Berlin welcomes Kazakhstan’s stance on Ukraine despite proximity with Russia

Astana, Oct 31 (EFE).- German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Monday welcomed Kazakhstan’s adherence to the norms of international law despite its proximity and close relations with Russia, which has been at war with Ukraine for more than eight months.

“Kazakhstan, despite its complex geographical position and proximity, demonstrated over the past several months to have a firm position in terms of preserving the order that allowed decades of peace. This is something that deserves respect,” said the head of German diplomacy at a press conference together with her Kazakh counterpart, Mukhtar Tileuberdi.

Baerbock said that her visit to Astana “takes place at a time when there is a war in Europe.”

“Within the framework of our talks (with Tleuberdi) we heard that the effects of this war are also felt in Central Asia,” she added.

Germany’s top diplomat said that the land border between Kazakhstan and Russia is over 7,500 kilometers, making it the longest in the world.

“You have close economic relations (with Russia), but for eight months you have experienced on several occasions and for various reasons the stoppage of oil shipments through the Black Sea,” she added.

Baerbock cited the discussions held at the UN, where she questioned “whether we want to live on the basis of reliable rules, whether we can allow the stronger to impose their will and the lesser countries to remain silent.”

“It is about preserving the order thanks to which we have lived in peace for decades and which is beneficial for all those who are not a power armed to the teeth or those who have a powerful neighbor,” she added.

The German minister also referred to the possibility of Russia trying to evade sanctions imposed by the West by re-exporting its goods through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, adding that “economic interests should not go against the laws.”

“Short-term profit can be achieved if generally accepted rules are not complied with, but in the long run that will mean losses for any company, so economic interests must go hand in hand with the rule of law,” she argued.

Although Kazakhstan is one of Russia’s main allies, with which it shares membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), among others, Astana has tried to stay out of the Ukrainian conflict.

The position became clear in June, when Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated that his country will not recognize the separatist Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, later annexed by Russia. EFE



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