Apr 8, 2021
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If Kazakhstan is drifting, then where?

The Republic of Kazakhstan is a member state of the CSTO – the Collective Security Treaty Organization (Tashkent Treaty) and the EAEU – the Eurasian Economic Union. Recently, however, news about Kazakhstan more often comes from the wrong Eurasian direction, the geopolitical core of which is the Russian Federation, but from the other – from the Turkic one. Or from the Atlantic direction.

On March 31, an unofficial summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States was to take place in the city of Turkestan (Kazakhstan). However, the coronavirus is still hovering over the planet, so the leaders of Turkey as a political center for the integration of the Turks – Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, as well as Hungary – communicated in the mode online

“At the summit in Baku, I suggested raising the level of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking states to the level of organization … We can learn a lot from each other. The use of the Latin alphabet gives us a common system through which we are able to contribute to the development of our youth at the global level. “, – said, speaking in Turkestan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Turkish President Erdogan, having connected to the summit from Istanbul, habitually acted as the host at the meeting of the Council: he invited other participants to become guests of the forum, collected from all participants commitments to finance the Turkic Academy and the Turkish Culture and Peace Foundation. Called to support the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to “Cypriot Turks have taken the place they deserve”

East-West communications

“The peace agreement reached between Baku and Yerevan will make it possible to revive the Great Silk Road in this direction, which will increase the role of the Caspian Sea,” – noted Nazarbayev. “In this direction” the Great Silk Road, also called the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor, should pass from China through Central Asia, Transcaucasia, Turkey and further to Europe. Bypassing Russia.

The great silk road

As for the Atlantic direction, Kazakhstan has acted, if not a skirmisher, then an active participant in the C5 + format (the countries of Central Asia plus the United States), also without Russia. Together with the United States, Kazakhstan regularly conducts the Steppe Eagle military exercises, which are scheduled for July in 2021. The United States also handed over to the National Security Committee (KNB) of Kazakhstan special complexes for border posts on the border with China and for monitoring the Russian fleet in the Caspian.

In September 2020, under the President of Kazakhstan, the Supreme Council for Reforms was created, in which the former head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Sir Suma Chakrabarti took the post of deputy. As of December 1, 2020, 22.3 thousand companies with foreign participation worked in Kazakhstan; a typical example is the Tengizchevroil company (development of Caspian oil), the founders of which are American Chevron and ExxonMobil

In commemoration of the new trends, the opposition appeared in Kazakhstan, the founding congress of which, called the National Coordination Council of Opposition Forces, was held on March 17 in one of the most expensive hotels in the Kazakh capital. The association is headed by a former deputy of parliament from the Nur Otan party of power and former Deputy Minister of Agriculture Nurzhan Altayev, who until the end of 2020 was a member of the ruling party. Before the congress, relying on the mediation of the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Ukraine Kaletaev, he met in Kiev with Mikhail Saakashvili; Altayev arrived at the meeting at the head of a group of politicians and businessmen, and the former president of Georgia and the governor of Odessa, who now heads the Ukrainian Executive Committee of Reforms, donned Kazakh national costume for the occasion.

Nurzhan Altayev

Nurzhan Altayev

Prior to that, in March 2020, Nurzhan Altayev met with the leadership of the ultra-right Party of the Nationalist Movement of Turkey; its paramilitary youth wing is the organization “Gray Wolves” (banned in Russia). In the photo with the leaders of this party, a guest from Kazakhstan showed with his fingers the salute of Turkish nationalists – “the head of a wolf”.

Emblem of the Gray Wolves

In light of all these events, one should not be surprised by the recent (end of March) statement of the Minister of Education Askhat Aimagambetov: “One of the primary tasks for us is to make teaching in the state language dominant. There should be no discussion in this, because it is the state language and it is obvious that the citizens of our country should be taught in the state language “… Aimagambetov promised that by 2023 all schools in Kazakhstan will be translated into Kazakh.

Consequences of clashes between Kazakhs and Dungans

Consequences of clashes between Kazakhs and Dungans

If we add to this the renaming of historical Russian toponyms in the Kazakh way (Semipalatinsk – in Semei, Zyryanovsk – to Altai, Guryev – to Atyrau, etc.), criminal prosecution of the militias who defended the republics of Donbass (according to various sources, more than two dozen citizens of Kazakhstan received prison sentences for this), the process against the public figure Ermek Taichibekov, awaiting a verdict actually for an interview for a Russian portal on the situation of Russians in Kazakhstan and an interview for an Israeli about the clashes between Kazakhs and Dungans in February 2020, we can say that Kazakhstan is drifting. It remains to understand where.

Cover photo: Anadolu

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