U.S. Deputy Secretary Visits Astana

From June 25-26, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman made his third visit to Kazakhstan in his current capacity, this time speaking with public and private officials in Astana. Mr. Poneman discussed energy issues with Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev, Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov, Minister of Environment and Water Resources Nurlan Kapparov, Minister of Oil and Gas Uzakbay Karabalin, Chairman of KazMunayGas Sauat Mynbayev, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Committee Mazhit Sharipov, KazEnergy Association Chairman Timur Kulibayev, Chairman of the Board of Kazatomprom Sergey Yashin, and others.  Mr. Poneman also toured the recently opened International Science and Technology Center at Nazarbayev University where he spoke to a conference of visiting energy scientists from Berkley National Labs.   

Describing President Nazarbayev’s decision to rid Kazakhstan of nuclear weapons, Mr. Poneman said, “Kazakhstan has been a leader in nuclear security and nonproliferation, beginning with giving up the nuclear arsenal it inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union and continuing with its commitment to minimizing the use of highly enriched uranium.”   When asked why that decision is still important today, Mr. Poneman noted: “The incredible growth and prosperity in Kazakhstan bears witness to the strength of that decision.”  The United States and Kazakhstan continue to strengthen their cooperation in international border security and law enforcement measures to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material.

The United States and Kazakhstan continue to strengthen their cooperation in international border security and law enforcement measures to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material.  The Department of Energy (DOE) has partnered with Kazakhstan on energy efficiency.

Emphasizing how the broad and deep cooperation between the United States and Kazakhstan extends beyond oil and gas, Deputy Secretary Poneman explained how green technology opens many new areas for cooperation: “We’ve seen the maturation of our relationship across a wide platform of technologies.”  He continued, “By working together we can reach the economic potential of both our nations.”

The United States looks forward to continuing to strengthen and deepen U.S.-Kazakhstani relations in the area of energy cooperation.