed because of this, and people were left without a livelihood. And no one will say, because they were not counted.

But in the summer, the local WHO branch, the “interdepartmental commission on the non-proliferation of COVID-19,” recommended the chief state sanitary doctor of Kazakhstan to prohibit more than 20 people from working in the service sector, in industrial enterprises and in labor collectives with an experimental potion.

Since November 15 of last year, schools and medical institutions in Kazakhstan began vaccination against the coronavirus with the Pfizer drug for adolescents, pregnant and lactating women. Since November 22, vaccination has begun in the city of Aktobe [0.5 million people], and only eight breastfeeding women and four adolescents have been vaccinated. In October 2021, the chief sanitary doctor of Kazakhstan, Yerlan Kiyasov, approved the guidelines for vaccination of adolescents with Pfizer. “We are now seeing that everything seems to be going well. We did not see any obvious problems. Babies, pregnant women and lactating women are easily tolerated, ” said the head of their Ministry of Health.

In general, the Kazakh authorities did everything they could to get as many people as possible to hate them and take part in the protests. At the same time, as in Russia, total hatred and distrust of the regime was masked with deliberate lies from the court sociologists, who, like ours, sang the mantras about “Everything is calm in Baghdad.”

Of course, the agents of the United States and Britain, favored by the Kazakh authorities, could not help but take advantage of this. We sweep aside the Turkish trail, because both the current government and the rebels are completely pro-Turan and they win in any case. But for the United States and Britain, destabilization in Kazakhstan is just a gift for the New Year. Create a “new Ukraine” with such a border with Russia and China, start pogroms against the Russians and drive out Chinese business, support the Uighurs not only with words.

With all this, the Kazakh elite helped the sorrows as best they could — just like the Kiriyenko’s department helped and helps organizations-inagents to receive presidential grants, supported all sorts of Morgensterns, etc.

However, in Russia, fortunately, in addition to Kiriyenko, there is a “power tower” that thinned out this residency at least a little – and in Kazakhstan, for a minute, the Soros Foundation, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy NED and etc. In the last 15 years, the total number of NGOs in the republic has grown significantly. If in 2003 there were about two thousand of them, now there are 22 thousand. About 200 non-governmental organizations in Kazakhstan receive foreign funding, 70% of which comes from the United States. These data were presented in his report at the Civil Forum in Astana by Minister of Social Development Darkhan Kaletayev. “Today, 53 international organizations, 30 foreign government organizations, 77 foreign NGOs and foundations operate in Kazakhstan,” – he noted. Moreover, since 2019, on the one hand, actively working with the elites, especially the regional ones, on the other, they openly worked against Nazarbayev and Atayev, promoting Russophobia (for example, blaming Russia for sugar prices) and campaigning for a “path to Europe.” The Strategic Culture Foundation wrote about this in 2019 in its large article “The United States Increases Pressure on Kazakhstan “. Who was not among the NGOs? Of course, the representatives of Russia. Thus, our country did not react in any way to the arrest of one of the few supporters of Russia – Ermek Taychibekov. She not only did not oppose his arrest, but did not even grant him citizenship last year. Moreover, it was revealingly done while talking about “the friendship of our countries.” However, now the main question is what Moscow will do in the event of the start of ethnic cleansing of Russians in the north of the country. And this scenario, given the activation of nationalists, is far from being so fantastic.

Of course, it was not without the fugitive oligarchs. Thus, Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of corruption and living in Europe, does not even try to deny that he actively supports the riots, dreaming that Kazakhstan would be like Ukraine and Armenia.

