Tensions between Kazakhstan and Russia are reaching a boiling point. Awkward exchanges between leaders highlight weakness in the two countries’ alliance. Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine has left Kazakhstan and several neighboring states on edge. Behind-the-scenes tensions between Kazakhstan and Russia over the war in Ukraine spilled into awkward exchanges at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, where discussions strayed beyond the economy into geopolitics. Vladimir Putin used the platform to advance the sweeping claim that the entire former Soviet Union was “ historical Russia .” Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of one of its neighbors, the Russian president’s June 17 remarks could hardly fail to arouse alarm in other former Soviet states – like Kazakhstan, whose president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, was sharing the stage with Putin. Tokayev used the occasion to push back hard against territorial claims made on Kazakhstan by some Russian commentators, and to re-state his […]