Kazakhstan and EU agree to extend cooperation

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ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on March 30. The meeting focused on ratification of the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed in December 2015 and sanctions against Russia that affect Kazakhstan, RFE/RL reported.  

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan and the EU agreed to continue joint efforts aimed at resolving the sanction confrontation for the benefit of all concerned parties and taking into account its influence on Kazakhstan, the Kazakh presidential press service said.     

Nazarbayev also said that today Kazakhstan is the only post-Soviet state that has signed an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU.

Jean-Claude Juncker spoke for further development of trade and economic cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan, adding that the European Union is an important economic partner for Kazakhstan.   

Nazarbayev added that he asked Juncker to assist in lifting visa requirements for Kazakh citizens traveling to EU countries as a goodwill gesture after Kazakhstan lifted tourist visa requirements for EU and U.S. citizens in July 2015.

While hailing closer ties with the West, Nazarbayev noted Russia and China remain key partners for Kazakhstan.

“Located in the very center of the Eurasian continent and being landlocked, Kazakhstan has been building close, friendly ties with the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation; they are our major partners in economic cooperation,” Nazarbayev said.

Sergey Kwan

TCA