Kazakhstan and EU Negotiating on Simplification of Visa Procedures

Negotiations on simplifying visa procedures have been launched between Kazakhstan and the European Union, as announced by the EU International Special Envoy for Sanctions, David O’Sullivan, Kazinform reported. At a press conference following his visit, O’Sullivan noted the active development of relations between the EU and Kazakhstan. “We are important partners,” he stated. “The EU is Kazakhstan’s largest trading partner and the largest source of foreign direct investment. We have also established an essential strategic partnership. Within this partnership, we are also developing and committing, which is going very well now, to economic cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan.”

O’Sullivan also spoke about the ongoing work in visa liberalization. “It is gratifying to note that we were able to launch negotiations on the simplification of visa procedures, which in turn will contribute to further strengthening of our cooperation,” he stated.

Many media outlets link the EU special envoy’s visit to Kazakhstan’s compliance with anti-Russian sanctions. However, Kazakh political scientist, Eduard Poletayev believes the meetings are just a continuation of the dialog between the EU and Kazakhstan.

“It is important to understand that the visit of the special envoy is within the framework of his duties as a high-ranking official, is not a ‘check,’ but is carried out within the framework of Kazakhstan’s agreements with the EU and was planned with the consent of Astana. Kazakhstan imposes no sanctions on Russia, and trade between the two countries continues. But the sanctions requirements of the West are observed, which has been repeatedly emphasized by the country’s leadership,” Poletaev wrote on his Telegram channel.