Russia would hardly expect much value to be added by the Kazakhstan Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2010. It would not expect much harm either. This made the overall balance of supporting Nazarbayev's bid positive to Moscow which found it better to honour rather than to deny (or to allow others to deny) it. The Kremlin must have been struck, however, by the manifested readiness of Astana to seek a successful Chairmanship by engaging not only (and not predominantly) with Russia but particularly with the US and the European nations. As a result Astana's approach towards the OSCE sharply contrasted the toughening rhetoric of Russia. However, while having little leverage to either persuade or punish Kazakhstan's policies, the Kremlin has also little choice next year but to avoid spoiling relations with Astana by denying it a successful Chairmanship.