Snubbed by Kazakh President: Putin Greeted by Prime Minister

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jul.03 - 2024 1:27 PM CET

The President Greeted Xi Jinping Instead.

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President Vladimir Putin of Russia recently landed in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, where he arrived for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. A

According to Lenta during his two-day stay, Putin engaged in several bilateral meetings, highlighting the strategic partnership between Russia and Kazakhstan.

Rushed welcome

According to reports from Chinese journalists, Putin received a warm welcome upon arrival, although the reception differed significantly from what Chinese leaders typically experience. The Kazakh Prime Minister, Olzhas Bektenov, greeted Putin at the airport, where a blue carpet and an honor guard awaited.

Despite the high-level organization, the atmosphere appeared rushed, reflecting Putin's tight schedule and eagerness to move quickly through formalities.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping also arrived in Astana on the same day. His reception contrasted sharply with Putin's, as he was welcomed by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the airport, accompanied by a ceremonial performance featuring children waving national flags and greeting in Chinese.

The Underlying Reason

The distinction in receptions raised questions among Chinese media about the underlying reasons behind the difference in treatment for leaders of the SCO's leading nations, Russia and China.

However, President Tokayev recently emphasized the strong partnership between Kazakhstan and Russia, highlighting ongoing multilateral cooperation aimed at regional security and stability.

Xi Jinping's visit is expected to include the signing of significant cooperation agreements with Kazakhstan, underscoring the importance of his rare trips to Astana compared to Putin's frequent visits. Despite occasional complexities in bilateral relations, stability characterizes the current state of Moscow-Astana ties, dispelling notions of bias towards Russia.

The SCO summit in Astana serves as a platform for discussing regional and global issues, where leaders like Putin and Xi Jinping play pivotal roles in shaping the organization's agenda. Putin's packed schedule during this visit underscores the strategic importance Russia places on its relationships within the SCO framework.