Kazakhstan awards $6 billion in deals to France
Christmas came early this year for oil giant Total, train conglomerate Alstom, construction heavyweight Spie Capag and many other French companies, as President Nicholas Sarkozy signed a hamper of big deals with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. French companies will be involved in Caspian Sea oil fields and pipelines, the capital, Astana’s tramway as well as supplying the growing Kazakh army with new-generation radios. President Sarkozy, mainly to appease human rights groups at home, gave his Kazakh counterpart the obligatory lecture on the importance of human rights. Luckily for him Nazarbayev understood and it didn’t stop them from doing a helluva good deal.