SPIEF 2022: Kazakhstan strengthens economic cooperation with Tatarstan and Bashkortostan

The meeting between Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (Kazakhstan) and Rustam Minnikhov (Tatarstan) during SPIEF 2022 (Credits: Akorda.kz)

During the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2022), Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev meets separately with Tatarstan Head of State Rustam Minnikhanov and Bashkortostan Head of State Radiy Khaboriv to discuss the prospects for expanding cooperation between the parties in the trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.

During the meetings with the Tatar and Bashkir representatives, Kazakh President focused the attention on the implementation of joint projects in key sectors of the economy, as well as the integration of Kazakh factories into the production chains of enterprises in the Russian Federation.[1]

Geopolitical assessment

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s official visit to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2022) confirmed the diplomatic, economic and political partnership between Russia and Kazakhstan and the strategic role that the Kremlin still plays in Central Asian dynamics.

Tatarstan and Bashkortostan have played an influential role in promoting the Russia-Kazakhstan economic and diplomatic ties. At the end of 2021, Kazakhstan-Tatarstan’s mutual trade amounted to $423 million. The countries successfully implemented significant projects in the field of mechanical engineering. The Tatar companiesTatnef (oil and gas sector) and Kamaz (manufacturer of trucks, buses, and engines) are two strategic assets in enhancing Russian-Kazakh cooperation. In the last eleven months of 2021, Kazakhstan-Bashkortostan trade turnover increased by 30.4% and amounted to 336.7 million dollars.

Since the beginning of the year and after the riots and political crisis which interested Kazakhstan at the beginning of January 2022,[2] Tatarstan and Bashkortostan have worked to improve their economic partnership with Nursultan, promoting business and economic collaboration and exploiting a shared cultural background.[3]

Conclusion

Generally speaking, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan support the Russian foreign policy in Central Asia.[4] Since Kazakhstan is a Central Asian republic that belongs to the post-Soviet space that the Kremlin considers its blizhnee zarubezhe (near abroad) and lebensraum (vital space), the Russian Federation might use the good increasing Kazakhstan-Bashkortostan and Kazakhstan-Tatarstan relations to enhance its influence and presence in the Kazakh territory and market, counter the Chinese financial investments linked to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, the U.S. soft power and attempt to create a commercial and economic partnership with Kazakhstan and entire Central Asia, and Ankara’s Pan-Turkism aimed at establishing an alternative regional bloc based on a common culture and language.[5]

Sources

[1] Giuliano Bifolchi (2022) Geopolitical consequences of the political crisis in Kazakhstan, Geopolitical Report Volume 15 Issue 1, SpecialEurasia. Link: https://www.specialeurasia.com/2022/01/08/geopolitics-kazakhstan-crisis/

[2] SpecialEurasia (2022) Kazakhstan and Bashkortostan increased their trade volume and economic partnership. Link: https://www.specialeurasia.com/2022/01/20/kazakhstan-bashkortostan-economy/

[3] SpecialEurasia (2022) Turkmenistan and Tatarstan strengthened their economic cooperation. Link: https://www.specialeurasia.com/2022/02/07/turkmenistan-tatarstan-economy/

[4] Giuliano Bifolchi (2022) Tatarstan’s role in Kyrgyz economic diversification and investments attraction, Geopolitical Report Volume 13 Issue 8, SpecialEurasia. Link: https://www.specialeurasia.com/2021/11/19/tatarstan-kyrgyzstan-economy/

[5] Giuliano Bifolchi (2022) Turkey and pan-Turkism in Central Asia: challenges for Russia and China, Geopolitical Report Volume 7 Issue 2, SpecialEurasia. Link: https://www.specialeurasia.com/2021/05/05/turkey-pan-turkism-central-asia/


Author: Giuliano Bifolchi. Do not hesitate to Contact Us for further analyses or reports about Tatarstan and Kazakhstan.

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