President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov: Friends, we are delighted to welcome the Russian delegation to our hospitable Kyrgyz land.
Once again I would like to thank you for making your state visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. We had constructive and productive talks and covered all spheres concerning bilateral interaction. Again I would like to point out that thanks to you and your personal support, our bilateral relations have reached a whole new level and were given a fresh boost. Your state visit is an undoubtedly remarkable historic event in Russian-Kyrgyz relations.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The top-level Russian-Kyrgyz talks have just concluded. I would like to note that the meeting and talks during the state visit of President of Russia Vladimir Putin were held in an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding. We signed an impressive package of bilateral agreements that meet the interests of both countries and aim to bring our relations to a new level. I am sure that their implementation will benefit the peoples of our two countries.
During the talks, the parties expressed interest in the development of multifaceted cooperation between our countries.
Acting in the spirit of strategic partnership, we are going to increase foreign-policy, trade and economic, and military-technical cooperation. Being allies, we will act together to ensure regional stability.
Today we agreed to hold the Year of the Kyrgyz Republic in Russia and the Year of the Russian Federation in Kyrgyzstan in 2020. These events will make a significant contribution to the strengthening of our strategic alliance.
We also exchanged opinions on current international affairs, reviewed our interaction, including as part of such regional organisations as the CSTO and SCO. As you know, this year Kyrgyzstan chairs these two organisations. Here in Bishkek we will hold regular meetings of heads of state.
We also had a substantial conversation about the improvement of trade and economic relations, including within the Eurasian Economic Union. We are glad that our mutual trade has been growing: the republic received $123 million in direct foreign investments from Russia, which is 25 percent more than in 2017.
We paid special attention to the removal of trade barriers. Both sides are interested in creating favourable conditions for agricultural cooperation. This will increase the supplies of the produce from the Kyrgyz agro-industrial complex to the Russian market.
We discussed in detail the advance of joint infrastructure projects in the field of transport, railways, energy and industrial cooperation.
Kyrgyz representatives spoke about the need to create favourable conditions for reciprocal trips and jobs for citizens of both countries with due account of the EAEU membership.
The Eighth Russia-Kyrgyzstan Interregional Conference, completes its work today. For us it is of utmost importance to attract Russian investments and create favourable conditions for small and medium-sized businesses. Therefore, at the conference we will sign a number of interregional agreements and contracts in the trade and economic and investment sphere. We hope that direct contacts between our regions and business structures will grow.
We did not neglect cultural and humanitarian issues. We continue strengthening our ties in the field of education, the training of personnel and youth policy. The first forum of rectors of Kyrgyz and Russian universities was successfully held in Bishkek yesterday. Our joint project, that is, the Boris Yeltsin Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University is one of Kyrgyzstan’s flagship universities with a 25 year-long history. Over 15,000 students from Kyrgyzstan study in the Russian Federation today. I am convinced that they will return home as top professionals and will make a tangible contribution to the development of Kyrgyzstan.
We cherish the unique store of our spiritual ties, which are based on the common history of our peoples. I would like to repeat that the Russian language has been and will remain the official language of the Kyrgyz Republic. We attach much importance to this issue of national standing.
The Russian Federation is our close, reliable and loyal ally and long-term strategic partner. We recognise its leading role in the consolidation of universal security and resolving global and regional problems. We are always overjoyed when it comes to Russia’s achievements and will continue to actively consolidate Kyrgyz-Russian friendship.
May God grant peace, prosperity and every success to the peoples of Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
Thank you all very much.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
During this state visit to Kyrgyzstan, I have enjoyed a very constructive and friendly atmosphere. In a more expanded format involving the President and me, as well as our colleagues, we discussed the entire scope of bilateral cooperation on topical issues, including integration across Eurasia. I want to stress once again: the Kyrgyz Republic is Russia’s partner and reliable ally with which we are connected by time-tested and cherished ties of friendship and mutual understanding.
During the talks, we confirmed our mutual interest in the further overarching strengthening of our relations in political, cultural and humanitarian affairs as well as in other areas such as military and military-technical cooperation.
The specific vectors for the development of multi-dimensional Russia-Kyrgyz relations and ties are reflected in the joint statement newly adopted by the President and myself. The multiple documents signed in front of you are also aimed at solving the practical tasks of our bilateral cooperation.
Of course, we focused in particular on trade and economic cooperation, both in restricted meetings and in those involving heads of key ministers and government bodies. We noted with satisfaction a positive dynamic in bilateral trade. According to our statistics, last year it increased by 17 percent, reaching almost two billion dollars. This January it grew by another 25 percent.
The Russian Export Centre’s active work facilitates expanded mutual trade volumes. Twelve joint projects worth $71 million and aiming to expand the commodity range have already been launched with its support. In turn, the Russian Direct Investment Fund is doing a lot to boost mutual capital investment volumes. An agreement, signed between the Fund and Kyrgyz partners, aims to expand mutual investment, the current volume of which exceeds $350 million. Accumulated Russian investment in Kyrgyzstan exceeds $200 million, and Kyrgyzstan has accumulated $150 million worth of investments in Russia.
