Kazakhstan—the Russian ‘Piggy Bank’
The former Soviet nation of Kazakhstan is once again falling under Moscow’s control. Kazakh trade statistics show it is helping Russia circumvent Western sanctions, according to a Diplomat report published October 25.
The report shows that in 2022, while Russia was being sanctioned by the West as punishment for its war on Ukraine, Russo-Kazakh trade soared.
- In 2021, Kazakhstan exported about $60 billion worth of goods to Russia and imported about $40 billion.
- In 2022, that increased to about $84.4 billion in exports and about $50 billion in imports.
Loopholes: Analysts believe the surging trade comes from Kazakhstan following Western sanctions in a “letter of the law” way, while ramping up trade with proxy companies of sanctioned Russian businesses.
Kazakhstan also has few customs posts and minimal checks. So a truck of cargo could have documentation saying it’s carrying non-sanctioned products while it is actually carrying weapons. When customs checks happen, the documentation is generally all that is checked—not the actual cargo. Kazakhstan saves face with the West by occasionally confiscating small amounts of prohibited goods at the Russian border.
‘Piggy bank’: Another major factor is that Russia can convert its currency to the Kazakh currency free. This means Russia has almost unrestricted access to Kazakhstan’s currency market.
Essentially, Kazakhstan is becoming a kind of “piggy bank” for Russia that can be broken open at an opportune moment.
This arrangement deals a blow to the Kazakh people because it causes rampant inflation. But Kazakhstan’s leaders know that if they stopped the free conversion between currencies, they risk serious backlash from Russia. Moscow wields tight control over Kazakhstan and appears ready to increase its control. This control lines up with Bible prophecy.
Conquering prince: In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry proves from the Bible that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the “prince” described in Ezekiel 38:2. Based on the details of this verse, he writes, “[T]he prince will probably conquer more nations of the former Soviet Union.”
Putin’s desire to return the former Soviet nations to Russian control is clear in his war on Ukraine and previous pushes against countries such as Georgia, Moldova and Belarus. The Bible indicates that Putin will be successful in most of his efforts to control these former Soviet nations. The situation in Kazakhstan further backs this forecast.