Kazakhstan and Russia are negotiating cooperation in the sphere of gas production, although the announced gas union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is just an idea, said Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.
«So far, we haven’t received an official proposal concerning the tripartite gas union. We are going to consider such a proposal as long as we receive it. However, we have already started negotiations with Russia concerning gas supply,» he said to journalists.
The prime minister noted that Kazakhstan is preparing for the next round of talks with Gazprom. «These bilateral discussions are continuing. We are going to put these relations on the solid basis of mutual commercial benefits,» Smailov stated.
On December 21, 2022, Vice Foreign Minister Almas Aidarov said that Kazakhstan will carefully consider any official proposal concerning the potential tripartite gas union that it receives.
«We don’t talk about launching any new structure, organization or international union in the sphere of gas supply. It was just an idea to take more close actions toward the regulation of gas prices and gas supply. All three countries face a shortage of natural gas; that’s why Russia came up with the idea of a gas union,» Aidarov said.
In November, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev discussed Putin’s idea to establish a so-called tripartite gas union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. However, on December 12, Bolat Akshulakov, minister of energy of Kazakhstan, told journalists that there were no official negotiations concerning the topic.
On the other hand, Uzbekistan has already refused the idea of gas import through any alliance or union. On December 8, Jurabek Mirzamahmudov, Uzbekistan’s minister of energy, said that his country was negotiating with Russia the possibility of Russian gas supply to Uzbekistan via Kazakhstan. However, these talks covered a regular contract, not a gas alliance.