Kazakhstan wants navy of its own on Caspian; Russia ready to help

Russia takes an active part in the creation of Kazakhstan's Navy, Kazakh Defense Minister Mukhtar Altynbayev said Friday.

In his words, yesterday Kazakh President Nazarbayev's decree sanctioned the creation of the republic's navy.

"We will work with Russia in the direction of rendering assistance to Kazakhstan as regards vessels, repairs and regulations," Altynbayev said. He did not rule out that Kazakhstan may get from Russia "good middle-tonnage ships." He said Kazakh specialists for the republic's navy are now receiving an education in Russia.

At present, the minister said, the country's Department of the Navy has been established. It will be stationed in the town of Aktau (formerly Shevchenko on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea).

In Altynbayev's words, the US, UK and Turkey are also ready to render assistance. "We requested ships the displacement of up to 1,000 metric tons from the US and Turkey," said Altynbayev. The Kazakh Navy is expected to possess 15-20 ships in the future; for the time being, it has none.

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