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French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Kazakhstan will grant France access to new resources.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Kazakhstan will grant France access to new resources.

President Macron paid a visit to Kazakhstan where he held talks with Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries have become game-changing players for Europe, particularly in the fields of nuclear energy and fossil fuels. This trip is aimed at attracting new customers and reinforcing ties with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Kazakhstan currently occupies a significant place in European affairs. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the flow of Russian oil to the European Union has experienced a downwards spiral, which caused Kazakhstan to rank third most significant oil supplier, following the United States and Norway.

Furthermore, France holds an interest in Central Asian uranium, as over 60% of the country’s electricity production relies on nuclear energy, Kazakhstan coincidentally holding a global leading positionon in uranium extraction. In exchange for uranium supplies, Kazakhstan intends to acquire French technologies and expertise to develop its own nuclear energy capabilities and boost its engineers’ qualifications.


"Kazakhs are invested in our nuclear expertise," said a member of the French delegation in Kazakhstan.

Currently, dialogues are underway with the French state-owned company EDF regarding the construction of the first nuclear power station in Kazakhstan. Simultaneously, the Paris administration is interested in establishing Kazakh branches of French universities, according to a representative of the delegation.

In a press briefing held during Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev showed his admiration for France, acknowledging it as a crucial and reliable ally. In response, Mr. Macron thanked Mr. Tokayev for adhering to the Western-imposed sanctions on Russia.

It should be noted that Macron’s visit and the development of relations with Kazakhstan were partly influenced by Tokayev’s domestic policy. The President of Kazakhstan, who previously worked at the United Nations, is now striving to lead the country down a democratic path. Over the past two years, comprehensive political reforms have been implemented in the republic. Amongst the most marked changes are a ban on the reelection of the president for a second term, the fight against corruption, restrictions on the appointment of high-ranking positions in government and state-owned corporations by the president’s next of kin, the expansion of freedom for peaceful protests through the introduction of a notification system for organizing mass events, the abolition of the death penalty, and several other reforms.

Mr. Macron’s visit holds a strategic significance, as it presents an excellent opportunity to re-channel Russia’s traditional partners towards the West, particularly due to the conflict in Ukraine.

In particular, this pertains to Kazakhstan, which aspires to regional leadership not only because of its economic achievements but also due to its commitment to bolstering democratic institutions in the country.

In fact, France is among the world leading countries investing in Kazakhstan, surpassing China, with a total investment volume of 18 billion euros and over 170 French companies established at the local level. In 2022, the trade turnover between France and Kazakhstan amounted to a total of 4 billion euros, accounting for the additional 30% in comparison with the previous year.



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