Russian Media Reacts to Macron’s visit to Kazakhstan
Contacts between the leadership of Kazakhstan and Western leaders invariably cause reactions in Russia. This occured after Qassym-Jomart Toqayev’s trip to Europe. Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Astana was no exception. Orda.kz has collected statements made by political scientists from the neighboring state about the purposes of the French leader’s visit to Kazakhstan.
The most popular point of view is that there may very well be a potential agreement on the supply of uranium to France against the backdrop of the deteriorating relations with Niger. Political scientist Sergei Markov has written about this on his Telegram channel.
Macron begins a visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. There he will say a lot of beautiful words, but Macron’s real goal is to get uranium from them. After all, Niger, the main supplier of uranium for France, broke off relations with them, imposed an embargo and expelled French troops. And France receives 90% of its energy from nuclear power plants,
In Uzbekistan, according to Markov, the French president will discuss uranium supply routes:
The difficulty for France is that uranium, according to IAEA safety rules, must be transported by land. And this means through the territory of either Russia or Azerbaijan. And France has now quarreled with Russia over Ukraine, and with Azerbaijan over Armenia.
Markov’s opinion coincided with the assumptions of American experts who, before Macron’s arrival, said almost the same thing about the visit's purposes.
The speaker on the Zvezda TV channel, nuclear energy expert Alexander Uvarov, also spoke about uranium, but from a different angle. He believes that so far France's deteriorating relations with Niger have not had all that serious of an impact. But the purpose of Macron’s visit could be an agreement to reduce uranium supplies to other countries to set up future supplies.
He may try to subtly ask the leaders of Kazakhstan to somehow try to reduce the volume of cooperation with China because the PRC buys uranium there in huge quantities. This is all in the realm of forecasts, Uvarov said.
Another supposed goal of Macron’s visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan is to lure Kazakhstan to the side of the collective West. Political scientist Denis Denisov expressed such a view to Izvestia.
At the very least, this is a rather symbolic step, which is intended to, once again, demonstrate to Russia that a number of countries in the collective West will make significant efforts to involve even those states that maintain positive neutrality regarding Russia into their paradigm, said the expert.
A similar opinion was expressed to Tsargrad by Viktor Mizin, a leading researcher at the Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He believes that Macron’s goal as the leader of a NATO country is to agree on reducing the flow of sanctioned products into Russia through Central Asian countries.
Much is being done to ensure that Central Asian countries, such as Kazakhstan, are not the main players in matters of import substitution and parallel imports. NATO is very worried that goods that are subject to sanctions are coming into Russia, says Mizin.
Some Russian experts drew attention to the fact that Qasym-Jomart Toqayev called Emmanuel Macron’s visit historic. This is true, as it has been the first visit to Kazakhstan made by a French leader in nine years. But some Russian political scientists decided that this was a gesture.
I don’t think there will be anything special at the meeting, the word “historic” is common for this kind of rhetoric. I wouldn’t exaggerate here, but we need to show our respect to the President of France, political scientist Alexey Markin told News.ru.
The Kremlin also reacted to the French president’s visit to Kazakhstan. It was commented on by Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
Kazakhstan is a sovereign state and, of course, develops relations with all countries at its own discretion, he said.
The two president's meeting nonetheless has concrete results: several investment agreements between Kazakhstan and France in the fields of energy, transport, extraction of strategic minerals and others.
Original Author: Igor Ulitin
DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original piece in Russian for accuracy.
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