President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr Putin, Russian friends,
I am happy to welcome you and the representative Russian delegation to Astana. Your visit in your new position and the visit by Dmitry Medvedev one week ago serve as evidence of the exceptionally high level of our relations and interstate ties.
I will take this opportunity to once again congratulate you, Mr Putin, on your election as President of the Russian Federation, as well as the upcoming Russia Day holiday on June 12.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between our nations, signed on May 25 in Astana and ratified by both sides.
Kazakhstani-Russian relations are developing in the traditional atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust. We view Russia as an important political and economic partner, and your personal involvement in all these relations, Mr Putin, was decisive.
Today, we are partners in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, and we are working to create the Eurasian Economic Union (this is another issue to which you have given your constant attention), and this integration process is very important, very deep within the post-Soviet space. As the integration locomotives, our nations can demonstrate the expediency and necessity of this process to everyone.
Our bilateral relations are developing on the basis of our nations’ joint action plan. Today in Kazakhstan, we have three and a half thousand joint Russian-Kazakhstani enterprises. In 20 years, the indicator for reciprocal turnover has reached its highest level in history, over $24 billion, and has grown by nearly 40 percent. One of the growth factors was, indeed, the function of the Customs Union.
Near-border interregional cooperation plays an enormous role in bilateral relations, and we will be holding our meeting this year in Pavlodar – in September, as we agreed. This provides a good boost: 50 per cent of our turnover occurs between our regions.
Such is today’s high level in our relations, Mr Putin, and now, we must take these relations to a qualitatively new level.
I pass the floor to you.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Nazarbayev, colleagues, friends,
First of all, I want to thank Mr President for his invitation to visit Kazakhstan. For us, this is not a celebratory event, although it is a real pleasure to be among friends in friendly Kazakhstan; for us, this is a working event, first and foremost because the volume of trade turnover and the diversification in our contacts is such that it requires constant attention at the highest level.
Today, we will sign multiple documents that will lay the foundation for developing our relations and supplement existing documents. But I would like to draw your attention to the purely practical decisions made earlier, such as the joint action plan. The current plan for 2011–2012 is being implemented successfully, but this is the third plan of its kind; previously, we had plans for 2007–2008 and 2009–2010. And I suppose we should give instructions to begin work on preparing a plan for the next two years, so that we can advance with confidence, understanding the areas in which we must proceed, where our highest priorities lie.
And our areas of priority are well-known: not just energy, although our energy sector is quite diversified, but also high-tech production, engineering (we have some very good projects in this area as well), space exploration through the joint use of Baikonur, and work in a whole range of other areas.
I want to once again thank you, Mr Nazarbayev, for constantly giving your personal attention to developing ties with the Russian Federation – and not just in the economic sector, but in security as well. I am referring to your leadership in developing and strengthening the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, as well as cooperation between military agencies and military technical cooperation.
I want to once again assure you that the Russian Federation is determined to consistently follow all our agreements. I am confident and certain that our meeting today will promote the development of our relations.
Thank you very much for your attention.