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April 24, 2008
Eurasian Media Forum 2008
Almaty, Kazakhstan

nursultan_nazarbayev.jpg
President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the Eurasian Media Forum on April 24, 2008

Currently I am in Almaty, Kazakhstan at the Eurasian Media Forum 2008. Today, I participated in the panel addressing the perceptions of the the Western media in its coverage of Russia, and the possibility of the return of the Cold War. The Eurasian Media Forum has gathered 600 distinguished participants, such as, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, his daughter Dr. Dariga Nazarbaeva, Mr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Dr. Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation, Mikhail Leontiev from "Odnako", Margarita Simonyan and Kevin Owen from Russia Today TV, multiple ambassadors, ministers, journalists, reporters and policy makers.

Please, view the extended post for the full agenda of the conference, and come back soon to view the photos of the conference and to read the new RRP report on the Stereotypes that Western media practices in its coverage of Russia. The report was prepared for the Forum and is available in print to those at the venue.

AlmatyKazahkstan.jpg
A photo of downtown Almaty, Kazahkstan

EURASIAN MEDIA FORUM − 2008
Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan
April 24-25, 2008

Conference Programme
Venue: "Intercontinental Almaty" hotel


DAY 1 -- Thursday, April 24

Chair of the Conference:
Riz Khan, Broadcaster, TV host, Al Jazeera International, USA

 08.00 Registration opens

 09.20 Access into the Ballroom will not be allowed after 9.20 am

 09.30-10.00: Conference Opening Ceremony (Ballroom)

Welcome Address
Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Welcome Speech
H.E. Srgjan KERIM, President of the 62nd session
of the United Nations General Assembly, USA

Welcome and Conference Introduction
Dr. Dariga NAZARBAYEVA, Chair of the Eurasian Media Forum
Organizing Committee

 10.00-10.30: Coffee break

 10.30-12.00: Session #1 (Ballroom)

"COLD WAR" DÉJÀ VU
Many observers believe that Putin's Munich speech accusing the Bush administration of trying to establish a "unipolar" world is similar to Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech and the famous "crusade" against the "empire of evil", proclaimed by Reagan in 1983. A number of factors over the past months have increased the diplomatic tension between Russia and the West:

- the polonium-210 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the refusal of Russia to extradite the suspect Lougovoy;

- US vice-president Dick Cheney's harsh criticism of Putin's visit to Iran;

- the closure of the British Council offices in Russia;

- the acute situation around the independence of Kosovo;

- the intention by the US to situate an anti-missile system in Eastern Europe;

- the continuing expansion of NATO

Each of these has added to the debate about whether the cold war truly ended leading some to speculate that the increasingly hostile accusations between Russia and the West signal that the relationship has simply taken a new form.

• What are the predictions for this relationship as different leaders come to power in both Russia and the US?

• What does current Russian foreign policy stand for?

• How has the media coverage and rhetoric of these events changed? How dangerous is the tendency for the media to rely on stereotypes or clichés when covering certain political developments on the global stage?

• What are the roles and responsibilities of Western and Russian media in accurately portraying what could become a new "cold war"?

Chair:
Riz Khan, Broadcaster, TV host, Al Jazeera International, USA

Speakers:
Zbigniew Brzezinski, former United States National Security Advisor
Mark Perrin de Brichambaut, Secretary General, OSCE, Austria
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (TBC)
Mark MacKinnon, Middle East bureau chief for the "Globe and Mail" and author of "The New Cold War: Revolutions, Rigged Elections and Pipeline Politics in the Former Soviet Union", Canada
Yuri Mamchur, Director of Discovery Institute's Real Russia Project and author of Russia Blog's "10 Western Media Stereotypes About Russia: How Truthful Are They?"
Mikhail Leontiyev, Anchorman of the "Odnako" author's programme, Channel 1; Editor-in-Chief of "Profile" magazine, Russia
Maxim Sokolov, Political correspondent of "Izvestiya" newspaper, Russia
Gleb Pavlovskiy, President of the Effective Policy Foundation, Russia

 12.00-12.30: Coffee break

 12.30-14.00: Session #2 (Ballroom)

ENCOURAGING SEPARATISM AND THE RIGHT FOR SELF-IDENTIFICATION? WHAT IS UNIQUE, IF ANYTHING ABOUT THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO?

