Russian Foreign Ministry chief spokesman Grigory Karasin yesterday criticized "unfriendly statements directed against Russia" allegedly made by Umirserik Kasenov, director of Kazakhstan’s Strategic Research Institute. Speaking at an international seminar on "Foreign Policy and Security in the Caucasus and Central Asia," Karasin charged that Kasenov’s anti-Russian statements contradicted the policy of Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev and distorted Russian policy toward the CIS. Karasin urged Almaty to disavow Kasenov’s views. (16) Kasenov advises Nazarbayev on international, CIS, and Central Asian security and energy issues, and his institute is attached to the president’s office. As Almaty has increasingly staked out its own positions on such issues, Moscow’s public attack on Kasenov appears to be a warning to the Kazakh president.