Kazakh president stands firm on non-recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk republics

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Denys Karlovskyi — Friday, 17 June 2022, 20:17

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has said, in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, that he does not recognise the "quasi-state formations" in Donbas.

Source: Tokayev’s response at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to a question put by Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan about Russia's war against Ukraine

Direct quote from Tokayev: "It has been calculated that if the right of nations to self-determination were actually implemented across the globe, then instead of the 193 states that now make up the UN, there would be more than 500 or 600 states on Earth. Naturally, it would be chaos.

For this reason we do not recognise either Taiwan, or Kosovo, or South Ossetia, or Abkhazia. Obviously, this principle will apply to quasi-state associations, which, in our opinion, is what Luhansk and Donetsk are (the so-called DPR and LPR - UP)."

Details: Tokayev was sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the podium at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Putin did not add anything to Tokayev’s answer or make any comment.

Simonyan asked the Kazakh president how his country felt about Russia’s so-called "special military operation" in Ukraine. Tokayev replied that in Kazakhstan there are very different views on Russia’s war against Ukraine because the country has a strong civil society.

At the same time, the Kazakh president said there was a crisis of international public law in the modern world that is causing instability in relations between states. He said that the principal document on which international law is based, the UN Charter, contains two mutually contradictory principles. Tokayev said that, on the one hand, international law provides for the right of nations to self-determination but, on the other, it also provides for the inviolability of internationally recognised borders and the territorial integrity of UN member states.

He said Kazakhstan strictly upholds the principle of the inviolability of internationally recognised borders.


  • On 15 June, Tokayev said live on Russian propaganda TV channel Rossiya 24 that Kazakhstan would not assist Russia in circumventing sanctions and was outraged by certain Russian politicians’ aggressive rhetoric in relation to Kazakhstan.

  • On 1 April, a representative of the Kazakh presidential administration said that Kazakhstan respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity and is not afraid to call the Russian invasion of Ukraine a "war", contrary to official Russian propaganda.

  • On 2 April, Kazakh President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he discussed the progress of the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and the war.

  • According to US journalists, Russia asked Kazakhstan to join the Russian occupation forces in Ukraine, but Kazakhstan refused. Before that, the Kazakh government had stated that it did not recognise the so-called "republics" in Donbas and had ruled out the possibility of deploying its peacekeeping forces there at Russia’s request.

  • On 1 March, day six of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, Kazakh President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev offered to mediate the truce talks. He also had a conversation with Putin and urged him to find a compromise with Ukraine.