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What is to be expected from Kazakhstan during Minsk talks? 25 августа 2014, 20:43

Kazakhstan is taking part in the talks in Minsk on August 26. These will address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine among others. Poroshenko is to meet with Putin, Lukashenko and Nazarbayev, as well as with EU reps.
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It has been six months since the pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine started. After several failed attempts of world leaders to resolve the situation, there are now talks scheduled for August 26 in the capital of Belarus Minsk, where the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet with Russia’s strongman Vladimir Putin, as well as with the heads of Belarus and Kazakhstan and representatives of the European Union.

On the eve of the meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan shared Kazakhstan's vision of the crisis and ways to address it with Deutsche Welle.

Talking about Kazakhstan's position on the crisis, the press service of the Foreign Ministry said that right from the start Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s president, called for all the parties involved to refrain from using force and instead to address the challenges through diplomatic channels.

"Kazakhstan continues to urge the parties to abstain from further escalation of the conflict or tightening reciprocation of the sanctions and to continue searching for peaceful ways to overcome the frictions. We believe that conflicts should be resolved only through negotiations and under the auspices of the UN, OSCE and other international organizations," the press service of the Kazakh Ministry stated.

As for the role of the Kazakh leader in the upcoming talks, the Foreign Ministry said that "Kazakhstan has been and is working towards normalization of the relations between Russia, Ukraine and the West, and towards translating them into civilized internationally recognized framework."

"Thanks to the active position and diplomatic efforts of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan supports peaceful initiatives aimed at de-escalation of the armed conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts," the Ministry declared. In addition, it said that the agreement adopted at the ministerial level in Geneva and Berlin could become a "good basis for developing practical solutions for the early restoration of peace and stability."

Referring to the position of Kazakhstan on the sanctions imposed by Russia against the EU and the United States, the press service stressed that Kazakhstan was not a party involved in the conflict. Moreover, Kazakhstan did not wish for the situation to affect the standard of living and welfare of Kazakhstanis. In this respect, Kazakhstan would not go "against its own social and economic interests." The press service said that the country was “interested in continuation and strengthening of trade and economic relations with the EU, Ukraine and with Russia alike."

The Kazakh Ministry stressed that there were “favorable conditions” for FDI in the country and called for the EU, Ukraine and Russia “to continue trade, economic and investment activities in Kazakhstan.”

Today, Nazarbayev told Kazakh TV Channel Khabar that in the bulk the anti-Russian sanctions would not have an impact on Kazakhstan’s economy. However, he said that Kazakhstan might follow the scenario of Ukraine should it ban all languages but Kazakh. He noted that the optimal solution was to develop three languages in the country: Kazakh, Russian and English.
By Dinara Urazova

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