Kazakhstan will not allow its territory to be used to circumvent anti-Russian sanctions, said Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi. To date, Kazakhstan does not feel risks or threats from Russia, he said following a meeting with the US Secretary of State in Astana.
Kazakhstan feels no risk or threat from Russia, Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi said at a press conference following a February 28 meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Astana.
Kazakhstan has “historical ties with both Russia and Ukraine” and the countries’ economies have been interconnected for a long time, he said.
“And so I definitely feel that the situation is quite difficult for us, for our economy, and we are trying to avoid any negative consequences from sanctions. Kazakhstan is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union and we have no customs borders between Kazakhstan, Russia and other members of this union. That is why it is sometimes very difficult to manage how we can ensure this free trade in products and services between our borders,” the Foreign Minister said.
“At the same time, we are trying to avoid any possibility of sanctions evasion by Russia or other foreign companies,” he assured.
Mukhtar Tleuberdi noted that Kazakhstan would not allow its territory to be used to circumvent anti-Russian sanctions, but “this does not mean that today we have or we feel a threat, risks from the Russian Federation.”
“Kazakhstan is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the CSTO, the CIS, along with other states that surround Russia. Therefore, we consider relations with Russia as an alliance that functions within the framework of these multilateral structures,” he said.
The Minister also pointed out that the fully delimited border between Russia and Kazakhstan is the longest land border in the world - its length is more than 7,500 km. “Kazakhstan continues to implement its multi-vector foreign policy, and thus we are trying to maintain a system of checks and balances in order to ensure mutually beneficial cooperation and relationships with all countries of the world,” said Mukhtar Tleuberdi.
Kazakhstan, which depends on the pipeline network in Russia for oil exports, increased supplies in 2022, bypassing Russian territory. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for the diversification of oil exports.
In July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Kazakhstan had decided to reconsider its relationship with Russia and began looking for allies in the United States, Turkey and China. The country began to diversify trade routes, increased the defense budget and agreed with Turkey on the production of combat drones, the material noted.