The collapse of the USSR became the starting point for the emergence of 15 new states on the political map of the world. Freed from the care of Moscow, the republics were faced with a choice of economic and political system. The Baltic countries coped with this task most successfully; they quite quickly realized the path of integration with Western countries. The rest continue to search for the optimal form of the state model that would meet the mental and cultural requirements of the young states.
Russia, like the rest of the fourteen republics, was forced to choose the direction of further development and passed its unique path from a totalitarian state to today's state capitalism. If at the moment to compare Russia with the former republics of the USSR, then the closest in its political, economic and social development is Kazakhstan. Moreover, the similarity can be traced, for the most part, in the socio-political and economic life, ranging from the value of GDP per inhabitant to the form of government. For both states, this is a republic with a built-up vertical of power. From here comes the proximity of the ambitious tasks that the leaders of their countries set. In Kazakhstan, this is one of the 50 most competitive countries in the world; in Russia, it is a doubling of GDP in 10 years. The main problems facing the presidents are the same. Like Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev today faces a difficult question: how, while maintaining stability in the country, to get away from the “power Olympus”.
The party systems are similar, when one force dominates the political field. In the parliaments of both countries, the majority of the seats are held by pro-presidential parties with a similar structure, in Russia - United Russia, in Kazakhstan - Otan. Moreover, "Otan" and "United Russia" fruitfully cooperate on many issues, including in the field of youth policy. At present, in Kazakhstan, the issue of creating a Chamber of public experts is being discussed, and in Russia two meetings of its analogue, the Public Chamber, have already taken place.
The list of problems of economies reflects the similarity of economic models. True, while in Russia they are just beginning to count the non-oil budget, in Kazakhstan money from the national fund, to which all oil revenues flow, come to the budget in the form of transfers. Both countries fail to cope with distortions in the economy - the fuel and energy complex still prevails. The banking system in Kazakhstan is more developed, which makes it possible to provide 7-8% per annum for mortgage loans that are impossible today in Russia.
The similarities are also emphasized by particular moments. So, in Kazakhstan today there is also a problem of shared construction. The developer of the residential complex "Moscow" in Astana went bankrupt, depriving its shareholders of the opportunity to get their apartments in the near future. Or the problem of immigration - on the construction sites of the new capital mainly illegal immigrants from less economically prosperous Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan work.
For Kazakhstan, Russia today is a huge market for agricultural products, the transit of oil and gas to Europe, the space for expansion of Kazakhstani banks that have grown strong, and the opportunity to gain access to high technologies, in particular, in the space sector. Russia is one of the most important foreign policy partners. Still, one of ... This is the main reason why Kazakhstan and Russia will not unite or create a union state, following the example of Russia and Belarus, at least in the medium term. The republic’s geopolitical strategy is beneficial cooperation with the three main global players in the region: China, the United States and Russia, and in the future the European Union can join them. For 15 years, Russia was the main partner of the republic, without making any special demands on its neighbor. Kazakhstan used this time to “stand up”. Today, Kazakhstan has solved the main task - access to world markets for raw materials, bypassing Russia, which means it has achieved relative independence from the “northern neighbor”. An oil pipeline to China has been built, the issue of joining the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project is on the agenda. There is serious talk about building a gas pipeline bypassing Russia to Europe.
And what about Russia? During the 90s, the CIS countries were not a priority in foreign policy, and a lot of problems inside the country did not allow them to actively deal with their neighbors. Today, the Russian authorities are too afraid of losing their main strategic partner in the region, so they are trying to pursue a soft policy, closing their eyes, for example, to the active cooperation of the Kazakhstani army with NATO troops.
Obviously, the question of building a full-fledged union state is not on the agenda today. Talk about a possible merger, which appeared some time ago, showed that even if the Russian leadership is in favor of further integration in order to bind a strategic ally to itself even more, it is not acceptable for the Kazakh elite because it threatens to lose part of sovereignty. A characteristic situation was when the new head of Rosatom, Sergey Kiriyenko, voiced the idea of creating a united nuclear company based on the former Sredmash, which was also invited to enter the enterprises of Kazakhstan. Representatives of the Kazakh side were coolly welcomed by this proposal. The reason is simple - the state-owned company Kazatomprom, having one of the largest uranium reserves in the world, plans to become the industry leader and independently supply its products to the world market.
Nevertheless, in the future, Kazakhstan and Russia will continue a pragmatic policy of strategic and good neighborly relations, if only because they have the longest land border in the world. In addition, we must not forget that it is Kazakhstan that is the partner of Russia in almost all economic and military-political associations in the post-Soviet space, and also has an agreement with Russia on eternal friendship, which has no analogues in the world. Not surprisingly, both Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin in their annual messages among the main foreign partners named each other's countries.