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Kazakhstan denies export ban to Russia

Kazakhstan’s Trade Ministry refuted a ban on exporting goods to Russia amid claims by an official that more than 100 products, including drones, had been prohibited.

Deputy Trade Minister Kairat Torebayev stated on Thursday that the country had banned the export of 106 products to Russia, including “drones, their electronic component parts, specialised equipment and chips,” but local media added that the ban would only apply to products “related to war.”

The statements came against a backdrop of suspicions that Russia was circumventing Western sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine by obtaining goods via third countries, including Kazakhstan.

However, late Thursday night, Kazakhstan’s Trade Ministry dismissed the deputy minister’s comments as “incorrect.”

No prohibitions have been imposed on the export of any goods to the Russian Federation in relation to the anti-Russia sanctions. At the same time, the trade in so-called ‘double-use’ goods, the export of which is subject to controls, is carried out in accordance with Kazakhstan’s international obligations.

The West imposed sanctions on Russia after the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022, but countries suspected Moscow in avoiding many of the restrictions through trade with third countries such as China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and former Soviet republics.

Central Asian leaders met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, promising to assist in the fight against sanctions evasion. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated that his country would “follow the sanctions regime.”

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