Kazakhstan to fortify ties with France, remain close to Russia, Ukraine

Paris, June 17 (EFE).- Kazakhstan plans to increase its commercial and institutional relationship with France while maintaining a balance with Russia and Ukraine, two countries with which it has strong economic and personal ties, visiting Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko said Friday.

Russia has been one of Kazakhstan’s main strategic partners since 1994, Vassilenko told a conference at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) in Paris.

Kazakhstan is willing to continue its good relations with Russia, a country with which it shares a border of almost 7,600 kilometers, “doing everything possible to avoid conflicts” and from a position of “neutrality” and “impartiality,” Vassilenko said.

“The role of peacekeeper is part of the Kazakh DNA. We have always thought that there is no alternative to peaceful resolution of international conflicts,” he stressed.

He noted that Kazakhstan defends the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in accordance with UN principles.

Vassilenko was accompanied by IFRI Director Thierry de Montbrial, whom he thanked for his personal contribution to relations between Kazakhstan and France, a country the Kazakh diplomat praised for its “know-how” and motto Freedom, Equality, Fraternity that “inspires us” and the rest of the world.

He also praised the French commitment to nuclear energy, something that can promote cooperation between the two countries. “France is a country strongly committed to nuclear energy and Kazakhstan is the world’s leading producer and exporter of uranium,” he recalled.

Vassilenko predicted that Kazakhstan would become in the coming years the world’s main producer of green hydrogen to feed the technologies of the future and that France is one of its main allies in this sector.

“We will be needed for the new means of transportation and life,” he said. He also expressed his willingness to work together with France on projects to achieve a “more peaceful, cleaner and ecological” world and to continue addressing digital development.

“We are two countries with many points in common, with much to share and with many projects in which to join forces,” he said, before adding that “together we can be at the forefront” of the world’s new energy sources. EFE



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