Nursultan Nazarbayev during the Nuclear Security Summit in Hague stated that Kazakhstan would not suffer from the sanctions towards Russia, and would proceed with multi-vector policy and strive to hold a similar Summit in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Yet on March 23rd the President left for the Netherlands to take part in Nuclear Security Summit which gathered 58 world leaders, 5 thousand delegates and more than 3 thousand reporters. The say day the Head of the state had a meeting with the King of the Netherland Willem-Alexander. Also he met Chinese Leader Xi Jinping and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe. During the meeting with the latter Nursultan Nazarbayev offered Japan to participate in the program of industrialization of Kazakhstan.
“The main point of our cooperation is energy, especially nuclear energy. Kazakhstan, being one of the biggest uranium producers, could be a supplier for nuclear power plants in Japan,” – he stated.
During the meeting with the Head of Finland Sauli Niinistö Nazarbayev noted that Kazakhstan has interest in Finnish technologies, as well as the experience of development of education system considering the program of industrial and innovative development under the process. Сommercial companies of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Finland in 2013 signed agreements for the amount of USD 100 million, the scope of goods turnover reached USD 1 billion. He also underlined for the Finnish colleague that Kazakhstan being the country which has voluntarily refused of nuclear weapon and shut down a nuclear test field in Semey, had a direct relation to the Nuclear Security Summit. Except for that Nazarbayev held bilateral talks with the President of France Francois Holland, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Azerbaijani Leader Ilham Aliyev. In general Nazarbayev talked to all the leaders of the G8 states.
During the talks with western partners the President outlined the position of Kazakhstan on many fundamental issues of the international agenda.
Regarding the sanctions towards Russia Kazakhstani Leader said that it had not yet touched upon economy. “We do not observe economic sanctions, but can’t affect us as Kazakhstan is out of this matter. If it happens, it happens between Russian and West,” – he noted.
Nazarbayev underlined that in course of his talks with western partners he felt that combative rhetoric was currently reducing, as well as the threats of the cold war, everyone understood: it had happened and a peaceful way out should be found. “This is what I was trying to make everyone clear, confrontation gives nothing. Russia is a huge country and Europe needs Russian resources, the scopes of trade are giant and they will think carefully before getting down to it,” underlined the President. However, he acknowledged that worsening of the situation in Russian economy would definitely affect Kazakhstan.
For all these years I have held multi-vector policy and searched multi-vector transporting ways. Just consider: our trade with Russia currently is USD 25 billion per year, with the People’s Republic of China – USD 28 billion per year. Yesterday we had a meeting with the Chairman Xí Jìnpíng, in May I’m paying an official visit, and we are setting a task to raise our trade with China to USD 40 billion. With our southern neighbors at the moment we are constructing a railway. This year I think the railway shall be completed. We have already completed our part of the railway to Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan is on the way with its part to Iran and as Iran completes – we are going to the Persian Gulf, Bandar-Abbas port – it’s the third way. The fourth one is the Caspian Sea-Baku-Caucasus- Europe. Such diversification of transport ways is preliminarily planned protection from unforeseen events,” said Nazarbayev.
The Head of Kazakhstan underlined that severe confrontation between West and Russia was observed currently. That is why everyone needed to calm down, to get refuse of this high rhetoric, blames, threats, sanctions, etc. It’s vital to find peaceful way out of the situation, the President considers. He also underlined that the world politicians were abusing rhetoric about violation of the international law.
“Everyone say about international law violation. The international law has been recently violated and it is already a system. Was the international law observed when Yugoslavia was under bombs? Kosovo separated the same as Crimea has today. The international law was not observed, when Libya was under attack. The UN Security Council has set a no-fly zone, and in reality they had an attack. The International Law was violated in Iraq. And this Arab Spring is being really pushed out by “winter”. Economy fell for a decade behind. And this resulted into the events there. In Ukraine they should get back to the legal field, i.e. to have the elections to be held in May, to elect a legal President, a legal Parliament and legal Government and then negotiate. The Government of Ukraine has been constantly fluctuating. Europe, Russia, the CIS. They have simply confused the people. Divided them in two. Persistent rhetoric against Russia. No one can be justified, neither Russia nor Ukraine. There have been mistakes. Development demands peace. Development demands consent, unanimity of people. Our unanimity during the years of independence grounds on these fundamental principles and that is for we are being respected. Everyone is interested in performance of the People’s Assembly in Kazakhstan, everyone wants to know how we achieve that. It’s simple. We all are humans first of all, and only afterwards we are nationality, language, etc. We should respect each other. This is what peace stands on,” stated the Head of the state.
