Kazakhstan-United States relations

General information

December 26, 1991 – the United States (U.S.) recognizes the state sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

January 7, 1992 – diplomatic relations are established.

September 15, 1992 – the U.S. Embassy is established in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

October 30, 1992 – the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan is established in the United States.

December 14, 2009 – the U.S. Consulate General is established in Almaty.

January 21, 2010 – the Consulate General of the Republic of Kazakhstan is established in New York.

Since 2017 – Erzhan Kazykhanov is appointed as the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the U.S.

Since 2019- William Moser is Ambassador of the U.S. to the Republic of Kazakhstan


Political Cooperation

The development of a comprehensive partnership with the United States is one of the main priorities of our country's foreign policy. Political dialogue is being consistently developed at all levels, including the highest one.

On September 1, 2017, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, had a telephone conversation with the U.S. President, Donald Trump, during which the most important issues of bilateral cooperation were discussed.

On the sidelines of the US - Islamic World summit in Riyadh on May 21, 2017, the Head of State held a brief conversation with the President Trump.

At the current stage, the Kazakh-American cooperation is determined by the agreements reached as a result of the official visit of President Nazarbayev to the United States (January 15-18, 2018), during which the two leaders adopted the Joint Statement “Kazakhstan and United States: An Enhanced Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century."

The official visit of the President of Kazakhstan to the United States was an important milestone in the development of the Kazakh-American strategic partnership and gave renewed impetus to the further development of the full-scale and multifaceted engagement between Astana and Washington. In particular, the two leaders decided to establish an enhanced strategic partnership between the two countries. The specific nature of the relations between the United States and Kazakhstan and the stated intention to expand cooperation in all spheres of strategic partnership for the benefit of both countries were clearly demonstrated by the results of the visit, the issues discussed, the depth of the talks and the high level of trust.

The Strategic Partnership Dialogue (SPD) has been operating under the chairmanship of the heads of foreign offices since 2012. In view of the Commission's importance, its working groups were upgraded to the Committees, whose first meetings were held on March 8-9, 2016, in Washington. The 5th SPD review session was held on November 30, 2017, in Astana, which was attended by officials of all interested government agencies.

“C5 + 1" initiative, which was launched on November 1, 2015, in Samarkand, is being further institutionalized. At the 2nd C5 + 1 ministerial meeting on August 3, 2016, in Washington, it was agreed to launch five projects: Central Asia business competitiveness; transport corridor development; power the future; supporting national and regional adaptation planning; counter-terrorism.

The 4th C5 + 1 ministerial meeting was held on September 22, 2017, in New York, which was attended by the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The main result of the event was the reaffirmation of support for this format of regional cooperation by the new US Administration. The C5 + 1 participants also decided to explore options for deepening economic cooperation with Afghanistan in order to help stabilize the country.

The C5 + 1 ministerial meeting took place on January 19, 2018, in New York, which was attended by the foreign ministers of Central Asian countries and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, during which the prospects for further strengthening the C5 + 1 mechanism were discussed.

The cooperation with the US Congress is an important component of interstate relations. The main work is conducted within the framework of the “Friends of Kazakhstan Caucus" at the U.S. Congress and by relevant committees on international relations. The Cooperation Group between the Mazhilis of Kazakhstan and the U.S. Congress has been established at the Parliament of Kazakhstan, which includes 29 deputies of Kazakhstan. “Friends of Kazakhstan Caucus" at the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress consists of 11 members. Its chair is Congressman Robert Aderholt (Republican; Alabama); the co-chair is Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (Democrat; Texas).

In the field of military cooperation, engagement on peacekeeping is gaining momentum. The KAZBRIG peacekeeping brigade has been established in Kazakhstan with the U.S. assistance. Arrangements are being made for this unit to participate in peacekeeping missions.

The U.S. side highly appreciates Kazakhstan's contribution to non-proliferation, citing our country as a model for other states to follow. Kazakhstan has successfully implemented a number of projects in this area within the framework of the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

The United States facilitated the establishment of the Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Kazakhstan. David Huizenga, the Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy, took part in the opening ceremony of the IAEA LEU Bank on August 29, 2017.

Economic cooperation

According to Kazakhstan's customs authorities, bilateral trade with the United States amounted to 1.636 billion dollars in 2017, including exports from Kazakhstan to the US reaching 392.3 million dollars and imports from the U.S. to Kazakhstan worth 1.244 billion dollars.

According to the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the gross inflow of foreign direct investment from the United States into Kazakhstan's economy amounted to 30.6 billion dollars between2005 and September 31, 2017. The main investment sectors are mining, real estate, lease and services to enterprises, financial activities, activities of professional organizations, associations and alliances.

