Kazakhstan naked

The Arasan Baths lies in the heart of Central Asia’s most cosmopolitan city, Almaty.It was built during the Soviet Union in the the 1970’s by the Party Secretary at the time – Kunayev.Any system that relies on personalised patron-client relationships and de-institutionalised governance is entering extremely hazardous territory when the captain is leaving the ship.And this is exactly what Kazakhstan is heading for.

No one dares to move or speak, knowing the intense heat would make it very difficult, and instead everyone waits.What makes things worse is a growing disquiet and frustration within the population over corruption, economic grievances (the plunge in oil and gas prices hit Kazakhstan’s insufficiently diversified economy hard) and anxiety over identity and sovereignty: an unsubstantiated scare that Kazakh land might be sold off to Chinese investors sent tens of thousands to the streets in unprecedented street protests in April 2016.Needless to say, such an environment is dangerous in the event of a botched transition.Now, at 77 years, it is clearer than ever that his exit from Kazakh politics will come sooner rather than later.And in today’s environment, it is more important than ever that Europe be ready for what will come the day after.

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