News Digest: Media on Kazakh President’s Big Interview, Middle Corridor, Kazakh Tourism Industry 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 the Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s interview with a national newspaper, the Middle Corridor, the country’s efforts to boost tourism industry, and more.

Photo credit: Screenshot from the article on Trend News Agency.

Tokayev for first time discusses power struggle said to lie behind Kazakhstan’s January events

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has for the first time elaborated on some of the unresolved details of the January 2022 unrest in his interview with Egemen Qazaqstan national newspaper, reported Berlin-based bne IntelliNews on Jan. 4.

Tokayev, citing investigations by the Prosecutor-General’s Office, stated that a conspiratorial group initiated preparations about six months before the nationwide protests of January 2022. He pointed out that “extremists, criminal groups, and religious extremists” collaborated to orchestrate a coup, the article notes.

Tokayev denies intention to run for second presidential term

According to the current Constitution of Kazakhstan, the President can be elected for a single seven-year term, after which his powers end, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in the same interview with Egemen Qazaqstan, answering a question about possible re-election, reported AKIpress on Jan. 3.

President Tokayev underscores the importance of clean nuclear energy for Kazakhstan released an article on Jan. 3 citing comments Tokayev made in an interview with the national newspaper. He made the remark commenting on possible construction of nuclear power plants in the country.

“It is a fundamental issue for the future of our economy. We rank first in the world in terms of the volume of extracted natural uranium, and we have our own production of nuclear fuel components. Therefore, I pay special attention to the issue of building a nuclear power plant on our territory. Ultimately, the issue of energy security should be addressed based on real needs and capabilities, and, of course, on the basis of scientific research rather than geopolitical considerations,” Tokayev stated.

Kazakhstan firmly supports China’s Belt and Road Initiative – President Tokayev

The People’s Daily cited on Jan. 4 the statement of the Kazakh President to resolutely support China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

“Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recalled that, together with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he launched a new ‘golden thirty years’ of cooperation between Kazakhstan and China. The relations between Kazakhstan and China are developing in the spirit of friendship, good neighborliness, and eternal strategic partnership,” the article reads.

In sanctions enforcement, follow Central-Asia’s Middle Corridor

The National Interest published an article on Jan. 2 about the opportunities and challenges of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) or the Middle Corridor, a transit link between Europe and China via the Caspian Sea, which “has garnered unprecedented interest and prominence” amid geopolitical tensions.

“The rise in the Middle Corridor’s strategic importance is evidenced by the intensity of high-level regional dialogue and the substantial investments by governments in the east-west transport infrastructure,” the article reads.

The Middle Corridor’s strategic significance extends beyond being just an alternative transit link between Europe and China; it is a pivotal pillar for Central Asia’s regional trade architecture and a litmus test for its cooperative policymaking with the West, according to the article.

Kazakhstan relies on Spain’s assistance to boost tourism industry

EFEComunica, a Spanish international news agency, released an interview with Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko on Dec. 28.

The article notes that according to official figures, in the first nine months of the year, the local tourism sector attracted investments worth $880 million.

“All this offers enormous possibilities for Spanish companies, both large and small, which have experience in the field of tourism,” said Vassilenko.

The Kazakh official said that cooperation in the field of tourism is expected to be one of the main topics during the official visit of the Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares to Kazakhstan in 2024.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!