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Kazakhstan reliant on Russia but not compliant

Monday, June 14, 2021


Russia has long had ambitions to invest the EEU with political as well as economic function, but Kazakhstan has resisted this strongly. The Kazakh authorities still see the EEU as a vital mechanism for intra-regional trade. However, proximity to the dominant economy has downsides, and there are signs that Kazakhstan is vulnerable to economic risks emanating from Russia.


  • The Russian elite seems oblivious to the anger the EEU sanctions issue has created in Kazakhstan.
  • Belarus's new anti-West stance sets it and Russia apart in the five-member EEU.
  • EEU scepticism could shift Kazakh-Russian relations substantially once Nursultan Nazarbayev finally leaves the political scene.

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