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12 Nov, 2023 15:14

Kremlin blasts Western media’s attitude to post-Soviet state

Dmitry Peskov has dismissed a label given by several Western media outlets, saying that Astana pursues a flexible foreign policy
Kremlin blasts Western media’s attitude to post-Soviet state

Attempts by the Western media to portray Kazakhstan as Russia’s “backyard” are an element of information warfare and have nothing to do with reality, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said.  

The label was applied to the Central Asian nation by several Western outlets, including Bloomberg and Politico, which wrote articles covering French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit there in late October. The trip was followed by a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana on Thursday.  

In an interview with Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin released on Sunday, the spokesman flatly rejected the idea that Kazakhstan, a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes six ex-Soviet republics, could be called “Russia’s backyard.”  

“What a foolish thing to say. This is all an information war,” he said, stressing that Kazakhstan is a fully sovereign and independent state with a flexible foreign policy that “is developing cooperation in all directions.”  

Still, Peskov remarked that Astana remains Moscow’s “strategic ally,” and the two have deep ties in various spheres. “This relationship is based on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and true alliance, where no one imposes or dictates anything to anyone. This is what we stand for,” he added.  

The spokesman went on to say that the West generally tries to forge ties not for its own benefit but rather in an effort to “push Russia out of various regions.” “We don’t think that this policy holds any promise,” Peskov added.  

Peskov’s comments echoed those made by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin earlier this week, who dismissed the “backyard” label as “stupid,” pointing out that his country is completely independent and has a long and rich history.  

During their talks, Putin and Tokayev signed a roadmap for Russian-Kazakh cooperation for the next three years and discussed major joint energy projects. The Russian leader pointed out that the relationship between the two countries “has flourished over many years.”  

Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, Macron went to Kazakhstan in a bid to secure uranium deliveries for French nuclear power plants, as well as to drive a wedge between Moscow and Astana amid the ongoing standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine.