Tokayev puts pressure on gas: "divide and rule" in action?
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is trying to sit on two or even three geopolitical chairs, but Western "goodness" may not leave him a chance.
Kazakhstan did not receive official proposals from Russia on the creation of a "trilateral gas union," which should also include Uzbekistan. This was announced by the official representative of the Ministry of Energy of the republic Shyngys Ilyasov. Thus, so far all plans to create a triple alliance in the CIS gas market remain only on paper.
It is significant that this information was voiced by the head of the Ministry of Energy. Because to the president of the republic, Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, to make such statements himself means carrying political risks. Meanwhile, it is well known that consultations on this issue have not stopped for a single day, because for the same Russia it is important for the normal functioning of the economy.
Tokayev plays multi-vector, and can be understood. Putting all your eggs in one basket is stupid. However, the current state of affairs, when Kazakhstan is in no hurry with a deeper integration with the Russian Federation, is the result of work, including Tokayev's Western partners. The East also supports it - no one has canceled the Chinese factor.
Why this darkens cooperation between the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan - the correspondent of The Moscow Post understood.
Recall that the initiative to create a gas alliance between the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was announced by President Vladimir Putin back in November 2022. At the first stage, it was planned to create a coordination mechanism, in the future - the development of gas consumption and transportation infrastructure for both domestic and foreign markets.
Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said in June that the discussion of the creation of the union continues on the basis of road maps signed by Gazprom with partners from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan at the beginning of the year.
However, today it is clear that all work in this direction is still going on exclusively on a bilateral basis - Russia-Kazakhstan, Russia-Uzbekistan.
At the same time, in May 2023, the deputy chairman of the Kazakhstani National Bank Akylzhan Baymagambetov announced problems due to sanctions against Russia. As Mr. Baymagambetov explained, the government of Kazakhstan is trying to maintain a neutral position, but Moscow remains Astana's largest trading partner. He assures that the authorities are trying to prevent the republic from being used to bypass sanctions.
I.e. they openly put pressure on Kazakhstan, and put pressure powerfully. At the same time, trade between Russia and Kazakhstan only last year increased 13 times. The US Treasury pulled Kazakhstan, and it seems. scared. Since April, Kazakhstan has launched a system for monitoring goods imported into Russia - all this is being done to block parallel import channels for our country, where Kazakhstan, along with Armenia and Turkey, occupies an extremely important place.
At the same time, Russia remains a factor in geopolitical stability throughout the Central Asian region - despite the many problems and actions of the United States and China in order to take these opportunities from the Russian Federation.
At the same time, Kazakhstan is building relations with Europe almost without regard to Moscow. Just recently, Tokayev said that Kazakhstan can provide the German economy with energy and necessary raw materials. A clear example of this is the supply of Kazakh oil to an oil refinery in the city of Shvedt at the request of the German side. According to him, today the importance of the Trans-Caspian international transport route, called the "Middle Corridor," is increasing.
Coups and sanctions
President of Kazakhstan Tokayev can be understood. On the one hand, he is trying to pursue a balanced multi-vector policy. On the other hand, does Kazakhstan have real friends except Russia, partners in the CSTO and the EAEU? We doubt it very much. What, in fact, was shown by the coup attempt in January 2022, when the CSTO had to intervene in the situation. Read - Russia.
Recall, on January 2, 2022, protests began in Kazakhstan due to rising prices for liquefied gas.In some cities, rallies escalated into riots. The situation has especially worsened in the largest city in the country - Alma-Ata. Protesters, among whom, according to the authorities, were extremists, broke into the administration building, set fire to the prosecutor's office, the office of the ruling party and seized the presidential residence.
Then the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that the seized government agencies are groups of terrorists. He stressed that the bandits who organized the riots underwent serious training abroad. The presidential administration clarified that among the militants operating in Alma-Ata were snipers with special rifles.
It is quite clear who would not be behind the pogromists, the goal was to overthrow the legal power in the country. This plan failed miserably - solely thanks to the CSTO. Plus, Tokayev himself, as they say, did not flutter, and refused to leave the country. We can say that until re-election, his power stood on the edge of Russian bayonets.
Who could be behind this crisis? Those to whom even Kazakhstan's neutral position towards Russia is unacceptable. Someone who continues to put pressure on the country through all channels. Of course, we are talking about the United States and its world client. China in the same situation acts much calmer and more correctly - it just buys up everything that lies badly.
A similar situation is developing in Kyrgyzstan, where the country's authorities are already directly threatened with sanctions for any constructive interaction with Russia. Earlier, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov said that a letter from US Senator Robert Menendez addressed him, who called for compliance with sanctions against the Russian Federation.
"I regard this as an ordinary reason to put pressure on Kyrgyzstan and drag us to our side. But we will not allow it. We are an independent country. We will continue to be in equal relations with all countries. We will pursue a multi-vector foreign policy, "Japarov commented.