Nursultan Nazarbayev — leader and diplomat

The article examines Kazakhstani modernization that assumed the creation of a national state, the formation of a political nation, the creation of a modern economy and political system. In a historically polyethnic country, the solution of this problem was particularly complex, requiring exclusive approaches and reliance on the political technologies that contributed to the peaceful and evolutionary transition of Kazakhstan society to a qualitatively new state. The article describes the features of the political style of N.A. Nazarbayev, as well as the key features of Kazakhstan's policy. A balanced multi-vector foreign policy that allows building mutually beneficial relations with all major «global players», strengthening national sovereignty and independence in foreign policy, is of great importance among Kazakhstan's political priorities. It is concluded that the time of Nursultan Nazarbayev's presidency is unequivocally highly appreciated. He led the country with a complex interethnic relations that arose as a result of the collapse of a single state. Given the complexity of this potentially explosive problem, Nursultan Nazarbayev successfully created a fairly harmonious relationship between the main ethnic groups living in the country.

Modern Kazakhstan survived the era of complex and fundamental socio-economic and political modernization is now implementing a project. Its outlines were defined back in the late 1980s when one of the prominent statesmen of the late USSR Nursultan Nazarbayev became the President of the Republic.

Modernization in Kazakhstan, as in other former Soviet republics, presupposed the creation of a national state, the formation of a political nation, the creation of a modern economy and political system. In a historically polyethnic country, the solution of this problem was particularly complex, requiring exclusive approaches and reliance on such political technologies that contributed to the peaceful and evolutionary transition of Kazakhstan society to a qualitatively new state.

At the same time, the state in Kazakhstan could not but rely on purely traditional grounds, as in some other Central Asian states. It presupposed the creation of a modern society and civil nation, going beyond the confines of national, confessional and regional clan differences, with a consistent reliance on the positive experience of national traditions in the field of state building. Modernization in Kazakhstan assumed support for strong and effective state power as a key tool for implementing the conceived large-scale reforms. But at the same time, the «classical» authoritarian modernization could not be realized in Kazakhstan due to the deep pluralistic traditions rooted in the national political culture of the Kazakh people, as well as due to the multiethnic content of the Kazakh nation, the complex and dynamic nature of the Kazakhstani society and the elite .

With deep respect for Islam and Orthodoxy as the traditional confessions of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan's modernization should have been secular in nature. It had to accumulate civilian energies to build a secular, essentially national state, which made the model of «secular Islamism» practiced by some Central Asian states in the process of political and economic transformation unlikely to be realized. Modernization in Kazakhstan was designed to avoid social splits, anomies, conflicts and clashes. To do this, it had to be directed from above by the state implementing strategies for nationwide consolidation and maintenance of civil peace and harmony through the system of public institutions. This made the Kazakhstani experience of transformation unique not only for Central Asia, but also for the entire CIS. At the same time, the young Kazakhstani state itself was to be gradually upgraded, responsive and flexible in responding to the demands of the Kazakhstani society and the elite, timely responding to external challenges and consistently asserting itself in the world [1].

All these changes demanded the figure of a strong and authoritative national leader who could simultaneously be a modernizer and social mediator, a guarantor of political stability and an initiator of large-scale changes in all spheres of life in Kazakhstani society. Kazakhstan also needed an acknowledged leader in the world, capable of supporting and strengthening the international authority of Kazakhstan in the difficult period of the construction of a national state. The current President of the Republic Nursultan Nazarbayev became such leader for Kazakhstan. Features of political Nazarbayev style are: the desire to be an arbiter, think for the future, «play in advance», while systematically and methodically replaying the political opponents and competitors within the framework of public policy mechanisms. Nazarbayev's strategy is modernization based on political consolidation with the progressive increase in the weight of institutions and mechanisms of parliamentarism and the rule of law. Its key strategic focus is the economy's priority over politics, a pragmatic and well-adjusted approach to resolving political issues not based on the priorities of «politics for the sake of politics» but from the objective interests of society, the country and the people. Along with this - the desire to resolve emerging conflicts and the existing contradictions in the Kazakh society at an early stage, using mechanisms of multilateral dialogue and consensus democracy; another important principle is the national consolidation based on a public political and interethnic dialogue, using both modern public mechanisms and traditional elements of the national political culture. It is very important for Nazarbayev to understand stability not as a «frozen state» that serves as a basis for maintaining the status quo, but as a platform for moving forward. In this way, he seeks to give the development of the state and society a progressive and qualitative character. His aspiration not to «charismatic leaderism» as an end in itself, but to a full-fledged national leadership as an embodiment of the fundamental national interests and modern perspectives of Kazakhstan is also indicative [2].

