Joint response to the challenges

March 26. Kazpravda. The Hague

By Vladimir Kuryatov

Joint response to the challengesKazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the informal plenary session of the III Nuclear Security Summit and held a press conference on the official visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

To continue the dialogue

The informal plenary session, held on the second day of the Forum was devoted to future summits, their usefulness in addressing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues and the mechanisms needed to stimulate progress in this direction.

– I hope in the face of modern challenges and threats, most members of the international community will act in favor of the continuation of our work after 2016. Kazakhstan is ready to support such a decision, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

He proponed holding the summits at an interval of 4-5 years, explaining why this practice should be continued. First reason is “renaissance” of nuclear power in the world, second- to fully implement the goals and objectives set out at the previous summits, which requires further improvement of national legislations and the universalization of the key multilateral instruments in the nuclear safety, third- for development of international instruments to ensure the security of nuclear materials outside the NPT, fourth- to make the energy sources safe and accessible for sustainable development, and fifth – constant attention is needed to ensure the physical security issues in the development and implementation of new nuclear technologies in various fields.

– Kazakhstan is ready to host one of the successive summits in Astana, – the President concluded.

The need to continue global dialogue and do everything to protect the world against the nuclear threat is also reflected in the joint statement of the Presidents of Kazakhstan and the United States , adopted in the framework of bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the forum. In it the Heads of State expressed the general opinion on the importance of holding the nuclear security summits and confirmed a shared commitment to strengthening of the non-proliferation and nuclear security.

The parties noted with satisfaction a successful implementation of the Program for Cooperative Threat Reduction and concurred on the need to further strengthen the physical security at the former Semipalatinsk test site.

U.S. welcomed Kazakhstan’s efforts to strengthen nuclear security and the implementation of the Washington and Seoul Nuclear Security Summits’ resolutions. Our country’s initiatives, such as transition of the BBP-K research reactor to low-enriched fuel, dilution of highly enriched nuclear materials and removal of spent highly enriched fuel of the reactor at the Institute of Nuclear Physics, meet the forums’ objectives.

Cooperation in this area will continue. The United States supports Kazakhstan’s efforts to place the IAEA LEU Bank on its territory and the establishment of the Regional Centre for Nuclear Safety.

Balance of mutual interests

At the tallying up briefing on the official visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and participation in the III Nuclear Security Summit, the President called his meetings with the King and the Prime Minister of this country fruitful.

– Mutual sales are about $ 10 billion, and the Netherlands is a major investor in Kazakhstan. This country is a world leader in innovation, ecology and medicine, has a very efficient agricultural sector and their experience in the named areas is important to Kazakhstan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev also stressed that our country is an active participant of the III Nuclear Security Summit and a responsible member of the international community as a state, which had closed a world’s largest Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and abandoned the nuclear arsenal.

The summit played out possible scenarios on how a country should act, if faced with a terrorist group that wants to get hold of nuclear materials, and what the international community should undertake under such circumstances.

Besides, uranium is nowadays used in medical, research and other ends, and this process needs be controlled too. Questions about the safety of nuclear fuel waste were raised as well.

The President mentioned Kazakhstan’s proposition regarding the establishment of the low-enriched nuclear fuel Bank to provide safe uranium from to the nuclear power plants.

– On the sidelines of the summit a joint RK-US statement was adopted on the further rehabilitation of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and its infrastructure.

N. Nazarbayev briefed on the bilateral meetings with heads of states that are members of the UN Security Council and the G-8 to discuss important issues of bilateral cooperation and the international agenda.

The President stated a confrontation between Western countries and Russia over the situation around the Crimea.

– There’s much talk of late about the international law, but we are witnessing dangerous precedents of its violation. All these actions throw scores of years back the economies involved in the conflicts. Nonetheless, it should be noted that in Soviet times, the Ukrainian economy was second only to Russia, the republic possessed ample potential. Unfortunately the internal political situation has got out of control there, and the priority task now is to return it into the legal field, to hold elections and elect a legitimate president, parliament and government, then hold peace talks and settle the situation together, the President opined.

– Ukraine, he went on, has not resolved the border issue with Russia, which could be a bone of contention. It is good that Kazakhstan has long settled such issues with Russia, China and other neighboring countries.

– Foreign policy of Kazakhstan is balanced and multi-vectored, and the internal situation in the country is stable, thanks to which it can develop sustainably. For further development we need peace, harmony and national unity. Therefore I urge all the colleagues from foreign countries to hold peace talks – said the President.

He believes that the developments in Ukraine will not affect the integration process, and preparatory work for signing of the main agreement for the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union continues.

– Integration makes it possible to remove trade barriers and enhance competitiveness. Therefore, we have a purely pragmatic economic interest. Developing countries boost the economy and increase GDP. As for our political independence, it is a constant, and Kazakhstan will not give up its sovereignty, but we will be voluntarily transferring some economic powers to supranational authorities, as practiced in the European Union for example, where the European Commission regulates customs, trade tariffs, transportation of oil and gas, electricity, railways and highways. All the arising questions in our future union will be resolved by consensus. Final decisions will be made at all the three states’ consent. The integration process will be furthered, and it is also a question of strengthening our independence, – N.Nazarbayev said.

Regarding the possibility of economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan’s President said they will not have a direct impact on our country. The economic slowdown in Russia, though, could affect our economy.

– But in all the years of independence, Kazakhstan has pursued the policy of diversification of trade and economic relations, and it continuously develops the transport and logistics system that enables a beneficial interaction with all the countries of the world, – he went on. The multipolarity of the modern world necessitates a corresponding decision making format.

– Neither G8 nor G20 have solved the economic or political crises. The G-Global initiative, involving 190 countries is very important therefore. It is necessary to consider the opinions of a wide range of world nations, and in this context G-Global is an increasingly relevant interactive venue.

At the end President N. Nazarbayev re-emphasized the importance of addressing all the issues without confrontation and global shocks, basing on balance of mutual interests.