Kazakhstan ready to increase oil supplies to Germany, president says

Last Updated on September 28, 2023 2:18 pm

BERLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan is ready to increase oil supplies to Germany, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Thursday after talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.

Tokayev said Kazakhstan has shipped 500,000 metric tonnes of crude to Germany’s Schwedt refinery via Russia’s Druzhba pipeline this year, sales that began after Berlin decided to stop buying Russian oil.

“At our German friends’ request, I have confirmed our country’s readiness to increase oil supplies and make them long-term,” Tokayev told a briefing.

He did not say by how much such shipments could increase.

“Kazakhstan is an important partner for us to broaden our supply channels, for example in the import of crude oil, and to make us independent of Russian energy supplies,” Scholz told the same briefing.

“We also look to Kazakhstan as a partner when it comes to critical raw materials to shape the energy transition. And we agree that the necessary transport routes must be expanded more quickly.”

Tokayev also said Germany should not fear that Kazakhstan, a former Soviet state in Central Asia that shares a long border with Russia and is home to a large ethnic Russian minority, will try to help Moscow circumvent Western sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine.

Western observers have noted increased trade volumes between Central Asia and Russia which could indicate that some countries in the region are importing and reselling to Russia the goods it cannot buy itself, including those from Europe.

Tokayev said Kazakhstan continued to call for talks between Russia and Ukraine on ending the war, now in its 20th month, and that it had no concerns about Moscow threatening its own territorial integrity.

“The time has come for rational, I would say, wise diplomacy,” Tokayev said. “It is time to end mutual accusations and begin talking business in order to find the basis for peace talks that would be acceptable to both sides.”

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