Other key features of the Kazakh policy are the consistency and balance of all initiated reforms, active involvement in their discussion and implementation of the widest range of subjects of the political system and civil society. Finally, balanced multi-vector policy in foreign policy which allows building mutually beneficial relations with all major «global players», strengthening national sovereignty and independence in foreign policy is of great importance among Kazakhstan's political priorities. Independent Kazakhstan from the very beginning of its statehood consciously built itself as a project in the form of a national power. Therefore, the country has clearly articulated foreign policy forces. All this allowed Nursultan Nazarbayev to become a conductor of deep political and economic reforms that transformed Kazakhstan from a post-Soviet state into an influential Eurasian power with an effective political system and a dynamically developing economy. He led the country in a very difficult period of its emergence as a new independent state, during the difficult but necessary market reforms, building qualitatively new relations with its neighbors and partners in the CIS and the CAR, and with other leading world powers. Recognition of Kazakhstan's success in all the above-mentioned directions was simultaneously the recognition of Nursultan Nazarbayev's merits as a national leader [3].

It is also very important that in post-Soviet years a new political class, brought up by Nursultan Nazarbayev, has grown in Kazakhstan. These are responsible politicians who perceive their country as a space for realizing the interests of a young and active political nation. In his time, the classic of sociology and political science Max Weber, in the framework of the cycle of works on politics and the «political lega- cy» of the legendary Chancellor of the German Empire, Bismarck noted that the latter objectively expressed the interests of the rising German bourgeoisie, did not allow the latter to the real levers of power and thereby prevented the formation of an independent political elite of Germany, which gave birth to a number of deep conflicts and crises that led to the historic collapse of both the monarchical principle of the German Empire and the marginal Weimar Republic.

The institution of the presidency itself is not good and not bad; it all depends on how and by whom it is implemented. The scale of the individual and the historical breadth of state tasks are important. In the postSoviet space, this institution has shown its effectiveness in those countries where the presidents controlled the situation of the formation of statehood in their countries. Therefore, the personality of the First President - not only in Kazakhstan, but in the overwhelming majority of post-Soviet states — always has a very great historical significance. It is possible to say directly that Nursultan Nazarbayev created his country!

What a historical role the idea of Nursultan Nazarbayev can play about Eurasian integration for other post-Soviet republics is difficult to foresee today. Yes, there was the SCO, there was a Customs Union and other associations. And although the post-Soviet states play an important role in such organizations, it is not worth overestimating it - everything is still in the making. And it's too early for us to rest on our laurels — the main work is still ahead [4].

As for the prospects for cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan, there is more definiteness. Both these countries are serious, big powers — each in its genre. There is no doubt that the role of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is very significant. Forecasts for the future are always difficult to give. Apparently, Kazakhstan has optimistic prospects. With all the complexities of the region, with all world problems, Kazakhstan invariably follows the path of development, which means that it retains its leadership.

The twentieth anniversary of the presidency of Nursultan Nazarbayev needs to be assessed unequivocally highly. He received a torn country, which, in fact, was a splinter of the unified national economic complex of the Soviet Union. And to bring this not the most successful part of the Union to the trajectory of independent development was the most complicated political and economic task. In the early 1990s the President Nursultan Nazarbayev received a country, in which uneasy interethnic relations arose as a result of the disintegration of a single state. And, frankly, they could not be different due to the prevalence of the Russian and Kazakh population in the country. Given the complexity of this potentially explosive problem, Nursultan Nazarbayev successfully created a fairly harmonious relationship between the main ethnic groups living in the country [5].

It was the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan that gave the young independent country what it needed most of all during the transition period, the stability.

In comparison with other chairmen of the Council of Ministers of the Republics, Nursultan Nazarbayev's speeches have always been very clear and give a clear understanding of what is specifically needed for the development of the republic and for the needs of its population.

Nursultan Nazarbayev in the early 1990s led a very complex multinational republic, which at once gained independence. The first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, not only preserved all the best in Kazakhstan, but also over the two decades of independence significantly multiplied the wealth of his country.

