Nursultan, Apr 11 (EFE).- Kazakh authorities discussed on Monday with US government representatives ways to minimize the impact of anti-Russian sanctions on the Kazakh economy, the second largest in the post-Soviet region.
“Kazakhstan is critical in our objective of promoting a stable and prosperous Central Asia,” U.S. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Uzra Zeya told a press conference in Nur-Sultan.
Zeya was responding to a question from reporters about the damage to the Kazakh economy that Western sanctions on Moscow over its military campaign in Ukraine may cause.
“We have seen a swift response from the international community in imposing sanctions against Russia. But I would note that these sanctions are directed against (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and certain individuals in Russia who allowed destabilizing the international situation and are involved in suppressing Russians who oppose the war,” she said.
In addition, she said that the U.S. government had taken “many steps” to protect its “partners and allies, including Kazakhstan.”
Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Akan Rakhmetullin, for his part, explained that the sanctions against Russia cannot go unnoticed by the Central Asian republic in view of its “deep integration with Russia.”
“The United States has imposed unprecedented sanctions (on Russia). But we, who have deep integration with Russia, as well as the longest land border, cannot not feel the impact of these sanctions. All this has already been reflected in the prices of food and goods in our stores,” the diplomat said.
He added that the government is taking the necessary steps to stabilize the situation.
“Our government is negotiating at all levels with the United States. I want to express my gratitude to the U.S. government for its flexibility and willingness to cooperate on this matter,” he said.
In this regard, he said, Nursultan had received “all the answers” on how to respond to the restrictions.
“The U.S. is trying to minimize the effect of sanctions against Russia for the Kazakh economy,” he insisted.
The White House’s decision to veto Russian oil imports had a serious impact on Kazakhstan. About 80% of all oil produced in Kazakhstan enters the European market through the CPC (Caspian Pipeline Consortium) pipeline, which runs through Russian territory.
Oil extracted from Kazakhstan’s largest fields – Tengiz, Kashagan and Karachaganak – is mixed with Russian crude in the pipeline.
Kazakhstan sends about 53 million tons of oil annually to its European buyers via Russia and is the main source of revenue.
The former Soviet republic previously said it would not join sanctions against Moscow, but would not help Russia circumvent Western restrictions either. EFE