Tag Archives: Kazakhstan

EU-Kazakhstan: welcome to reforms

Brussels 21.11.2022 “The European Union takes note of the preliminary results of the 20 November presidential election in Kazakhstan” reads the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Action Service on the outcome of Presidential elections.

“We welcome their efficient preparation as well as wider political and socio-economic reforms initiated by President Tokayev after the tragic January events. The development of resilient democratic institutions and a strong civil society is key for Kazakhstan’s stability and development” the EU diplomacy continues.

“The EU takes note of OSCE/ODIHR’s preliminary conclusions stating that the election took place in a political environment lacking competitiveness. We call for Kazakhstan’s authorities to strengthen the reform process to increase political pluralism and citizens’ participation in political life. Looking ahead, it will be crucial for Kazakhstan to implement fully the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations.

“The EU will continue to work with Kazakhstan in line with our Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), and to support the implementation of important reforms, to enable a fully transparent and competitive political environment as key steps towards a new democratic and fair Kazakhstan.

“Kazakhstan is an important and valuable partner of the European Union. We share an interest to develop our cooperation further as we prepare to mark 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in February 2023. We remain committed to the universal principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity in line with the UN principles, as well as international security, fundamental freedoms and human rights”.

Kazakhstan: Tokayev for multi-vector policies

Brussels 20.11.2022 Given its geopolitical location, Kazakhstan should pursue a multi-vector policy, incumbent President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (pictured) said today to a group of journalists after voting in the presidential election.

“I believe that given our geopolitical situation, given the fact that we have over $500 billion invested in our economy, given that there are global companies operating in our market, we simply have to pursue a multi-vector, as they say now, foreign policy,” Tokayev said.

The election platform of the incumbent President declares the creation of a fair Kazakhstan as the main goal. It also says that the foreign policy course aimed at protection of national interests, strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation with all interested states, international peace and security will be continued.

In addition, at the end of October, President Tokayev said that in the coming years the authorities of the Republic foresee the launch of a network of border trade and economic centers with Russia, China, and Central Asian countries. Earlier this year, in September, Tokayev pointed out that Kazakhstan would make every effort to further develop allied relations with Russia, along with China – the other geo-political strategic partner, and comprehensive cooperation with neighboring Central Asian states.

Early presidential elections started in Kazakhstan on Sunday, November 20. Six candidates are in the running, including incumbent President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev who represents the People’s Coalition.

The voter turnout was 23.37% at 10am local time, according to the country’s Central Election Commission.

EU: Borrell travels to Central Asia

Brussels 17.11.2022 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell will travel to Central Asia, starting his visit in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 16 to 17 November, and continuing to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on 17 to 19 November. His mission aims to further strengthen and build on the positive dynamics in EU’s bilateral and regional relations, in particular through chairing the EU-Central Asia Ministerial and co-hosting the EU-Central Asia Connectivity Conference: Global Gateway.

In Kazakhstan, the High Representative will meet President Tokayev and Foreign Minister Tileuberdi, following which a joint press conference is planned at 11:40 local time (06:40 CET) on 17 November.

Josep Borrell will then travel to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where he will chair the 18th EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting, which is hosted by the Uzbek Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to step up cooperation with the countries of the region in areas such as security, trade and investment, transport, green energy and sustainable growth, improved connectivity as well as closer cooperation in education, science and innovation. Ministers will also exchange on regional challenges, including the situation in Afghanistan and the negative consequences caused by Russia’s illegal military aggression against Ukraine. Following the meeting, a joint press point with Foreign Minister Norov is planned around 19:00 local time (15:00 CET) on 17 November.

On 18 November, High Representative Borrell, will co-host the EU-Central Asia Connectivity Conference: Global Gateway. The conference will explore three themes: digital connectivity, transport connectivity, and energy connectivity between Central Asia and the European Union. In this context, the EU, together with International Financial Institutions, will aim to stimulate investment in the region. Hight Representative will deliver the opening statement at 10:00 local time (06:00 CET).

In the margins of the Conference, Borrell will meet with the President of Uzbekistan and Foreign Ministers of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan to discuss bilateral relations and regional cooperation.

Kazakhstan: Borrell calls for restraint

Brussels 09.01.2022 Anna van Densky “We are concerned by the violence which has erupted, following peaceful protests, in Kazakhstan, which is an important partner for the European Union, with an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in force, and for the stability of the region” reads the Declaration by High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union on the situation Kazakhstan.(Image: social media).

“We deeply regret the loss of life and strongly condemn the widespread acts of violence. It is important to prevent further escalations, to avoid any incitement to violence, to exercise restraint at all times, and to avoid exploitation of unrest for other purposes.

