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Kazakhstan and the EU celebrate 30 years of ever-closer relations

The 30th anniversary of the establishment of official relations between the EU and Kazakhstan was celebrated in Brussels by diplomats and other guests. This partnership is rapidly growing. Both sides wanted to recognize the mutual importance and value of their strategic relationship, writes Nick Powell, Political Editor.

Even though it was a celebration of a 30-year relationship, everyone at the Brussels celebration was aware that Kazakhstan had experienced a remarkable twelve months. This was both for Kazakhstan and its relations with Europe. Ambassador Margulan Baimukhan noted that they were moving their strategic partnership to new heights.

He said, “This is just the beginning… I am certain the future will bring many success stories of relations between Kazakhstan & the European Union”. He pointed out that the EU is his country’s biggest trade and investment partner.

Michael Siebert, the European External Action Service’s Managing Director for Central Asia, stated that the EU had become closer to Kazakhstan over the past 30 years.


He said, “It’s been a steadily growing partnership that we can honestly say today is a strategic relationship. We are very happy about the state of affairs between Kazakhstan and the European Union.”

Mr Siebert spoke of the significant improvement in the relationship between 2023 and 2023 partly due to the recent geopolitical turmoil. The relationship was solid, and in 2020 an enhanced partnership agreement and cooperation agreement covering 29 areas came into effect. He added, “We will strengthen our cooperation in the future.”

The EEAS managing Director highlighted areas of great potential in transport, economic cooperation, green transformation, climate policy, education, research and development, and transport. He also referred to the memorandum on understanding that was signed last year regarding a strategic partnership for sustainable raw materials, batteries, and renewable hydrogen.


He stated that the MoU was the foundation of the partnership in this crucial area for the green energy transition. It was there that Kazakhstan offered so many things to the European Union in the future, and where the EU hoped for reciprocity.

Ambassador Baimukhan said that more than EUR160 billion had been invested by European companies in Kazakhstan’s economy. The EU now accounts for a third all international trade. Erbol Karashukeyev (Kazakhstan’s Minister for Agriculture), was introduced by Baimukhan. He also stressed the importance of Kazakhstan in creating a sustainable world.

He said that Kazakhstan had a great potential to produce and export high-quality, environmentally friendly organic agricultural products. He said that Kazakhstan is already a leading exporter of oilseeds and cereals in the world.

Michael Siebert also discussed the EU’s interest in Kazakhstan’s transformation. He said, “We have seen the vision for a just, fair Kazakhstan that is more democratic, more inclusive.” He said that the European Union would be there to assist him in any situation that was necessary.

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