Central Asia’s new foreign-policy ‘vector’ is Azerbaijan

In the early 1990s, it was Kazakhstan that originated the foreign-policy strategy now called “multi-vectorialism” that many of the independent states of Eurasia, formerly Soviet republics, adopted in subsequent years.

Decree 853 issued by the president of Kazakhstan at the time, Nursultan Nazarbayev, laid out the country’s priorities. Now, under the conditions of international sanctions against Russia, which Kazakhstan’s current president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recently affirmed his country will not violate, a significant reorientation is occurring.

That 1992 decree enumerated five international regions of special interest to newly independent Kazakhstan. These were the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Asia-Pacific Region (APR), Asia, Europe, and North America. In each of these regions, one country was identified as being of special interest: These countries were, respectively, Russia, China, Turkey, Germany, and the United States.

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