Kazakh envoy to India Nurlan Zhalgasbayev

Astana: Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko has characterized India's position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict as 'balanced' and hailed bilateral ties between Kazakhstan and India.

"India has taken a very balanced position in the situation since the beginning of this year presenting its views to the international partners and the best way to resolve problems is to reach out through diplomacy," the deputy minister said in an exclusive interview with ANI.

This comment came in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict which has seen differences in several countries' positions. Consistent with its well thought national position, India has abstained from some of the UN resolutions on the conflict.

On the bilateral ties, the Kazakh minister said both countries share a long and historical relationship that goes back to the time of the great silk road. "In recent years, we are seeing a very interesting development in our relationship. There is appreciation in Kazakstan for Indian culture," he said.

Amidst the geo-strategic turbulence in the region, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced early presidential elections for November 20 this year. Tokayev called for an early presidential election and announced the move to bring back the old name of the country's capital.

Speaking on the elections and how its relationship with India can be strengthened between India and Kazakhstan, the Deputy Foreign Minister said that there will be no change in the country's foreign policy.

"Kazakhstan's foreign policy approach will not change and we remain committed to developing a multilateral forum policy," he said.

In the past few years, India has been actively engaging with the countries in the Central Asia region, including Kazakhstan.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted the 1st India-Central Asia Summit, with the participation of the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, in a virtual format on January 27.

This is the first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of heads of government, according to the annual report of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The first India-Central Asia Summit is a reflection of India's growing engagement with the Central Asian countries, which are a part of India's "Extended Neighbourhood".