In addition to these reasons, one can find a hundred more ethnic and regional problems, such as the competition between the junior and senior Zhus, the strengthening of nationalists under the leadership of the Turks, the betrayal of the elite under the control of London, and so on and so forth. Coups generally include the sum of all factors, most of which we can see in our country, starting with the coronavirus according to the WHO guidelines and the destruction of the economy according to the IMF patterns and ending with the complacency of the authorities through their own experts and the growing discontent of the “fugitive oligarchs” who continue to hold their agents in the governing bodies of the Russian Federation. And in place of the relevant departments, it would be nice to study the Kazakh experience. But the main conclusion is obvious: the bestial attitude towards their people and the betrayal of national interests for a carrot from the globalists will in any case sideline the authorities themselves, no matter how much they count on agreements with the Rothschilds and other “owners of money.” Do not negotiate with the devil, expel him – this is how the Russian civilization acted during the heyday of its history.

Source: RIA Katyusha (Russian alternative media)

Hat tip to Edward Slavsquat

January 9, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , | Leave a comment


By Paul Robinson | IRRUSSIANALITY | January 7, 2022

Various commentators have suggested that I write something about recent events in Kazakhstan. I’ve been loath to do so since my knowledge of the country is very limited, but there are some interesting things to say about what others have been writing on the topic, particularly concerning how it all relates to Russia. Notably, a certain part of the online commentariat has been keen to express indignation that Russia has “invaded” Kazakhstan to suppress a “democratic revolution”.

The rapid spread of violence in Kazakhstan generated hopes in some circles that the mob would topple the “regime” and install a new government that would somehow or other distance the country from Russia. Alternatively, the hope was that “democracy” would arrive in Kazakhstan. With this, another brick in the wall of authoritarianism would collapse, bringing closer the day when it would collapse in Russia too.

All this was somewhat unspoken, but once the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes Russia, announced that it would send troops to help restore order in Kazakhstan, and once Kazakh forces took the offensive and began clearing away anti-government protestors, all these hopes were dashed. The Kazakh government isn’t out of the woods yet. Protests continue in several cities, and things could still go horribly wrong. But at the moment it’s looking like the regime will survive. The internet’s keyboard warriors and online regime changers are seriously annoyed and looking for someone to blame. The guilty party is obvious – Russia.

However, despite the headlines in today’s newspapers about Russia sending troops to “quell” the uprising, the Kazakh state’s survial has little to do with the Russians or the CSTO. It seems as if the CSTO contingent in Kazakhstan will amount to no more than about 2,500 troops, which for a country that size is a tiny quantity. The role of the CSTO is largely symbolic – it sends a message to protestors and Kazakh security forces alike that the government isn’t backing down and has powerful external support. That should deter some of the former while putting a bit of steel in the spines of the latter. Perceptions of strength matter in situations like this, and thus the CSTO’s support perhaps makes a slight difference. But the hard work of restoring order belongs largely to the Kazakhs themselves. Whatever the press tells you, “Russia” isn’t “putting down” the uprising.

Nor can it be said that Russia has “invaded” Kazakhstan, as so many have liked to claim this past week on Twitter. Take for instance all these Tweets from the likes of one-time US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul and former Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves:

Various themes repeat themselves in all these: invasion, occupation, the “crushing” of democracy, and comparisons of Russia with Nazi Germany. It is, to be frank, more than a little over the top. You can’t invade, let alone occupy, a country the size of Kazakhstan with only 2,500 troops. Furthermore, the troops are there at the invitation of the internationally recognized government – recognized by us in the West as well as by everybody else. That’s hardly an invasion.

Maybe it’s because I’m a total reactionary, but I’m not too fond of the mob, and I’ve never understood why street protest (accompanied by looting and burning) is associated with democracy. The thing is that all those complaining about the efforts to restore order in Kazakhstan aren’t too fond of the mob either, at least when it starts attacking things that they like. A year ago, McFaul and others were complaining loudly about the crowd that assaulted the Capitol building in Washington DC. And none of those whose Tweets I copied above were to be seen complaining when the Ukrainian military responded to protests in Donbass by firing rockets from aircraft and shells from multiple launch rocket systems.

Somehow, though, people are rather inclined to like the mob when it attacks somebody or something they don’t like. If it’s anti-American, that’s bad. But if rioting and looting damages Russian interests – they’re all for it.

