Karazhanov: the hints given by the West “will not” estrange Kazakhstan from Russia

The expert talked about the incident in the international arena when Moscow stood on principle to support Nur-Sultan.

The word “sanctions” has now become one of the trending news topics in the media not only in the CIS Member States, but also in the West. Hardly anyone is unaware of the packages of restrictions on Russia imposed by the US and Europe, seeking to weaken the major player in the internaiotnal arena even to their own detriment.

It would not be wrong to say that Western politicians are working to find more allies outside the EU who would “shut down” their partnerships with the Russian Federation. For example, a small victory for them would be the “distancing” of Kazakhstan from Russia. But the efforts of the West on this front are unlikely to be effective. The CentralAsia.news editorial staff interviewed a political scientist Zamir Karazhanov, who recalled how much valuable partner for Nur-Sultan Moscow really is.

Zamir, how is the search for allies in the economic struggle against Russia going?

- The Western countries, in particular the EU, can put pressure on their members, and they have to negotiate with all other countries. Western delegations are discussing current issues of cooperation in Kazakhstan. Certainly, they are talking about sanctions. However, they are making neither threats nor ultimatums.

Kazakhstan is a major partner of Russia among other Central Asian republics, isn’t it?

- Although Kazakhstan is a large economy in the post-Soviet space, its GDP is 10 times less than that of Russia. Unlike China, it does not have miraculous powers that will make Russia feel comfortable under sanctions. But even in the case of the PRC, Western countries do not seek to sow discord, but rather to prevent rapprochement with Russia on the grounds of security.

Hints at sanctions will hardly make Kazakhstan think about “cooling” towards the Russian Federation, won’t they? Did the January events and Moscow’s assistance, for example, play a significant role in partnership of the two states?

- There was such support. However, the involvement of the CSTO in the January events in 2022 is not the most striking example. Even more so that we are talking about the Organisation that comprises, apart from Russia, other states, and this was a collective decision.

When and how did Kazakhstan receive support from the Russian Federation at the international level?

- The decision on the chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the OSCE was most revealing. Some of the Member States opposed this decision. Russia refused to sign the document on which the Organisation’s ability to operate depended until the issue with Kazakhstan was resolved. If not for Russia, it would be difficult for Kazakhstan to assume the chairmanship of the OCSE.

Are there any other examples revealing how much Moscow values partnerships with Nur-Sultan?

- The problem of transboundary rivers remains sensitive for Kazakhstan. The Russian Federation met Kazakhstan halfway. The documents, which set in motion the efforts to solve the complex problem, were signed. Of course, the two countries are equally interested in protecting the rivers. The matter is that not all neighbours are ready either to admit such a fact, or to take concrete actions. There are many such examples. Russia therefore remains not only a great neighbour, but also a great partner for Kazakhstan.

14 06 2022, 11:07
Photo source: 365info.kz

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