This epithet most often awarded the Kazakh landscape. However, more than two million square kilometers of the country’s area, a long land border, new-old Central Asian neighbors, delimitation, demarcation, etc. all this complicates border tasks for Kazakhstan.
Until now, the borders of the country are fairly transparent, which results in a large flow, including transit, of illegal migration. However, this is not the only border problem.
Uzbekistan. The issue of delimitation and delimitation of borders has always been particularly problematic for both states. Since 1991, the border between the republics has advanced 60 kilometers into Kazakhstan from the official line of the Soviet version. And at the moment, the situation on the Kazakh-Uzbek border is quite complicated, including because of the large volume of border trade and smuggling, old habits of local residents and people who are not used to the new redistribution of territories (in some villages the border passes among these villages) and other factors.
Against this background, the border guards (in the Kazakh press, the main “anti-heroes” are Uzbek, in Uzbekistan, apparently, Kazakhstan), also apparently not mastered the standards of the border culture, too nervously react to harmless border violations, and sometimes violate themselves. So, recently an incident occurred on the border that caused a storm of emotions in Kazakhstan, which reached the parliament. According to the most common version, Kazakhstani Bauyrzhan Akhmetov was severely beaten by Uzbek border guards in Kazakhstan and taken to Uzbekistan. Akhmetov's injuries were very serious. The people's deputies were so outraged that they called the deputy head of the National Security Committee, director of the border service Bolat Zakiyev to the parliament. The general tone of their speeches was expressed in the phrase: “Why are we still in the state of a whipping boy and let us treat ourselves like that?”
In response, Mr. Zakiev just as succinctly outlined the essence of the problem of the Kazakhstan border - it is unrealistic to close every meter of the border, but if we increase the number of border troops, "we will simply turn into a militarized state."
In addition, the main border guard of Kazakhstan literally lifted the veil over the problem of border conflicts, saying that Kazakhstan’s guardians of the frontiers also use weapons. So, according to him, since 2002 - the beginning of the border with Uzbekistan - 9 cases of use of weapons by Uzbek border guards were recorded on it, 6 Kazakhstanis were injured, one died. On the part of the border guards of Kazakhstan there were 6 cases of use of weapons, three citizens of Uzbekistan were injured, one was killed. This information was rather unexpected for Kazakhstani society, which, as it turned out, was receiving very subjective information, mainly about the “lawlessness” on the part of the Uzbek border guards. And about the border conflicts with other countries in the media in Kazakhstan can not hear anything. Meanwhile, according to the border service, there are incidents on the borders with other states: 23 cases of use of weapons on the border with Russia, 8 cases - with Kyrgyzstan.
However, the Kazakh authorities remain calm: according to Mr. Zakiyev, “the facts of the use of weapons at the border are not a system, but they do occur”, and in all cases conflicts occurred during the suppression of smuggling and other illegal activities at the border, and these facts did not reflect the state of interstate relations.
Indeed, despite the wide resonance of border cataclysms, the authorities ignore them, preferring to consider them as small, not affecting the strategy of mutual relations and not overshadowing the existence of the two modes. Although the last incident with Akhmetov reached the level of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries. Although, perhaps, to prevent the escalation of exacerbation of inter-country relations, this is the wisest position. However, it does not solve the problems of cross-border micro-crises, does not prevent their occurrence again and again.
Moreover, the recent actions of the authorities of both countries seem to provoke local people to trespass - the ban on the import of vegetables and fruits into Kazakhstan, the restriction of imports from Uzbekistan, etc. This only aggravates relations between the largest countries in the region. And once again it proves the utopian and ineffectiveness of numerous regional organizations such as the SCO, EurAsEC and others.
Perhaps, it is with Uzbekistan that Kazakhstan has the most tense, conflict-prone border, which in general reflects relations at the highest level. Kazakhstan coexists quite peacefully with the rest of the neighboring countries.
Turkmenistan. On the border with this country almost complete calm. There are almost no main communications between the regional center Aktau closest to the border and the city of Turkmenbashi. The desert terrain, in fact, the absence of roads, respectively, is small and there is little contact between countries. Several years ago, Turkmen peasants brought agricultural products to Aktau, but now it has almost stopped. In addition, Turkmenistan maintains external stability, which is why the migration flow from there is almost not noticeable.
Kyrgyzstan. The political and economic situation in Kyrgyzstan in recent years has not contributed to the aggravation of border conflicts. This situation has developed, first of all, because Kyrgyzstan itself is interested in the appearance of solvent residents of Kazakhstan on its territory. Starting from extreme tourists, walking on foot to Issyk-Kul through a mountain pass, and ending with family and respectable tourists, fueling the tourist industry of Kyrgyzstan. So, the border is guarded by the Kazakh border guards, who are trying to prevent cargoes and people who pose a threat to national security, illegal immigrants, etc., from the southern border, to be much tougher.
However, the general mental closeness of the two peoples, traditions, similarity of the language and other factors make border problems virtually invisible and truly local.
Dosym Satpaev, a political scientist:
“The most tense situation is observed, first of all, on the Kazakh-Uzbek border, despite the fact that the delimitation process has already passed (although the demarcation process is still ongoing). The demarcation process is delayed not from the Kazakh side, but from the Uzbek side. This, incidentally, is due to lack of finance. In addition, of course, the situation on the border is tense due to the inadequate behavior of the border services of Uzbekistan. Well, the second point - the local population, who lives in the border areas. It still cannot get used to the fact that there is already a clear border between our countries, and it uses smuggling routes of transition, which further exacerbates the situation.