Kazakhstan has softened expectations of a large-scale expansion of oil supplies to Europe. On Wednesday in the capital, Nur-Sultan, Energy Minister of the former Soviet republic, which is rich in oil and gas, Bulat Akchulakov, said that Kazakhstan could not simply make up for lost volumes in the West by not using Russian oil. “We do not have this option,” the Russian news agency, Interfax, quoted the minister as saying.
Akshulakov emphasized that oil production cannot be compared to a tap that you can simply run more often to get larger volumes. “To produce such quantities of oil, you have to invest a lot of money in fields and drilling wells,” he said. “It takes a lot of time and money.”
Just a month ago, the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, promised oil and gas supplies from the European Union. “Kazakhstan is ready to use its hydrocarbon potential to stabilize the situation on world markets, including Europe.”
Kazakhstan is an ally of Russia, but it clearly does not align itself with Moscow when it comes to Ukraine. President Tokayev caused an uproar in mid-June when he announced in a joint panel discussion with Kremlin President Vladimir Putin that Kazakhstan – unlike Russia – would not recognize the eastern Ukrainian breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states.
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