“We won’t endure that pressure.” Vice prime minister explains why Kazakhstan is following anti-Russian sanctions

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General news correspondent
In June 2022, President Tokayev said that Kazakhstan shouldn’t breach anti-Russian sanctions / Photo: Kursiv.media, photo editor: Arthur Aleskerov

According to Vice Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin, Kazakhstan does not support the sanctions imposed by Western nations against Russia but has to adhere to them due to economic reasons.

«Of course, these sanctions bother us as well. Many logistical and supply chains have been torn apart because of this. We are not part of the anti-Russian coalition and do not support unilateral sanction policies, but we are going to continue to comply with these sanctions because it is in our interest. We are a small economy and won’t endure sanction pressure,» the official said.

He also revealed that there is a special working group in Kazakhstan that should stay in touch with U.S. and European authorities on issues related to anti-Russian sanctions.

This communication plays a crucial role when it comes to new trading barriers, for example. Recently, the European Council has imposed new tariffs on agricultural products from Russia and Belarus, and Kazakhstan wants to assess whether this move is going to affect the country. It is important because the EU is one of the big importers of Kazakhstani grain, Zhumangarin said.

«Our sanction policy is quite effective as we still hold our positions; the positions of our businessmen, first of all, as we do not want them to be targeted with Western sanctions,» the vice prime minister noted.

In June 2022, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated that Kazakhstan shouldn’t breach anti-Russian sanctions to avoid secondary sanctions.

In February 2024, the EU and the U.S. imposed sanctions against Elem Group and Da Group 22, two companies registered in Kazakhstan, for their close ties with Russia. At the time, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Trade said they knew about those restrictions. The agency noted that both companies haven’t been engaged in import or export activities since May and June 2023, respectively. Moreover, one of the companies was closed in February 2024.

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