News Digest: Foreign Media on Kazakhstan’s International Diplomacy, Kazakh Ports, Kazakh-Bulgarian Cooperation, Increase in Kazakh Oil Exports 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 nation’s diplomatic profile, the role of Kazakhstan’s ports in ensuring the success of the Middle Corridor, Kazakh-Bulgarian cooperation, sharp increase in Kazakh oil exports and an interview with the youngest member of the Mazhilis (lower chamber of the Kazakh parliament). 

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Kazakhstan: Eurasia’s Next Middle Power

Kazakhstan has all the classical characteristics of a middle power: strategic location, abundant natural resources, and commitment to international principles and cooperation, according to an article in the National Interest, the U.S. international relations magazine, published on May 9.

“One of the key factors contributing to Kazakhstan’s emergence as a middle power is its commitment to hosting and participating in international political conferences. In recent years, Kazakhstan has positioned itself as a neutral ground for dialogue and mediation. For instance, in January 2017, the country hosted high-level talks on the Syrian Civil War in Astana, bringing together the Syrian government, opposition forces, and regional stakeholders – Russia, Iran, and Türkiye in the Astana Process, which has since had a key role in promoting ceasefires and facilitating humanitarian aid,” the article reads.

Kazakhstan’s Ports: A Vital Node of the Middle Corridor

Kazakhstan is betting heavily on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), or Middle Corridor, as an alternative to reach European and international markets, according to an article published on May 9 in The Diplomat. 

“Kazakhstan’s Aktau Seaport is the corridor’s principal maritime port on the Central Asian side, transporting cargo across the Sea to Baku Port, Azerbaijan. According to Kasym Tlepov, deputy head of the Transport Committee at Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, Astana aims to expand Aktau ‘by building a new $28.9 million container hub by 2025.’ The project, known as Sarzha, will reportedly improve capacity by more than 500 percent, increasing capacity from 40,000 TEU to 215,000 TEU per year,” the article notes. 

The article concludes that while several issues are beyond Astana’s control, having modern and expanded ports will give the Middle Corridor a fighting chance at success.

Kazakhstan and Bulgaria Strengthen Interregional Cooperation

Independent news network, BNN Breaking, released an article on May 10 about the visit of Viktor Temirbayev, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Bulgaria, to Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where he met with Mayor Zdravko Dimitrov to discuss the importance of interregional cooperation. 

“The two sides emphasized the critical role of interregional cooperation in promoting trade, economic, cultural, and humanitarian ties between the countries. They also discussed pressing bilateral issues and ways to increase interregional relations, such as establishing twinning cooperation with Shymkent, the third-largest megacity in Kazakhstan,” the report reads.

To promote Kazakh literature and language in Bulgaria, Ambassador Temirbayev donated more than 30 art books, collections, and brochures published with the participation of the Kazakh Embassy to the National Library of Plovdiv.

KazTransOil sees sharp increase in Kazakh oil exports to Baku Port

Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency reported on May 10 that export volume of Kazakh oil via Aktau Port to Baku has increased from 87,000 tons in March to 152,400 tons in April.

“Kazakhstan’s national company, KazTransOil, increased oil exports to the Baku Port by 75 % in April compared to the previous month,” Trend reports via the press service of the company.

Youngest Kazakh MP: An inclusive society is an equal society

Euractiv, a pan-European news website, released an exclusive interview on May 2 with Dinara Naumova, the youngest member of the Kazakh Parliament. The 25-year-old politician spoke about her work in the Mazhilis, youth voices in politics and inclusivity.

“As an example of her work as a parliamentarian, Naumova described her first parliamentary question on the rehabilitation of cancer patients, which she asked after having been approached by the patients themselves. She said that she felt such empathy that when she read her parliamentary question, her voice trembled. She said that young Kazakhs were remarkably creative and that she was proud to represent the young people of her country in parliament. As for what lies ahead for her capacity as a member of the Committee on Legislation and Judicial and Legal Reform, she said the issues concerned mostly social issues such as the rights of women and children. Naumova added she is keen to learn from the models and experiences of other parliaments, including the European Parliament,” the article reads.

Kazakhstan and Tajikistan sign declaration on allied cooperation

AKIpress news agency published an article on May 5 about President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon’s state visit to Astana on May 3-4.

The article quotes Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who said: “It is symbolic that your visit is taking place in the year of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. The Kazakh-Tajik cooperation has made significant progress over the years, steadily developing in the spirit of centuries-old friendship and strategic partnership. Thanks to the confidential political dialogue and the coordinated work of the governments, it is constantly filled with qualitatively new content.”

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