The Republic of Kosova declared itself independent of Serbia in February creating the world's newest country. This has not been received with universal acceptance with several countries refusing to recognize it - unsurprisingly, mainly countries that have most to lose from emboldened secessionist movements, such as Russia, Spain and Greece. It is argued that this declaration of independence will set an unwelcome precedent and despite the legal gymnastics used to override UN security council resolution 1244 - which kept Kosovo in Serbia - the proclamation of the new state will have incalculable long-term consequences on secessionist movements from Belgium to the Black Sea via Bosnia and on relations between the US, EU and China and Russia.

In this session we will discuss the impact of formation of the Republic of Kosova in terms of the likely consequences in the Balkans and the wider ramifications for other unrecognized states? What is the UN's role in this process and does the situation surrounding the independence of Kosovo provide further evidence of a deepening political and legal crisis within international law?

Chair:
Kevin Owen, Presenter, Russia Today TV

Speakers:
Veran Matic, President of Board of Directors & Chief Executive Officer, Broadcasting Company B92, Serbia
Eugen Saraçini, TV producer, Kosovo
Sergey Markedonov, Head of Division of Ethnic Relations, Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Russia
Alexander Iskandaryan, Political expert, Director, Caucasus Media Institute, Armenia
Lev Dzugayev, Assistant to the Head of the Russian Federal Press and Mass Communications Agency, former Deputy Head of Administration and Head of Press Service of the President of North Ossetia-Alania Republic
Mikhail Leontiyev, Anchorman of the "Odnako" author's programme, Channel 1; Editor-in-Chief of "Profile" magazine, Russia
Nenad Pejic, Associate Director of Broadcasting, Radio Free Europe, Czech Republic

 14.00-15.00: Lunch (Almaty, Astana restaurants, "C" floor)

 15.00-15.45:

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS with (TBC)
Ali Larijani, Representative of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei
at the Supreme National Security Council of Iran

Interviewer:
Riz Khan, Broadcaster and TV host, Al Jazeera International, USA

 15.45-17.45: Session #3 (Ballroom)

ELECTION PROCESSES AND THE MEDIA
Over the last 12 months elections in various parts of the world have made headline news for the wrong reasons. The assassination of the former Pakistani Prime-Minister Benazir Bhutto on the eve of the parliamentary elections heightened tensions in Pakistan and across the Middle East. The elections in Kenya also resulted in violence and the re-emergence of tribal tensions. The legitimacy of the electoral process, the role of the media and the involvement of electoral monitoring bodies have all been under scrutiny as elections created turmoil and controversy.
In this two part session we hear about the monitoring bodies and the media's involvement in the election processes:

• Do international bodies charged with monitoring the "fairness" of elections help promote democracy, or do they instead legitimize one political agenda over another? What responsibility, credibility and authority do electoral monitoring bodies hold? Is their role as guardians of the democratic process justified and accepted?

• Some elections are deemed "unacceptable," while those in more established democracies are beyond dispute. Are these characterizations justified? Or are they simply a way for the global powers to undermine election results that they don't like?

• What is objective election reporting? And when does coverage reflect political bias? Does the media help or hinder the electoral processes with such things as exit polls?

• Are legal limits on the activities of journalists during election times justified or necessary?

PART II - ELECTION PROCESSES AND THE MEDIA -- US FOCUS

In the second part of this session we focus on the role of the media in what is the world's most important democratic process. The US election is a long, complicated and expensive affair in which the media play a fundamental role. In this session we examine this process and the pros and cons in terms of providing legitimacy of the democratic process and a truly mandated president. In what is perhaps the most scrutinized of elections when does the media cross the line between election reporting and electioneering and does this matter?

