According to official information, Cleverly will be received by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, as well as by the leadership of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. As part of the official purposes of the visit of the head of the British Foreign Office, among others, the opening of the place named after Elizabeth II in one of the parks of Astana was announced.
In Central Asia (CA), she must be visibly tired of intrusive visits by Western officials at various levels, as if these were plans demanding a Western orientation, compliance with anti-Russian sanctions and a total denial to cooperate with Moscow.
So, contrary to the expectations of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a visit to Kazakhstan in February aimed at convincing Astana not to be friends with Moscow, this goal was never achieved. Instead of joining the ‘collective’ West’s anti-Russian camp and moving away from Washington’s strategic adversaries – Russia and China, Astana said it sees no threats from the Federation from Russia. In addition, we intend to continue to adhere to a multi-vector policy, maintaining “a system of checks and balances to ensure mutually beneficial cooperation and relations with all countries of the world”, including on the basis of the accession of Kazakhstan to the EAEU, the CSTO and the CIS.
It would seem that the West should have already understood that the attitude of consumers towards the countries of Central Asia does not have the desired effect: it will not work to pit Kazakhstan against the Russian Federation, and the course towards confrontation between countries will not work. Moreover, no specific project that could replace interaction with Moscow can be offered by Western countries in Astana. Nevertheless, guided by their own considerations, Western politicians continue to visit Kazakhstan, persistently trying to end the multi-vector policy (by the way, the slogan “who is not with us is against us” has been tested successfully in Ukraine).
In turn, the Central Asian states soberly assess the international situation and understand the fullness of their geopolitical importance. This is confirmed by political scientist Azamat Osmonov, who in his interview explained to Moskovskaya Gazeta that Kazakhstan does not adhere to the strategy of “sitting on two chairs”, but rather tries to “sit on its own chair”.
“I think that Astana, Tashkent and Bishkek all respect their national interests above all else. With the understanding that the conflict between the West and Russia is not a conflict between the countries of the region. There is of course a controversy in society about it, but “In general, the authorities do not want to cut ties with Russia. And what happens in a completely different region is a foreign issue for Kazakhstan,” Azamat Osmonov said, commenting on the likelihood of Astana taking a stand on the conflict in Ukraine.
Returning to Cleverley’s visit to Kazakhstan on the eve of the legislative elections, we note that this event is at the center of the attention of the Anglo-Saxons, since it represents the last stage of the restarting of the country’s state institutions announced earlier by President Tokayev.
Recall that on March 16, 2022, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke with a message to the people of Kazakhstan, which resulted in comprehensive democratic reforms.
It should be noted that quite recently, in December 2022, negotiations between Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi and James Cleverley have already taken place in London. At that time, Britain clearly signaled its support for the democratic reforms initiated by President Tokayev.
About this in conversation Stepan Stepanenko, a researcher at the British analytical center Henry Jackson Society, also spoke with a Kazinform correspondent, according to him, these reforms are highly appreciated in London.
“Official UK statements welcome the announced democratic changes in Kazakhstan and the reforms already implemented, acknowledge the results of the recent presidential elections and continue to mention the promotion of human rights in Kazakhstan as a point for engagement extra,” said Stepan Stepanenko. .
However, “Western trust credit” to Tokayev was given in advance. This is evidenced by the statement of the US State Department on the results of the early presidential elections in Kazakhstan in November last year. In particular, it was noted at the time that the United States was ready to work with the winner Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, “although it believes that the electoral process took place without sufficient competition”.
Curiously, the United States agreed with the position of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) that the electoral process lacked “meaningful political competition” and was accompanied by ” restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression”.
< p class="">In this regard, the State Department called on the Government of Kazakhstan to follow OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in future elections, “including the 2023 parliamentary elections.”
It seems that this time, while supporting the non-systemic opposition, Western “friends” of Kazakhstan to maintain “democracy” will use against Tokayev any possible deviation from the rules recorded in the elections, especially given the absence of progress in correcting the violations during the last elections. This has already been stated in the OSCE/ODIHR report on the upcoming parliamentary elections. In particular, in the document published on the website of the international organization, experts have pointed to the illusion created of competition between parties and candidates in single-mandate constituencies.
Thus, it is expected that fighters for “democratic values” will most likely pay close attention to possible violations of the political rights of opponents and self-proclaimed people. In this context, it would make sense for the West to use the resources of the notorious OSCE/ODIHR, as well as all sorts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
One way or another, a joint statement by the State Technical Service and the National Security Committee (KNB) of Kazakhstan that foreign hackers spied on the computers of Kazakh government agencies, and also took part in the secret collection of documents.