France to transit military property from Afghanistan via Shymkent

26 december 2012, 17:45
Transit of French military property and personnel will go via Shymkent airport in the south of Kazakhstan. This is provisioned for by the Protocol On amendments to agreement between governments of Kazakhstan and France on ensuring transit of military property and personnel via the territory of Kazakhstan in relation to participation of French Armed Forces in the efforts on stabilization and restoration of Afghanistan signed in Astana on October 6, 2009. A draft law on its ratification was submitted to the Majilis (the Lower Chamber of Kazakhstan's Parliament) for reviewing, reports.

“This protocol was signed in Paris on November 21, 2012. The protocol stipulates that aircrafts arriving from Afghanistan may land in Shymkent airport to re-load military property owned by the French party, upon agreement with Kazakhstan party,” chairman of the Majilis Commission on International Affairs, Defense and Security Maulen Ashimbayev said.

Kazakhstan Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Aleksey Volkov explained the nature of the freights. “They will be transporting containers with military property of non-combat purposes and vehicles in non-battle-ready condition. The freights will be arriving by planes from Afghanistan, stored in a special temporary bond storage and then transported through Kazakhstan and Russian to the Baltics by railroad,” Volkov said.

He also said that Zhaissan-Iletsk railroad border crossing point of Aktobe Oblast has been chosen to be the point of crossing of Kazakhstan border. “This will exclude the possibility of transportation via the zones that are sensitive for us. France will in no way associate this transit with NATO project in Russia with the transshipment point in Ulyanovsk,” Vice-Minster explained.

According to the Protocol, the French party undertakes funding of creation of the infrastructure for the temporary bond storage and the area of enhanced customs control to ensure the transshipment operations in Shymkent airport.

France will also allocate funds for procurement or rent of loading vehicles for the railroad spur, construction of additional roads with hard coating of around 400 meters, protection of freights in the temporary storage and en route on Kazakhstan’s railroad. According to Volkov, France has already allocated 150 thousand Euro for the preparatory works. The contract’s cost has not been announced yet.

By Aidana Ussupova

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