Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev after the latter vowed to abide by sanctions on Russia
Germany is satisfied with Kazakhstan's professed commitment to Western sanctions against Russia, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said. The Central Asian nation is a member of several Russian-led economic and security pacts, and has been accused by some in the West of helping Moscow circumvent the restrictions.
Following his meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Thursday, Chancellor Scholz said that "it is good and helpful that the Kazakh government supports us in preventing sanction circumvention and has taken active counter-measures."
The remark came after President Tokayev assured German officials that "Kazakhstan has unequivocally clarified that it will abide by the sanctions."
Some experts in the West have previously voiced concerns that Astana is merely paying lip service to Western economic restrictions and is secretly helping Moscow acquire Western-made goods, including dual-use ones that could have a military application.
The German chancellor described Kazakhstan as an "important partner" that can help Berlin diversify its crude oil imports and diminish its dependence on Russian energy supplies. Scholz also mentioned other raw materials that the Central Asian country is rich in and are necessary for Germany to transition to clean energy.
Tokayev, in turn, confirmed his country's readiness to ramp up oil exports to Germany, which he called a "strategic partner nation in the European Union," and to secure long-term deliveries.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Chancellor Scholz is set to receive the leaders of the other Central Asian states - Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
Last Tuesday, US President Joe Biden also met with the leaders of the five former Soviet republics on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. According to a readout of the talks, closer trade and security cooperation were high on the agenda, along with the development of the Trans-Caspian Trade Route, also known as the Middle Corridor, spearheaded by the G7 countries.