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After the Kazakhstan Elections: U.S. Policy in the Caspian and Central Asia

Recorded on December 7, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Kazakhstan, the largest Eurasian oil producer after Russia, is scheduled to elect a new President on December 4. As the home to one hundred ethnic and religious groups who live in harmony - an important achievement in the Muslim world - Kazakhstan has been hailed as a model of economic reform in Central Asia. At stake for the United States are the future of democratic and economic reforms, stewardship of immense energy wealth, and complex geopolitics of a sparsely populated country, sandwiched between Russia and China.

Regionally, the geo-strategic map has been redrawn in Moscow's favor with the recent U.S. departure from neighboring Uzbekistan's Karshi-Khanabad military base and Russia moving in - thus making Uzbekistan effectively Russia's main ally in Central Asia. Therefore, Washington's position in Eurasia and its future relations with Astana, the Kazakhstani capital, will be particularly affected by the electoral outcome. Join us as our distinguished panel takes an in-depth look at the election results and other challenges faced by the U.S. in this critical region of the world.