Astana Club: Nursultan Nazarbayev – Moscow and Washington need to hold direct talks to resolve the deadlock in Ukraine

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Dec. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Yesterday, the VII meeting of the Astana Club dedicated to the topic “A new formula for peace: the world on the verge of transformation” was held in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.


The strategic stalemate in Ukraine was the key topic all the discussions were centered around.

The First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev noted during his speech at the Club meeting that he was once a direct participant in the process of conflict resolution in Ukraine.

“I put a lot of effort into organizing the Minsk agreements meeting at the height of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. Back then, it was for the first time possible to organize a face-to-face dialogue between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine.

The Minsk agreements opened the way to negotiations and compromise. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. We know the result now”, Nazarbayev stated.

In his opinion, the reality on the battlefield today is that a way out of the Ukrainian deadlock is possible only through negotiations.

“In my opinion this severe conflict in the center of Europe could be stopped only by great powers, the United States and Russia, inviting also other leaders to dialogue if there is a will and desire on their side. And of course, always considering the interests of Ukraine“, he said.

The Club’s participants shared this vision about the current deadlock in war.

For instance, Charles Kupchan, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations said: “We have a zugzwang on the battlefield, Russia has no success in 2023, and neither does Ukraine. We also see that it will be much more difficult for the U.S. to maintain support for Ukraine“.

Considering China’s approach to this conflict, Senior colonel Zhou Bo, a prominent Chinese military expert from Tsinghua University, emphasized that Beijing should not be blamed for adopting its current position.

“The outbreak of World War III would have been predetermined, if only China supported Russia’s position. However, China is in favor of a peaceful settlement, and has made its own proposals”, he said.

All participants, including former Prime minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero stated the importance of having a neutral platform for negotiations. Kazakhstan with its multi-vector foreign policy could become a perfect place for the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis.