Kazakhstan’s influence in Central Asia is growing, and may expand even further, to countries such as Afghanistan, as Astana wants to solve the Afghan problem by introducing new peacekeeping initiatives.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev arrived in New York to meet with the US leadership and to deliver a speech at the United Nations, as his country is starting its two-year term as a non-permanent UN Security Council member.
On Thursday, Nazarbaev delivered a speech at the UN headquarters about the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He called for a special resolution, which will introduce tougher sanctions against states that violate the non-proliferation regime.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who also took part in the meeting, said that Moscow shares Astana’s concerns when it comes to WMDs.
The Soviet Union was one of the first countries to ratify The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons (NPT), which was opened for signature 50 years ago. Russia still considers this document to be the most important legal guidebook on nuclear non-proliferation, and refuses to ratify other recent initiatives, such as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (NPTW), which is being actively backed by the US, since the NPTW does not take into account many important security factors.
According to Lavrov, the world is now facing new challenges, such as preventing WMDs from falling into the hands of non-state actors.
#Lavrov: We are gravely concerned about threat of terrorists acquiring chemical weapons in the Middle East, in counties like Syria and Iraq… Some of Russia's Western partners turn a blind eye on threat of terrorists getting their hands on WMDs.— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) 18 января 2018 г.
Later on Thursday, Lavrov held talks with his Kuwaiti, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Kazakh counterparts on the sidelines of the main event.
The fourth meeting was unplanned, but Lavrov and his Kazakh colleague Kairat Abdurakhmanov eventually decided to put another round of talks on their schedule. Kazakhstan’s top diplomat thanked Russia for supporting his country in the UN – both last year and during Thursday’s Council meeting.
In 2016, Russia was one of the countries, which voted for Kazakhstan’s bid to become a non-permanent UN Security council member. One hundred and thirty-eight countries supported Kazakhstan, while its competitor in the contest, Thailand received only 55 votes.