Chair:
Charles Hodson, Anchor, CNN International, United Kingdom

Speakers:
Vladimir Churov, Chairman of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation
Julie Finley, Ambassador of the USA to OSCE, Austria
Margarita Simonyan, Chief Editor, "Russia Today" channel, Russia
Jeff Koinange, former CNN Africa Bureau Chief, Kenya (TBC)
Hameed Haroon, CEO and Publisher, Pakistan Herald Publications, Pakistan
Rahimullah Yusufzai, Resident Editor, "The News International", Pakistan
Dr. Ariel Cohen, Senior research fellow, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Heritage Foundation, USA
Danny Schechter, Vice President and Executive Producer, MediaChannel.org, USA
Yuri Sigov, US Bureau Chief of "Business People" magazine in Washington DC, USA

 15.00-16.00: Roundtable (Ablai Khan room)

INSTABILITY IN THE WORLD FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Increasingly, the world economies are integrated. The continuing sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US epitomizes this growing interdependence. What are the consequences of this and other world financial crises for the global economy in general, and for Kazakhstan's economy in particular? Under what circumstances can the financial media negatively affect the unfolding of economic events? Should there be mechanisms for businesses and the international financial media to cooperate to keep financial situations from spiraling out of control?

Chair:
William Green, EMEA Editor, TIME Magazine

Speakers:
Grigoriy Marchenko, Chairman of the Board, "Narodnyi Bank," Kazakhstan
Victor Pleskachevskiy, Chairman of the Property Committee, State Duma, Russia
Gulzhana Karagusova, Chair of the Finance and Budget Committee, Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (TBC)
Sergey Sarkisov, Chairman of RESO-Garantia and RESO Group, Russia
Sergei Shatalov, Country Manager for Kazakhstan, World Bank
Andre Kuusvek, Country Director for Kazakhstan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Isabel Gorst, Caspian and Central Asia correspondent, Financial Times, UK
David A. Merkel, Former Counselor for International Affairs to the Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Director for Europe and Eurasia on the National Security Council in the White House (2005 -- 2007), USA
Mariya Valovalya, Director, Eurasian Centre for Strategic Studies, Russia
Mach Frantisek, Advisor of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Kazakhstan

 16.30-17.30: Roundtable (Ablai Khan room)

"FROZEN CONFLICTS" IN TODAY'S WORLD
with participation of representatives of international foundations

It is now estimated that there are approximately 200 frozen conflicts around the world, i.e. regions in dispute where political and military stalemate exists between the conflicting parties. Of these 200 it is estimated that around 50 are reaching or near to reaching their culmination. Each of these situations offers a different set of circumstances and challenges. Given the continuing disagreements on key principles of international law regarding territorial integrity and the right of self-determination -- a way to resolve these frozen conflicts has never been more important.

Producers: The Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan,
International Institute for Modern Policy, Kazakhstan

Chair:
Bektas Mukhamedzhanov, Executive Director of the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Speakers:
Alexander Drozdov, Executive Director of the Boris Eltsin Foundation, Russia
Wulf Lappins, Project Coordinator in Central Asia, Fridriech Ebert Foundation, Germany
Kirill Tanayev, General Director, Effective Policy Foundation, Russia
Maxim Meyer, CIS Programme Director of the "Russkiy Mir" Foundation, Russia
Dr Martha Brill Olcott, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA
Vladimir Maitussov, Advisor to the Executive Director of the Boris Eltsin Foundation, Russia
Elvira Pak, Head of Cooperation Bureau, Fridriech Ebert Foundation, Kazakhstan
Metehan Demir, Ankara Bureau Chief, HURRIYET Daily Newspaper's internet version, Turkey
Mariya Valovalya, Director, Eurasian Centre for Strategic Studies, Russia

 19.00-21.00: Welcome Reception hosted by the Almaty City Mayor and International Herald Tribune Newspaper


DAY 2 − Friday, April 25


 09.00-10.30: Session #4 (Ballroom)

THE MEDIA'S ROLE IN BILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL SOCIETIES

Over the past few decades, many countries have had to address issues raised by populations that speak a different language to the majority. It is a long held view that in stable democracies these issues have been successfully resolved and are an integral part of the social life. However, there are now many examples of where cultural tensions surface. In the Netherlands for example, the distribution on the Internet of the controversial anti-Islamic film "Fitna" by Dutch politician Geert Wilders provoked condemnation both inside and outside the country. Similarly, the situation in Belgium, where the tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons has led to division and potentially, the disintegration of the country, demonstrate that the problems of multi-cultural and multi-lingual societies still exist.