But here’s what really gets me. Do the McFauls and Ilveses truly believe that it would be better for Kazakhstan if the Russians and CSTO didn’t help restore order and the state collapsed? There’s a very real danger of at best anarchy and at worst civil war. How would that help anybody? We’ve seen this scenario before. In Ukraine, revolution led to counter-revolution and bloody violence. In Syria, likewise. And so on. It tends not to turn out well.

But it seems like people don’t care. The attitude appears to be “The worse the better”, as long as the chaos is not at home but on Russia’s borders. Let Kazakhstan descend into anarchy – that’s to be preferred to an order backed by the Russians. Suffice it to say, I don’t agree.

January 7, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Coronavirus: Bioterror And The US Military Laboratory In Kazakhstan – Investigation

By Yan Ostroumov | Rusvesna | March 17, 2021

China for the first time officially announced suspicions of US involvement in the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in the republic. Beijing referred to information about the appearance of the first infected in the United States long before the official date and, possibly, earlier detection of infection in Hubei.

The reports of the “American trail” in a pandemic seem insane, but this version begins to show solid evidence.

“Recently, a Kazakhstani resource Yvision reported that “a source among the staff of the Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) in Almaty confirmed that the deadly coronavirus was developed in this institution.”

This laboratory was created with the financial support of the US Army and is still controlled by representatives of Washington.

Preparation for biological warfare in the CIS

After the end of the Cold War, the US Department of Defense in the post-Soviet countries created several biological reference laboratories, of a high (third) degree of protection, designed to work with especially dangerous viruses and bacteria. These facilities operate in Kharkov, Tbilisi and Almaty.

“Their official goal is the fight against the spread of dangerous infections, the real one is to prepare for a possible biological war in the territory of the former USSR.”

Scientific research at the facilities is funded and supervised by the US Department of Defense, and is often carried out with the participation of researchers from the Institute of Military Medicine. Walter Reed US Armed Forces (Maryland) coming to the region.

For example, a detachment of military biologists worked under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Blow, who studied African swine fever, for a long time in the TsRL in Tbilisi. Shortly after the start of the work of this team, in 2013, an outbreak of this disease was recorded in the southern regions of Russia.

However, due to legal restrictions, CRLs are not objects of increased secrecy. Staff publishes articles and defends dissertations, which allows you to track some of their work on open sources.

Publications testify

The Viruses magazine (Viruses, 2019, 11, 356, doi: 10.3390 / v11040356) published in April 2019 the work of a group of American and Kazakh scientists about a new strain of coronavirus, the reservoirs of which are local bats. The work was carried out in the framework of the KZ-33 project of the US Department of Defense Threat Reduction Agency on the Almaty Central Defense League (Tropical Medicine and Infection Disease, 2019, 4, 136, doi: 10.3390 / tropicalmed4040136).

The project was led by Professor Gavin James Smith of Duke University (USA), closely associated with the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the US Department of Health.

The source of the Kazakh publication reported that the biosamples containing coronavirus delivered to the CRL in the winter of 2020

“at the molecular level, they completely coincide with the strain, the study of which was started in the laboratory about two years ago and which, according to his observations, should not all this time was to leave the TsRL.

It was a joint development led by scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the final stage of training a large group of Kazakh epidemiologists. ”

According to the publication (Viruses, 2019, p.2), the mentioned American studies of coronavirus were carried out in April – May 2017, that is, strictly on time, called the source. Moreover, both the species studied in 2017 and COVID-19 belong to coronaviruses transmitted by bats.

Thus, the “anonymous stuffing” is increasingly beginning to resemble the message of a person who well knows the nature of working with coronavirus in recent years.

The coincidences are sufficient for a serious verification of the kinship of these diseases by biologists, and we will move further – in the wake of those who conducted this study.

Following the bat

A careful study of the materials of the American CRL in Kazakhstan raises many questions. The KZ-33 project is entitled “Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus Syndrome”, and it is completely unclear why it should be studied on bats in Central Asia.

