On August 29th, 1991, President Nursultan Nazarbayev closed the 18,000 km2 Semipalatinsk Test Site in Eastern Kazakhstan. Four days before Kazakhstan’s independence, the United States signed the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act into law in order to secure nuclear material and weapons of mass destruction in post-Soviet states. Since then, Kazakhstan and the United States have worked together to seal off tunnels and test shafts that contain plutonium and address environmental concerns that arose from both the surface and underground nuclear testing. Thirty years later, Kazakhstan is nuclear weapon free and a leader in non-proliferation and the partnership with the United States continues to flourish.
Join this CPC webinar as we take a look back at the accomplishments of U.S.-Kazakhstan cooperation in nuclear security over the last three decades while also considering what role nuclear issues could play in the relationship between the two countries going forward.
9:00–9:05 Welcome Remarks
- Efgan Nifti, Chief Executive Officer, Caspian Policy Center
9:05–9:10 Keynote Address
- Ambassador Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States
9:10–9:30 Opening Statements
- Ambassador (ret.) Richard Hoagland, Former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan (2008- 2011), Security and Politics Program Chair, Caspian Policy Center
- Mr. Andrew Weber, Senior Fellow, Council on Strategic Risks, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs (2009-2014)
- Mr. Galymzhan Pirmatov, CEO, Kazatomprom
- Mr. Leon Ratz, Senior Program Officer, Materials Risk Management, Nuclear Threat Initiative
- Dr. Assan Aidarkhanov, Director of the Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology,
National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan (TBC)
9:30–10:10 Discussion and Q&A