Expert: Azerbaijan is regional "anchor state" for Kazakhstan
    Caliber.Az talks to Aidar Amrebayev

    INTERVIEWS  15 May 2023 - 11:43

    Vadim Mansurov

    Economic diversification is the task facing the Turkic countries of Central Asia, which are friendly to Azerbaijan and face a difficult choice. For example, there is a heated dialogue going on in Kazakhstan between analysts and experts calling for maintaining political and economic ties with Russia on the one hand, or for severing or radically revising ties with Moscow in favor of strengthening strategic contacts with the OTS countries – Azerbaijan and Türkiye – on the other. Fortunately, Azerbaijan is actively laying the foundation for such cooperation – recently, Ilham Aliyev's visits have taken place in all countries of the region.

    At the same time, Kazakhstan's political scientist and director of the Political Research Centre Aidar Amrebayev stressed in an interview with Caliber.Az that Kazakhstan is now living in the era of a "new normal", characterised by the revision of established ideas about itself, the surrounding countries, interdependence, and orderliness of the world.

    According to his definition, the international order itself is collapsing in front of his eyes - "the old backbones, principles of organisation, landmarks, and focal points of development are being revised, and even more dubious structures are replacing the former ones".

    "This is a situation that almost any country, including in the international space and having at least some ambition and vision for its own future, is experiencing. Kazakhstan is no exception. Our vision comes from the desire for greater consistency and influence in both near and far international relations. We are not only interested in interpreting/reinterpreting history or striving to be relevant today with the prospect of a recognizable future. Kazakhstan is a medium-sized regional country with a significant territory, rich resources, and developed human capital. We want to be recognized and acknowledged in the world today. We are abandoning the perceptions associated with a dependent past. But in the post-colonial discourse as well, we seek an adequate assessment of our potential and a greater sovereign international subjectivity," said the political scientist.

    Amrebayev is convinced that linking Kazakhstan to one or another orbit of external influence is unfair and wrong a priori, while the country's sovereignty is more relevant than ever. In this situation, he says, the diversification of reference points is possible only on the basis of shared values and meanings. And the ties between the countries "are not only and not so much about roads", but about changing the vector of politics, i.e. we are talking about a new sovereign identity.

    That is why, according to the political scientist, there is now an intense dialogue between the countries initiating sanctions against Russia and Kazakhstan.

    "But our side has many contexts to consider. All the content and depth of our interests are not just white and black. We do not associate ourselves with the West yet, we are not free from the post-soviet discourse yet, but we feel discomfort from the efforts of the 'Russian world', we look cautiously at the 'community of common destiny with China', but we perceive the native 'Turkic world' with hope," the political scientist underlined.

    According to him, "the threat of sanctions or isolation is only a visible part of our self-perception today. We are in search of ourselves today". So now, Amrebayev stresses, Kazakhstan is at a crossroads.

    "For us, the emerging Turkic vector is the closest. But it is growing and has not yet taken full shape in the modern world. In the South Caucasus, as well as in the whole post-Soviet space, Azerbaijan is an "anchor state" for us, with a common fate and native blood. We are similar economically and politically. We cannot treat Azerbaijan as a vector of diversification. It is our native one. In a sense, it is what gives us confidence in the future. Especially after the victory in the 44-day war. The restoration and strengthening of the umbilical cord that connects our peoples is our sacred duty," summed up the Kazakh political scientist.



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