“We stand ready to provide assistance for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Outside military support should respect the sovereignty and independence of Kazakhstan as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens.

“We urge Kazakhstan’s authorities to uphold their commitments at this challenging time, including respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of their citizens, particularly, the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and of the media”.

More than 160 people were killed and 5,000 arrested in Kazakhstan after the riots that shook Central Asia’s largest country over the past week. The interior ministry, quoted on Sunday, January 9, by local media, said initial estimates put property damage at about 175 million euros ($198m) after the wide-spread violence.

Kazakhstan: CSTO troops to quell protests

Brussels 06.01.2022 Anna van Densky The Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) approved the decision to send peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, incumbent chair of the Council in 2022, said on Thursday, January 6. (Image: social media).

“In view of the address of President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and considering the threat to national security and sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan, caused in particular by interference from the outside, the CSTO Collective Security Council in accordance with Article 4 of the Collective Security Treaty made the decision to send CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces to the Republic of Kazakhstan for a limited period with the aim of stabilisation and normalisation of the situation in this country,” Pashinyan wrote in Facebook.

On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangystau Region, in southwestern Kazakhstan, protesting against high fuel – liquid gas – prices.

Two days later, the protests engulfed Almaty, in the country’s southeast, where the police used flashbangs to disperse the crowd, as well as other cities, including Atyrau, Aktobe (in the west), Uralsk (in the northwest), Taraz, Shymkent, Kyzylorda (in the south), Karaganda (in the northeast) and even Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan.

The president imposed a two-week state of emergency in the Mangystau Region and in the Almaty Region, as well as the republic’s largest city of Almaty and the capital Nur-Sultan.

On January 5, the head of the state also accepted the government’s resignation, but vowed to keep his grip on power.

Reportedly 353 members of Kazakhstan’s law enforcement were injured in the clashes with protesters in Almaty, 12 were killed, the Khabar-24 TV channel said quoting the Almaty commandant’s office.

According to the TV channel, one of the victims was beheaded. “This proves the terrorist and extremist nature of criminal formations,” the commandant’s office was quoted by national media.

Kazakhstan: killed protesters in morgues

Brussels 06.01.2022 “Dozens” of protesters were killed by police on Wednesday night, 5-6 January, as they tried to seize administrative buildings in Kazakhstan, police said.

“Last night, extremist forces tried to storm administrative buildings, the Almaty city police department, as well as local departments and police stations,” police spokesman Saltanat Azirbek was quoted as saying by the Interfax-Kazakhstan, TASS and Ria Novosti agencies.

!!! WARNING! DISTURBING GRAPHIC!!!

“Dozens of assailants have been eliminated and their identities are being identified,” he added.

Azirbek said an “anti-terrorist” operation was underway in one of the districts of Almaty, the economic capital of the Central Asian country, where the riots were most violent.

The announcement comes after the arrival in the country of peacekeeping troops from a Russian-led military alliance (Collective Security Treaty Organization -CSTO) following a request from the President Tokayev as anti-government protests continued.

Demonstrations across Kazakhstan started on Sunday, January 2, over a near-doubling of liquid gas prices widely used for cars, but have since grown to include other grievances including poor living conditions in some areas, as well as 30 years under the rule of the same party since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Kazakhstan: President Tokayev vows to stay

Brussels 06.01.2022 Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his televised address to the nation vowed to stay in the capital no matter what as it is his duty under the Constitution to be together with the people.
“No matter what, I will stay in the capital. This is my duty under the Constitution to be together with the people. We will overcome this dark period in Kazakhstan’s history. We will come out of it being strong,” Tokayev said.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that he remains committed to consistent reforms and will soon present proposals for the political transformation of the country.

“Soon I will present new proposals for the political transformation of Kazakhstan. I maintain the same position of consistent reforms,” he said.

Kazakhstan has been engulfed by protests for the fourth day in a row. The protests flared up on January 2 in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangystau Region, in southwestern Kazakhstan, and then swept across other centers.

The President imposed a two-week state of emergency in the Mangystau Region and in the Almaty Region, as well as the republic’s largest city of Almaty and the capital Nur-Sultan. On January 5, the head of the state also accepted the government’s resignation.

The demands of the crowds are sounding increasingly political, according to reports from the region.
However they began with something very pointed: the price of liquified petroleum gas, or LPG, the fuel that many use to power their cars.

Kazakhstan in state of emergency

Brussels 06.01.2022 The law-enforcement personnel have launched a special counter-terror operation in Almaty where chaos and looting continues, the Almaty commandant’s office reported on Wednesday, January 5. (Image: social media).

