Foreign relations of Kazakhstan: Wikis


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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.[1]

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).[1] In 1998, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that a "minimum of 1,517 tons of cannabis was harvested" in Kazakhstan.[2]

With the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan became a major transit country for narcotics produced in Southwest Asia, primarily from Afghanistan.[2] 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.[2][3] Russia and other parts of Europe are the main markets for these drugs although drug use is growing in Kazakhstan as well.[1][2]

Central Asia


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."[4]


Diplomatic relations were established on August 27, 1992. Azerbaijan has an embassy in Astana. Kazakhstan has an embassy in Baku since December 16, 1994.


Bilateral relationships between the countries are very strong and Kyrgyz and Kazakh are very close in terms of language, culture and religion. Kyrgyz-Kazakh relationships have always been at very high level and economic and other formal unification of two countries have been greeted with strong appreciation by both nations since the two share a lot in common. On Apr. 26, 2007 the presidents of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan signed an agreement to create an "International Supreme Council" between the two states. This historic event took place during an official visit of the Kazakh president to the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek.[5]


  • Kazakhstan has an embassy in Ashgabat.
  • Turkmenistan has an embassy in Astana.


  • 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.


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 India See India–Kazakhstan relations

Diplomatic relations have increased in importance in the 21st century after initially remaining passive in the 1990s. Both nations seek to develop an extensive commercial and strategic partnership in the Central Asia region.

 Israel See Israel–Kazakhstan relations

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.[6] 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."[7] Bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $724 million in 2005.[6]

In 2008, Kazkahstan and Israel began to embark on joint military developments which include Self-Propelled Guns and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.[1]

 Japan 1992
 Pakistan See Kazakhstan–Pakistan relations

Relations between the two countries began when Pakistan recognized Kazakhstan on December 20, 1991. On February 24, 1992, diplomatic and consular relations were established during an official visit by Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev to Pakistan.[8] Kazakhstan is an emerging market for Pakistani goods.[9]

 People's Republic of China 1992-01-03 See People's Republic of China – Kazakhstan relations
  • 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.[10]
 South Korea 1992-01-28 See Kazakhstan – South Korea relations

Bilateral relations have grown steadily since that time. Cooperation between the two nations has grown in political, economic, and educational spheres. The presence of 100,000 ethnic Koreans living in Kazakhstan (known as Koryo-saram) creates an additional link between the two countries.[11]

 Turkey 1992-03-02 See Kazakh–Turkish relations

Turkey recognized Kazakhstan on 16 December 1991, on the same day Kazakhstan declared its independence. Diplomatic relations have developed positively on the international stage as well as in commerce and strategic affairs.[12] Kazakhstan has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate general in Istanbul. Turkey has an embassy in Almaty and a branch office in Astana.


European Union

The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Kazakhstan has been the legal framework for European Union-Kazakhstan bilateral relations since it entered into force in 1999. In November 2006 a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy between the EU and Kazakhstan has been signed establishing the basis for enhanced cooperation.

The future European Commission assistance will focus on the following priority areas: promotion of the ongoing reform process at political, economic, judiciary and social level, infrastructure building, and cooperation in the energy sector.

The overall EU co-operation objectives, policy responses and priority fields for Central Asia can be found in the EC Regional Strategy Paper for Central Asia 2007-2013. In addition to the assistance under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) , Kazakhstan participates in several ongoing regional programs.[13]

European countries

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Belarus See Foreign relations of Belarus
 Bulgaria 1992-07-05 See Bulgaria–Kazakhstan relations
  • Since 1994, Bulgaria has embassy in Almaty.[14]
  • Since November 2004, Kazakhstan has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Sofia.
 Croatia See Foreign relations of Croatia
 Czech Republic See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 Greece See Foreign relations of Greece
 Latvia 1992-12-30
 Romania 1992-07-15
 Russia See Kazakhstan–Russia relations

Kazakhstan has an Embassy of Kazakhstan in Moscow, consulate-general in Saint Petersburg, Astrakhan and Omsk. Russia has an embassy in Astana and consulates in Almaty and Uralsk.

Diplomatic relations between Russia and Kazakhstan have fluctuated since the fall of the Soviet Union but both nations remains particularly strong partners in regional affairs and major supporters of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Kazakhstani-Russian relations have been strained at times by Astana's military and economic cooperation with the United States as well as negotiations over Russia's continued use of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, however the two nations retain high-level military and economic cooperation perhaps second among former Soviet states only to that between Russia and Belarus. Kazakhstan sells oil and gas to Russia at a significantly reduced rate and Russian businesses are heavily invested in Kazakhstan's economy.


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.[18][19]

 Ukraine 1991 See Kazakhstan–Ukraine relations
  • Kazakhstan has an embassy in Kiev and an honorary consulate in Odessa.
  • Ukraine has an embassy in Astana and a consulate-general in Almaty.
 United Kingdom 1992-02-19 See Kazakhstan – United Kingdom relations

Rest of world

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Canada See Canada–Kazakhstan relations

The countries established diplomatic relations with each other in 1992. Canada has an embassy in Almaty. Kazakhstan has an embassy in Ottawa and a consulate in Toronto. Both countries are full members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, made an official visit to Canada in May 2003.

 Cuba See Foreign relations of Cuba
 Egypt See Foreign relations of Egypt
 United States See Kazakhstan – United States relations

See also


  1. ^ a b c Kazakhstan - Transnational Issues CIA World Factbook
  2. ^ a b c d Kazakhstan Narcotics Factsheet 2004 The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program
  3. ^ 2004 Annual Report Transparency International
  4. ^ Kazakhstan, Armenia sign agreements to develop relations RIA Novosti
  5. ^ s". Central Asia: A Kyrgyz-Kazakh Step Towards Regional Union This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ a b About Kazakhstan–Israeli relations Embassy of Kazakhstan in Israel
  7. ^ Eglash, Ruth (November 6, 2006). "Kazakhs seek stronger ties with Israel". Jerusalem Post.  
  8. ^ Cooperation of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  9. ^ Trade Development Authority of Pakistan
  10. ^ Brief introduction to relations between China and Kazakhstan China Daily
  11. ^ Kazakhstan Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  12. ^ Yermukanov, Marat (2006-12-07). "Kazakhstan and Turkey spearhead the integration of Turkic nations". Eurasian Daily Monitor (Jamestown Foundation) 3 (226). Retrieved 2008-10-10.  
  13. ^ European Union and Kazakhstan. European Commission: External Relations
  14. ^ Bulgarian embassy in Almaty
  15. ^ Kazakh embassy in Vilnius (also accredited to Latvia)
  16. ^ Kazakh embassy in Vilnius
  17. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Astana (in Lithuanian and Russian only)
  18. ^ Switzerland confirms support of Kazakhstan's candidacy for OSCE chairmanship Gazeta.KZ
  19. ^ Switzerland considers opening embassy in Kazakhstan Gazeta.KZ
  20. ^ Cheney, Visiting Kazakhstan, Wades Into Energy Battle New York Times

Further reading

  • Bukkvoll, Tor (September 2004). "Astana's privatized independence: private and national interests in the foreign policy of Nursultan Nazarbayev". Nationalities Papers 32 (3): 631–650. doi:10.1080/0090599042000246424.  
  • Shiryayev, Boris (2008). Großmächte auf dem Weg zur neuen Konfrontation?. Das „Great Game“ am Kaspischen Meer: eine Untersuchung der neuen Konfliktlage am Beispiel Kasachstan. Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovac. ISBN 978-3-8300-3749-1.  

External links

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