He noted that if he Leaders of the leading countries wish for the International Law to be observed, the UNO should have these matters clearly. The nuclear weapon non-proliferation treaty is being violated and no sanctions follow. There should be the method of compulsion and corresponding decisions. If the International Rules are not observed, the states should be punished. And at the moment there are no such strict rules.
“The current world war, if it happens, shall in reality get a human being to the edge of a complete extermination of the civilization. That is why everyone should think about it thoroughly. That is why we suggest for the UNO to adopt a pact on overwhelming nuclear disarmament, which is being quite normally perceived. I have also talked about multi-polarity. After the USSR collapse everyone thought that there was only one great power – the United States of America. The world has become unipolar. The recent events have demonstrated that the world shall be multipolar. The G8 and the G20 haven’t resolved economic and political crises. I think that today everyone are really striving to solve all the matters without confrontation, global shakes. The interests of these or that states should not prevail. We need common solutions to bring peace to our planet,” stated Nazarbayev.
He also commented on critics of some public activists regarding participation of Kazakhstan in integration processes with Russia. The President noted that the events in Ukraine would not affect the integration processes in the Eurasian Economic Union.
“It won’t affect at all. Naturally I’d like Ukraine to be in the process of integration. But evidently it won’t happen. It’s clear. But it won’t at all affect the processes of the Eurasian Economic Union, as Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus are having a meeting in the end of April. And I hope that in the end of May in Astana there will be signed the main treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union. Russian-Ukrainian events have disturbed our people as well. I understand this. The integration union within the CSTO frames is protection guarantying that these events won’t happen within our states. By no means. Integration is also under critics: how it will be, what it will be, whether independence will be preserved. I want to say that only open states are flourishing in this world. No closed state has developed and flourished. If there had been customs borders in time of Marco Polo, eh wouldn’t have reached China through the steppe of Kazakhstan. Neither Columbus would have left to open America. There are plenty of history examples proving that closed borders give no development. Kazakhstan is a continental state with no access to the seas and that is why the goods from Kazakhstan may lose their competitive ability because of customs tariffs. It takes about 2000 km to get the goods from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea. And if these 2000 km included customs barriers and tariffs, then reaching the Black Sea our goods would be twice more expensive. We are losing competitive ability. Integration gives an opportunity to eliminate customs barriers. That is why we have purely pragmatic economic interest. To develop the country, the promote economy, to increase GDP. And where are we supposed to do with the goods? Without the process of selling it does work. That is the integration economic union is of pure benefit for our country. As for our independence – it is constant. Kazakhstan won’t give anyone even a tiny piece of independence. But some economic prerogatives we will voluntarily transfer to supranational bodies, as for example in the European Union, where a number of matters in the sphere of customs, trade, tariffs, oil and gas transportation, electric power railways and roads are given to the European Commission. Decision-making shall be performed by a general elected body. Everything shall be decided with consensus. And If Kazakhstan is not happy about something, the issue shall be subjected to adoption”, stated Nazarbayev.
On nuclear security
Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to hold one of the nuclear security summits in Kazakhstan. He reminded that it was the third summit under the initiative of Barack Obama. The Head of the Republic of Kazakhstan stated that Kazakhstan had a moral right for extraordinary anti-nuclear meeting of the Heads of the leading states of the world.
«First of all, for all Kazakhstani people I should say that Kazakhstan participates in third Nuclear Security Summit. These are extremely important summits and we are an active member of this community as a state, which has shut down the biggest in the world nuclear test field in Semey and refused of missile-nuclear arsenal. With this we gained trust of the whole world, we are being respected and valued in the world. That is why we are an active part of this Summit. Secondly, nuclear materials nonproliferation and elimination of a possibility for the terrorists and extremists to obtain mass destruction weapon, the so called “dirty bombs” and bring evil for people. That is why even within the frameworks of the Summit we simulated various options. For example, there is a group of terrorists willing to get nuclear materials, access and which would be the steps of the international community then. Or for example, nuclear fuel wastes – they also carry uranium, which can be enriched. How can we protect all these facilities? That’s for a professional international organization IAEA exists. We talked about it. In order for each state would not wish to enrich uranium for nuclear power plants we suggested to create in Kazakhstan a bank for low-enriched nuclear fuel which shall store and give out low-enriched uranium for nuclear power plants. This is what it about,” said the President.
