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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Nazarbayev, I wish you a warm welcome.
Today is an important occasion because we are about to sign the integration agreements that mark the latest and very important step on our road to creating our integration organisations. We will discuss this, but first we have the chance to hold a brief exchange of views on our bilateral relations and share information on regional affairs.
Before anything else though, I want to thank you for coming to Moscow to take part in this special meeting that highlights the importance of today’s events.
I wish you a warm welcome and am happy to see you.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Thank you very much, Mr Medvedev, for giving us this time.
We discussed our bilateral relations recently in Astrakhan and gave instructions to our governments on the issues we need to resolve. This work is proceeding very well now. I want to discuss with you too, the event that has brought us here today.
It was only five years ago that we launched the project to establish the Customs Union, but thanks to your personal interest and energetic efforts to advance this process we have already approved a huge number of laws, signed agreements, and entered the phase of the Customs Union’s practical establishment.
We all worked hard of course, but you were the central force and the leader when it came to establishing the Common Economic Space, and I think that today we will have the occasion to state in official fashion the immense benefits the Customs Union has already brought our countries.
Dmitry Medvedev: Trade is growing at a very good pace.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: Yes, speaking for Kazakhstan, trade between the three [Customs Union member] countries is up by 40%, up by 57% with Russia and by 57% with Belarus too, which represents a doubling of Kazakhstan’s trade with Belarus. In other words, the union has obvious benefits for our countries, real benefits.
Now we have reached the next stage in the integration process – the Common Economic Space. Today, we will examine the matter of setting up the Common Economic Space Commission. The documents approved – 17 agreements – will take us to practical establishment of the Common Economic Space and open the way to the next step – the Eurasian Economic Union. I stress your contribution to this work, and I think we will see these projects through to their completion.
I want to take this opportunity to wish you and the United Russia party success in the upcoming election. I hope that the Russian people will appreciate your work over these last years for what it has been – very active and energetic work. The relations between our two countries have also developed very actively over this time. We worked in coordinated fashion in the interests of the entire Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Economic Community, and we have succeeded in building this unique integration group that I had calling for over many years. Thank you for all of this.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Mr Nazarbayev. It makes me very happy to hear these words. I will give my appraisal of these events and also of the unquestionable role you have played in this process over almost the last 20 years, at our news conference later.