Kazakhstan - 04

Kazakhstan: Domestic Challenges to Nazarbayev’s International Aspirations

Earlier this week President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that Kazakhstan had finally secured its entry to the WTO after a 19-year-long accession process. Nazarbayev emphasized that the country’s accession makes it a truly global player that will not be dependent on any single economic organization– implying the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) – while acknowledging that WTO and EEU requirements are complementary and beneficial to Kazakhstan’s development. Astana’s strategy of diversifying away from Russian political influence and engaging international organizations was amplified by Nazarbayev’s recent signing of a new law that permits Kazakh forces to be used under UN peacekeeping programs in conflict zones, ostensibly to raise the country’s profile and give it another leverage tool vis-à-vis Russia. However…

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