Bilateral relations

Kazakhstan – Norway Bilateral Relations

General information

January 2, 1992- the Kingdom of Norway acknowledged the state independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

June 5, 1992 - diplomatic relations between two countries were established.

June 21, 2004 - the Diplomatic Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Norway is founded.

September 2008 - the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Kazakhstan is founded.

March 2012 - the Diplomatic Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Norway is transformed to Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

September 2012 - Mr.Ole Johan Bjornoy is appointed as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Norway to the Republic of Kazakhstan. (The ceremony of presenting Credentials was held on November 26, 2012).

September 2013 -September 2014 - Mr.Askar Tazhiyev was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Norway.

September 17, 2014 - by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, Mr.Kairat Abuseitov is appointed as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Norway. (The ceremony of presenting Credentials to the King Harald V was held on November 6, 2014).

Political cooperation

A considerable impetus to the development of bilateral ties was given by the first official visit of the President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev to the Kingdom of Norway held on April 2-4, 2001. During the visit, the head of state met the King Harald V, the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the Vice-President of Storting Hans J.Rosjorde. The President gave a lecture on Kazakhstan's foreign policy in the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Policy and International Relations (NUPI).

During the visit the Convention on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax avoidance on the income and the equity, as well as the Joint statement on further development of friendly relations and cooperation between Kazakhstan and Norway were signed.

An additional impulse to the development of bilateral relations was brought by the visit of the Prime Minister of Norway Kjell MagneBondevik to Kazakhstan on May 25-26, 2004. During the visit, documents on deepening bilateral cooperation in political and economic spheres were signed. A business-forum with the participation of private sector representatives of both countries and the official opening ceremony of the Honorable Consulate of the Kingdom of Norway in Astana were held during his visit to Kazakhstan.

Cooperation in the field of international security

Kazakhstan and Norway are active supporters of non-proliferation regime and nuclear security. The parties share similar positions on global nuclear safety. This sphere unites a scientific and academic community, civil society of the two countries. Recognizing a special contribution of the Republic of Kazakhstan to strengthening of international security and the nuclear non-proliferation regime, joint analytical researches are conducted, the international events with participation of NGO and the general public of Kazakhstan and Norway are held.

Kazakhstan and Norway make a powerful contribution to the non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, are important players in the field of nuclear energy. Norway is one of the donors of the Project on creation of low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel bank.

The IAEA Board of Governors authorized the establishment and operation of the IAEA LEU Bank in December 2010. In July 2011, Kazakhstan offered to host the IAEA LEU Bank in response to the Agency's request for Expressions of Interest. Since 2011, Kazakhstan and the IAEA have been working on the technical details for the establishment of the IAEA LEU Bank and have negotiated the Host State Agreement governing the establishment and hosting of the bank.

On August 27, 2015 – the closing date of Semipalatinsk nuclear test-site in Kazakhstan - the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to set up a low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel bank in Oskemen, Kazakhstan. Operated by Kazakhstan and started operations in 2017, the IAEA LEU Bank is a physical reserve of LEU - the basic ingredient of nuclear fuel - and act as a supplier of last resort for the Vienna-based agency's Member States in case they cannot obtain LEU on the global commercial market or otherwise. The facility is also seen as an important part of international efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation - as a way to dissuade countries from building enrichment facilities that might be misused to purify uranium to weapons-grade levels.

The signing ceremony in Astana was attended by representatives of UN Security Council members, including China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA, as well as representatives of donor countries for the project – Norway, the European Union (EU), Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In addition to the Host State Agreement, the ceremony included the signing of a related technical agreement, and a contract between the IAEA and Kazakhstan's Ulba Metallurgical Plant. The three documents comprise the legal framework for the IAEA LEU Bank.

The IAEA LEU Bank will host up to 90 tonnes of LEU, sufficient to run a 1000 MWe light-water reactor. The Ulba Metallurgical Plant has been handling and storing nuclear material, including LEU, safely and securely for more than 60 years.

The establishment and operation of the IAEA LEU Bank is fully funded through $150 million of voluntary contributions from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the USA, the EU, the UAE, Kuwait, Norway and Kazakhstan. Their contributions will cover the cost of the facility for the first ten years of operation.

The safety and security of the IAEA LEU Bank will be governed by Kazakhstan's legal and regulatory requirements, and will meet the applicable provisions of the IAEA's safety standards and security guidance documents. The LEU will also be subject to IAEA safeguards.

Created at : 6.11.2016, 18:50, Updated at : 6.11.2016, 18:50