Asserting Statehood: Kazakhstan’s Role in International Organizations
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has developed a record of being the most proactive and innovative former Soviet republic in the sphere of international cooperation. Kazakhstan’s multilateral relations have always expressed a clear logic: to establish itself as a reliable and constructive international actor. The core of this strategy has been to create several foreign policy pillars – Russia, China, the U.S., the EU, Turkey – without prioritizing one too heavily over the other.
However, in recent years the Russian pillar has expanded heavily, thus compromising the delicate balance of Kazakhstan’s multi-vector foreign policy. To counter this tendency, Astana has been seeking alternative external partners and avenues more persistently than ever – over the past two years, Kazakhstan has joined the World Trade Organization, obtained a seat at the Asia-Europe Meeting, signed an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union, announced it would host the EXPO-2017 in Astana, and launched a bid for a rotating seat at the United Nations Security Council.
This paper argues that Kazakhstan’s success in maintaining a balanced foreign policy – and in the process keeping the heart of Eurasia open – will depend on the existence of partners willing to engage with the region. It is in the West’s interests to support Kazakhstan’s efforts to maintain balance, in particular in the light of an increasingly polarized and unfavorable geopolitical context in Central Asia.
Rethinking Greater Central Asia: New American and Western Approaches to Continental Trade and Afghanistan
Executive Summary: Greater Central Asia is reeling from the twin shocks of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The chaotic U.S. withdrawal risks postponing indefinitely […]
Kazakhstan’s Role in International Mediation under First President Nursultan Nazarbayev
Executive Summary In the past decade, Kazakhstan has emerged as an important player in the world of mediation of international disputes. Its role in convening the Astana talks on Syria […]