CrisisWatch Kazakhstan

Unchanged Situation

France’s president sought to boost ties with Kazakhstan, and FMs from Central Asian countries attended G7 online meeting.

Macron sought to bolster cooperation. French President Macron 1 Nov met with President Tokayev in capital Astana during regional tour (see Uzbekistan) to “accelerate cooperation” in key sectors. Pair signed raft of agreements, including on transport engineering, agribusiness and pharmaceuticals; Macron also praised Astana for refusing “to be a vassal of any powers”. Days after Macron’s visit, Russian President Putin 9 Nov met with Tokayev in Astana to discuss bilateral cooperation, with Putin calling for stronger military ties. In interview broadcast 12 Nov, Russian FM Lavrov accused west of trying to “push” Moscow out of Central Asia.

G7 hosted Central Asian FMs for virtual meeting. During 7-8 Nov G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan, FMs from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan 8 Nov attended virtual session amid efforts by G7 to strengthen engagement with Central Asia. G7 promised to “support the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Central Asian countries” and to strengthen cooperation on “regional challenges”, such as impact of war in Ukraine, water security and climate change. Meanwhile, Belarus 23 Nov hosted Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization summit, bringing together leaders from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (see Belarus).

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