“A special counter-terror operation has been launched in the city to establish order,” the statement reads.

The commandant’s office also called on Almaty residents “to remain calm and render assistance to the law-enforcement agencies in establishing the Constitutional order and public security.”

As the statement says, “radically-minded supporters of riots have caused huge damage to the city, put up resistance to the legitimate actions of law-enforcement agencies for establishing order and providing security.”

The commandant’s office also reported that “the extremists are on a looting spree, causing damage to business.” Moreover, “they are endangering the lives and health of civilians, obstructing the work of medical workers and causing damage to polyclinics and hospitals.”

“Bandits who are on the rampage in Almaty are highly organised, which is evidence that they were seriously trained abroad” and “their attack on Kazakhstan is an act of aggression and an attempt to disrupt the state’s integrity,” the text continues.

Protests have been raging in Kazakhstan for the fourth day in a row. On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangistau region in the country’s southwest, protesting against fuel price hikes.

Two days later, riots erupted in Almaty where police used stun grenades to disperse crowds and also in other cities, in particular, in Atyrau and Aktobe, Uralsk, Taraz, Shymkent and Kyzylorda, Karaganda and in the capital of Nur-Sultan.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev earlier declared a state of emergency in the Mangistau and Almaty regions and also in Almaty and Nur-Sultan for two weeks. After that, a state of emergency was declared on the entire territory of Kazakhstan. On January 5, the head of the Kazakh state dismissed the government.

Its members continue discharging their duties until a new Cabinet is approved.

EU-Central Asia Security Dialogue

Brussels 01.07.2021 The eighth High-Level Political and Security Dialogue between the European Union and the countries of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – took place on Thursday, July 1, in Tashkent, with the participation of Afghanistan as special guest.

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss regional dynamics and advance region-to-region cooperation on a broad spectrum of issues, including border management, security and the promotion of sustainable connectivity.

The EU welcomed the upcoming conference on Central Asia-South Asia connectivity to be held on 15-16 July in Tashkent, which would provide space for reiterating international support to initiatives aimed at linking up Central Asian states, Afghanistan and their neighbours more closely as a key factor for peace, resilience and prosperity.

Participants expressed their shared concern about resurging violence in Afghanistan and stressed their common determination to continue to work together to promote a genuine and inclusive peace process in the country.

The EU confirmed that the key priorities of its strategy on Central Asia of 2019 would guide the programming of its aid for the budget cycle 2021-2027.

Participants agreed to work together to organise a first EU-Central Asia Economic Forum, EU-Central Asia Conference on Tourism and third EU-Central Asia Civil Society Forum by the end of this year. The EU welcomed the proposal to organise a high-level conference on Connectivity in 2022.

The Dialogue was chaired by EEAS Deputy Secretary-General for political affairs Enrique Mora.

Kazakhstan: Nazarbayev daughter dissimssed

Incumbent Kazakhstan President Qasym-Jomart Toqayev, dismissed the daughter of ex-President Nursultan NazarbayevDarigà from her position of a speaker of the Senate, however the reasons for this decision were not revealed publicly. He also thanked her for “active and fruitful work” in her capacity as a speaker in a Tweet on his official micro blog.

Some analysts perceive it as a clash between two prétendants for presidency, indicating the daughter has never hidden her ambition to become the head of the state, de facto inheriting the position from her father.

According to Kazakhstan political scientist Dosym Satpayev, Tokaev’s decree on the termination of powers of speaker Dariga Nazarbayeva is a reflection of the tension within the country’s political elite, which has been observed since last year.

Because the position of the Senate speaker is important. According to the Constitution, this is the second person after the president. Any personnel changes in this post will always be of great interest,” the Satpayev said to Interfax-Kazakhstan.

According to the expert, this reassignment was most likely agreed upon with the first president of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev. “The most interesting question will be what position Dariga Nazarbayeva will be offered instead of the post of speaker of the Senate,” the political scientist said.

“The second important question is the question of who will take the place of Dariga Nazarbayeva as the speaker of the Senate,” the political analyst underlined, adding that, in his opinion, this personnel reshuffle is very important precisely from the point of view of the balance of power within the elite. He also suggested that the incumbent President might be willing to see a close ally at his post rather than an ambitious competitor.

The daughter of the first president of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva should understand that after her father leaves, no formal positions and powers can guarantee her neither power nor security“, expert Nikita Shatalov wrote in June 2019.

The independent analysts say that they expect first President to leave public scene after his 80 birthday celebrations on July 6. Futher modernisation of Central Asian state is expected from President Tokaev, facing the traditional in Kazakh society challenges of endemic corruption and nepothism.

Kazakhstan is the 113 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International.

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