Russia and Kazakhstan have a great deal in common – history, geography, mentality. The latter continues to be one of Moscow’s closest and strongest partners from among the member countries of the CIS. And now Kazakhstan has entered a period of meaningful changes. Leader for nearly 30 years Nursultan Nazarbayev stepped down in March. A snap presidential election should be held in Kazakhstan on 9 June, to which observers from all over the world have been invited. According to dni24.com («Россия и Казахстан: взаимоотношения равных братьев» – «Russia and Kazakhstan: Brotherly equal relations»), this is reported by the Russian daily newspaper Trud.
«A lot of people out there are definitely wondering whether these changes involve some danger to the Russian-speaking population of the republic. This has more than a tangential interest for those people in Russia, who are not indifferent to the fate of their own kind in neighboring foreign countries – in former Soviet republics. There are about 4.5 million Russians living in Kazakhstan, and they are of course concerned about their own future.
One of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s the major strengths was his steadfast commitment to implementing such policies, which have made it possible to prevent interethnic conflicts. In general, Kazakhstan is just about the only republic in the post-Soviet space, that has until now managed to avoid upheavals of the kind that could have been highly damaging to its stability.
Yet it is clear that a certain part of ethnic Russians left Kazakhstan, but this was due not to a lack of tolerance, but rather simply to the desire to live in a more economically developed country that Russia was then.
However, over time Nazarbayev’s competent economic policy began to yield positive results. At the beginning of 2000s, Kazakhstan was firmly entrenched among the most promising economies in the region, and the outflow of the Russian-speaking population from the country has significantly diminished.
The Russian language has the status of the second State language in Kazakhstan. If the new leadership continues to pursue the policy of introducing «trilingualism» (Kazakh, Russian, English), then there is every reason to believe that the change of power will not negatively impact on the Russian-speaking population of the republic. After all, there are many specialists of different profiles, who speak only or mainly Russian, and the overwhelming majority of intellectuals speak Russian too.
Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, acting president and the most likely winner of the upcoming presidential election, is considered a representative of the «Nazarbayev school». His election to power will mean continuing the national course towards achieving a balanced development, that has been charted by the previous leadership.
Kazakhstan has consistently declared its commitment to integration along with Russia into the post-Soviet Euro-Asian economic and joint defense structures and bilateral multifaceted cooperation with its neighbor in the north. Yet this approach has often remained one-sided. Russian experts agree that their country would better be more attentive to its partners and build relations with them on an equal footing, rather than on the basis of positioning itself as an «elder brother».
Indeed, today Kazakhstan is a successfully developing independent country, recording good economic performance. The republic has been the focus of priority attention on the part not only of countries in the Asia region, but also of the member States of the European Union. And if we (Russians) miss our moment or slip up and do embarrassing things – we can accidentally reverse all the achievements, for which our two countries are owed not a little to President Nazarbayev.
P.S.: Kazakhstan and Russia are both founding members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and are additionally part of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Both also founded the Eurasian Economic Union along with Belorussia.
Overall money flow in a trade between Kazakhstan-Russia in 2018 is $18 219 255 476, which is more than 2017’s numbers by 5.68%. Exports to Kazakhstan amounted to $12 923 333 532, which is more than 2017’s numbers by 4.86%. Exports to Russia amounted to $5 295 921 944, which is more than 2017’s numbers by 7.71%.
Main products of trade are machinery, mineral products, metal, chemicals, agricultural supplies, shoes. The influx of Russian direct investment in the Republic of Kazakhstan for the period 2005-2014 amounted to $9.1; and Kazakhstan in Russia – $2.9 billion».
Kazakhstan’s incumbent president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the successor of long-term former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, wins over 70 percent of the votes, according to an exit poll. The presidential elections were held on 9 June.
«I believe that this day will go down in the history of our state. I am glad that the electoral campaign was conducted in a calm, civilized manner… We have a lot of work ahead of us», Tokayev told his supporters immediately upon hearing the results of the exit poll.
Overall, there were 9,968 polling stations across Kazakhstan and at the country’s foreign missions abroad, where 11,947,995 voters were registered to vote. The voter turnout, according to the official data of the Central Election Commission (CEC), was 77 per cent.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who served as the chairman of the upper house of the Kazakh parliament, took the oath of office on March 20 after the early resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been leading the country since 1990. From 1994 to 1999 he served as minister for foreign affairs of Kazakhstan. He was then promoted to deputy prime minister and later the same year prime minister of Kazakhstan. He was prime minister from 1999 until 2002, when he was then appointed state secretary – minister of foreign affairs before becoming minister for foreign affairs in 2003.
He remained in the position until January 2007 when he was firstly elected chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 2011, he became director-general of the U.N. Office in Geneva. Then two years later, the Kazakhstani Senate elected him as its chairman for the second time.