Vladimir Lepekhin: "Future of northern Eurasia depends on unity of Russia and Kazakhstan"
The round table titled 'Peculiarities of post-Soviet transit in the 21st century: Kazakhstan's way' will be held in Moscow today, it was organized by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Russia with the information partnership of Vestnik Kavkaza, the Eurasian Expert Club and Novye Izvestia. The director of the EEU Institute, Vladimir Lepekhin, told us about the current stage of Kazakhstan's socio-political development and its relations with Russia.
- Vladimir Anatolyevich, first of all, what tasks will the third modernization of the economy and the newest political reform of power allow Kazakhstan to perform today and in the future?
- Since Kazakhstan pursues a pragmatic policy in which the economy is on the first place, political changes here play the role of a means. Modernization is one of the forms of economic policy, and I think that the leader of Kazakhstan understands how exactly modernization should be carried out. The modernization plan, unlike the evolutionary path, which is being propagated in Russia, and pro-Western reforms that are generally preferred by new independent states, presupposes a dynamic progressive development on the basis of available resources. And it is not destroyed, but multiplied.
Modernization requires strong power, it needs a political entity, which, on the one hand, ensures strict controllability, including, due to his authority, on the other hand, he has a development strategy. In Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev outlined the main tasks in both foreign and domestic policy, as well as economy, where the industrial plan was adopted in 2010. The plan takes into account all the features of the republic and includes the production component precisely, not just the extraction of minerals. It includes integration opportunities, such as training of Kazakh industry personnel in Russia and an interesting program for training specialists abroad with their return to Kazakhstan. The education system is also aimed at the modernization of Kazakhstan, starting with the school, the so-called 'Nazarbayev school', and financial policy, and multi-vectoral foreign policy. The republic has a holistic strategy of its development.
The third stage of modernization was caused by two reasons: first, it is necessary to include additional development drivers, second, from the political point of view, it is necessary to think about ensuring the continuity of the Kazakh way. Nursultan Nazarbayev as a person who provides modernization, is interested in transferring power to a leader who would continue the modernization development of the republic and understands what it is. Another scenario is possible - collective management within the framework of the same strategy. The constitutional reform of this year is not so much a transfer of powers from the president to the parliament and the government, but rather the allotment of the parliament and the government with additional powers. While attending the round table of the ruling party in Kazakhstan on February 16, I proposed to separate the presidential power into a separate branch of government, so that there would be no feeling that the government and the parliament became more powerful than the president. The president remains above them and carries out strategic functions, supervising power structures, and continues to be a source of strategic vision.
The Parliament and the government, in turn, having received additional powers, are directly involved in the management of modernization processes, in order to form a more or less collective entity. As a result, this reform of political power is aimed at changing the subject of modernization, which transfers from the president to the executive and legislative structures. Accordingly, the question of a new driver arises, that is, about increasing the activity of the masses. There is a search for opportunities to activate the Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan, it is possible to use, for example, Russia's experience in working with public chambers and other formats for active participation of the population in the development of the republic.
- What are the differences in the foreign policy interests of Kazakhstan and Russia today?
- The main common thing that Kazakhstan and Russia have is their responsibility for the development of the Eurasian space. The global trend is that the subject is formed in the post-Soviet space. Of course, it is followed by problems, but the process itself is inevitable. In northern Eurasia, the existence of the Eurasian Economic Union is a form of economic, cultural and civilizational existence of independent states within the continent. This process goes everywhere: in the West - a unified Western civilization, in the East - China as a large civilizational community.
Our feature is that there should be no single leader in the Eurasian space, there should be two leaders, conditionally, Russia as the leader of predominantly Slavic states and Kazakhstan as the leader of the predominantly Turkic states. In this regard, our two states are united by a common mission. In the future, a large structure such as Turkey or Iran can join us, but now the main responsibility lies with Russia as a working body, due to the resources of which integration is taking place, and Kazakhstan as the leader of modernization processes, which is working out key models for the post-Soviet space. The future of northern Eurasia depends on unity of Russia and Kazakhstan, there will be no EEU without it.
- How is Kazakhstan perceived today in the global world arena?
- Kazakhstan is a regional or trans-regional state, and its task in the international arena is to enter the world's top thirty countries in the near future. I believe that the G20 should become the G30 over time, precisely at the expense of developing countries. It would be the correct line of Russia in the G20, as now the European countries dominate in the G20, and the G30 will be more balanced due to the greater representation of the eastern vector. And Kazakhstan, of course, has a chance to enter the G30 in the future and start playing a noticeable global role. Now, in addition to the role of the leader of the Eurasian integration, its mission of providing communication, first, between Russia and China, and second, between the Slavic and Turkic world, is of global relevance. Without the unity of the Slavic-Türkic world, the Eurasian space cannot be integrated. Therefore, Kazakhstan has a very important trans-regional role.