Thursday, June 13, 2024

News Digest: Foreign Media on Kazakhstan-EU Cooperation, Political Reforms, and More – The Astana Times

Must read

ASTANA – The Astana Times has selected articles from global media outlets covering Kazakhstan. This week’s foreign media digest includes topics such as Kazakhstan-European Union cooperation, the Middle Corridor, political reforms, and more.

Big Almaty Lake, Tien Shan Mountains in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

EU – Kazakhstan relations – what are the drivers for increased economic and trade cooperation?

Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko participated in the European Union (EU) debates in Brussels, broadcast on Euractiv, on June 5. The discussions addressed EU-Kazakhstan relations. 

In recent years, the relationship between the EU and Kazakhstan has evolved significantly, marked by a growing emphasis on economic cooperation, political dialogue, and partnerships in various fields, including trade and agriculture.

“The European Union is one of Kazakhstan’s key international partners and our comprehensive dialogue enables us to address issues constructively and effectively. Cooperation between Astana and Brussels has yielded significant results, including the signing of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in 2015, which entered into full force in 2020. Our partnership is based on genuine friendship, mutual respect, and strong ties. Our political interaction has reached a new level in recent years,” Vassilenko said. 

How the Trans-Caspian Middle Corridor can help revive Asia-Europe trade

South China Morning Post published an opinion article on June 5 by Marat Karabayev, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Transport. The article argues that as disruptions send shipping costs surging and trade volumes slow, the overland Trans-Caspian International Transport Route offers a cheaper, more sustainable option. Minister Karabayev further points out that Kazakhstan is playing a key role by improving its infrastructure and cooperating with others to cut bottlenecks but more development investment is needed.

“As the largest country in Central Asia, situated between Asia and Europe, Kazakhstan serves as an important transit hub for trade between the two continents. Kazakhstan accounts for an estimated over 80 per cent of all land transit traffic from China to Europe, offering faster and more efficient alternatives to traditional maritime routes,” the article notes. 

How One Trial Ended Political Impunity in Kazakhstan

World Geostrategic Insights, a European publication, published an expert article on May 31 about political reforms in Kazakhstan. 

According to the article, the adoption of the new law to combat domestic violence and broader reforms in Kazakhstan have been welcomed by the international community, including Western countries. In May, the United States and Kazakhstan convened an annual United States-Kazakhstan High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights and Democratic Reforms in Astana. It focused on the implementation of reforms initiated by President Tokayev, which aim to strengthen the protection of rights for people with disabilities, combat human trafficking, ensure freedom of assembly and speech, support media development, and address asset recovery and corruption.

“Since the election of President Tokayev in 2019, the country has implemented constitutional amendments, decentralizing power, limiting presidential authority, and increasing the influence of an elected parliament”, the author points out.

Kazakhstan, IMF discuss implementation of climate strategy

The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed the implementation of the climate strategy of the government of Kazakhstan, reported Trend on May 31.

Discussions took place during a meeting between Zhomart Aliyev, Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan, and representatives of the IMF.

Aliyev spoke about the preparation of the roadmap for the Strategy for Achieving Carbon Neutrality in Kazakhstan until 2060 by the end of this year. Along with this, the ongoing work within the framework of regulatory instruments was noted, such as the emissions trading system, the introduction of the best available techniques, among other issues.

The IMF’s main focus was on the investment policy for implementing the strategy and climate projects. IMF representatives described activities in the field of macroeconomic analysis that reflect economic diversification related to climate change.

Baku, Astana discuss transit of Kazakh oil through Azerbaijan

President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Rovshan Najaf, met with the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan, Alim Bayel, as reported by Trend on May 31, citing SOCAR.

It was noted that Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan successfully cooperate in all areas, including the energy sector. The dynamic development of relations between SOCAR and Kazakh companies was emphasized.

During the meeting, an exchange of views took place on the current state of cooperation between SOCAR and KazMunayGas, the transit of Kazakh oil through the territory of Azerbaijan, opportunities for cooperation in the framework of production projects, and other issues of mutual interest.

Kazakh President explains decision to take Taliban off terrorist list

In late December 2023, when Kazakhstan removed the Taliban from its list of banned organizations, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative explained the decision to a Kazinform correspondent as being in line with UN practices, reported The Diplomat on June 3.

In a June 3 meeting with parliament speakers from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Almaty, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev explained his government’s decision in more detail, commenting that “Kazakhstan removed the Taliban regime from the terrorist list, based on the importance of developing trade and economic cooperation with modern Afghanistan and the understanding that this regime is a long-term factor.”

Latest article