Kazakhstan ready to cooperate with India on energy sources

Oct 4. IANS. New Delhi

Kazakhstan ready to cooperate with India on energy sourcesKazakhstan has large energy sources and is ready to help meet India’s hunger for coal, oil and hydrocarbons, the country’s envoy said here Thursday.

Speaking to select journalists, Kazakhstan ambassador Doulat Kuanyshev said “India requires a lot of electricity for its development activities” and his country had “vast resources of energy”.

However, he said that economic ties between the two countries was not satisfactory.

“India regards Kazakhstan as an important partner and both share important points of view on global issues… But I acknowledge our economic ties are not up to the mark, not satisfactory,” Kuanyshev said.

The India-Kazakhstan bilateral trade stood at $215 million in the first six months of 2012. In 2011, this totalled less than $300 million, he said.

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has a 25 percent stake in Kazakhstan’s Satpayev offshore exploration block.

Kuanyshev said his country was willing to cooperate with India to fulfill its needs for coal, including contributing with “knowhow and skills in developing coal mining”.

India, he said, had shown interest in acquiring coal from Kazakhstan, but the logistics were not economical.

He said Kazakhstan was “looking with great interest at the development of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

Kazakhstan backs India’s membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional grouping made up of Russia and China, the energy-rich Central Asian states, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. India currently has observer status.

“We welcome India’s membership to the SCO, and are looking to see India as main contributor,” the ambassador said.

Kuanyshev said Kazakhstan favours a political solution to the crisis in Syria where thousands have been killed since a uprising began against the regime of Bashar al-Assad more than 18 months ago.