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EU sanctions envoy: Kazakhstan reducing export of dual-use goods to Russia

by Nate Ostiller November 28, 2023 11:52 PM 2 min read
A line of trucks waiting to cross the Kazakhstan-Russia border by the Kazakh Syrym crossing point on Sept. 27, 2022. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)
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Kazakhstan has significantly reduced the amount of exports of dual-use goods to Russia, but the exports of other goods to Russia have simultaneously increased, EU Sanctions Envoy David O'Sullivan said during a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Nov. 28.

The coverage of the press conference did not include clarification on what kinds of goods O'Sullivan was referring to as having increased.

O'Sullivan is expected to visit Uzbekistan on Nov. 29 to focus on the same issue.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has said that the country will comply with the sanctions regime against Russia, and Kazakh officials have said the export of military goods to Russia ceased shortly after the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

At the same time, Astana has received criticism for allowing Moscow to circumvent international sanctions imposed on Russia over its aggression against Ukraine. This has included importing and then re-exporting goods that the Russian defense industry uses for arms production.

The Kazakh Deputy Trade Minister Kairat Torebayev said on Oct. 19 that Kazakhstan would stop the export of more than 100 dual-use goods with potential military uses to Russia, but the trade ministry issued a statement on the same day refuting Torebayev's comments.

Successive rounds of sanctions against Russia, including the 12th EU package that is currently under discussion, have sought to curb Russia's ability to evade sanctions using third-party countries like Kazakhstan.

Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangharin told RFE/RL's Kazakh service in June 2023 that despite government efforts and Western sanctions, private Kazakh companies have continued to export banned technologies to Russia, including drone components.

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