Kazakh Senate Leader Expresses Concern About Ukraine During St. Petersburg Forum

TokayevST. PETERSBURG – A delegation of Kazakh parliamentarians recently participated in a series of events held by the inter-parliamentary assemblies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in St.  Petersburg, Russia.

Chairman of the Kazakh Senate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev conducted bilateral meetings with the heads of parliamentary delegations from Russia and Belarus. At a meeting with Valentina Matviyenko, chairperson of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the parties discussed issues, including interactions between the upper houses of their legislative bodies and the situation in Ukraine. The speakers pointed out that the strategic nature of Kazakh-Russian relations serve as a solid platform for strengthening parliamentary cooperation. They emphasised the importance of the upcoming meeting of the Kazakhstan-Russia Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Commission to be held in May in Astana. Tokayev and Matviyenko stressed the importance of the forthcoming signing of the Treaty on the Creation of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Issues pertaining to the agenda of the CSTO and the CIS, the advancement of Eurasian economic integration, as well as Kazakh-Russian inter-parliamentary cooperation were discussed during a meeting between Tokayev and Sergey Naryshkin, chairman of the Russian State Duma.

At the meeting with Anatoly Rubinov, chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, both sides exchanged views on the development of ties between the two parliaments, including development through the Kazakhstan-Belarus Commission on Parliamentary Cooperation established last year.

At meetings with Russian and Belarusian colleagues, Tokayev stressed Kazakhstan’s serious concerns about the situation in Ukraine. The escalation of events may lead to extremely negative consequences for the international situation on a global scale, he said. Negotiations and consultations entered into by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, including those conducted at the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague, demonstrate Kazakhstan’s active and positive position aimed at solving the crisis in Ukraine. De-escalation of the internal conflict must be a primary objective of Ukrainian authorities.

The way out of the crisis should be found through peaceful negotiations and with the assistance of such authoritative organisations as the United Nations and the OSCE. “We put our hopes on the negotiations in Geneva with the participation of Ukraine, the European Union, the United States and Russia. The resolution of the Ukrainian crisis must be conducted through a dialogue between all parties concerned in accordance with the norms of international law,” Tokayev said.

The CSTO Parliamentary Assembly heard a report by Nikolai Bordyuzha, the CSTO Secretary General, who discussed the organisation’s activities under the chairmanship of Russia. Tokayev emphasised that the CSTO had come about as an important international structure having acquired serious political weight in recent years. Meanwhile, the CSTO should not be viewed as a confrontational organisation. According to the Senate Speaker, it is necessary to continue the improvement of the mechanisms of its activities.

At a meeting of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Council, the heads of parliaments of participating states reviewed dozens of issues on the agenda, including the amendments to the Plan of Model Lawmaking, preparations for the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War and a number of joint events within the Commonwealth. The parliamentarians took note of the results of the Assembly’s activities for the year 2013. Last year, the Assembly adopted 28 model legal acts and other documents aimed at rapprochement between the Commonwealth’s national legal systems. Overall, since its establishment, the Assembly has adopted 413 model laws, codes, recommendations, ancillary legal acts and law-making proposals, with more than 90 percent of model legal acts being implemented by national parliaments.

During the forum, the opening ceremony of an exhibition dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko, a great Ukrainian poet, took place at the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly Headquarters in St. Petersburg. Shevchenko spent ten years in exile in Kazakhstan, serving as a private in the Russian army.

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