In Soviet times, in Kazakhstan, as well as in Russia, in Ukraine, and to some extent in Belarus, a lot of industrial enterprises were built, which are necessary for the development of the national economic complex. And these four should already, even purely for economic reasons, try to find certain points of contact in the interests of each of these countries. In this regard, the ideas of the head of Kazakhstan on Eurasian integration are objective and correct. They lead to the fact that in modern conditions we need to develop industrial civilization and energy through a new industrialization and modernization, inevitably must move towards a new Eurasian Union of states with a correct and fair division of labor.

The Republic of Kazakhstan itself is a country with great economic and strategic opportunities, because it borders not only on Russia, but also on Western China. Kazakhstan potentially has a great geo-economic future - the «Silk Road» can and must pass through Kazakhstan.

The institutional initiatives of N. Nazarbayev in the post-Soviet space - economic, pension, and banking reforms - have become widely recognized. In some periods, when Russia was overly focused on domestic problems, it was the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev that was practically the only engine of integration processes in the post-Soviet space.

Now a very important initiative, supported, first of all, by President N.A. Nazarbayev, is the creation of the Customs Union. This is our peculiar «Union of Coal and Steel», if we take the analogy with the formation of the European Union. This is a very accurate answer to the challenges of our time, when globalization is clearly moving from the stage of universal integration to the formation of powerful and large economic regional conglomerates. This trend we see all over the world, so it is very important to create such an effective conglomerate in the Eurasian space.

The only choice is to create a successful integration association on the Eurasian space, or be out of work, sharing the sad fate of African countries. Therefore, the formation of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space is a purely pragmatic task for the near future. This idea is becoming more and more relevant today. As it is known, the victory has always a lot of fathers. But for the sake of justice, it must be said that only Nursultan Nazarbayev has always promoted Eurasian integration — even in the most difficult times. Through the thickness of times, the Kazakh Leader with astonishing accuracy foresaw those hidden trends in the world economy and politics, which we now clearly observe.

There is not the slightest doubt that the Republic of Kazakhstan under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev will become one of the world's influential countries, which will for many years to determine the future «agenda» in the large Eurasian space. And the historical figure of the First President of Kazakhstan already now occupies a worthy place in the pantheon of outstanding world politicians, who created a successful country [6].

In the last decade all systemic defects in the destruction of the bipolar structure of the world order are most clearly manifested: double standards, the absence of clear rules for the game, the chaos of multilateral dialogue. These systemic flaws do not lead to the establishment of genuine multipolarity, but to a reduction in the space of mutual trust. This happens both between recognized members of the «nuclear club» and those ambitious countries that seek to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

In today's world, there is an acute shortage of fresh ideas. There is an acute need for the emergence of universally recognized moderators capable of giving the dialogue a more coherent and consistent character. We need world policy-strategists capable of forming a clear agenda for the whole planet. If you want, you can draw the outlines of the new architecture of the world!

It is no doubt, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev is one of the brightest world politicians who has his own vision of nuclear security problems .

For the Kazakh Leader a «non-nuclear issue» is deeply personal in a sense. Since the Soviet times on the territory of Kazakhstan there was a nuclear test site. The people of Kazakhstan suffered from nuclear tests to a much greater extent than most other peoples of the Earth. 500 explosions, more than 1.5 million victims are tragic, numbers are terrible!

That is why the people of Kazakhstan in a single impulse supported the historical initiatives of NA. Nazarbayev on the renunciation of nuclear weapons and on the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, where in 1991 they voluntarily refused to conduct nuclear tests. Right after Kazakhstan gained its independence, Nursultan Nazarbayev made the most responsible political choice, declaring his intention to liquidate all nuclear arsenals located on the territory of Kazakhstan. Over the next twenty years of building an independent state, the Ak Orda demonstrated a sequence of words and actions in matters of nuclear disarmament, regardless of the direction in which the international situation was changing in the extremely difficult era of the formation of a multipolar world [7].

In 1992, Kazakhstan signed the Lisbon Protocol to the START I Treaty, in which its obligations on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons were recorded. In 1993, Kazakhstan was one of the first in the CIS to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

In 1994 the withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from the country was completed. In 1995 the last nuclear charge was destroyed at the former Semipalatinsk test site. In 1996 Kazakhstan became a party to the Treaty on the Comprehensive Ban of Nuclear Weapons. In 2000 the last tunnel for nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk test site was destroyed.

