Kazakhstan

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Three villages of Stavropol Territory to receive Semirechye Cossacks

 Velichayevskoye, Urozhaynoye and priozyorskoye villages of the Levokumsky District of the Stavropol Territory will receive Semirechye Cossacks from Middle Asia, as stated by Vice Premier of the region Nikolai Velikdan.They will get about 15,000 hectares of land for pastures and up to 1000 hectares agriculture and growing food.About 2000 Cossack families from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan want to move to the Stavropol Territory according to a state program. The region expects their first arrivals this year. 

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Russia and Kazakhstan to form joint air defenses

The Russian and Kazakh Defense Ministers, Sergey Shoygu and Adilbek Jaksybekov, have signed an agreement to form joint air defenses.The ministers discussed operation of test sites of the Russian Defense Ministry in Kazakhstan and cooperation in military education.Shoygu noted that the two states were cooperating within the framework of the CSTO, exploitation of test sites, space and other areas. The signed document will unite the information space of Russia and Kazakhstan and add new elements.

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Gevorg Poghosyan on coming presidential elections in Armenia

 David Stepanyan, Yerevan. Exclusively to Vestnik Kavkaza The director of the Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Gevorg Poghosyan, talks about trends in public opinion in Armenia and about presidential elections scheduled for February 18 in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza. 

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Kazakhstan had earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.8 and energy class of 11.2 at 1.11 am, 5.1 and 11.6 at 2.47 am, 4.9 and 11.9 at 2.37 am, the science committee of the Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science reports.Nurlan Madyarov, deputy head of the Alma Ata city department for emergencies, said on Tuesday that no damage was registered in the city.Tanatkan Abakanov, head of the Seismology Institute, said that the aftershocks will continue for some days with no harm to the population.

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An earthquake with a 6.3 magnitude took place today in Eastern Kazakhstan in late evening. The epicenter of the earthquake was located 227 kilometers east of Alma-Ata. There has been no information on casualties and damage reported. According to RIA Novosti, the earthquake was quite strong in Almaty.

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EBRD says Kazakhstan will have 6% economic growth

 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) believes that Kazakhstan will show an economic growth of 6% in 2013. Its GDP grew by 5% in 2012 as a result of oil extraction from the Kashagan Field.The EBRD quarter report notes successful restructuring of the BTA Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in Kazakhstan. The report calls the bank sector of Kazakhstan weak, with numerous inactive loans.

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Turkic-language communities to cooperate

 Ministries and heads of organizations for communities of the TurkPA will meet in Baku on January 24-25 to discuss cooperation, 1news.az reports.The talks will be attended Nazim Ibragimov, head of the Azerbaijani State Committee for Diasporas, Ramil Gasanov, TurkPA chairman, Khalil Akinji, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Language States, officials of Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. 

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Kazakh foreign minister to visit Moscow

 Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov will visit Moscow on February 24-25, as stated by Altay Abibullayev, a spokesman of the Kazakh Presidential Service for Central Communications.The minister will discuss lease of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Moscow wants to hear explanations of Talgat Musabayev, head of Kazcosmos, about the prospects of Baikonur. Musabayev said that Kazakhstan and Russia were negotiating a gradual switch to new terms of the cosmodrome’s lease.Abibullayev said on February 21 that the words were most likely taken wrong. 

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Russia may demand reconsideration of Baikonur lease

 Russia may demand reconsideration of Baikonur Cosmodrome terms of leasing. Russia planned to make 17 launches of Proton-M rocket carriers in 2013, but received permission only for 12, Interfax reports.Russia pays Kazakhstan $115 million for the cosmodrome annually. It wants the price to depend on the number of launches made. 

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Iran hosts conference to discuss status of Caspian Sea

 Iran has opened a conference to discuss the legal status of the Caspian Sea in the Behshahr of the Mazandaran Province, Fars reports.Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the parliamentary commission for national security and foreign affairs Aladdin Borujerdi, governmental and parliamentary officials will attend the conference.

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WTO head says Kazakhstan may join it in 2013

 WTO Director General Pascal Lamy says that Kazakhstan is close to joining the organization and has chances to become its member in 2013, RIA Novosti reports.Belarus was behind Kazakhstan in the process, he added.Russian membership in the WTO forces Belarus and Kazakhstan to follow many WTO rules, because the two are members of the Customs Union.Lamy noted that Russia was no different from countries that had joined the organization in the past 10 years. Each new member will need time to start following the rules, the director general said. 

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Georgian president approves reshuffle of some 20 ambassadors

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has approved the request of Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze to replace the country's ambassadors to Ukraine, Latvia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, the OSCE, the US, Belgium, the EU, the UK, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, China, the UN and the Council of Europe.

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