06.04.2022, 08:25
A+ Analytics

Kazakhstan fights for its independence under pressure from Russia

The article "Turbulence Across Eurasia Will Not Slow Kazakhstan’s Progress" became one of the rare examples of the speech of the President of Kazakhstan K. Tokayev. Despite the fact that the article is being actively discussed in the Kazakhstani information space, the appeal was most of all directed to the foreign public than to Kazakhstanis.

Фотография с открытых источников

Despite the usual example of such articles by heads of state and well-known politicians, in the current situation around Kazakhstan, this event cannot be perceived as ordinary statistics.

Kazakhstan is one step away from American and European sanctions, which are directly discussed by individual politicians and deputies of Western countries. It is easy to find “experienced advice” on the Internet, how to easily bypass sanctions restrictions and various examples of using Kazakhstan as a “back door” against US and EU sanctions against Russia. Under these conditions, it is especially important to note the distance of official Astana from the policies and actions of the Kremlin. The article of the Head of State is a common message of officials regarding the policies and decisions of the US and EU to support Ukraine. It is known that the First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration not only gave interviews with similar messages, but also visited Brussels to confirm that Kazakhstan will not become a mechanism for circumventing EU sanctions against Russia.

The American magazine The National Interest is a well-known publication that has a controversial reputation both in the US and around the world. The media is often associated with a group of "hawks" in the administration of former US leaders, among whom the most famous was former US presidential adviser Henry Kissinger. In modern times, the magazine is better known as a platform with millions of readers to discuss the tasks and challenges of the United States in relations with world powers, including relations with Russia and China. Obviously, the position of the President of Kazakhstan will be noticed not only by scientists, but also by politicians in Washington.

One of the main topics touched upon by the Head of Kazakhstan was the war in Ukraine, which K. Tokayev directly calls “this war”. This message alone indicates that Kazakhstan has its own opinion regarding the “special military operation”. Obviously, in this case, Kazakhstan took a clear and unambiguous position of non-alignment with the propaganda and the official position of Russia regarding the war in Ukraine. It is easy to predict that the words about Ukraine K. Tokayev will be carefully and critically discussed in the Russian media and Russian politicians. It can be seen that the words that Kazakhstan has: “ Meanwhile we also have deep traditions of friendly relations with Ukraine. We respect its territorial integrity—as the overwhelming majority of the world does.” - are very different from the current traditional definitions and epithets of Russian politicians and journalists regarding Kyiv. But it is difficult to imagine the further position of Kazakhstan in the context of the worsening situation in Ukraine and a full-scale war for "existence", which cannot be ruled out based on the statements of politicians and the official media of today's Russia. The undisguised implication that between Kazakhstan and Russia there is the longest border between countries in the world speaks of the limits and restrictions of Kazakhstan in relations with Moscow.

Another important message addressed to foreign scientists and ordinary readers was the theme of "Bloody January". However, unlike the well-known explanations of the causes of the conflict for the local population, such as “an armed act of aggression”, “terrorist groups trained outside the country”, another rhetoric was already used here. “On March 16, I introduced landmark reforms which will build upon and accelerate Kazakhstan’s modernization. They are designed to address the socio-economic and civic grievances voiced by Kazakhstan’s citizens. We heard their voices loud and clear.."

An important point is also the repetition of the early promises of the Head of Kazakhstan, given as part of the Message to the people of Kazakhstan on March 16, 2022. The article reaffirmed the President's course to start a new stage of the democratization of the country with understandable terms for American readers, such as "decentralization of state power", "a system of checks and balances." The early promises to fight corruption, nepotism, and to reform key state bodies like the President's Office, parliament, local administrations, the judiciary and law enforcement systems were mentioned again. Obviously, these democratic changes should convince American readers of the magazine that the leadership of Kazakhstan shares the principles and values of Western society, such as democracy, human rights, civil society and fair elections.

It can be summarized that the article has become an example of public diplomacy, addressed not to diplomats, but to the public, scientists and politicians of the United States, who are the main readers of The National Interest. It is easy to see that the most important message of the article is Kazakhstan's commitment to its national interests, in which the United States and the European Union occupy an important place. Despite its membership and commitments within the CSTO and the Eurasian Union, Kazakhstan has its own opinion and position in relation to the war in Ukraine. The danger and risk of possible sanctions against Kazakhstan by the EU and the US are also an "argument" for Astana to "strengthen our three -decade strong friendship and cooperation with Europe and the United States."

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