The mass media undoubtedly play an important role in this process. The media can either facilitate the coming together of diverse populations or increasingly fracture their audiences of different language.

• What experience do governments have implementing policies that let different cultures and languages coexist peacefully?

• How do the international media address issues of bilingual and multilingual audiences?

• What is the role of Kazakhstani journalists in integrating the 100+ nationalities of Kazakhstan, many of which speak their own language? What is the problem of bilingualism in Kazakhstani journalism? What are the reality and its development prospects?

• Does the media have a responsibility to help facilitate a dialogue between audiences with different cultures, religions, and languages?

Chair:
Alexander Arkhangelskiy, Author and TV host, "Tem vremenem (In the Meantime)" programme, "Culture" TV channel, Russia

Speakers:
Philippe Dutilleul, Producer, RTBF, Belgium
Minelle Mahtani, Assistant Professor at University of Toronto, former journalist, Canada
Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Danny Ilegems, Investigative journalist, Belgium
Didar Amantai, Chief Editor, "Nachnem s ponedelnika" newspaper, Kazakhstan
Yuri Kirinitsiyanov, Correspondent of "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" in Kazakhstan
Erlan Idrissov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the USA

Front row:
Metehan Demir, Ankara Bureau Chief, HURRIYET Daily Newspaper's internet version, Turkey
Melis Eshimkanov, Director General National TV and Radio Corporation of Kyrgyzstan
Valeriy Ruzin, Vice-president, General Director of the Eurasian Television Academy, Russia
Tatyana Bokova, Deputy Executive Director, "Russkiy Mir" Foundation, Russia

 10.30-11.00: Coffee break

 11.00-12.30: Session #5 (Ballroom)

THE GROUP PORTRAIT OF CIS COUNTRIES. WHO ARE THE LEADERS IN THE POST-SOVIET SPACE?

Countries of the post-Soviet space, banded together under the collective CIS acronym, are by no means uniform and have many significant differences.

Even at first sight it is clear that the different states among the former Soviet Union republics have formed distinctive characteristics.

One group, including the Baltic states, has smoothly moved to a stable environment within the EU.

Another group of states comprising Tajikistan, Armenia, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan, are unable to rely on significant natural resources, and are characterised by what some have called "sustainable instability", the countries whose political regimes have been modified slightly or if opposition is to be believed, not at all.

Another grouping includes Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belarus and Azerbaijan where administrative pressure provides relative public stability, and social processes have been forced underground to develop unseen. These are countries where political regimes have been modified inconsiderably or even exist without any modification.

Finally, and perhaps the most significant group includes two pairs: Russia-Kazakhstan and Georgia-Ukraine. Inside these pairs there is a certain similarity. The first comprises countries rich in oil and gas, ensuring the economic growth and moderately modified autocracy while maintaining relative public stability. The second comprises countries not rich in natural resources, experiencing overt "westernisation" of the political system, relying upon the "democracy of electors", but with some political recurrences tending to destabilise public life. In this session we discuss what the future holds for the developments of the various groupings of CIS countries.

Co-Chairs:

Dr Martha Brill Olcott, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA
Erlan Idrissov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the USA

Speakers:
Bermet Akayeva, Political analyst, Advisor to the chief editor, "Political class" magazine, Russia
Mikhail Gusman, Deputy Director General, ITAR-TASS news agency, Author and Host of "Formula Vlasti (the formula of power) programme, Russia
Hydyr Saparliyev, Deputy Prime-Minister, Turkmenistan (TBC)
Saodat Olimovа, Head of the Sociology Center at the Information and Analytical Centre "Sharq", Tajikistan
Vitaliy Volkov, Editor, "Deutsche Welle", Germany
Oleg Poptsov, President, Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, Russia
Marat Tazhin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan (TBC)
Igor Guzhva, Editor-in-Chief, "Segodnya" Newspaper, Ukraine
Yuri Shevtsov, Director of the Center of European Integration, Publisher and editor of the "Geopolitics" and "Chernobyl" portals, Belarus
Bulat Sultanov, Director of the Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

 11.30-13.00: Roundtable (Ablai Khan room)

CHALLENGES CONFRONTING REGIONAL JOURNALISTS
Many media watchdogs complain that regional journalists have lost their individual voices by imitating national entertainment programs or relying on American standbys. How are regional journalists trained? Do professional qualifications tend to eradicate individuality and promote a standardized approach to coverage? Is the need to capture advertising dollars changing the way news is reported and disseminated? And should regional journalists strive to protect the local flavor of their news coverage? Journalism professors, media trainers, and other experts will comment on the trend to commodify news, addressing what can be done to bring a diversity of opinion to global audiences.

