Astana, Kazakhstan (nsnbc) – The reelection of Kazakhstan’s incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev suggests a continuum of the development toward greater stability, a balanced foreign policy, regional partnership against extremism and the development of the EEU in times of unprecedented national, regional and international challenges.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, who governed Kazakhstan since 1989 has won a fifth and comfortable election victory. Contrary to some, particularly western media reports, Nazarbayev is a reformist who won the sympathy and respect of the vast majority of the electorate by applying prudence and long-term perspectives and goals.
Nazarbayev is widely regarded as the primary academic, intellectual and political architect of the post-Soviet developments that culminated in the formal establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in early 2015.
Contrary to particularly western critics, Nazarbayev’s administration was reforming post-Soviet Kazakhstan slowly, but with determination and prudence.
Among the primary objectives since 1989 were, among others; to protect the country from the “wild east style usurpation” that Russia experienced during the term of Russian President Boris Yeltsin; a transformation towards transparent and accountable government; a national discourse that countered foreign-fueled separatist and religious extremist trends; persistent work towards the establishment of a post-Soviet market that culminated in the establishment of the EEU; a balanced foreign policy that helped Kazakhstan meet the political and security challenges that were, and are being posed by the divergence in the geopolitical, regional objectives of the USA/NATO, China and Russia.
Considering that the economy of Kazakhstan is dependent on the export of natural resources, the 2014/15 slumping of of oil price could have had a serious impact on the nation’s national economy. Some of the effects are likely to be mitigated due to the creation of the inner market and long-term, strategic economic cooperation with EEU members, including those EEU members, like Belarus, who are not subject to e.g. G7, US, or EU sanctions.
Nazarbayev has, since 1989, shown that he masters long-term strategic, political and economic prudence as much as he masters the walk on a tightrope that has spared the people of his country from the spread of Islamist extremism beyond a measure that is controllable by prudence, dialog, inclusiveness and decisive action when everything else fails.
When the people of Kazakhstan, in 2010, honored Nazarbayev with the honorary title “Leader of the Nation” it was a well-deserved title and some might want to add “Father of the Eurasian Economic Union”.
Author: Christof Lehmann
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