EU Special Envoy came to Kazakhstan again with inspection

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International Special Envoy of the EU for sanctions, David O'Sullivan, who arrived in Astana for a working visit, made a statement regarding the circumvention of Russian sanctions.

David O'Sullivan noted a positive dynamic compared to his previous visit to Kazakhstan in April. According to him, there is a noticeable reduction in the level of re-export of certain goods to the Russian market.

However, as O'Sullivan emphasized, there has been an increase in the re-export of other categories of products. Therefore, it is necessary to intensify Kazakhstan's cooperation with the European Union on this issue, as much work lies ahead, reports.

He acknowledged the efforts of several countries, including Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Armenia, to prevent the entry of goods potentially for military use into the Russian market.

O'Sullivan stated that the complexities and costs of re-export to Russia have increased.

However, he emphasized that he is not pressuring Kazakhstan on this issue. The position of each state regarding sanctions is a sovereign decision.

The main thing is that Kazakhstan is interested in developing trade and economic relations with the EU and attracting European investments. The use of the country to circumvent sanctions may negatively impact its reputation and business climate.

In his statement on November 28, discussing goods re-exported to Russia, he mentioned that these are primarily high-tech goods such as integrated circuits, RAM, and equipment with optical sights.

According to him, the re-exported goods account for a "relatively small share in Kazakhstan's trade turnover, totaling only 200 million euros per year."

Kazakh authorities claim that they have completely banned the supply of military goods to Russia since May 2022, and for dual-use goods, they have introduced special certification and export permits.

In March 2023, Bloomberg reported that Russia receives chips and microchips through Kazakhstan, Turkey, and the UAE to bypass sanctions.

However, the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that private firms may engage in the re-export of prohibited goods, but the authorities are trying to prevent such shipments. In June, the Minister of Trade of Kazakhstan told Azattyk media that "more than a hundred companies are under observation."

November 29, 2023