Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Bonino says Italy won't risk Astana relations

English
© ANSA

(see related stories)
Rome, July 24 - Protecting a Kazakh dissident's
family is a priority but Italy won't take measures that will
damage its relations with the energy-rich state, Foreign
Minister Emma Bonino said Wednesday.
''Our interventions are...continuous, relentless and will
continue as long as necessary,'' Bonino told the House and
Senate foreign affairs committees on a controversial
deportation.
She also condemned measures taken by the Kazakh ambassador
in Rome as ''intrusive'' and ''unacceptable''.
However, she said "actions and reactions that would weaken
our diplomatic structure with Astana must be avoided".
It had been earlier suggested that Italy was considering
expelling the Kazakh ambassador to applying pressure at the
interior ministry in Rome over the case rather than going
through the proper channels at the foreign ministry.
A national scandal erupted after Kazakh oligarch and
dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov's wife Alma Shalabayeva and their
six-year-old daughter were seized in a nighttime raid in May.
The pair were hustled onto a private jet with Kazakh
diplomats and flown back to a country whose human-rights record
has been questioned by several organisations.
Italy has since repealed her expulsion order, but the
Kazakh government has said Shalabayeva is under investigation
regarding possible bribes paid to immigration and justice
officials to create false passports for herself and her
daughter.
Kazakhstan has said that Shalabayeva and her daughter could
be returned to Italy if appropriate financial guarantees were
put in place.

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