On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union, the President of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and the President of the European Council, Mr. Charles Michel met in Astana on October 27, 2022.
During the talks, held in an open, friendly and constructive atmosphere, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and President Charles Michel confirmed the high level and dynamic development of relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union over the past 30 years. They agreed to further strengthen, deepen and expand the Kazakh-EU multifaceted cooperation in the years ahead.
The parties reiterated their firm commitment to the UN Charter, international law and the principles of sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. The Presidents emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and security, as well as resolving disputes through diplomatic means.
The two leaders agreed on further and full implementation of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) between Kazakhstan and the EU, the EU Strategy on Central Asia, as well as the new EU initiatives for Central Asia on connectivity and other sectors.
Both Presidents welcomed the dynamic political, trade and economic cooperation over the last 30 years. They were pleased to note that the European Union is Kazakhstan’s main trade and investment partner. In this regard, the Presidents stressed the importance of tapping the existing potential in the areas of green economy, energy efficiency, digitalization, and connectivity between Kazakhstan and the European Union.
The meeting also touched upon cooperation in the field of critical raw materials (CRMs), especially rare earth metals. The parties confirmed their willingness to develop a strategic partnership in the field of CRMs and welcomed the upcoming signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union on a strategic partnership on sustainable raw materials, batteries and renewable hydrogen value chains. In this vein, they also stressed the importance of consistent improvement of the business climate and ensuring conducive environment for further attracting EU investments into Kazakhstan.
Special attention was paid to the issue of avoiding unintended negative impact on Kazakhstan’s economy of the European Union’s sanctions. President Michel reiterated that EU sanctions were not directed against third countries and highlighted the importance of international sanctions being neither evaded nor circumvented. Both sides also discussed the relocation of European manufacturing companies, the products of which are not subject to sanctions, to Kazakhstan.
Given the current geopolitical situation, President Tokayev and President Michel noted the importance of expanding existing and developing new international transport corridors between Europe and Central Asia to facilitate global production and supply chains. They also discussed the opportunities offered by the
Trans-Caspian International Transport Route and options for developing it further, and the role of other transport connections in the region.
The two Presidents noted that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges to which Kazakhstan and the EU need to adapt their economic activities. The problem of global warming requires urgent and effective action by the global community. Both sides underscored the importance of strengthening expert, technological and technical cooperation to adapt their economies with low-carbon development. They also touched upon the need for further support for regional cooperation in the area of water management.
The two leaders welcomed the constructive dialogue between Kazakhstan and the European Union in the field of human rights and the rule of law. Kazakhstan reiterated its commitments in these areas. The President of the European Council welcomed Kazakhstan's significant reform agenda in order to advance its political modernization and its vision of a Just and Fair Kazakhstan, as well as its commitment to a full and transparent investigation of the January events.
President Tokayev and President Michel exchanged views on regional and international agenda, including Afghanistan. The parties underlined the importance of strengthening regional dialogue in Central Asia, which is a key to prosperity, resilience and further sustainable development of the region.