Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) have the delicate task of balancing ties between their respective countries.
(VLADIMIR ASTAPKOVICH/Host Photo Agency/Ria Novosti via Getty Images)
Kazakhstan is one of Russia's closest allies. Even now, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev continues to acknowledge the deep cultural, security and economic ties between the two countries. And unlike other former Soviet states, Kazakhstan is firmly in Russia's camp. But Kazakhstan also knows the economic and military vulnerabilities of being too close to Russia. So Astana will take steps to establish alternative foreign ties and guard the country through domestic policies -- all while being careful not to alienate Moscow....
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