Kremlin says Kazakhstan’s efforts to attract sanctions-hit businesses leaving Russia 'absolutely normal'

Kremlin says Kazakhstan’s efforts to attract sanctions-hit businesses leaving Russia 'absolutely normal'
Peskov, left, and Putin know Russia is confronted by new economic realities. / Wiki
By bne IntelIiNews July 15, 2022

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on July 14 that Kazakhstan's efforts to attract sanctions-hit businesses that have departed the Russian market were "absolutely normal".

His comments followed Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev remarking that his country must work to accommodate hundreds of international businesses that have left Russia since sanctions were imposed in response to Moscow starting its invasion of Ukraine in late February. Many firms have been moving their Russia and CIS regional offices and headquarters to Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan and commercial capital Almaty.

"It's absolutely normal when any country in the world tries to create comfortable conditions for foreign investors," Peskov told reporters.

"Another thing that is clear is that under unprecedented pressure from the outside, many companies are forced to take such decisions," he added.

"Unfortunately, this is the reality in which we live and work," concluded Peskov.

Kazakhstan’s deputy foreign minister Roman Vasilenko told German newspaper Die Welt in March that companies exiting Russia due to consequences of the war in Ukraine were welcome to move production to Kazakhstan.

On July 14, Tokayev proposed creating “favourable conditions” for approximately 1,000 foreign firms that have halted operations in Russia. 

“We’re witnessing a global struggle for investment capital. One out of two of the nearly 1,400 major foreign companies have suspended operations or left the Russian market entirely,” he said at a government session. 

“The government should create favourable conditions for their relocation to Kazakhstan. This will give us a good opportunity to increase production,” he added.

Kazakhstan has been accused of accommodating Russia’s so-called “parallel imports” scheme, which allows imports of foreign brands without the approval of trademark owners.

A US Treasury and Commerce Department list of at least 18 countries with transshipment points that are known to have allowed restricted or controlled exports through to Russia and Belarus, violating Western sanctions, includes Kazakhstan and four other ex-Soviet nations.

Kazakhstan earlier in July drafted a law that could ban the transportation of goods under Western sanctions to Russia and Belarus.