Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy
After the collapse of USSR,Kazakhstan faced a difficult question: what kind of policy would better protect its interests. it was not easy to find the right answer. Even Mikhail Gorbachev was pretty skeptical about the future of Kazakhstan as an independent state.He thought that a republic with the indigenous ethnic group constituting a minority wouldn't be able to ensure internal stability and was doomed to interference from outside powers.
In the early 1990s, well-known politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and James Baker visited Kazakhstan to feel out the political and economic situation.
The newly-elected President Nursultan A. Nazarbaev was invited to meet President of the USA George H. Bush. This meeting took place in Moscow and lasted for two hours.
We knew that the West was sizing up Kazakhstan,a potential international player and a partner in the Central Asian region.
Kazakhstan attracted their interests not only by its enormous natural resources but also by the fact that it possessed combat-ready nuclear weapons. But Washington was against any enlargement of the "nuclear weapon».
A declaration on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent states (CIS),signed on December 21,1991,in Almaty,provided that Russia was to become the USSR’s successor in the UN Security Council and a successor with regard to the nuclear weapons as well. Thus,the five permanent members of the Council started to draft a document that would provide a legal confirmation that Russia was to be the only nuclear state among the post-Soviet Republics.
The first high-level diplomatic meeting after the break-up of the Soviet Union with the participation of Belarus,Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine was held in March 1992.
At that meeting the participants agreed upon the principal point of the memorandum that Russia was the "only nuclear - weapon state» in the CIS.
Later that provision served as a basic for the Lisbon Protocol of May 1992,which provided a legal confirmation of the renunciation by Belarus,Kazakhstan and Ukraine of any future claims to nuclear weapons. They also proclaimed their commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But,unfortunately, with all these latest developments,the Non-Proliferation Treaty is no longer considered within the international community as some kind of «sacred cow» . A number of so-called «threshold states» want to become nuclear-weapon states.
The signing of the Lisbon Protocol triggered a succession of diplomatic recognition of Kazakhstan. Other countries and international organizations started to open their embassies and offices in Kazakhstan. Looking at Kazakhstan, the international community saw a mature and responsible partner they could deal and establish dialogue with on the most pressing issues on the international agenda.
The main goal was to pursue such a foreign policy that would allow Kazakhstan to maintain stable and predictable relations, first of all with the neighboring states and,second,with all leading players in the Great Game,which had resumed with the arrival of globalization.
We set ourselves a goal to gradually install a whole system of cooperation with interested states without jeopardizing our national interests.