Even stranger is the ability of the aforementioned Professor Gavin Smith to find bats carrying the coronavirus literally anywhere. In 2017, he published a study (Transboundary Emerg Dis, Dec; 64 (6): 1790–1800. Doi: 10.1111 / tbed.12568) on coronavirus bats in Singapore. Having arrived in Kazakhstan, he also found the same object of study, although the republic was not famous for such a disease before. You might think that his personal mouse flock with his own coronavirus flies behind him.

It is curious that the study involved the resources of the Research Institute for Biological Safety is located in the Kordai district of the Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan. In the same area lives a large community of Chinese-speaking Dungans, who are traditionally engaged in shuttle trade with the PRC, including smuggling.

“There is a suspicion that in Kazakhstan, bats were artificially infected with coronavirus, strains of which were obtained in the Middle East, in the natural distribution area of ​​the disease.”

A genetically modified sample, later called COVID-19, could cross the border by accident or as a result of intentional manipulations.

The recent mass pogrom in the Dungan villages of the Kordai region can also be considered as an attempt to “clean up” witnesses of the work of American military biologists in the region in 2017-2019, their negligence or intentional actions to import COVID-19 to China.

Nobody seems to have cleaned up Professor Smith, but the Duke Institute, of which he is still an employee, seemed to have forgotten about its existence.

The coronavirus pandemic on the site of the scientific center is commented on by many researchers, but not by Gavin Smith, who has studied the spread of a very similar disease in East and Central Asia for at least four years.

Why such secrecy? Perhaps, in order not to remind once again about explorations in Almaty.

Basis for suspicion

Bioterrorism is a serious charge. But the facts gathered suggest a high probability of the involvement of a group of American and Kazakh biologists in the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

“We urge the Kazakh authorities to create a commission with the participation of representatives of WHO, as well as microbiologists from the PRC and CIS countries, with the aim of investigating the work of American specialists in the medical center and the Zhambyl region.”

We also urge international organizations, including UN agencies, to request information from the US Department of Defense about the nature of biological research in Kazakhstan funded by this agency.

May 17, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Iran, Kazakhstan share many objectives on regional stability, nuclear disarmament: FM Zarif

Press TV – April 8, 2021

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran and Kazakhstan have many common goals when it comes to global nuclear disarmament and regional stability.

In a post on his Twitter account on Thursday, Zarif hailed his “substantive and fruitful meetings” with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi which were held in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan on Wednesday during his third leg of a four-nation Central Asian tour.

“Our two countries share many objectives on regional stability and global nuclear disarmament,” the top Iranian diplomat said.

In his tweet, Zarif once again highlighted the top priority of the neighboring states in Iran’s foreign policy.

During a meeting between Zarif and Tokayev in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan, formerly called Astana, the two sides discussed bilateral relations and the latest developments surrounding the peace processes in Afghanistan and Syria in addition to Iran’s nuclear deal.

In talks with his Kazakh counterpart, Zarif highlighted the many historical and cultural commonalities linking the two nations.

“Excellent talks were held on important regional and international issues, and we thank Kazakhstan for its support of the Islamic Republic of Iran on international fronts,” he said.

The Iranian and Kazakh foreign ministries also signed a 15-article document for cooperation between the two countries aimed at reinforcing friendly, fraternal and neighborly relations based on mutual respect and trust.

Zarif visited Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan before heading to Kazakhstan. He will visit Turkmenistan as the last leg of his tour.

April 8, 2021 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

The Latin Alphabet in Central Asia — America’s Geopolitical Tool

By Vladimir Odintsov – New Eastern Outlook – 04.12.2019

Central Asia has long been one of the key fronts in America’s ideological battle and information war against Russia.

A year ago, the American geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor published its forecast for US policy in Central Asia, which focuses much attention on Russia. Analysts from this agency, which is dubbed the “Shadow CIA”, indicated in this forecast that the United States is looking to strengthen ties with countries along the periphery of the former Soviet Union — from Eastern Europe to the Caucasus and Central Asia — in an effort to put more pressure on Russia. A geopolitical war is going to be waged against Russia, or a multi-domain battle to use the American military terminology, affecting the political, economic, energy and military spheres.

