ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN (22/10 – 40).
Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that the continuity of friendship and alliance in relations between Russia and Kazakhstan will remain and the governments of the Central Asian republics continue to do everything possible to preserve them. The president vowed to maintain genuine friendly relations between Kazakhstan and Russia.
President Tokayev focused on the importance of security and stability in the Central Asian region and stressed the need to develop unified approaches to prevent conflicts at the Central Asia – Russia summit on October 14 in Astana. According to the Kazakh leader, the friendship between Kazakhstan and Russia should be lasting and he noted that Kazakh authorities do not deny their obligations to Russia despite the pressure of sanctions against Moscow.
President Tokayev made it clear that Kazakhstan must not violate the current sanctions. In addition, Tokayev also said that Kazakhstan is committed to working in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
He described how these organizations have developed in naturally evolving stages and added that Kazakhstan is committed to playing an active role in all these organizations. He clarified that allegations that Kazakhstan had allegedly lost interest in and will leave the EAEU and the CSTO had absolutely nothing to do with the truth.
Recently, Kazakhstan accommodated tens of thousands of Russians who had fled their homeland since Moscow announced military mobilization by the end of September. The Kazakh government has no plans to close its borders, Tokayev announced, adding that Russian seeking to cross into Kazakhstan needed only to bring Russian identity documents. Russian is also widely spoken in Kazakhstan which is home to a significant Russian ethnic minority.
The Kazakh government says nearly 100,000 Russians have crossed the border since the announcement of the mobilization. Hotels and hostels are full, and rents are skyrocketing. Kazakh President Tokayev urged citizens to be patient and increase tolerance and said that many people from Russia have come over to Kazakhstan and instructed the Interior Ministry to strengthen security measures amid the mass arrival of Russians. Most of them were forced to leave because of the sad situation. The government has to look after them and ensure their safety because of political and humanitarian issues.
“Good relations with neighbours are the key to peace. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that we maintain harmony with those who share our borders,” Tokajev told a public meeting in Turkestan. He added that his government would discuss the situation with Moscow. At the same time, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan published a proposal to amend immigration rules that would limit the stay of Russians in Kazakhstan to three months, unless they have a passport.