The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a number of agreements: a joint statement by Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation and Kazakhstani Kazatomprom National Atomic Company; a memorandum on integration and cooperation in nuclear energy use for peaceful purposes; and a loan facility agreement for financing construction of the third power generating unit at Ekibastuz GRES-2 Power Station.
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President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr Medvedev, you have been travelling so much lately, halfway around the world heading west and then just as far in the other direction, to the Far East. But you have made it here even so. I realise how hard all of this is, and so I am grateful to you for coming here. We have just held this EurAsEC summit marking the organisation’s tenth anniversary. Today is our city’s anniversary day too – a big holiday in our country, and we always celebrate it with new facilities and achievements.
You have come here as a true friend to celebrate this occasion together with us. Our meetings are always dynamic, at every level. We always find the time to meet, like today. We will hold our regional meeting at the start of September in Ust-Kamenogorsk, where we will sum up results and discuss our future contacts. Our trade and our relations are developing in a very constructive fashion. We put a lot of long, hard work into the agreements being signed today. These are important agreements on joint work at the Ekibastuz GRES-2 Power Station, the construction of a power unit that will cost $700 million and will generate 650 megawatts of electricity for Russia. In the nuclear sector the biggest question is our joint venture, our deposit and Russian technology, and then also the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan using Russian technology. These are very ambitious projects. That’s not to mention that we are also working together in the automotive industry, and in oil and gas. This is all thanks to our good relations and your attitude towards Kazakhstan and the relations between us, for which I am always grateful.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Nazarbayev, I want to say that this is a special meeting. First of all, because we have finally reached the goal we worked towards for so long, the goal that we set, and which has been the subject of so much discussion. I congratulate you most sincerely on this, because we really have reached a very high level of integration now. We now have the Customs Union that has come into force, and we have the European and Eurasian cooperation through the Common Economic Space, which will eventually see us create a common market, and, I think, ultimately lay the foundations for a common currency too, an idea for which you have expressed support in the past, and which has Russia’s enthusiastic support too.
This is our shared achievement, and I congratulate you most warmly on it once again. Second, is of course the fact that such meetings also have a symbolic dimension. Today is Astana’s anniversary celebration, and we had the chance just now to see what a beautiful city it is. I remember how I first came here as part of a Russian delegation, and there was nothing here, it was a rather bleak picture, but now it really is a beautiful city. This is a great gift to the entire Kazakhstani people.
I will not hide either that I wanted to congratulate you too (and we will do so today) on your upcoming birthday. This is always a good reason to meet.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: You can congratulate me now.
Dmitry Medvedev: With pleasure. I wish you good health. We appreciate you very much and value you as one of our closest partners. I wish you a happy upcoming birthday from all my heart.
Our bilateral relations are indeed at a high point today. We meet regularly, and the interregional cooperation meetings over recent times, in Aktyubinsk, in Orenburg, and later this year in Ust-Kamenogorsk, reflect how our relations have developed. Our relations are based on practical principles. They have a very solid foundation of friendship and brotherhood, and at the same time are infused with a practical and pragmatic spirit, and this gives them a very bright future.
Interregional ties account for the greater part of our bilateral trade. These are not huge abstract projects, but are absolutely concrete relations between our regions, between our peoples, between close neighbours. We are therefore taking steps in the right direction, and the agreements we will sign today – big and important agreements – will, I am sure, help our economies to overcome the effects caused by various global difficulties. I am therefore very pleased to be here. Once again, thank you for the invitation, and I am sure that we have some good events today.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: You have briefed us on the results of the G8 and G20 summits, which was very interesting. You have set a clear course towards innovation with the Skolkovo centre, for example. We also have agreements to work together on developing new technology, but this joint work is not moving fast enough and so I think it should be stepped up. We are also working on similar projects in Kazakhstan. As I told you, on July 1, I opened Kazakhstan’s first New International University, which is home to three research centres: an anti-aging centre (studying the development of artificial human organs), energy centre (studying alternative energy sources), and an engineering centre covering all engineering fields. We therefore have plenty of potential for working together. Most important of all is that I support your unflagging determination to follow this road, for there is no other road to take.
I wish you success, Mr Medvedev.
Dmitry Medvedev: And I likewise, thank you.