Washington has long identified the Central Asian republics and Afghanistan a “zone of US national interests”, which is why this region is targeted with the full spectrum of American information campaigns. In order for these campaigns to be effective, not only have so-called “independent” media outlets and pro-Western NGOs, been making a massive contribution in Central Asia over the past number of years, which the US has been busily implanting in the region, but military specialists in information warfare have also been recruited — servicemen from the United States Army’s 4th Psychological Operations Group. The 8th Psychological Operations Group is responsible for work in Central Asia, which runs the Caravanserai information portal, a website specifically created to counter Russia, sponsored by the United States Central Command and targeted at residents of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The main aim shared by most of the information campaigns Washington supports is to separate the regional population from Russia, mentally and psychologically, and to undermine Russia’s position in Central Asia. The campaigns mainly target young people in the hope that the leaders of the future in these countries will have been brought up on Western “democratic” ideals and will therefore be less inclined to partner with Russia.

Special programs are being launched and implemented by NGOs and “independent” media outlets in order to counteract Russia’s influence in the CIS countries. For instance, a new five-year program called MediaCAMP was presented at the end of last year in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, which is run in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by an American NGO called Internews Network (California, USA), and receives heavy funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program has a budget of $15 million. Its official goal is “to develop a more balanced information environment”, but in reality, it is used for intensive anti-Russian propaganda. Internews Network had its activity suspended in Russia back in 2007, but it has continued to operate efficiently in most Central Asian countries up to this day. The USAID Agency, funded by the United States federal government, also ran programs in Russia up until 2012 when it was banned.

One clear example of the United States’ involvement in this anti-Russian information war in Central Asia would be the material that was published at the end of January by the Pentagon’s Caravanserai information portal mentioned earlier, pushing Central Asian countries to switch to the Latin alphabet. At the same time, Washington does not try to hide the fact that specialists in information warfare are pushing people to use the Latin alphabet instead of the Cyrillic alphabet, and it is part of their plan because it primarily acts as a tool to drive a cultural wedge between Russia and the Central Asian republics, and would erase the Russian language’s historical presence in Eurasia, constricting and shrinking the Russian-speaking cultural sphere and sphere of information.

It is important to remember that the extensive process of transcribing almost all the languages spoken in the Soviet Union into Cyrillic, which began in 1935, was one of the measures the Soviet government took to unite people in the former USSR. This included transliterating languages with a rich written tradition, interrupted by the reforms of the late 1920s, and languages that had only recently adopted a written form. By 1940, the “Cyrillization of the entire country” was largely complete. Dozens of languages acquired a writing system which united them with the Russian cultural sphere, and it was essentially the first time speakers of these languages received access to a single Eurasian space to share information. After the Second World War ended with Soviet victory in 1945, the Cyrillic alphabet was further consolidated as the main alphabet in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc which was beginning to take shape (for example, the Cyrillic alphabet was introduced in Mongolia).

That is why Caravanserai’s sponsors not only see replacing the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin alphabet as a kind of symbolic act; it is also meant to drive a mental and psychological wedge between Central Asian countries and Russia. This is the precise aim of the language conflict and Russophobia Washington has been encouraging in the Baltic States, Ukraine, and in some countries in the Caucasus.

It was Washington that began stirring things up, stressing the need for Latinization in Central Asian countries through various channels under its control in Kazakhstan, where Russian is not only a native language for the ethnic Russians who live there, but also for many of the Kazakhs, Ukrainians, Germans and Koreans living in Kazakhstan. Now the Russian language has even been erased from Kazakhstan’s national tenge banknotes. Around 300 thousand people have emigrated from Kazakhstan over the past 10 years, most of them Slavs, and to some extent, it is due to this policy. As it was put in an article published in the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita in November 2017, “by abandoning the Cyrillic alphabet, Nazarbayev is cutting the umbilical cord with Russia.”

