Tag Archives: Astana

Astana Turns 20

10 Jul

10 July 2018

kazaxia is just back from a trip to the capital, Astana, which celebrated its 20th birthday last Friday, coincidentally the same day as President Nursultan Nazarbyev turned 78.

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To mark this momentous occasion, the good burghers of Qazaqstan kindly sent presents to Astana such as a fish-shaped bridge and a botanical garden, while the city also received an international financial centre, soon to be located on the premises of EXPO 2017.

 

 

 

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Venal Recalls Uchkuduk 1992 Summit

15 Mar

15 March 2018

On the momentous occasion of most of Central Asia’s leaders getting together in Astana for a chinwag, Lord Venal remembers the last time all Central Asia’s leaders gathered together on the Ides of March.

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“I’ll never forget the look on Islam’s face when Saparmurat (aka Turkmenbashi) gave him that Turkmen hat,” he recalled with a tear in his eye for the only two Central Asian leaders to have died in office. “And of course, that was before Turkmenbashi started dyeing his hair.”

“It was back in 1992 in Uchkuduk, Uzbekistan” he recalled over a glass of merlot or two in an Astana wine cellar. “I remember that the meeting was held in a constructive manner, with many issues discussed and a joint statement was signed after the meeting.”

 

Astana’s Death Star Heading for London?

26 Jan

26 January 2018

It looks like Lord Venal’s lobbying is finally paying off as bigwigs in London have agreed to his ambitious scheme to bring Astana’s Death Star to the UK capital’s skyline.

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Astana’s Nur Alem, aka The Death Star, which London wants to ape

Plans were unveiled on Wednesday for the Golf Ball, a daring declaration of intent for post-Brexit Britain. According to the plans seen by kazaxia, a huge glass orb, dwarfing St Paul’s Cathedral, may be constructed by east London’s Olympic Park.
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London’s proposed riposte to Astana’s Death Star – the Golf Ball

Lord Venal was so impressed with Expo 2017’s Nur Alem pavillion, dubbed the Death Star by one hack, that he started hassling his London contacts to bring a similar Star Wars-themed glass globe to London.
“In these Brexitian times it is vital that London match Astana in its global ambition if it wants to remain a key financial centre after Britain crashes out of the EU,” the good Lord told kazaxia.
“That’s why London needs its very own Death Star to show the world that, like Astana -the fruit of Elbasi’s great vision, it is open for business.”

Lord Venal: “I’m no Wolff in Ermine Clothing”

10 Jan

10 January 2018

Lord Venal has expressed his distress at the abrupt cancellation by the presidential administration of his pioneering project of fly-on-the-wall observation of the workings of the administration and publication of a book. Akorda had gained wide recognition for its inspiring move to allow the populace a glimpse into the inner workings of the smooth machine that runs Kazakhstan so efficiently. However, critics claim Akorda’s abrupt abandonment of the project is fall-out from US President Donald Trump’s unhappy experiences over Michael Wolff’s controversial book “Fire and Fury”.

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What might have been…

Lord Venal dismisses any such comparison with his ill-fated US colleague. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” the good Lord told Kazaxia, apparently close to tears. “I’m no Wolff in Ermine Clothing.” He said he had stepped in to pen the volume when his good friend, former jailbird Jonathan Aitken, had proved overburdened, being only half-way through his biography of the veteran inspirational president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang.

“I’ve had the privilege of attending Akorda only twice – and the cocktails and company were quite congenial,” Lord Venal noted. “I’m saddened that my latest project has ended like this.”

Qazaqstan: Vanity is in the Eye of the Beholder

8 Jan

As Lord Venal was enjoying a New Year’s drink (well maybe one or two) in an Astana nightclub, a young man who knew his charming companion came over to talk. Learning that Lord Venal was from the UK and after a few more drinks, the young man recounted the fury in Akorda at the outrageous 27 December editorial in the Financial Times belittling Astana as a “vanity project”. He offered what he said was the original draft of a letter sent from Qazaqstan’s UK embassy, which was somewhat modified before publication.

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Sir,

Your editorial “When a national capital becomes a vanity project” (December 27) asserts, with not a shred of evidence, that Astana, the great capital city of Qazaqstan, is a “vanity project … plastered with [the president’s] portrait”. This is sheer rubbish. What is vain about our great leader building a great capital worthy of our great nation and great leader?

The decision in 1997 to establish the new Qazaq capital in the central part of the country was a stroke of genius which no mere mortal could have devised. Today, more than 1m people live in the city, which is still growing fast and boasts the beautiful Nazarbayev University, Nazarbayev Airport and the Nazarbayev Fertility Clinic, to name a few of its awe-inspiring monuments.

The editorial speaks of the great capital being “plastered” with portraits of the great leader. This too is rubbish. The people have repeatedly demanded and themselves installed portraits as a sign of their undying affection for their president. These portraits are dignified and carefully installed in pride of place, not “plastered” carelessly here and there as your editorial implies by implication.

Such slanders are not something we expected of a once great financial newspaper in a once great country that used to help our well-connected citizens store their ill-gotten gains. We expect that within 24 hours you will have removed this editorial from your website, called back all issues of the printed paper to remove the offending text, will fire those “journalists” responsible and issue a public apology in your printed “newspaper” and on the home page of your website. Be assured that our lawyers are waiting.

 

 

Embassy of RQ in UK

Qazaqstan: The Cult Lives on!

1 Dec

1 December 2017

The cult of Nursultan Nazarbayev is alive and well in Qazaqstan as a main thoroughfare in Almaty is renamed after the septuagenarian leader in honour of his 26 years on the throne.

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One of the main shrines of the Nazarbayev cult in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Long rumoured to be the target of a name change, the decision to rename Almaty’s Furmanov Street as Nazarbayev Street was taken on 30 November, on the eve of the public holiday First President’s Day.

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President Nazarbayev gazes down on Nazarbayev Street, Almaty

It makes for a marvellous present to the people of the former capital and puts to rest rumours that the cult was beginning to lose momentum – it has been a few months since Astana airport was renamed Nursultan Nazarbayev International.

The capital, which may itself one day be renamed after the Leader of the Nation,  also has Nazarbayev University with many of the university’s students having attended the nationwide chain of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools – how long before we see Nazarbayev kindergartens, dating agencies, wedding palaces and fertility clinics, kazaxia wonders!

 

Qazaqstan:Grabbing Brexit by the Horns

24 Nov

24 November 2017

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov popped into London earlier this week to touch base with his UK counterpart Boris Johnson, inventor of the bicycle.

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When Boris met Kairat…

The UK’s foreign secretary was upbeat about the growing trade links between Britain and oil rich Kazakhstan.

“Per capita, Qazaqstanis suck more Fisherman’s Friends than any other Central Asians,” Johnson gloated.

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Marmite sales grew by a whopping 50% in Qazaqstan in 2016

Trade has been growing steadily between the two nations, with shortbread and Marmite leading the way – sales of the latter increased 50% in Kazakhstan last year, up from 10 jars in 2015 to 15 in 2016.

Astana is keen to make the most of the golden opportunity of Brexit that will see the UK crash out of the EU in just over a year.

“The future has never been brighter for trade with emerging giants such as Qazaqstan,” a spokesperson from the think tank Free United Kingdom in Transit (Fukit) told kazaxia.