Chair:
Wilfried Ruetten, Director, European Journalism Centre, the Netherlands

Speakers:
Peter Sauer, Head of the Current News Department, Bavarian Broadcasting, Germany
Ioana Avadani, Executive director, Center for Independent Journalism, Bucharest
Kumar Bekbolotov, Media trainer, Central Asia Programmes Director, IWPR, Kyrgyzstan
Ernest Bujok, Manager, Concentra Media, Belgium
Svetlana Sorokina, Author and Host, Radio "Echo Moskvy", Russia
Natalya Bandrovskaya, Director of "Rika TV" Television Company, Kazakhstan
Sergey Kharchenko, Chief Editor of "Kostanaiskie Novosti" newspaper, Kazakhstan
Gulnara Ibrayeva, Head of Apparatus, National TV and Radio Corporation of Kyrgyzstan

 12.30-14.00: Lunch (Almaty, Astana restaurants, "C" floor)
 14.00-15.15: Session #6 (Ballroom)

BRAND PERSONALITIES AND FREE USERS: A REAL CONFLICT IN THE UNREAL WORLD -PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND PERSONALITY IN THE INTERNET Copyright and the right to intellectual property are extremely topical issues. The concepts of "authorship" and "intellect" are significant but vague while the technical difficulties faced in attempting to protect what is hard to define, combined with the challenges presented by the Internet, necessarily requires a new approach to intellectual property regimen.

The Internet makes it possible not only to express yourself anonymously but also act under false image and false name. This in turn gives rise to the potential arbitrary use of the names and reputations of socially important persons.

In this session we discuss how to protect an individual's rights to intellectual property and personal authorship on the Internet?

Producer: RIA Novosti News Agency, "Astana in the 'Second Life' virtual world" project

Chairs: Maxim Shevchenko, Author and host of "Judge by Yourselves" political talk show, Channel 1, Russia
Marina Lesko, Journalist, Russia

Speakers:

Real format:
Mikhail Leontiyev, Anchorman of the "Odnako" author's programme, Channel 1, Editor-in-Chief of "Profile" magazine, Russia
Bermet Akayeva, Political analyst, Advisor to the chief editor, "Political class" magazine, Russia
Thierry Meyssan, President, Voltaire Network, Political analyst and writer, France
Ivan Bliznets, Rector of the Russian State Institute of Intellectual Property
Saule Tlevlessova, Program Officer, Division for Certain Countries in Europe and Asia, World Intellectual Property Organization
Vartan Toganyan, President, Eurasian media group, Russia
Alexander Arkhangelskiy, Author and TV host, "Tem vremenem (In the Meantime)" programme, "Culture" TV channel, Russia

Virtual format:
Dmitriy Bykov, Author, winner of the Booker Prize, Russia
Mikhail Fedotov, Secretary of the Union of Journalists of Russia
Alena Sviridova, Author and performer of popular songs, Russia
Maxim Sukhanov, Theatre and film actor, Russia

 15.15-16.15: Session #7 (Ballroom)

CHINA UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
As the rat becomes the pig, this is the year that defines China's future. In this session we examine some of the current issues that will shape China in 2008 and discuss the consequences for the rest of the world this year and beyond.

• As the Olympics approaches the world focuses more and more on Beijing. How will the rest of the world assess the global implications of this regional economic powerhouse? Is it a threat or an opportunity for Europe?

• What does the sustainable development of China involve?

• China is an evident contradiction by itself: it remains a communist state with developed bureaucratic apparatus and limited human rights; however, its booming economy is developing according to the market economy mechanisms and becoming one of the leading in the world. How can this be explained? Is this a "special way" of development?

