Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev yesterday appointed Muhtar Ablazov as minister for energy, industry and trade; and Nurlan Kapparov as president of the main state oil company, Kazakhoil. These appointees replace, respectively, Asygat Zhabagin and Baltabek Kuandykov, who were released without a direct explanation. Nazarbaev announced this decision while chairing an enlarged meeting of the cabinet of ministers. He reproached the energy sector for raising the prices of electricity and oil on the domestic market and for increasing imports of oil products. These decisions, in turn, drove up the costs of industrial production and transportation, Nazarbaev charged. The full causes behind these decisions were not immediately clarified. Kazakhstan currently seeks a foreign main investor for the privatization of Kazakhoil. (Russian agencies, April 21) — VS
ANOTHER “TERRORISM” CASE IN TAJIKISTAN’S LENINABAD REGION.