Kazakhstan. Winter became difficult in Kazakhstan with food shortages and with no wages for miners and other government employees. Strikes, hunger strikes and demonstrations succeeded.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Kazakhstan is Astana. Although Kazakhstan and the UN agreed in February on a joint Commission on Human Rights, the political opposition was subjected to a series of abuses during the year. Fund Ismajlov, leader of the Labor Movement Committee, was arrested for forming a new opposition organization, the People’s Front Movement. He was sentenced in April to one year in prison on charges of obscuring the president. One of Azamat’s civilian leaders, Peter Svojk, had been beaten before the New Year in neighboring Kyrgyzstan in what was suspected to be an act by the Kazakh secret police. In October he was arrested in Alma-Ata. to create national conflict.
The ongoing privatization of the oil and gas industry was discontinued at the beginning of the year. In April, the government decided to adopt a program to upgrade the nuclear industry to an international standard by 2030 and at the same time make the country self-sufficient in energy. This means the construction of a number of new reactors, including outside the old capital Alma-Ata and to the north at Akmola, which in June was formally inaugurated as the country’s new capital. In July, the presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement on how the maritime base in the northern part of the oil and gas-rich Caspian Sea should be shared between the two countries. The two presidents also declared an alliance between the countries, including means mutual military assistance in the event of third party attacks.
According to Digopaul, Kazakhstan and China signed a border agreement in July to end the long border dispute between the countries, a dispute that 30 years ago caused wars between China and the then Soviet Union. Kazakhstan and China will now prepare a 15-year economic cooperation program and discuss proposals for a gas pipeline from Kazakhstan to China. An oil pipeline is already planned.
In September, Kazakhstan signed several oil and gas agreements with American and Japanese companies. But the Kazakh economy was adversely affected during the year by falling oil and metal prices and by the financial crisis in Russia, which has about a third of trade. Strong budget cuts became necessary.
In November, the country’s election commission decided that President Nazarbayev’s main opponent, opposition leader Akezjan Kazjageldin, was not allowed to register as a candidate for the January 1999 presidential election. for this reason Kazakhstan was invited by the European Security and Cooperation Organization OSCE to postpone the election.