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Kazakhstan went against Moscow

Казахстан пошел наперекор Москве

Taking advantage of the benefits of economic Union with Russia in the framework of the EEU, Kazakhstan does not hurry to support our country in other areas. Increasingly prominent political role of Astana in the world gives her the opportunity to go against Moscow on some issues. By the way, on January 16, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev meets with the President of America, from whom he received the invitation. As noted by the media of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev visiting trump will be before Putin. And it also gives food for thought.

So, in 2017, Kazakhstan produced a record in the history of the country, the volume of hydrocarbons — more than 86 million tons. This was stated by the Minister of national economy of Kazakhstan Timur Suleimenov. “It significantly helped, to be Frank, in the achievement of 4% GDP growth”, — said the official.

From 2014 to 2016 due to depletion of oil fields in Aktobe, Kyzylorda and Aktobe regions oil production in Kazakhstan decreased. However, the recovery of production in the field Kashagan allowed to reverse the situation. Now to reduce production of Kazakhstan does not intend

At the same time Kazakhstan is involved in the transaction of the exporting countries of OPEC, which obliges countries to reduce the level of hydrocarbon production. Ministry of energy of Kazakhstan has repeatedly assured that the country will fulfill its obligations. However, at the end of the 2017 Kazakhstan was producing 130 thousand barrels of oil per day more than stipulated in the agreement OPEC+.

Russia in this period have fulfilled their obligations, reducing production by 300 thousand barrels. As the largest supplier of oil to the world market of Saudi Arabia by 486 thousand barrels. All in all, the meeting in Vienna in 2016 it was decided to reduce the total production of 1.8 million barrels per day.

According to Bloomberg, during the extension of the transaction OPEC+ in the autumn of last year, the countries-participants of the meeting knew that Kazakhstan exceeds the permissible standards of production. However, they decided to close my eyes this fact, as the public demarche of one of the parties to the agreement would do more harm than overproduction of oil.

Russia on the eve of the meeting were ready to increase production if the deal will not happen. But as the initiator of the transaction, obviously felt their responsibility for reaching agreement and achieved success. As a result, the price of oil began to rise until it reached the current $ 70 per barrel, which will benefit all exporters, including Kazakhstan.

In this situation, the position of Astana looks weird. The country has not fulfilled its obligations to reduce production, but it has earned as on the growth of prices per barrel and increased production. Russia, like other participants in the transaction, trying, donated, and Kazakhstan has received everything “for free”.

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Possible cause the condescending attitude of Moscow to the “antics” Astana — a recent freeze in the West $ 22 billion in the National Fund of the country. Us Bank took this decision in a court action, the Moldovan businessman Anatol Stati, who claims that the authorities are forced to sell their oil and gas assets in Kazakhstan.

Also, it is not excluded that Moscow was forced to agree with preferences Astana due to the growth of its importance in international politics. The Syrian peace process, which is so important for Russia, is held in the capital of Kazakhstan. In this situation, had to cajole the new owner of Tselinograd (the so-called Astana in the Soviet period — ed.).

The General Director of Institute of regional problems Dmitry Zhuravlev is not inclined to exaggerate the importance of the special position of Kazakhstan.

— You need to keep in mind that for Kazakhstan, oil is not a key product. Kazakhstan is the leader in terms of uranium mining, but not oil. He is not on a par with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. Therefore, when the OPEC deal+ closed his eyes. If the share of Kazakhstan in world exports of crude oil would be significant, it could not be ignored, as the transaction would not make sense.

Therefore, the actions of Kazakhstan in the oil of the story is how the actions of a teenager. Happen.

Now relations with Kazakhstan is needed by all. And even that’s not what he was elected on not very long term President of the UN security Council. This country, which will talk all opposing side.

“SP”: — Why?

— Because Kazakhstan is initially positioned himself on one hand as an ally of Russia, and the other is very actively developed economic relations with the West. However, more with Europe than with the United States. With Britain, Germany… the Huge German investment in transportation to Kazakhstan. In London Nazarbayev took just as a best friend. I’ve seen it. And on the third hand, this is a country where the majority of the population is Muslim and therefore able to speak with the Saudis and Turkey, etc. and Americans here complicated.

Kazakhstan plays the role played by Austria in the 1970-ies. After all, Austria was part of the Soviet occupation zone and thus part of the Western world. Occupation forces in 1950-ies was taken, and the habit remained. Therefore, OPEC was going to be there. Kazakhstan and Austria is a country for all. They and China communicate with each other and with the United States.

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In addition, oil from Kazakhstan is processed mainly in Russia. Draw your own conclusions.

“SP”: — Apparently, one of the factors — the talks on Syria in Astana…

— So, there they are carried out for the same reason — it’s a comfortable city for all. There is no fear that it will be in Russian, which can back out, or the Americans where not going to the Syrian government. In Switzerland, too, nothing happens, and then all is well. Local authorities all trust.

“SP”: — So, the right angels…

— I didn’t say that. But for them, as for the young state, the priorities of state interests sometimes through the roof. As in Ukraine and in other CIS countries, they believe that their statehood, independence is their greatest asset. Oil for them is also important, but it is only one aspect. Unlike Russia, where everything is tied to oil, Kazakhstan is not so. In General, it is necessary to understand that Kazakhstan focuses on Kazakhstan.

According to the Director of the Center for the study of the crisis of society, Deputy head of the Department of state policy MSU Maxim Vilisova, Russia is more profitable to maintain the system partnership with Kazakhstan than trying to win trivia in each episode.

— If you go back to the beginning of the acute crisis between Russia and the West over Ukraine, there were sanctions, simultaneously dropped the price of oil, and then Russia found out for themselves in the form of devaluation of the ruble, which has significantly mitigated the impact of these macroeconomic processes.

But the flip side to this were the problems that fell to our partners in the Eurasian economic Union, including in Kazakhstan. There painful perceived the current foreign exchange disparity, and new opportunities for Russian exports. But the economic partnership, however, preserved. Though politically on the Ukrainian question did not support us.

Thus, the loyalty of Russia to the policy of Kazakhstan in the sphere of oil production can be a recognition of the importance for Russia’s constructive position of Kazakhstan in the period, when Moscow was hard. The fact that Russia managed to overcome the unprecedented pressure of the West — more significant factor than some of the financial and economic aspects.

This, by the way, the traditional approach to Russian policy. For example, we constantly make concessions on the issue of hydrocarbons in Belarus. It’s the same with Kazakhstan. Though this is an important issue, but from the point of view of system of partnership between our countries it is still local.


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