News Digest: Foreign Media on Astana International Forum, French-Kazakh Uranium Partnership, Kazakh Energy Resources and More

ASTANA – The Astana Times has picked a selection of articles on Kazakhstan published in international media across the world. This week’s foreign media digest includes articles on the upcoming Astana International Forum in June, the country’s uranium market and cooperation with France, Kazakh oil resources and more.

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Sky is the limit for middle power diplomacy

Modern Diplomacy, an online platform for assessing and evaluating international issues, published an article about the upcoming Astana International Forum in June by Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko on April 27.

“This global platform will convene heads of state, academics, business leaders, and international media to address pressing global challenges… Empowering international dialogue allows us to identify innovative solutions to the key challenges of our time, from water security and climate change to future energy and health crises. At all costs we must avoid a world where a lack of dialogue and mutual understanding leads to calls for armed solutions, eroding trust in the international law-based order and risking a new era of great power competition. Only by working together can we leverage our collective skills to listen and be heard, fostering a sustainable future with fair and equitable international policies at its core,” Vassilenko said.

“With a rich history and strategic location connecting Asia and Europe, Kazakhstan has long been a political and economic bridge between East and West. Today, under President Tokayev’s leadership and against the backdrop of geopolitical tumult, our country is becoming a key regional player in international affairs and diplomacy, seeking to foster peace and cooperation in our region and beyond,” the article concludes. 

Uranium: Kazakhstan, an alternative to Russian control?

Radio France Internationale (RFI), the state-owned international radio news network of France, published an article on May 2 assessing the country’s partnership with uranium-rich Kazakhstan, against the background of the first visit to Kazakhstan by Olivier Becht, Minister-Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad.

“France, two-thirds of whose electricity comes from nuclear power plants, has established a long-standing partnership with its biggest supplier. The visit of the Minister-Delegate for Foreign Trade is part of this relationship punctuated by regular meetings at the highest level of the state. The Kazakh President paid a visit to France last November,” the article says.

Orano, formerly Areva, the world’s leading producer of uranium, operates two sites in Kazakhstan and is in the process of developing a third, which should ensure production for the next 15 years.

Kazakhstan’s Druzhba Prospects: Central Asian Oil to Supply Europe?

The Washington, DC-based Diplomat online news magazine released an article on April 28 addressing the supply of energy and other resources from Central Asia to Europe.

On Jan. 13, Kazakh oil transporter KazTransOil announced it would deliver 300,000 tons of oil to Germany in the first quarter this year via Russia’s Druzhba pipeline system. The application submitted by KazTransOil in December 2022 reserved a capacity of 1.2 million tons of oil for this year.

The key recipient of this oil is a refining facility, PCK Raffinerie (the majority of shares of which belonged to Russia’s Rosneft until recently), in the city of Schwedt. It is a key gasoline and other fuel supplier for Berlin and eastern Germany, and employs around 3,000 workers.

French foreign trade minister’s visit to Astana will boost bilateral partnership, says Kazakh President

Anadolu Agency, headquartered in Ankara, published an article on May 2 on the visit to Kazakhstan of Olivier Becht, Minister-Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad.

“I believe this visit will give a serious impetus to the development of our mutually beneficial partnership in many areas. France is our largest partner in Europe. I am firmly convinced that we have great opportunities for further cooperation,” Tokayev said during a meeting with Becht.

Tokayev also expressed his readiness to provide “all the necessary conditions for a wider presence of French business in the Kazakh market,” especially in the areas of petrochemicals, green energy, aviation, manufacturing, transport, and logistics.

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