Kazakhstan welcomes France’s Macron under Moscow’s disapproving gaze

French President Emmanuel Macron entered in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, the former part of his trip to Central Asia, an area immensely recognised as Russia’s backyard which has drawn fresh Western attention since the war in Ukraine started. Oil-rich Kazakhstan has already emerged as a replacement supplier of crude to European nations turning off Russian supply and a prominent connection in the fresh China-Europe trade route bypassing Russia.

At a meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Macron praised Astana for rejecting to side with Moscow on Ukraine and said the two nations did planning to sign prominent business deals. “We will be able to do progress on prominent international things , underscore our commitment to the United Nations charter and principles such as territorial integrity and national sovereignty,” he revealed through an interpreter.

Russia has constantly shown concern about the West’s developing diplomatic activity in previous Soviet Central Asian countries. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said latest week the West was attempting to pull Russia’s “neighbours, friends and allies” away from it.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where Macron will move next, have rejected to understand Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories and have promised to abide by Western sanctions in opposition to Moscow, while calling both Russia and Western nations such as France their strategic partners. In addition to oil, Kazakhstan is a major exporter of uranium, and France’s Orano already operates a collaborative journey with its state nuclear firm Kazatomprom. The Kazakh government said the sides planned to talk about energy cooperation, trade, and regional and global matters. “We can call your visit historic, extremely necessary,” Tokayev revealed Macron.