Latinization has also been foisted in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

However, as we have seen in recent years, switching to the Latin alphabet has clearly been an unhappy experience in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Thus, it is worth recalling that Uzbekistan looked to the Turkish model in its first years of independence, and switching to the Latin alphabet was viewed a sort of “basis for unity”. Transitioning to the Latin alphabet also came to symbolize national identity and independence for the new Uzbek authorities. At the time however, no one stopped to consider the financial side of this transition, the costs associated with transliterating a huge archive of literature from Cyrillic into Latin script. Another thing no one saw coming was the conflict between generations reading in different alphabets. Relations between Uzbekistan and Turkey cooled within a very short space of time, the alphabet stayed the same, but the country’s education suffered a significant loss, which even affected basic literacy.

Attempts to switch to Latin have unleashed significant problems in Kazakhstan. In the 80 years since Kazakhstan made the transition from Arabic to Cyrillic, a huge network of libraries was created in this country, even in remote villages. The country had already achieved a literacy rate of 100%, which meant that the whole “matrix” of thinking for the entire population would need to be changed in switching to a new alphabet, and that would not only entail significant financial costs, but would also create generational conflict.

People in the region have responded to the attempts the West has been making to replace the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin alphabet in Central Asian countries as fast as possible. They have increasingly begun to realize that there is no point in making this transition. Russian is a second language in Central Asian countries anyway, these states are geographically, economically, politically and linguistically distant from the West, and they are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, where the working language is Russian. Given these circumstances, there is a growing understanding that this issue requires a logical approach and some common sense, and linguistic problems should not be politicized.

Various foreign NGOs, such as Freedom House and other similar organizations, have been interfering in the domestic affairs of Central Asian states, destroying the linguistic and cultural heritage of the people who live there, and clearly pose a threat to their constitutional order, a threat coming from outside the region, so it is therefore unsurprising that this issue has been discussed more and more heatedly over recent years, with an increasingly resounding negative tone.

December 4, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan to forgive debts of the poor, end bank bailouts

RT | June 27, 2019

In a first major policy announcement, the newly elected president of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he will write off bad loans held by as much as a sixth of the country’s population.

As part of the debt forgiveness program he aims to end costly state rescues of private banks. The 66-year-old was elected president on June 9 after longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev stepped down as head of state in March.

The Central Asian country has been struggling with a decade-long crisis which forced the government to pump at least $18 billion into lenders as the banking sector was collapsing under the weight of bad debts. Kazakhstan’s central bank is conducting a review of asset quality which prompted speculation that a new round of bailouts could be in the works.

“My attitude is that there should be no governmental bailouts” for lenders, Tokayev told Bloomberg in an interview. “My assessment of this issue as a president is that the government should not get involved any more, any longer, with its loans as far as private banks are concerned.”

He noted that while the debt-relief initiative could help lenders, the total cost was likely to come in at “a bit less than $1 billion.”

According to the Kazakh president, more than three million people in the country of 18 million will get help to get rid of debts. It is aimed at “people who find themselves in very difficult living circumstances,” said Tokayev.

The presidential administration estimated that about 500,000 people are not able to manage their debt. In 86 percent of cases, the loans are less than 1 million tenge ($2,650), while the average debt is about 300,000 ($788) tenge.

Talking about past bailouts Tokayev dismissed any political connections, saying “the lesson has been accepted by us.”

“We will take lessons from the past, from what has happened in the banking system, and I think that in a couple of years you’ll have absolutely new questions,” he added.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | Economics | | 1 Comment

Is This The Most Important Geopolitical Deal Of 2018?

By Olgu Okumus | | August 13, 2018

The two-decade-long dispute on the statute of the Caspian Sea, the world largest water reserve, came to an end last Sunday when five littoral states (Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) agreed to give it a special legal status – it is now neither a sea, nor a lake. Before the final agreement became public, the BBC wrote that all littoral states will have the freedom of access beyond their territorial waters, but natural resources will be divided up. Russia, for its part, has guaranteed a military presence in the entire basin and won’t accept any NATO forces in the Caspian.

