Astana, Nov 17 (EFE).- The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, emphasized Thursday their support for the territorial integrity of countries during a joint press conference in Astana.
Borrell, who is making his first official trip to this former Soviet republic, thanked the Kazakh leader for his firm commitment to the UN Charter, “above all, with regard to the territorial integrity of countries.”
He added that the EU and Kazakhstan agree on the need to ensure security and stability in their regions.
Tokayev has repeatedly spoken out in favor of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Astana would not recognize the “quasi-state” territories in Donbas.
During the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, the Kazakh leader insisted that “current international law is based on the United Nations statutes.”
In September, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reiterated that the country respects the territorial integrity of other states and would not recognize the annexation referendums organized by Russia in four Ukrainian regions.
During his visit to Kazakhstan, Borrell stressed that Brussels does not want sanctions against Moscow to have repercussions on third countries, as is the case with the Central Asian republic.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi said after meeting with the Spanish diplomat that “special attention was paid to preventing the unwanted negative impact of EU sanctions on Kazakhstan’s economy.”
“We are interested in further diversifying dialogue in the trade and economic sphere with a focus on deepening cooperation in agriculture, transition to a green economy, improving energy efficiency, digitization, transport and logistics,” he said.
The EU is an important trading partner for Kazakhstan, which has close trade ties with neighboring Russia and China.
At the same time, in an interview with Kazakh media Kazinform before traveling to Astana, Borrell said that investments and economic relations are not the only area that the parties want to strengthen.
According to the head of European diplomacy, Brussels also wants to boost diplomatic contacts and cooperation within the framework of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement ratified in 2015.
During his stay in the largest Central Asian country, Borrell also met with representatives of Kazakh civil society, he said on Twitter.
He also called for an “independent investigation” into the mass riots that occurred in the country in January 2022 and left more than 200 people dead, some 4,600 injured and nearly 10,000 detained.
In this regard, Borrell pointed out that those involved in the events should not avoid accountability. EFE