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Nazarbaev Warns World Nuclear Cooperation May 'End'

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has voiced concern about what he calls the "possible end of cooperation between the world's leading nuclear powers."

Speaking to the Assembly of Kazakhstan's Peoples on April 18, Nazarbaev said the progress toward non-proliferation achieved in recent decades is under threat.

His remarks were seen as a reference to ongoing tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

Nazarbaev stressed that Kazakhstan had shut down its Semipalatinsk nuclear test field and obtained non-nuclear state status after gaining independence in 1991.

Ukraine, like Kazakhstan, agreed to become a non-nuclear state in the early 1990s. Under an agreement signed in Budapest in 1994, Ukraine disposed of its entire nuclear arsenal.

In return, Russia and Western signatory countries backed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as an independent state.
Based on reporting by Kazinform and KazTAG