Kazakhstan Central Bank Governor on sanctions against Russia and integration efforts19 may 2015, 23:54
The economic sanctions introduced by Western countries against Russia do not have any impact on Kazakhstan’s readiness to proceed with integration processes within the Eurasian Economic Space and further boost cooperation between Astana and Moscow, Newskaz.ru reports, citing Kairat Kelimbetov, the Central Bank Governor as saying May 19 at a press conference in Almaty.
“Kazakhstan’s stance is very clear: sanctions come and go, whereas long-term strategic partnerships are here to stay for a long time. Kazakhstan and Russia have always enjoyed a strategic alliance. When it comes to partnerships, we are in line with the schedule set by the joint negotiations groups and the Eurasian Economic Committee”, he said.
When asked about competition between Kazakhstan and Russia in certain sectors, Mr. Kelimbetov answered that “the two nations enjoy many invisible ties that have been bringing the two nations closer rather than intensifying competition”.
“Let us keep in mind that Kazakhstan is a land-locked country, so major transit and logistics solutions are only possible across Russia’s territory, including towards Europe. And the Russian market alone is a huge opportunity for Kazakhstan. The West Europe – West China route runs across Russia, as well as other routes”, he said.
Mr. Kelimbetov reminded that the Kazakhstan’s Program of Accelerated Industrial Development was formulated with the Russian market among other factors in mind. “Who needs Kazakhstan-made railroad engines and railway cars if Kazakhstan is unable to sell them to Russia?”, he asked.
“For the mentioned reasons, I don’t believe the sanctions are somehow stopping us from putting in place all the integration platforms (…) the Russian rouble did tumble, but now it has come back to some equilibrium point. All of this enables us to cooperate and does not pose any significant problems”, he summed up.