Sunday, 1 February 2015

Interview: Peter Foster, Air Astana CEO

Full article in JPG format:
page 18, page 20/21 & cover

If there is one message that Peter Foster, the president and chief executive of Air Astana, wants to get across in 2015, it is that Kazakhstan "is not Russia".

As the second largest member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a regional grouping of former Soviet republics, Kazakhstan's public image all too often falls on the wrong side of stereotyping.

The woefully inaccurate but irrepressibly funny mockumentary film Borat, released in 2006, epitomised many of these lingering anti-Soviet prejudices.

They are perhaps forgivable misconceptions: Kazakhstan's second official language is Russian; and its president-for-life entered office way back in 1989, when the country was still part of the USSR. But the geopolitical identities of these two neighbours have, in more recent times, sharply diverged – a point that Foster is keen to emphasise while Russia marches defiantly towards global pariah status...