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Kazakhstan's attitude towards integration with Russia: less love, more fear. OSW Commentary No. 137, 29.05.2014

Jaroslewlcz, Aleksandra (2014) Kazakhstan's attitude towards integration with Russia: less love, more fear. OSW Commentary No. 137, 29.05.2014. [Policy Paper]

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    Russia’s annexation of Crimea and destabilization of Ukraine have created a new context for Kazakhstan’s foreign and domestic policy. The ongoing crisis in the relations with Russia and the West has also changed the current order in the entire post-Soviet area. From Astana’s perspective, the Kremlin’s policy towards Ukraine can be considered dangerous since it shows Russia’s determination to interfere with the domestic affairs of its neighbours in the pursuit of its own interests. Furthermore, this policy reveals and raises the price a country needs to pay for its potential attempts to break free from the Russian zone of influence. At present the biggest challenge for the authorities in Astana is the accelerated implementation of the idea of the Eurasian Union promoted by Moscow, which is to be another stage in the integration of post-Soviet states (presently Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus). The signing of the Eurasian Union’s founding documents planned for late May 2014 and the launch of this organisation (scheduled for January 2015) is sure to bring Kazakhstan closer to Russia and simultaneously limit its economic and political independence. Nevertheless, Astana’s position in relations with Moscow will to a large extent depend on the new shape of the relations between Russia and China. China is pursuing its own strategic interests in Central Asia (including in the energy sector) and its main partner in the region is Kazakhstan. At the domestic level, Russia’s actions in Ukraine made the authorities in Astana fear that measures similar to those used in Ukraine could be applied towards Kazakhstan. On the one hand this has led to increased efforts aimed at consolidating the state and strengthening its structures, and on the other hand it has brought about a revision of those aspects of domestic policy which Russia could interpret as a pretext for interfering.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Countries > Kazakhstan
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2014 17:05
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 11 Jan 2020 17:59

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