Astana, Kazakhstan, March 19
By Daniar Mukhtarov - Trend:
Ukrainian crisis has its consequences for Kazakhstan, according to the Kazakh oppositional politician, Amirzhan Kosanov.
"On one hand, Kazakhstan has already supported the preservation of Ukraine's territorial integrity. And this is a fundamental thing. On the other hand, President Nazarbayev said he understands the position of Russia, which defends the rights of national minorities in Ukraine, as well as its security interests," Kosanov told Trend in an interview.
He said this is critically perceived not only domestically, but also by other partners and neighbours. At the same time, he reminded that Kazakhstan has 7,000 kilometres long common border with the Russian Federation and a great level of economic ties.
Kosanov believes that the Ukrainian crisis in the context of annexing a part of its territories to Russia, of course, has consequences for Kazakhstan.
He said the impact of events around Ukraine to the Central Asia, as a whole, and to Kazakhstan, in particular, should be viewed through the prism of two important foreign policy aspects: relations of the countries with Russia, also with the European Union and the United States.
"The more country is dependant on Russia, the more it will be loyal to Russia's policy regarding Ukraine," Kosanov said.
Secondly, he said Kazakhstan and Russia have been closely interrelated in the framework of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Union, which is being formed. Also Kazakhstan's energy resources are being exported through Russia and the economic legislation is being unified.
"For this reason, the sanctions that the leading Western countries intend to implement against Russia, will, of course, have 'a boomerang' effect on our economy too. In the current post-crisis period, it can lead to serious consequences," Kosanov added.
He believes that the military aspect also has much significance.
As is known, Kazakhstan and Russia are Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) members. CSTO members are linked by alliance obligations during military conflicts.
At the same time, the politician admitted that diplomacy and intergovernmental relations will not tolerate vanity and radicalism. In this regard, the countries need to be careful and correct in assessments and formulations to the maximum extent possible.
"But all these should not in any way harm the foundations of sovereignty and preservation of Kazakhstan's territorial integrity, and while protecting these inalienable values and principles any country should be consistent, including in publicly voicing its position!," the politician stressed.
He also reminded about Kazakhstan's earlier stated foreign policy priority. This priority is reflected in the "Path to Europe" program signed earlier by Kazakh president.
"Most of Kazakhstan supports such a development vector. And this can not be ignored in the current very difficult situation in the post-Soviet area," Amirzhan Kosanov said.
Russian Federation and Ukraine's Crimea region signed an agreement on March 18 on the Crimea and Sevastopol city joining the Russian Federation.
The vast majority of residents of Crimea - 96 percent - voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum held March 16.
With the exception of Russia most countries refused to recognize the referendum and its results.
A change of power took place in Ukraine on Feb.22.
The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from the power, changed the constitution and scheduled presidential elections for May 25. Yanukovych said he was forced to leave Ukraine under the threat of violence, and he remains the legally elected head of state.
A number of provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as the Crimea did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rada and decided on possibility of holding a referendum on the future fate of the regions.
Translated by E.A.