Jurnalist Marqarita Simonyan, Rusiya prezidenti Vladimir Putin və Qazaxıstan Prezidenti Kasımjomart Tokayev. Sankt-Peterburq, 17 iyun 2022-ci il

Jurnalist Marqarita Simonyan, Rusiya prezidenti Vladimir Putin və Qazaxıstan Prezidenti Kasımjomart Tokayev. Sankt-Peterburq, 17 iyun 2022-ci il

The 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum  held recently, will go down in history as a direct opposition between the positions of Russian President V. Putin and Kazakh President Kassym Zhomart Tokayev. The head of Kazakhstan, in response to a provocative question from moderator Margarita Simonyan, said that he did not intend to recognize the "people's republics" created by Russia in Ukraine. In response, Putin noted that all former Soviet republics were part of the USSR, which is "historical Russia."  Before the aggression in Ukraine, Putin explained to the people that the Kremlin was returning the historical Russian lands. In the West, Putin’s statement about historical lands was taken as a threat to Kazakhstan, recalling the instructions previously expressed in the State Duma and the media of the Russian Federation about “Russian lands” in this country.

At the end of the forum, the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, spoke out against the Kazakhs, reproaching them for not recognizing the separatist republics, and information appeared about the blockade of Russian cargo on the territory of Kazakhstan (1.7 thousand wagons with Russian coal).

Gaziz Abyshev, a political observer from Astana, answered Turan's questions.

- It seems  both from the speeches in St. Petersburg and many cases before the forum, that relations between Russia and Kazakhstan are tense. Is it so?

Qaziz Abışov- In Russian reactionary circles, of course, there is irritation with the position of Kazakhstan, which does not get involved in the conflict on the side of Russia and maintains good relations both with Moscow and with Kyiv, Brussels and Washington. At the same time, Russia also has an understanding of why Kazakhstan is behaving in this way: the pro-Ukrainian attitude of the Kazakh passionaries, the threat of secondary sanctions, as well as the double position of Russia itself, which did not coordinate the start of the operation against Ukraine with its allies, does not introduce martial law and not officially seeking help from Kazakhstan.

Kadyrov's speech is not necessarily Putin's reaction. Kadyrov can say what he thinks Putin might like. That is, it may be his own initiative in defense of Putin's position, as Kadyrov understands it. A similar message was expressed by State Duma deputy Zatulin, suggesting that Kazakhstan can be treated "as with Ukraine." But the first vice-speaker of the Federation Council, Secretary of the General Council of United Russia, Turchak, wrote that it would be better for officials who are not responsible for foreign policy not to make provocative comments (a hint at Kadyrov). And he said bluntly to Zatulin that it is better to engage in strengthening relations with the CIS countries. In other words, the remarks by Kadyrov and Zatulin may just be an emotional game of raising the stakes and presenting themselves as more of a hawk than a Putin-inspired attack.

- Kazakhstan is a member of the CSTO, which sent troops into your country to neutralize internal opposition forces. In the speech of Kadyrov, and earlier M. Simonyan, it was directly stated that Kazakhstan, as a member of the CSTO, should recognize the "people's republics" in Ukraine. Why does Kazakhstan need membership in this organization?

- The main function of the CSTO for Kazakhstan, as well as the CIS, and partly the EAEU, is to secure Kazakhstan from the claims of Russia, which is experiencing a kind of imperial expansionist rise. Being inside this perimeter, Kazakhstan prevents itself from being included in the list of potential targets for the Russian military-political machine.

Another goal is insurance in case of a terrorist attack from the South and from within, if the state suddenly staggers. Both of these functions are being performed, so there is no urgent need to withdraw from the CSTO yet.

- What does the information about Astana's ban on the transportation of Russian cargo mean?

- The ban on the transit of Russian goods through the territory of Kazakhstan is most likely a fake, the Ministry of Industry has already denied these rumors. The level of relations between Kazakhstan and Russia does not imply the emergence of such sharp contradictions, officials are able to resolve issues in a working order.

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