Foreign media on Kazakhstan: floods, Tokayev's visit to Armenia, new law criminalizing domestic violence

Kazinform /
Kazinform /

From the continuous floods in Kazakhstan to the signing of a law aimed at protecting women and children, and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's visit to Armenia, Kazinform News Agency presents a weekly review of foreign mass media coverage about Kazakhstan.

Armen Press: President of Kazakhstan proposes joint investment projects to Armenia

Armen Press published an article, discussing President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's visit to Armenia. 

"We hold profound reverence for Armenia's ancient history, rich culture, and traditions. Armenia is an essential and dependable partner for Kazakhstan in the South Caucasus region. Our relations are founded on an enduring friendship and mutual support. Our shared objective is to enhance bilateral relations. Our aims and interests align in promoting regional and international peace and security. We are keen on advancing our comprehensive partnership with Armenia, and hence, today's visit holds special significance for me," stated the President of Kazakhstan, as quoted by the Armenian news agency.

Tokayev invited Armenian businesses to take part in the investment projects. 

"I proposed to Armenia to undertake several joint investment projects, especially pertinent in today's challenging geopolitical environment. The focus of the intergovernmental commission is directed towards advancing efforts in this direction," said the Kazakh President. 

BBC News: Russia Kazakhstan floods: 'Colossal' floods heading for Kurgan

BBC News reports on the floods in Kazakhstan and in Russia. The article says that tens of thousands of people from the north region of Kazakhstan and bordering territories in Russia were evacuated due to the floods lasting for two weeks. The fast melting of snow and ice with heavy rains is considered the cause of this flood situation.

The high level of the Ishim river also affected the city of Petropavlosk in northern Kazakhstan. The Ishim and Tobol rivers flow between Russia and Kazakhstan.

Water levels in the rivers are not anticipated to peak until April 23 or 24.

“Elena Kurzayeva, a 67-year-old Petropavl pensioner, told AFP on Sunday: ‘I was taken out yesterday and within 15 minutes, the water had come in,’” reads the article.

It is said that these floods are the worst in the country within the last 80 years.

Reuters: Kazakhstan claims against Kashagan oil firms top $150 bln, Bloomberg reports

Reuters published an article about the increase in the arbitration claims from Kazakhstan against international oil companies that develop the Kashagan field. According to Bloomberg, the claims are estimated to be more than $150 billion.

“Kazakhstan’s energy minister said last year it was pressing ahead with $16.5 billion in claims against the consortium over disputed project costs and had no plans for a possible out-of-court settlement,” reads the article.

The article says that the figure skyrocketed after the addition of a $138 billion lawsuit by the Kazakhstan government, “reflecting an estimate of the value of oil production that was promised to the government but not provided by field developers.”

The energy ministry of the country said that it is not able to disclose the arbitration claims details.

Around $50 billion has been invested by the consortium called the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC).

“Bloomberg cited NCOC as saying it has as number of disputes concerning the application of certain provisions of the Kashagan production sharing agreement that are subject to arbitration,” reads the article.

The Times of Central Asia: Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Sign Commercial Deals Worth $300 Million

The Times of Central Asia released an article about the signing of commercial deals totaling $300 million between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. On April 17, the business forum with the participation of the two countries was held in Astana.

Deputy Prime Ministers of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Serik Zhumangarin and Adylbek Kasymaliev, respectively, attended the forum, which brought together companies involved in engineering, industry, metallurgy, construction, logistics, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, investment and services.

Profitable joint projects related to the construction of solar power plants, a ferroalloy factory, a distribution center in Kyrgyzstan, and the interchange of agricultural and other supplies were concluded.

“In 2023, trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan rose by 26% compared to the previous year, reaching $1.6 billion. Kazakhstan’s exports accounted for $1.1 billion, an increase of 35.8%, and imports stood at $495.2 million, an increase of 9%,” reads the article.

Euractiv: Kazakhstan president enacts new laws protecting women and children

Euractiv reported on the new law signed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev this week.

“Kazakhstan will guarantee better protection of women’s rights and children’s safety. Kazakh President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has endorsed significant amendments to new laws envisaging harsh penalties for perpetrators of abuse,” reads the article.

The author writes the law envisions that “all acts of violence against women especially children, now constitute crimes.”

“This also includes intentional infliction of light, medium and severe harm to health. Educational institutions are to immediately report any illegal acts committed by or against minors to law enforcement. Government bodies will have to collaborate with a contact centre dedicated to family issues and the protection of women’s and children’s rights. Family support centres are also to be established, to offer specialised services to domestic violence victims,” reads the article.

Eurasianet: Kazakhstan toughens domestic violence laws

Eurasianet reports on the new law amendments signed by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on April 15. The newly introduced law regulates punishment for violence cases against women and children, which now will be criminalized.

Now, the conviction of domestic violence is punishable by a prison sentence. Also, life imprisonment will be implied for those who are convicted of murder or rape of a minor.

“A presidential statement distributed via Telegram said the amendments, approved by parliament in January, were the outcome of an extensive consultation process involving various governmental agencies, commissions and rights groups,” reads the article.

It is stated that the new measures were discussed with the public as well. The article says that UN representative in Kazakhstan positively reacted to the new law amendments.

“This critical step not only promotes gender equality but also ensures that survivors of domestic violence have access to justice and support services to rebuild their lives,” said UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Story, as quoted by the article.

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