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Kazakhstan, which is the size of Western Europe ("slightly less than four times the size of Texas"), is located in Central Asia and borders on the Caspian Sea, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China. It "sits near the northeast portion of the Caspian Sea and claims most of the Sea's biggest known oil fields." [1] "The oil rich nation also owns 25 percent of the world's uranium supplies." [2] In 2005, Kazahkstan had a population of 15.2 million. [3]

Paying for academic reports

In September 2008, it was revealed that the Kazakhstan government had paid John Hopkins University's Central Asia-Caucasus Institute to author three reports about the country. The arrangement was brokered through APCO Worldwide, Kazakhstan's Washington DC lobbying firm. The Kazakh government paid $52,300 for reports titled "Kazakhstan's New Middle Class" and "Parliament and Political Parties in Kazakhstan." A third report, "Kazakhstan in its Neighborhood," was "also underwritten by the government," but lobbying reports that would disclose the amount paid for it are not yet available. The reports, issued by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins, do not disclose the Kazakhstan funding. Institute director S. Frederick Starr said their "relationship was only with the lobbying firm and not directly with the government." He added that "the entire editorial process was 100 percent in our hands." The author of the third report, Hudson Institute fellow Richard Weitz, said, "It's an important topic so I would have written about it anyway." The Kazakhstan funding also required the Johns Hopkins Institute to sponsor "think tank discussions" on each report, "sponsored by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute." [1]

Public relations work

"SML Strategic Media, the Washington, D.C. PR and editorial shop, placed a four-page advertorial in the September/October [2006] Foreign Affairs, the high-brow political journal, extolling progress made in Kazakhstan under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev," O'Dwyer's Public Relations News reported August 29, 2006.

In October 2007, O'Dwyer's reported that APCO Worldwide "has received a payment of $487,777 to cover work done here through the end of the year for the government of strongman Nursultan Nazarbayev. ... Kazakhstan is embroiled in a fight with western oil companies over the development of a field in the Caspian." [4]

War in Iraq

Kazakhstan is "a member of the 'coalition of the willing'" and "has 27 volunteer engineers in Iraq." [5]


Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan A. Nazarbaev, was re-elected to a seven-year term on January 10, 1999. Daniyal Akmetov has served as Prime Minister since June 2003. [6]

Kazakhstan's oil industry

SCO member

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), "created in 1996 and reborn in 2001 when it was bolstered to counter the initial eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization", is comprised of "China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan," Jephraim P. Gundzik wrote in the June 9, 2005, Asia Times.

"So far, the bilateral U.S.-Kazakh cooperation has been exemplary. But new challenges from the north and east loom, as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization of which China and Russia are key players, is strengthening. Moscow is also promoting its Unified Economic Space project, to include Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan, and the Commonwealth of Independent States Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)—a Warsaw Pact-style military alliance," Cohen wrote September 27, 2006, in the Washington Times.

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