NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev decided to transform the diplomatic missions in Belgrade, Bratislava, Lisbon, Riga and Sofia, Akorda reported.

The consulate of Kazakhstan in Tallinn will be reorganised into an embassy. “The European dimension rightfully has a priority place in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, said the assistant to the Kazakh president, Murat Nurtleuov. “We have to substantively work with the European side on the implementation of the Agreement on enhanced cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union. The updated EU strategy on Central Asia, adopted in June of this year, opens up new prospects for cooperation,” the presidential press secretary, Berik Uali, quoted Nurtuleuov in his page in Facebook.

The EU is the largest trade, economic and investment partner of Kazakhstan. EU countries provide half of the foreign trade turnover of Kazakhstan and foreign direct investment in the economy of the republic.

“An important step in deepening cooperation with European countries will be to increase the status of the diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan in Bulgaria, Latvia, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia and Estonia by transforming them into full-fledged embassies,” he said.

The fact that Kazakhstan was presented in European countries at the level of diplomatic missions and consulates was hampered by the dynamic development of cooperation with them, Nurtleuov said.

Tokayev’s decree is “an adequate response to the need to give an additional impetus to the development of relations with important partners of the European Union.”