Russian energy companies can explore the Caspian’s 50 billion barrels of oil and its 8.4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, Turkmenistan can finally start considering linking its gas to the Turkish-Azeri joint project TANAP through a trans-Caspian pipeline, while Iran has gained increased energy supplies for its largest cities in the north of the country (Tehran, Tabriz, and Mashhad) – however, Iran has also put itself under the shadow of Russian ships. This controversy makes one wonder to what degree U.S. sanctions made Iran vulnerable enough to accept what it has always avoided – and how much these U.S. sanctions actually served NATO’s interests.

If the seabed, rich in oil and gas, is divided this means more wealth and energy for the region. From 1970 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1991, the Caspian Sea was divided into subsectors for Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – all constituent republics of the USSR. The division was implemented on the basis of the internationally-accepted median line.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the new order required new regulations. The question was over whether the Caspian was a sea or a lake? If it was treated as a sea, then it would have to be covered by international maritime law, namely the United Nations Law of the Sea. But if it is defined as a lake, then it could be divided equally between all five countries. The so-called “lake or sea” dispute revolved over the sovereignty of states, but also touched on some key global issues – exploiting oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Basin, freedom of access, the right to build beyond territorial waters, access to fishing and (last but not least) managing maritime pollution.

The IEA concluded in World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2017 that offshore energy has a promising future. More than a quarter of today’s oil and gas supply is produced offshore, and integrated offshore thinking will extend this beyond traditional sources onwards to renewables and more. Caspian offshore hydrocarbon reserves are around 50 billion barrels of oil equivalent (equivalent to one third of Iraq’s total oil reserves) and 8.4 trillion cubic meters of gas (almost equivalent to the U.S.’ entire proven gas reserves). As if these quantities were not themselves enough to rebalance Eurasian energy demand equations, the agreement will also allow Turkmenistan to build the Trans-Caspian pipeline, connecting Turkmenistan’s resources to the Azeri-Turkish joint project TANAP, and onwards to Europe – this could easily become a counter-balance factor to the growing LNG business in Europe.

Even though we still don’t have firm and total details on the agreement, Iran seems to have gained much less than its neighbors, as it has shortest border on the Caspian. From an energy perspective, Iran would be a natural market for the Caspian basin’s oil and gas, as Iran’s major cities (Tehran, Tabriz, and Mashhad) are closer to the Caspian than they are to Iran’s major oil and gas fields. Purchasing energy from the Caspian would also allow Iran to export more of its own oil and gas, making the country a transit route from the Caspian basin to world markets. For instance, for Turkmenistan (who would like to sell gas to Pakistan) Iran provides a convenient geography. Iran could earn fees for swap arrangements or for providing a transit route and justify its trade with Turkey and Turkmenistan as the swap deal is allowed under the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA, or the D’Amato Act).

If the surface water will be in common usage, all littoral states will have access beyond their territorial waters. In practical terms, this represents an increasingly engaged Russian presence in the Basin. It also reduces any room for a NATO presence, as it seems to be understood that only the five littoral states will have a right to military presence in the Caspian. Considering the fact that Russia has already used its warships in the Caspian to launch missile attacks on targets within Syria, this increased Russian presence could potentially turn into a security threat for Iran.

Many questions can now be asked on what Tehran might have received in the swap but one piece of evidence for what might have pushed Iran into agreement in its vulnerable position in the face of increased U.S. sanctions. Given that the result of those sanctions seems to be Iran agreeing to a Caspian deal that allows Russia to place warships on its borders, remove NATO from the Caspian basin equation, and increase non-Western based energy supplies (themselves either directly or indirectly within Russia’s sphere of geopolitical influence) it makes one wonder whose interests those sanctions actually served?

August 14, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , | Leave a comment