Kazakhstan - European Union: cooperation outside sanctions regime
Cooperation in the political, trade, economic and legal spheres, as well as in the field of transport, energy, education and science - and these are far from the complete list of areas of interaction between Kazakhstan and the EU countries. Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko noted that the EU remains the country’s main trade and investment partner, which accounts for 40 percent of all foreign trade and foreign direct investments.
“We discussed various areas of cooperation with the European Union. The EU is implementing several long-term programs for the development of economic cooperation, enhancement of border security, prevention of drug trafficking, promotion of education and many other programs. They generally require substantial funding from the EU for projects in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. We have heard that there is a willingness on the part of the European Union to increase the amounts allocated for such projects,” the Deputy Foreign Minister noted.
“We are old friends and I can say the same between the European Union and Kazakhstan. We’re old friends. We enjoy very much our cooperation. We have now our bilateral agreement fully in force which covers 29 areas of cooperation. Bilateral cooperation, as well as regional cooperation where Kazakhstan plays a central role. Of course, we also discussed security issues. We’ll have a lot. We will continue developing this relation, of course we will watch very carefully and we are interested in the concrete implementation of the so-called New Kazakhstan program announced by President Tokayev on the 16th of March,” said Luc Devigne, Deputy Managing Director for Russia, Central Asia and OSCE at EEAS.
The EU countries are now showing considerable interest in the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route. Roman Vassilenko told his counterparts about its advantages and noted that the use of this route also coincides with the objectives of the EU Strategy ‘Global Gateway’. The parties also talked about further cooperation in the field of green energy, the establishment of partnership with the European Battery and Raw Materials Alliances, as well as joint efforts to combat climate change and Kazakhstan’s plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
“I must say I’m impressed by the national plans of Kazakhstan to decarbonize your economy. This is something which proves that Kazakhstan, in its own national way, followed the suit of the European Union. I think there are a lot of opportunities for working together, as it was told in this discussion, a lot of investments opportunity for European companies to come to Kazakhstan market in energy sector and on the other sectors,” noted Klemen Groselj, European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Kazakhstan.
The parties agreed to meet next time at the 19th meeting of the EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Council. It will take place in June.
Translation by Assem Zhanmukhanova
Editing by Galiya Khassenkhanova