ASTANA. Sept 29 (Interfax) – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has rejected accusations that Kazakhstan is moving away from cooperation with Russia and “flirting” with the West.
“Kazakhstan is not ‘anti-Russia’. We are strongly committed to comprehensive cooperation with Russia, with which we share the longest border in the world. As I said at that press conference [in Berlin], we have longstanding traditions of cooperation in various fields, including trade and humanitarian ties,” Tokayev said in an interview with the Kazinform state-run news agency when commenting on the criticism drawn by his remarks made at a recent press conference in Berlin.
“As for sanctions, at the recent session of the UN General Assembly and in my other speeches, I noted that confrontation through sanctions is absolutely counterproductive in terms of restoring international relations that have eroded due to the aggravation of the global situation,” he said.
Kazakhstan does not have goods that are subject to sanctions, and therefore does not trade in them, the president said.
“Kazakhstan does not participate in so-called parallel imports to Russia either. As for trade in traditional goods, it has been growing and last year the Kazakh-Russian trade reached $25 billion,” Tokayev said.
Russia’s delegation led by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin attended the Innoprom exhibition, which was held successfully in Astana recently, he said.
“At the same time, Kazakhstan has to take into account sanction restrictions, and it maintains contacts on this issue with the relevant international organizations,” the president said.
“Taking advantage of the occasion, I would like to draw attention to my call for diplomats to find a mutually acceptable basis for negotiations on a Russian-Ukrainian peace. This is critically important, since the world has approached a dangerous line of fatal confrontation with devastating consequences for the majority of humanity,” Tokayev said.