Although many member states questioned or openly criticized Kazakhstan's nomination, Russia fully supported its efforts to overcome perceived organizational bias and unfair strictures placed on former Soviet republics. Speaking at the OSCE summit in Madrid in November 2007, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took issue with the proposal to postpone the Kazakh chairmanship, tentatively scheduled for 2009.Meanwhile, Kazakh president is pulling a Turkmenbashi:
"Unfortunately, during the several years that have preceded today's meeting, there were absolutely unacceptable and unseemly maneuvers aimed at imposing restrictions on the right of a specific country -- an equal member of the OSCE -- to chair this organization by making demands on its internal and external policies," Lavrov stated.
Not far from the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, lies Kazakh Eli Square, where the Kazakh authorities uncovered a 15-foot high bronze statue of none other than Nursultan Nazarbayev.It would be going to far to say that Kazakhstan is here being played as a Russian pawn, but with the Nabucco project in jeopardy while the Nord Stream project continues apace, having a Central Asian dictatorship in the OSCE chair certainly strengthens Russia's hand.
The statue, accompanied by other traditional Kazakh scenes, lies at the base of a rather harmless white obelisk in an area that’s hardly in the center of town. That being said, Nazarbayev has always been one of the more restrained Central Asian presidents, but that restraint seems to be disappearing as the 69-year old gets older.
This comes after chatter about Nazarbayev being declared president-for-life, which Nazarbayev coolly dismissed as unnecessary, since he’ll keep winning elections regardless.