Kazakhstan is currently playing a key role in the process of dialogue on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.

One can say with confidence that this is not a reflex, situational response to emerging challenges and risks, but, on the contrary, a systematic and well-considered strategic approach to the issue of fair and transparent control over the nuclear sphere. Moreover, as Nursultan Nazarbayev repeatedly stressed, these approaches should take into account not only the position of the world centers of power, but also of other states.

In such an important and sensitive issue, pressure and ignoring the interests of third countries in an attempt to impose «exclusive» approaches from one of the global players are unacceptable. In 2006 Kazakhstan initiated the transformation of Central Asia into a nuclear-free zone. This breakthrough idea was received with great attention by leading world politicians.

«456 nuclear tests were conducted, the total capacity of which was 2.5 thousand times higher than the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, «the Kazakh President said in his book» Epicenter of the world».

The universal declaration of a nuclear-free world, which Nursultan Nazarbayev suggests to begin with, is a well-developed common-Kazakhstan idea and, simultaneously, a large global project. It is a long-term strategy for peacekeeping which is undoubtedly realized on the condition of concerted efforts on the part of the world community and enhancement of confidence-building measures throughout the world.

The problem of eliminating nuclear weapons must be dealt with in conjunction with the problem of reducing conventional weapons and inextricably from the creation of a new architecture for a more just and safe world. Nursultan Nazarbayev is offering such a strategically correct approach. Otherwise, nuclear weapons will continue to be a great temptation - this is the most economical response on the part of the «poor and humiliated» to the threat of a possible attack by a rich state possessing a modern, well-armed army [8].

In this context Nazarbayev's historical proposal to ensure the states that have renounced nuclear ambitions guarantee the non-use of nuclear weapons and their protection in case of an attack is absolutely rational and extremely topical.. Obviously, further uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons is fraught with a new round of the arms race and threatens the whole world. And if each country possesses nuclear weapons, then any smallest border conflict can turn into a full-scale nuclear war and even a planetary catastrophe.

There are many difficulties on the way to a nuclear-free world, but the road will be mastered by the one who is going. And we should be grateful to Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, who is the first modern politician, to show the right way to a lasting peace without the new Hiroshima. Kazakh President NursultanNazarbayev is confident in his historical right: nuclear weapons must be destroyed, and countries should forget about its existence.

This concerns both the problems of nuclear testing, the concept of creating a nuclear-free world, and the issue of banning the production of fissile materials for military purposes.

Kazakhstan has every right not only to widely declare these strategic goals, but also to actively promote them in practice. Firstly, due to its multi-vector foreign policy, the Republic of Kazakhstan is a very respected country. Secondly, Kazakhstan is viewed today as a truly peace-loving state, which has suffered greatly from Soviet nuclear tests. And, finally, in 2008 Kazakhstan agreed to provide its territory for an integrated field experiment in the framework of the preparation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. This is a remarkable historical initiative of Kazakhstan, which was very successful. All these major steps multiplied by the international authority and amazing charisma of Nursultan Nazarbayev make the young country in the center of Eurasia a recognized leader in the modern anti-nuclear movement. Consequently, Kazakhstan can take on a practical diplomatic mission in the field of disarmament and the peaceful use of the atom. This work is not easy, and it can not be solved in one day, these problems need to be dealt with constantly. The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev desires to achieve a ban on the production of fissile materials for military purposes. To promote the negotiation process, a recognized peacemaker, such as the Republic of Kazakhstan and its influential President, is needed. There is one more aspect of this problem. Many states believe that the issue of a ban on the production of fissile materials for military purposes should be resolved simultaneously with the decision to eliminate already stockpiled reserves. The first step here may be to increase the openness of existing stocks, increase their transparency. So, in early April, Russia and the United States agreed to utilize 34 tons of plutonium for peaceful purposes. That is, certain movements in this direction, indicated by N.A. Nazarbayev, are already being undertaken [9].

All the proposals of Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed at the summit in Washington are important and it is necessary to achieve their practical implementation as actively as possible. It is time to adopt the Declaration of a Nuclear-Free World, proposed by N.A. Nazarbayev, since the adoption of such a declaration would be useful for moving towards a nuclear-free world. Many people of goodwill with both hands are for any steps that can help the cause of nuclear disarmament.