It should be noted that Russian companies operate in virtually all key sectors of the Kyrgyz economy, including in the power industry, the mining and engineering sectors, agriculture and transport. Over 700 Russian-Kyrgyz joint ventures operate successfully in the republic. The Russian-Kyrgyz inter-governmental commission functions efficiently, with Bishkek recently hosting its regular meeting on March 1. Members of the Russian-Kyrgyz Business Council deal with specific projects yielding a real economic effect, including those in the field of small and medium-sized businesses. The inter-regional conference holds regular meetings involving the heads of regions and municipalities and both countries’ business circles. These days, Bishkek is the venue of the eighth meeting of the conference; Mr President and I will attend its plenary session some time later.
We maintain large-scale cooperation in the oil and gas sector. Gazprom is doing a lot to implement a general plan for supplying Kyrgyzstan with gas and building gas pipelines in local communities until 2030. The Russian concern has already invested 16 billion rubles out of the planned 100 billion ruble sum, increasing the number of Kyrgyz communities that receive gas from 22 percent to 30 percent. Their share is to reach 60 percent; and I am confident that these plans will be implemented. Since 2011, Russia has been annually exporting over 1.1 million tonnes of crude oil to Kyrgyzstan duty-free. The direct economic effect from these easy-term deliveries for the Kyrgyz economy totals an estimated $2 billion.
The two countries’ cooperation in the development of natural resources is successfully developing. We agreed today that VTB, Alliance Group and Alliance Altyn of Kyrgyzstan will begin a major project to develop the Jerooy gold mine. The total investment in the project over a period of the next 20 years will be about $600 million.
Bilateral cooperation in high technologies is also growing. Among promising innovative projects is the joint production of single-crystal wafers for solar power stations in Kyrgyzstan. Russia’s BL Group is ready to begin production of modern LED equipment in the republic.
The cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan within the Eurasian Economic Union was a major topic on the agenda of the talks. Our country is helping to adapt the Kyrgyz economy to the EAEU environment. The Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund, specially created for this purpose, has invested more than $300 million in various sectors of the Kyrgyz economy. Due to Russia’s help – with $200 million allocated for this purpose –Kyrgyzstan’s customs infrastructure and border checkpoints are being upgraded. After all these projects are completed, presumably by 2020, Kyrgyz products will be certified for compliance with the EAEU technical regulations directly in the republic.
I must note that in Russia, a lot is being done to create favourable conditions for Kyrgyz labour migrants. In October-December 2018, Russia held a migration amnesty at the request of the President of Kyrgyzstan, allowing thousands of Kyrgyz citizens who, for one reason or another, mainly for technical reasons, violated the terms of their stay in Russia, to go home and return without administrative responsibility, which we had agreed with Mr President and implemented, as we can see. At the request of Kyrgyzstan, the amnesty was extended until the end of April, which once again underlines the special nature of relations between our countries.
And of course, cultural and humanitarian ties and exchanges are of great importance for strengthening Russian-Kyrgyz cooperation. Last year, both countries organised events dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the outstanding Soviet and Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov’s birth. The date was celebrated with great success. After this joint news conference, the President and I agreed to visit the house-museum of Aitmatov, who made a great contribution to the development of Russian and Kyrgyz culture, to strengthening friendly relations and ties between our peoples.
This month, Kyrgyzstan held Days of Russian Culture and a Russian Cinema Week. The Flowers of Russia international children's festival will open tomorrow.
Our countries are intensively cooperating in the field of education. At present, almost 16,000 Kyrgyz students are enrolled in Russian universities, including more than 6,500 whose tuition is covered by the Russian federal budget. Another 11,000 people study at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in Bishkek. This university has been the flagship of bilateral cooperation in higher education for more than 25 years. Last year, Russia allocated another 185 million rubles for its development.
We also agreed with the President that 2020 will be declared a Russia-Kyrgyzstan cross year. The relevant agencies in both countries have been instructed to prepare a rich programme of activities.
During the talks, we noted that Russia and Kyrgyzstan share identical or similar positions on key regional issues. In particular, we agreed to further coordinate our work in the United Nations and at other leading international platforms.
As a reminder, this year, Kyrgyzstan is presiding over the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, so we will be happy to come to Bishkek to attend the SCO and CSTO summits to be hosted in the Kyrgyz capital in June and November, respectively.
We expect to thoroughly discuss with our partners in these organisations the topics of jointly dealing with the challenges and threats in the Eurasian space. We have also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the military and military-technical fields. The Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan makes a significant contribution to strengthening the republic’s defence capability, and its presence is an important factor for security and stability in Central Asia.
In conclusion, colleagues, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our Kyrgyz partners and the President of Kyrgyzstan for their hospitality and productive joint work. I am confident that the results of our meeting will contribute to the development of allied relations between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, and will benefit the peoples of our countries.