• How shall we examine the motivations of China and Russia in establishing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and why are Iran, India and Pakistan interested in the membership of the Central Asian club?

• How shall we look at the most complex and most important bilateral ties between the US and the PRC in the new century?

Chair: Yang Rui, Anchor, daily Dialogue programme, CCTV 9, China

Speakers:
Victor Gao, Director of the National Association of International Studies (CNAIS), China
David A. Merkel, Former Counselor for International Affairs to the Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Director for Europe and Eurasia on the National Security Council in the White House (2005 -- 2007), USA
Jisi Wang, Dean, School of International Studies, Peking University, China
Geydar Dzhemal, Chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia

 16.15-16.45: Coffee break

 16.45-18.00: Session #8 (Ballroom)

GLAMOUR IN POLITICS AND THE POLITICS OF GLAMOUR
Historically, politicians have limited their public life to certain stereotypical behaviours and styles. These days however, we are witnessing an emerging new era -- an era of VIP politicians, who feel comfortable with glamorous behaviour where image-conscious TV appearances are the norm.

More than ever, it appears that what politicians say and do is becoming less important than how they appear.

Politics is becoming an environment where "stars" and "glamorous" heroes are the most important and popular figures.

Are politicians leading deliberately high-profile personal lives to appear more "bling" and have greater appeal to mass audiences? Is this phenomenon the new smart moves of a modern spin doctor hoping to use the mask of glamour to distract the public attention from real issues? Or is adding a touch of glamour to the intrinsically dull world of politics a legitimate way to engage and attract new audiences and voters?

Chair:
Vladimir Rerikh, Producer, journalist, Kazakhstan

Speakers:
Goedele Liekens, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, Belgium
Geydar Dzhemal, Chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia
Marina Lesko, Journalist, Russia
Thierry Meyssan, President, Voltaire Network, Political analyst and writer, France
Akram Khouzam, Independent journalist, Lebanon
Vivienne Walt, Foreign correspondent, Time magazine, France
Maxim Shevchenko, Author and host of "Judge by Yourselves" political talk show, Channel 1, Russia

Front row:
Oleg Gostev, General producer of Kazakhstan fashion week, Kazakhstan
Gulnara Sarsenova, Director of "Eurasia film", Kazakhstan

 18.00-18.15: CLOSING ADDRESS
by Dr. Dariga Nazarbayeva, Chair of the Eurasian Media Forum
Organizing Committee, Kazakhstan

 19.30-24.00: Forum Gala Event hosted by CNN International and Khabar Agency



A Russia Today TV video about the conference



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4 Comments

Someone should ask Brezinski why he is plotting to destroy Russia since 1989. They should question the thesis of his book "The Grand Chessboard".

In the Litvinenko case they should ask about criminal activities involving MI6 against Russia especially why he went to the Panski Gorge.


The Kazakh government seems to be involved with this event. What kind of critical remarks have been made of the Kazakh government?

In his book on the "New Cold War" (which I read and reviewed at Siberian Light), I recall Mark MacKinnon noting how Dick Cheney blasted Russia's supposed lack of freedom, while lauding Kazakhstan as a democratic place. Those in the know recognize that Kazakhstan isn't freer than Russia. A point that MacKinnon hasn't disagreed with. I note that he's a featured panelist.

Regarding this event, it would be most shameful if Russia is more scrutinized for fault on human rights issues than Kazakhstan.

The West and Russia appear to each have elements seeking to have Kazakhstan go in a geopolitical direction in line with their respective preferences. This explains remarks like Cheney's.

Note that the event features representatives from Kosovo Albanian separatist media and the largely Western NGO funded B92 in Serbia. It appears that no media from the disputed fromer Soviet territories (Pridnestrovie, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabakh) are represented. Likewise with Serb views running oppposite to those preferred at B92.

Hi All.

Nice forum.happy to be here and hope to be more involved.


thanks,
Mickael








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Nursultan Nazarbayev looks very old in this picture.
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Russia Blog presents up-to-date news, facts and commentary on the state of events in Russia and the former Soviet Union. The blog was created and is managed by Yuri Mamchur, Director of Discovery Institute's Real Russia Project, Executive Director of the World Russia Forum, and a Vanderbilt University MBA graduate.


 






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