The Ministry of Foreign Affairs threatened the countries of Central Asia with serious consequences for joining the sanctions

Some Central Asian countries may join Western sanctions against Russia because of the war in Ukraine, but it will cause “serious damage” to them, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said.

“Despite the convergence of positions on the unacceptability and illegality of unilateral economic restrictions, some Central Asian countries are unwilling to take the corresponding risks and have made it clear that they are ready to apply Western restrictive measures,” Galuzin said. at the Central Asian Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club. ”(quoted from TASS).

According to him, Russia does not impose a foreign policy course on anyone “if it does not conflict with mutual commitments, including those regarding the CSTO, EAEU and CIS.” However, Galuzin recalled that “artificially destroying ties with Russia can cause more serious damage than the costs of the notorious secondary sanctions.” He assured that Moscow is determined to consistently strengthen strategic relations with Central Asian states.

The countries of this region are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. After imposing sanctions on Russia, which banned the supply of hundreds of goods, the countries of Central Asia became a source of parallel imports for Moscow. By the end of 2022, goods worth over USD 20 billion were imported into Russia as part of the gray economy.

Also, during the transit from EU countries to Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, goods worth a total of USD 1 billion were “lost” on Russian territory.

Therefore, as part of the 11th package of sanctions, the EU is discussing a complete ban on exports to Russia, and is also considering the possibility of banning the supply of goods to countries that then send them to Russia. In the first place, such countries will receive warnings that they are suspicious for re-exporting sanctioned goods. If they continue to violate the restrictions, export controls will be imposed on them.

According to the forecast of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the economy of Central Asia will grow by more than 5% this and next year. This will be facilitated by the relocation of companies from Russia to the countries of the region, the relocation of Russians, and the increase in exports of goods.

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