The relationship between Russia and Kazakhstan has taken a turn for the worse in the past week, with the latter threatening to pull out of the Russia-led Eurasian Union and, ominously, Russia concentrating troops on the border.
ERR's Moscow correspondent has been reporting on the row, which broke out when Russian President Vladimir Putin said his Kazakhstan counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev had created a state on a territory where previously no nation had existed.
Nazarbayev said his nation has the right to leave the union if its rights are attacked, adding that Kazakhstan will never belong to any international organization which clips its sovereignty.
Nazarbayev told his Ukrainian counterpart in a meeting in Minsk, Belarus, that Kazakhstan could win if Ukraine signed an association agreement with the EU, promising fruitful cooperation with the new Ukrainian government.
It was reported yesterday afternoon by a regional English news site, Azeri Daily, that Russia has launched a large-scale military exercise near the border with Kazakhstan. Close proximity military training exercises are a favorite tool of Russia, having held them near the Baltics and Ukraine when the situation heated up.