The agricultural sector of Kazakhstan has great potential and can become one of the long-term suppliers of high-quality wheat and oilseeds to Saudi Arabia, President of the Republic Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.
“Kazakhstan ranks second in the world in terms of arable land per capita and fifth in terms of pasture resources (180 million hectares). Our country is one of the 10 largest producers of wheat and flour. We are ready to become one of the stable, long-term suppliers of high-quality wheat, flour and oilseeds to the kingdom,” Tokayev said, speaking at an investment round table with representatives of the business community of Saudi Arabia on Sunday in Jeddah.
The United States has included a number of Sberbank Group companies, including subsidiary banks in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Cetelem Bank, bankrupt Sberbank Europe AG and payment service YooMoney, in its sanctions list, a statement from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) indicated.
Sberbank Insurance, Sberbank Life Insurance, Sberbank Insurance Broker, Sberbank Leasing, Sberbank Factoring, NPF Sberbank, Sberbank-AST, Sberbank Capital, Sberbank CIB and Strategy Partners have also been included in the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List), as has United Credit Bureau, in which Sberbank holds a 50% according to the latest disclosure.
The SDN List now also includes Digital Technologies, a company through which Russia’s top bank invested in a range of information technology companies.
The United States on Wednesday imposed blocking sanctions against Sberbank that call for freezing assets in the U.S. and bar U.S. citizens from doing any business with the bank. The UK imposed similar sanctions against Sberbank.
The United States imposed correspondent and payable-through account sanctions against Sberbank in February 2022.
Kazakhstan will not be a tool to circumvent US and EU sanctions against Russia, Timur Suleimenov, First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Kazakhstan, said.
In an interview with Euractiv, he called the purpose of his visit to the EU “to demonstrate to our European partners that Kazakhstan will not be a tool to circumvent sanctions against Russia by the US and the EU.”
“We will comply with the sanctions. Despite the fact that we are part of an economic union with Russia, Belarus and other countries, we are also part of the international community. Therefore, the last thing we want is for Kazakhstan to be subject to secondary US and EU sanctions,” he stressed. Suleimenov.
“We will do our best to control the sanctioned goods. We will do our best to control any investment in Kazakhstan by individuals or organizations that are under sanctions, and this is what we wanted to openly convey to the Europeans,” he said.
On March 14, Kazakhstan will send the first batch of humanitarian aid to the population of Ukraine, the Kazakh interdepartmental commission said on Sunday.
“The Commission on International Humanitarian Aid made a decision to allocate a batch of medical supplies to the population of Ukraine … The issue of delivering humanitarian cargo along the route Almaty-Katowice (Poland) by aircraft has been worked out. Humanitarian aid to citizens of Ukraine will be sent by two flights on March 14 and March 15, 2022 from the airport of Almaty,” the message says.
The total weight of humanitarian aid will be 28.2 tonnes and 17 types of medicines: antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, antitussive and antihypertensive drugs, the report says.
General damage, including the expenses to repair buildings and restore property damaged and destroyed as a result of the January events in Kazakhstan, has been estimated at 136.8 billion tenge ($313.6 million), the press service for the Kazakh Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development said on Saturday. “According to the estimates of the commission created at the president’s instruction, throughout the country, damage has reached 136.8 billion tenge, including not only expenses to repair buildings, but also to recover damaged property,” the press service said.
According to the ministry, the state body suffered damage of 54,6 billion tenge ($125.1 million) out of the aforementioned amount, and 1,923 businsses suffered damage of 82.2 billion tenge ($188.4 million).
About 150 Ukrainian citizens have applied to the Ukrainian embassy in Kazakhstan for assistance in repatriation, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleh Nikolenko said.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine cooperates with the Kazakh authorities and the governments of foreign states to protect the interests of Ukrainians in Kazakhstan. About 150 citizens have applied to the Ukrainian embassy for assistance in returning to their homeland. At the same time, due to the gradual stabilization of the security situation, some compatriots report changes in their plans and decide to stay on the territory of Kazakhstan,” Nikolenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday. According to him, international flights with Nur-Sultan have been fully restored, with the exception of some flights of European airlines. “Regular flights to Kyiv are planned for January 13 and 16, which our citizens can use,” the speaker said.
He pointed out that transport links are also being restored, including rail, between major Kazakhstani cities.
“The Ukrainian embassy has agreed with the Kazakh railway on the possibility of purchasing group tickets for Ukrainian citizens who wish to arrive in Nur-Sultan for a further flight to Kyiv. The diplomats also agreed with Air Astana on the possibility of free rebooking of tickets for canceled flights from Almaty to new flights from Nur-Sultan,” Nikolenko said.
He said that the Foreign Ministry recommends that Ukrainians who wish to use this option to check in advance the availability of seats and the dates of flights from Nur-Sultan.
“According to the Kazakh side, the Astana international airport is also ready to resume full-fledged work. The exact time of opening the airport will be announced additionally,” he said.
Nikolenko said that there are no Ukrainians among the victims or detainees during the recent events in Kazakhstan. The Embassy of Ukraine maintains regular contact with citizens, will continue to provide them with consular assistance and inform them about possible ways to leave the country.