News Digest: Foreign Media on Kazakhstan’s Policy, Visit of Russian President, and More

ASTANA – The Astana Times has picked a selection of articles on Kazakhstan published in international media worldwide. This week’s foreign media digest includes articles on President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s policy, the outcome of the Russian president’s visit to Kazakhstan, and Tokayev’s interview to the Russian media.

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Kazakhstan’s leader makes neutrality an art

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev maximizes opportunities by balancing Russia, China, the West, and the United States, according to an article published in Foreign Policy on Nov. 7.

As Lynne O’Donnell states in her article, Tokayev has elevated pragmatic neutrality to an art form, so far pleasing everyone. Analysts commend his ability to balance Kazakhstan’s economic interests, including its booming economy and oil exports.

Tokayev’s approach involves understanding the needs of major players and keeping Kazakhstan in good standing with Russia and the West.

While maintaining close ties with Moscow, Kazakhstan has proved adept at maximizing economic opportunities from China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative and American Big Oil.

Russia’s Putin talks wheat, fertilizer and logistics in Kazakhstan

President Tokayev, a career diplomat, has carefully maintained neutrality in the Russia-West stand-off and welcomed President of Russia Vladimir Putin on Nov. 9, reported Reuters.

Kazakhstan has utilized the surplus of Russian natural gas, which Europe has primarily stopped buying. Along with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan has begun procuring Russian gas for domestic needs while preparing to ramp up its gas exports to China.

Both presidents highlighted the possibility of increasing the volume of Russian gas supplies to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which is currently agreed at three billion cubic meters a year for each country.

Kazakhstan ready to transport eastward more Russian gas, oil

Euractiv with Reuters published an article on Nov. 8 about President Tokayev’s recent interview with the Russian daily Izvestia ahead of President Putin’s visit to Kazakhstan.

“We are interested in making full use of our transit potential and are ready to increase the volume of Russian gas transportation further,” Tokayev said.

Last month, Russia marked the start of supplying natural gas to Uzbekistan via Kazakhstan through a project that, according to Tokayev, will give a powerful impetus to the countries’ industrial development.

Tokayev added that Kazakhstan was ready for greater cooperation with Russia in the oil sector, including transporting Russian oil. He said plans called for a shipment of 100 million metric tons of Russian oil to China by 2033.

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