Therefore, Kazakhstan and its First President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the matter of nuclear disarmament today have active supporters in all parts of the world. The Kazakhstani people support Nursultan Nazarbayev's breakthrough proposal to adopt the Declaration of a Nuclear-Free World, and highly appreciate his constant efforts to implement practical steps towards reducing the nuclear danger. It is no doubt, the huge personal contribution of Nursultan Nazarbayev to the construction of a nuclear-free world will be appreciated by the recent history of merit.

In the Republic of Kazakhstan a harmonious model of coexistence of various ethnic groups and confessions has been created. The President of Kazakhstan projects it on the whole system of international relations. Some states nowadays regard their political values as universal. Therefore, they consider themselves entitled to insist, sometimes even forcefully, to impose them on other states. Kazakhstan, unlike them, acts as a good example and sensible initiatives, which finds approval and support of people of goodwill all over the world. The subjects of Nursultan Abishevich's special concerns are invariably the provision of peaceful coexistence between nations and the creation of security guarantees for all mankind. This is especially important in the presence of global threats of thermonuclear war, ecological crisis, lack of energy and others.

Nursultan Nazarbayev is one of the most intelligent politicians not only of the post-Soviet space but of the whole modern world. He is a political grandmaster, able to count the consequences of his actions on many moves forward.

For over twenty years of his rule, Nursultan Nazarbayev has pursued an extremely balanced policy. His wisdom allows preserving social stability and ensuring the progressive development of the new Kazakh statehood.

First of all, this concerns relations between Kazakhstan and the states of the «global triangle»: the USA, China and Russia. Some accents in these relations may shift, and priorities may change. But never Astana allows a general imbalance, not to mention the emergence of any tangible, and even more serious, contradictions in bilateral and multilateral relations.

The same goes for the entire complex of interstate relations in Central Asia, where Kazakhstan plays a leading role. Moreover, this recognized leadership of Astana does not infringe the interests of neighboring states and does not jeopardize them.

The election of the Republic of Kazakhstan as OSCE Chairman for 2010 is undoubtedly an acknowledgment of the peacekeeping role that this independent country plays today in the systems of pan-Europeanand world security and cooperation. At the same time, this is the evidence of the highest international authority of Nursultan Nazarbayev himself.

Most importantly, this international authority of the Republic of Kazakhstan is based on a solid domestic political foundation. Inside the country, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan conducts an equally weighted and verified course, as in the international arena.

All this, taken together, allowed Kazakhstan to successfully withstand the global financial and economic crisis. The Republic finished 2009 not only among a few countries with positive GDP dynamics, but was able to set itself ambitious goals of innovative development. The program of such development was outlined by Nursultan Nazarbayev in his speech at the joint session of the chambers of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan on January 29, 2010. This document is of a breakthrough nature. It is important not only for Kazakhstan, but for the entire post-Soviet space, since in the President's Message the planned approach is skillfully combined with the principles of market efficiency and competitiveness. The goal set by the President is to become one of the 50 most developed economies of the world. It looks ambitious, but quite achievable for a country with a population of 16.2 million people and 53rd place in the world in terms of GDP [10].

As Nursultan Nazarbayev said in his message to the people: «We practically know by months what, where and how it will be done and built, and most importantly, all our actions are provided with the necessary financial and other resources». Today there is no politician in the CIS that could become equal with Nursultan Nazarbayev. For this very good reason, Kazakhstan's society as a whole, and Kazakhstan's elites in particular, inextricably link not only their past and present, but also their future.



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  7. Nazarbayev, N.A. (1996). Kriticheskoe desiatiletiie [Critical decade]. Almaty: Atamura [in Russian].
  8. Dzhunusov, A.M. (1997). Vlast i oppozitsiia: istoriko-teoreticheskie aspekty [Power and opposition: historical and theoretical aspects]. Almaty: Kompleks [in Russian].
  9. Kasymbekov, M.B. (2002). Institut prezidentstva kak instrument politicheskoi modernizatsii [The Presidency Institute as an instrument of political modernization]. Astana: Yelorda [in Russian].
  10. Gurskiy, A.S. (2002). Tverdaia postup strany. K 10-letiiu Stratehii razvitiia Kazakhstana do 2030 hoda [The firm step of the country. To the 10th anniversary of the Development Strategy of Kazakhstan until 2030]. Astana: Institut sistemnykh issledovanii [in Russian].
Year: 2018
City: Karaganda
Category: History