“Kazakhstan has a right to withdraw from the Eurasian Economic Union,” Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev told his country’s Khabar television, according to remarks cited by Kazakhstan’s Tengri News. “Kazakhstan will not be part of organizations that pose a threat to our independence.”
“Our independence is our dearest treasure, which our grandfathers fought for,” Nazarbayev was quoted as saying. “First of all, we will never surrender it to someone, and secondly, we will do our best to protect it.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Kazakhstan’s history of independent statehood is scant and its people’s desire for closer ties with Russia is profound.
Kazakhs have taken to social networks to call for supporters to “send a history textbook to Putin” in response to the Russian leader’s remarks last week that the Central Asian nation had never held any independence worth speaking of until very recently.
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has “created a state on a territory that never had a state,” Putin told a pro-Kremlin youth camp at Lake Seliger near Moscow. “Kazakhs never had any statehood, he has created it,” he said, the Moscow Times reports.