He underlined that considering current challenges and threats the majority of the international community members would support the operation of the anti-nuclear summit also after 2016. Kazakhstan is ready to. According to him such meetings are important also regarding the nuclear power “renaissance”. This process may increase the risks related to sensitive technologies and materials, the growth of nuclear terrorism threat. Within such complicated reality we should maintain political impulse, given in course of the previous summits. The President considers that the tasks and objectives set earlier haven’t been fulfilled in full scope. In this respect we need further improvement of national laws and universalization of the key multilateral tools in the sphere of nuclear security. By this the world has a significant reserve of nuclear materials, used in armament and other areas of military technologies. That is why urgent is to develop international instruments to assure safety of nuclear materials out of the Nuclear Weapon Nonproliferation Treaty.
“We are standing on the eve of invention of new types of energy, more powerful and efficient than the atomic power. Our task to make them as safe and available as possible”, he said.
The President noted that after the talks with the US he might confirm that Kazakhstan would proceed cooperating with the USA to eliminate the stocks of high-enriched uranium left in the Republic. According to official information the parties agreed on further interaction to reequip high-enriched fuel reactors for low-enriched fuel as well as to eliminate the stocks of high-enriched uranium fuel in Kazakhstan left from the test reactors to the extent technically possible. The Republic of Kazakhstan and the USA confirmed their loyalty to the process of nonproliferation and promotion of nuclear security, with pleasure underlined successful accomplishment of the program for joint reduction of threat and keep on strengthen physical security at the former Semey test field.
“The USA favor the activity of Kazakhstan on strengthening of nuclear security and fulfillment of the decisions of the Nuclear Security Summits in Washington and Seoul, including on transfer of the test reactor VVR-K type to low-enriched nuclear material, dilution of high-enriched nuclear material and evacuation of processed high-enriched fuel of the Nuclear Physics Institute’s reactor. Also the US support the efforts of Kazakhstan on establishment of the low-enriched uranium bank of the IAEA within its territory and foundation of a regional study center on nuclear security, enhancement if its capacities for emergency situations responding and elimination of their consequences”, the official report noted.
Evaluation of experts
An analyst Kurban Yuvshanov considers that the statements of the President of Kazakhstan reflect his loyalty to the “old good multi-vector policy”. Kazakhstani Leader once again made it clear that he wouldn’t allow any deviations within foreign policy despite new international realities, but for the first time he openly declared that he observed no fault of Russian in Crimean crisis.
“The words were not formal, many things sounded by Nazarbayev are a clear and definite sign for the people of Kazakhstan, as well as for outside partners that the long-standing course for Eurasian integration despite its assessments remains to be unchanged. At least till Nazarbayev is standing in the head. Another important detail is that Kazakhstani Leader feels his merit and the merit of his people within refusal of nuclear weapon, which he once again underlined. Evidently for Kazakhstani President the non-nuclear status is special within the list of his personal achievements that is why he considers not allowable the talks about revision of the Budapest Memorandum. Despite that they have been de facto violated by Russia,” noted Kurbanov.
An expert in energy security area Emin Gapparov considers important the statement of Nazarbayev about the need of diversification of Kazakhstani transport ways as protection from unforeseen events. He noted that in the Akorda they have a growing concern about export and import of energy carriers and diversification of supplies within the terms of international instability. Also the President outlined his interest in new types of energy, exceeding atomic energy, and specified another priorities of the country in the area of energy independence.
“Regarding political agenda, naturally fundamental is the statement on loyalty to integration processes and the line of Kazakhstan in respect to reduction of the UNO power, and in general expression of concern with the situation around the international law. Kazakhstan also evidently is not happy about some statements of Ukrainian politicians on return of nuclear status to the country, which may violate balance within the post-Soviet peace, and Kazakhstan doesn’t need definitely. That is why Nazarbayev considers such statements to be irresponsible, although new authorities of Ukraine have decided that return of nuclear status would not solve the problems of the country. The general conclusion – Nazarbayev remains loyal to his way of distribution of his focus to all players within the international arena. How stable can this policy be within the terms of the modern world is not yet completely clear. The events in Ukraine demonstrate that the world order has changed. And it’s becoming even harder to keep a foot in all camps, and sometimes it leads even to irreversible consequences,” concluded Gapparov.
Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from Kursiv.kz