- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Kazakhstan’s President Reaffirms Commitment to Western Sanctions During Berlin Visit
Berlin, Germany – [Date] – President Kasym-Zomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, during his visit to Berlin, has taken the opportunity to dispel allegations that Kazakhstan serves as a conduit for Western-sanctioned goods flowing into Russia. Following a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President Tokayev made a strong statement affirming Kazakhstan’s dedication to adhering to the sanctions imposed on Russia.
“Kazakhstan has unequivocally declared its adherence to the sanctions regime. We maintain ongoing communication with relevant organizations tasked with overseeing sanctions compliance. Any doubts on the part of Germany regarding the possibility of activities designed to circumvent the sanctions, in my opinion, are unfounded,” President Tokayev stated during a press conference held after his meeting with Chancellor Scholz.
Concerns have been raised in Brussels and other Western capitals about countries, including Iran, which supply Russia with goods used in the conflict with Ukraine, obtaining essential components from Western sources through intermediaries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, India, Vietnam, and Costa Rica.
It is well-acknowledged that Russian traders frequently engage Kazakh firms and others for parallel imports of goods that are subject to Western sanctions.
President Tokayev also made a point to emphasize in Berlin that he does not view Russia as a threat to Kazakhstan’s sovereignty. He underscored the established and ratified nature of their shared border, stating, “We have no concerns about territorial claims from the Russian side.” The Kazakh president referred to the economic and “humanitarian” ties between the two countries and recalled the 2013 interstate treaty on allied relations signed between Moscow and Astana.
However, eastern Kazakhstan has regions near the Russian border with a predominantly Russian-speaking population, which Russia regards as having been historically part of its territory. Moscow has expressed its displeasure with the rise of Kazakh national identity in these areas.
In Berlin, President Tokayev also advocated for an immediate end to the war and a peace treaty based on the UN Charter. He assured that both the Russian and Ukrainian sides have expressed readiness for negotiations, although the specific platform for such talks remains unclear.
Beyond bilateral discussions, President Tokayev’s agenda in Germany includes meetings with heads of state from Central Asia and Germany, underlining the importance of regional and international cooperation in addressing critical issues like sanctions and peace in Ukraine.
Article by Prague Forum