Conflicts & War

UK values Kazakhstan’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity

ASTANA, Mar. 18 (EFE) – British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stated on Saturday that the United Kingdom “highly values” Kazakhstan’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity amid increasing global security threats.

“London highly values Kazakhstan’s longstanding and principled stance of supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and its desire to see this war come to an end in accordance with the UN Charter,” Cleverly said during a joint news conference with Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko following their talks in Astana.

The original plan was for Cleverly to meet with his Kazakh counterpart, Mukhtar Tileuberdi, who fell ill last week, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry told EFE.

The British foreign secretary emphasized the importance of cooperation between the UK and Kazakhstan during “these dangerous times for global security and world order.”

“Russia’s war in Ukraine and its attempts to annex part of its territory are a violation of important principles contained in the UN Charter and amount to the denial of the basic rights of Ukrainians to choose their own future,” Cleverly stressed.

Cleverly is set to meet with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev later Saturday. In a statement made last year in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tokayev asserted that his country would not recognize the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine or any annexation of additional Ukrainian territory.

During the press conference Cleverly expressed interest in helping Kazakhstan diversify its hydrocarbon export routes. At present, 80% of Kazakhstan’s oil is exported through Russia.

“The UK experience and investment will help the UK play an active role in developing (Kazakhstan’s) opportunities for diversification,” he said.

“We will continue to work with the government to explore ways to protect and diversify the Kazakh economic base, it is to our advantage for Kazakhstan has a range of options to cooperate with its international partners,” added Cleverly.

Vassilenko highlighted the long-standing relationship between the UK and Kazakhstan, noting that the UK has been one of Kazakhstan’s key economic and commercial partners for the last 30 years with investments in the country’s economy exceeding $16 billion.

The two countries are in the final stages of talks on a new cooperation and strategic partnership agreement, which Vassilenko said: “will open a new chapter in the Kazakh-British cooperation.”

Vassilenko indicated that Kazakhstan plans to increase exports to the British market by over $750 million, following the $1.8 billion in trade between the two countries in 2022, a 58.7% increase from the previous year. EFE


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