The U.S. is the second largest investor in Kazakhstan after the Netherlands. Furthermore, the announcement in July 2016 that TengizChevrOil plans to reinvest 36.8 billion dollars into the Future Growth Project and Wellhead Pressure Management Project the Tengiz field contributed to the increase of trust of the U.S. and international investors in Kazakhstan's economy.

There are approximately500 companies involving U.S. capital in Kazakhstan, of which 443 are small, 23 medium, and 30 large. 141 companies are joint ventures, 41 companies are engaged in the goods production and 37 companies export products to other countries.

Despite the instability in the global economy, American companies continue to demonstrate an interest in the Kazakhstani market. In recent years, companies such as Primus Power, Spancrete, Uber, Starbucks, McDonalds and Netflix have entered the Kazakh market.

On April 10-13, 2017, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Bakytzhan Sagintayev, paid a working visit to the U.S. with a trip to New York City and San Francisco. The main objectives of the visit were deepening business linkages and developing partnership relations with large corporations and start-ups at the Silicon Valley, with a view to implement the President's initiative “The Third Modernization of Kazakhstan: Global Competitiveness" and the transition of Kazakhstan to the digital economy.

The U.S. delegation led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Rosenbloom took part in the opening ceremony of EXPO-2017 and the National Pavilion of the United States on June 10, 2017. He also held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Yerzhan Ashikbayev, on the entire spectrum of the bilateral agenda.

During the official visit of President Nazarbayev to the United States, a round table was held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on January 16, 2018, which was attended by the Head of State and U.S. business executives. As a result, 24 contracts worth approximately7 billion dollars were signed, while the volume of investment agreements reached 4.3 billion dollars. The signed agreements cover such areas of cooperation as technology transfer in the aviation and space industry, agriculture, transport, involving major U.S. companies - Chevron Overseas, W. R. Grace & Co, GE Transportation, Pfizer, John Deere, Amity Technology, Global Beef Investments LLP and others.

The creation of favorable conditions for economic cooperation between the United States and Central Asian countries is discussed on a regular basis at the Council meeting of the U.S. Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The last meeting was held on December 11-13, 2017, in Almaty.

A key instrument in the energy cooperation is the Kazakhstan-U.S. Energy Partnership. Within the framework of the visit of the presidential delegation to the EXPO-2017, headed by the Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette on August 28, 2017, a meeting was held with the Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev. The Joint Statement by Co-Chairs of the Kazakhstan - U.S. Energy Partnership was signed at the meeting. According to the document, the sides agreed to raise the level of engagement to the Strategic Energy Dialogue and outlined specific areas of cooperation, such as renewable energy, nuclear energy and energy security.

In addition, the Kazakhstan-U.S. Commission for Science and Technology operates to advance scientific and technological cooperation.

Cooperation in education is being expanded. There is an ongoing exchange of students and professors, as well as joint scientific developments of Kazakh and American universities, including Harvard, MIT, etc.

Treaty and legal basis

Over 25 years, more than 70 interstate, intergovernmental and interagency agreements have been signed.

Efforts are made to enhance the treaty and legal basis. On December 6, 2016, an interstate Agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (MLAT) came into force. Kazakhstan became the first country in Central Asia and the third in the CIS (after the Russian Federation and Ukraine) to conclude such an agreement with the United States. On September 11, 2017, the Agreement on the Improvement of International Tax Discipline (FATCA) was signed in Astana. The Protocol Amending the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the United States of America on Support for Commercial Rail Transit of Special Cargo through the Territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Connection with the Participation of the United States of America in Efforts for the Stabilization and Reconstruction of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was signed on September 21, 2017. On November 10, 2017, Kazakhstan ratified the Inter-American Convention on Extradition of 1933. An Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of United States of America on Assessing Air Navigation Service Fees for State Aircraft was signed on January 12, 2018. This facilitates visits to Kazakhstan by the U.S. official delegations to Kazakhstan, including congressional delegations.

Democracy and Human Rights

Dialogue on democracy and human rights remains an important component of the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the United States. The visit of the Minister of Religious Affairs and Civil Society of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Yermekbayev, to Washington took place on May 9-10, 2017. During the meetings with representatives of the U.S. Administration, issues of ensuring rights and freedoms in Kazakhstan and countering religious extremism and terrorism were discussed.

Cooperation in the consular field

The introduction of a visa-free regime for up to 30 days for American citizens since the beginning of 2017 is a positive factor for the promotion of tourism in Kazakhstan. An agreement on mutual granting of visas for tourist and business purposes for a ten-year period entered into force on December 29, 2016. (Prior to this, the regime of mutual issuance of five-year visas had been in force since 2013.).

Created at : 6.02.2017, 11:55, Updated at : 15.02.2019, 17:25