Wednesday, April 25, 2012 -
The Kazakh defense ministry plans to join forces with leading global shipbuilders in establishing a venture to build ships, a senior official announced on Wednesday.
Kazakh Deputy Defense Minister Sergei Gromov said that the ministry is currently in negotiations with potential shipbuilder partners.
Gromov broke the news at a ceremony in north-western Kazakhstan launching the country’s first rocket-artillery vessel, the Kursiv.kz news agency reported him as saying.
The ship, named ‘Kazakhstan’, was launched from the Zenith shipyard at the city of Uralsk, some 300 miles inland from the northernmost shore of the Caspian Sea.
The city lies close to the Russian border at the confluence of the Ural and Chogan rivers which flow into the massive inland sea.
Gromov said defense authorities also aim to construct large vessels with a displacement of around 600 tons.
Kazakhstan shares the Caspian Sea with Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran.
Analysts say that Kazakhstan has good relations with Russia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, but is concerned about Iran.
The Kazakh navy’s primary aims are to safeguard cargo shipments and protect the country’s energy facilities located in the sea.
The republic has oil and gas platforms, pipelines, and other facilities offshore of some 1,200 miles of Caspian coastline.