Foreign relations of Kazakhstan

Foreign relations of Kazakhstan

Foreign relations of Kazakhstan are primarily based on economic and political security. The Nazarbayev administration has tried to balance relations with Russia and the United States by sending petroleum and natural gas to its northern neighbor at artificially low prices while assisting the U.S. in the War on Terror. Kazakhstan is a member of the United Nations, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (which it will chair in 2010), North Atlantic Cooperation Council, Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and NATO's Partnership for Peace program. Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan established the Eurasian Economic Community in 2000 to begin the process of creating a free trade zone under a Customs Union.

Border Issues

Not until 2005, did Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan agree to begin demarcating their shared borders. No seabed boundary with Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea has been agreed upon and the usage of Caspian Sea water is a matter that remains unsettled by international agreement. [ Kazakhstan - Transnational Issues] CIA World Factbook]

Illicit drugs

Illegal cannabis and, to a lesser extent, opium production in Kazakhstan is an international issue since much of the crop ends up being sold in other countries, particularly in other member-states of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In 1998, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that a "minimum of 1,517 tons of cannabis was harvested" in Kazakhstan. [ Kazakhstan Narcotics Factsheet 2004] The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program]

With the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan became a major transit country for narcotics produced in Southwest Asia, primarily from Afghanistan. In 2001, Kazakh authorities reported 1,320 cases of drug trafficking and seized 18 metric tons of narcotics. However, this is viewed as a fraction of the actual total volume trafficked and widespread corruption continues to hamper government anti-drug efforts; Transparency International gave Kazakhstan a score of 2.2, on a scale of 0-10 with 0 indicating a "highly corrupt" state. [ [ 2004 Annual Report] Transparency International] Russia and other parts of Europe are the main markets for these drugs although drug use is growing in Kazakhstan as well.

By country


Kazakhstan formed diplomatic relations with Armenia on 6 November 2006. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said, "The trade level cannot satisfy either side, this low indicator does not meet our states' demands." Fortunately however, "Documents signed today create a legal base for closer cooperation between our companies... As a result of talks, we confirmed the urge of our states to further strengthen our relations. Increasing trade and economic ties will contribute to this, for Kazakhstan's business and capital not to be afraid to go to Armenia." Former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan echoed Nazarbayev's statements, saying, "We want this visit to prompt the arrival of Kazakh investment in Armenia." [ Kazakhstan, Armenia sign agreements to develop relations] RIA Novosti]


The People's Republic of China and Kazakhstan formed diplomatic relations on 3 January 1992. The two nations signed their first boundary agreement in April 1994, and their second supplementary boundary agreement in July 1998 to mark their 1,700 km shared border. [ Brief introduction to relations between China and Kazakhstan] China Daily]


Notwithstanding its membership in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Kazakhstan has good relations with Israel. Diplomatic relations were established in 1992 and President Nazarbayev paid official visits to Israel in 1995 and 2000. [ About Kazakhstan–Israeli relations] Embassy of Kazakhstan in Israel] In 2006, during a state visit by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert remarked, "Kazakhstan can show a beautiful face of Islam ... Contemporary, ever-developing Kazakhstan is a perfect example of both economic development and interethnic accord that should be followed by more Muslim states." [Citation|last=Eglash|first=Ruth|title=Kazakhs seek stronger ties with Israel|newspaper=Jerusalem Post|date= November 6, 2006|url=] Bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $724 million in 2005.


Diplomatic relations between Japan and Kazakhstan were established in 1992. Kazakhstan is part of the Central Asia plus Japan dialogue.


Kazakhstan is trying to attract this Muslim-Majority nuclear state, thought recent attempts have no avail. Pakistan's interests lie in the Middle East. There are many other countries competing for better relations for Pakistan, even India wishes for peace with its neighbor. However, if the rate of interest of Central Asia continues (by China, Russia, Pakistan, India and Iran) then Pakistan will look to Kazakhstan.


Diplomatic relations between Russia and Kazakhstan has been both good and bad, but especially worse after the independence of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan has leaned more towards the West and USA in many cases, both civilian and military. Stalin and the Soviet Union treated Kazakhstan bad in the Soviet times, and did not respect the ethnic Kazakhstani people, and many nuclear facilities have been built in the country without the wishes of Kazakhstan. USA started a program with Kazakhstan in the mid 1990's to remove and disarm several of the nuclear material in Kazakhstan to prevent the dangerous material to get on the black-market and in the hands of terrorists and/or countries like Iran, Syria or North Korea.


Rakhat Aliyev, the First Vice Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan met with Anton Tahlmann, the Vice Foreign Minister of Switzerland, in Berne, Switzerland from 13-14 November 2006. Tahlmann announced that the Swiss Federal Council is considering opening an embassy in Kazakhstan, saying, "Switzerland is interested in comprehensive development of relations with your country because of its dynamic development and the growing role in the region. In relation with this Berne regards an increase of its diplomatic presence in this country, an opening of the Swiss embassy in perspective." He confirmed his government's support for Kazakhstan's candidacy for the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2009. The two ministers also discussed trade, migration, and the environment. [ Switzerland confirms support of Kazakhstan's candidacy for OSCE chairmanship] Gazeta.KZ] [ Switzerland considers opening embassy in Kazakhstan] Gazeta.KZ]

United Kingdom

Kazakhstan-United Kingdom relations were formally established on 19 January 1992. The United Kingdom opened an embassy in Kazakhstan in October 1992 and Kazakhstan opened an embassy in Britain in February 1996.

United States

United States Vice President Dick Cheney visited Kazakhstan on 5 May 2006. [ Cheney, Visiting Kazakhstan, Wades Into Energy Battle] New York Times]


Kazakhstan - Uzbekistan relations have always been sincere and strong. Since the rapid development of Kazakhstan the President of Uzbekistan Mr. Karimov has visited Kazakhstan several times.

ee also

*Kazakh diplomatic missions
*List of diplomatic missions in Kazakhstan
*Terrorism in Kazakhstan


Further reading

* cite journal
quotes =
last = Bukkvoll
first = Tor
authorlink =
coauthors =
date =
year = 2004
month = September
title = Astana's privatised independence: private and national interests in the foreign policy of Nursultan Nazarbayev
journal = Nationalities Papers
volume = 32
issue = 3
pages = 631–650
issn =
pmid =
doi =
id =
url =
language =
format =
accessdate =
laysummary =
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External links

* [ Kazakhstan to deliver more oil to Iran with swaps]
* [ Egyptian President visits Kazakhstan]
* [ 'Victorious' Kazakhs Told To Wait On OSCE Decision]
* [ Azeri Parliamentarians visit Kazakhstan]
* [ Central Asia: Japanese Premier Visits energy-rich region]
* [ Hu Jintao Meets with Kazakh President Nazarbayev]
* [ Ambassador of Israel Ends His Mission]
* [ Kazakhstan keen to share experience with Iran in ports]
* [ Kazakhstan: Democracy, Energy, And Ambiguity]
* [ Only Kazakhstan consulate in western Europe opens in Aberdeen]
* [ President of Kazakhstan visited Egypt on his way to Belgium]
* [ Kazakhstan President to visit Belgium on Dec 3-6]
* [ U.S. urges Russia to withdraw from Georgia, Moldova; Russia criticizes OSCE solutions]
* [ EU approves nuclear pact with Kazakhstan]
* [ About the Kazakhstan-Israeli relations] - Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the State of Israel

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