Visit of the President of Kazakhstan to Russia: A Period of Strong Cooperation in Strategic Partnership

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Kazakhstan is one of the most important states in Central Asia.  Moscow is an important strategic partner for the Astana administration, given its multi-vector foreign policy that considers the balances between power centers. Therefore, Kazakhstan is determined to be Russia’s main ally in the region. In fact, Kazakhstan works to foster positive relations with all states of the region, not just Russia. Therefore, Kazakhstan’s cooperation with other countries is becoming more important with each passing day. Of course, commercial relations and joint projects play a decisive role in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy here. As a matter of fact, pragmatic relations based on economic cooperation play a decisive role in relations with Russia. As a result, the role of national currencies in bilateral interactions between the two countries is increasing.

As a reflection of this, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who triumphed in the early presidential elections held on November 20, 2022, made his first foreign visit to Russia.

As a matter of fact, during the meetings held within the scope of the visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Tokayev that the relations between Astana and Moscow had a “special character” and congratulated the Kazakh leader for the election victory.[1]

Tokayev emphasizes that Russia, China, and Central Asian republics are sister countries at every opportunity and draws attention to the importance of developing cooperation. In fact, there is a will to expand collaboration in Kazakhstan-Russia relations.

Tokayev, on the other hand, emphasized that Astana wishes to create strong relations with the West, that it is important to develop comprehensive relations in foreign policy, and that it is open to new partnerships.[2] Of course, this means that Kazakhstan’s multi-vector foreign policy will continue.

Turning to Kazakhstan-Russia relations, it is important what Tokayev stated that, even during the Covid-19, Russian direct investments in his country tripled to 1.9 billion dollars. Kazakhstan’s investments in Russia increased by 34% to $535 million.[3] This indicates the volume of trade between the two countries tends to grow.

Moreover, Putin called for the strengthening of economic ties between Kazakhstan and Russia and underlined the importance of every step taken at a time when international trade is in crisis. In this framework, the parties are making efforts to develop the transportation logistics infrastructure. As a matter of fact, Tokayev also stated that the priority is to develop the infrastructure, eliminate customs barriers between countries and in this context, strengthen the Eurasian Economic Union. For this reason, it is possible to foresee the establishment of common trade zones in the border regions between the two countries.[4]

In conclusion, concrete steps are taken to strengthen the relations between the two countries. Tokayev’s visit to Russia confirms this. Moreover, relations are shaped by a pragmatic approach that centers on economic cooperation based on mutual respect. This indicates that the strategic partnership between the two countries will further develop.

[1]“Kazakh President Tokayev Meets with Putin, Macron on First Foreign Tour After re-Election, Bne Intellinews,, (Date of Accession: 9.12.2022).

[2]“Как в Казахстане понимают союз с Россией”, Moskovsky Gazeta,, (Date of Accession: 07.12.2022)


[4]“Визит с “ глубокимполитическим значением ”. Токаев сразу после переизбрания посетил Москву ”, tass,, (Date of Accession: 07.12.2022).

Dilara Cansın KEÇİALAN
Anadolu Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü mezunu olan Dilara Cansın KEÇİALAN, halihazırda Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı'nda yüksek lisans eğitimini sürdürmektedir. İngilizce, Rusça ve Ukraynaca bilen Keçialan, post-Sovyet ülkelere ilişkin araştırmalar yapmaktadır.