ASTANA – Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu met with European Union senior officials on May 15 in Brussels to discuss priority areas of cooperation as Kazakhstan and EU marked 30 years of diplomatic relations this year, reported the ministry’s press service.
During the meeting with Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, the sides discussed steps to advance cooperation in energy, transport and logistics, digitalization, civil aviation, extraction, and the use of critical raw materials.
Nurtleu and Borrell also considered cooperation in education, science, advanced technology and innovation.
The parties exchanged views on topical issues on the international agenda, including regional security, cooperation in Central Asia, and the situation in Afghanistan. The sides also discussed measures to prevent possible negative consequences on Kazakhstan’s economy from the European sanctions against Russia.
At a meeting with Simon Mordue, Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the European Council Charles Michel, Nurtleu noted the productive visit of Michel to Astana in October last year. The parties emphasized that such visits provide a solid impetus for strengthening bilateral and interregional cooperation and expressed willingness to continue deepening the partnership between Central Asia and the EU.
Nurtleu presented Borrell and Mordue high state awards – the orders of Dostyk (Friendship) of the first and second degree, respectively – for significant contributions to strengthening and developing cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU.
The EU is Kazakhstan’s main trading and investment partner, accounting for more than 30% of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade and investments. At the end of 2022, trade turnover reached $39.9 billion, which is 38% higher than in the previous year. Kazakh exports reached $32.3 billion, while imports totaled $7.6 billion.
Last year, EU investments in Kazakhstan increased by 23% to $12.5 billion.