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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Nazarbayev, it is a pleasure to welcome you to Astrakhan.
This interregional forum is dedicated to cooperation between our two countries and our regions. As a rule, however, such events incorporate discussions on a wide variety of bilateral and regional cooperation issues.
The overall situation in our bilateral relations is excellent but that does not mean that there is nothing for us to talk about.
Last year, trade grew by 20% and almost 40% per cent since the beginning of this year. However, we should discuss improving the structure of trade.
We have approved a joint action plan, which we have been implementing and conducting various events in accordance with it. A great deal depends on how we structure large-scale projects involving Russia and Kazakhstan, including the Caspian project and other bilateral projects.
”The overall situation in our bilateral relations is excellent but that does not mean that there is nothing for us to talk about. I propose that we talk not only of inter-regional cooperation, bilateral cooperation, but also about our joint efforts in the security sphere.“
I propose that we review these issues and talk not only of inter-regional cooperation, bilateral cooperation, but also about our joint efforts in the security sphere.
We visited you a short time ago when there was a summit in Borovoye, which was a very successful event, thank you for inviting us. But in addition to enjoying a pleasant stay, we were able to discuss some very important and valuable issues on which we are currently working. I hope that the decisions on them will be formalised during the official summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, which will be held in Moscow in December.
Once again, welcome and it is a pleasure to see you.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Thank you, Mr President, for this opportunity to meet and for this forum, which is held every year at our initiative in Russia and in Kazakhstan.
I would like to begin by wishing you a happy birthday, which was yesterday. Birthday is a special day for everyone, for politicians too. I wish you good health and success to you and Russia in everything you do.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: We meet on a regular basis: this is our fifth meeting this year. If we look at the achievements of the past calendar year, the one we value most is the integration project of the Customs Union. It is because of the Customs Union that we were able to raise trade to $25 billion: this is a historical figure for our country.
We have some bilateral issues that need to be addressed. We will discuss them today.
Another important matter is the documents that have been prepared for the forum. It is also very important to consider the Russian proposal on emergency situations. So thank you for this meeting and I am confident that we will discuss all the issues.