President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr Putin, ladies and gentlemen,
I welcome the President of the Russian Federation following the Russian elections, and want to congratulate you again here in Astana (to Vladimir Putin) and to wish you success and good health.
The President of Russia and his respectable delegation arrived in Kazakhstan on my invitation for his first visit following his inauguration. We touched base, summed up the results of the work already done, and outlined our goals for further developing cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan. We have very tight, close, good-neighbourly, trust-based relations as allies.
Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus are currently members of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. Following the codification of all documents on January 1, 2015, we will begin the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union. This is the deepest integration process in the post-Soviet space. Russia and Kazakhstan are doing everything so that it serves as an example, so that other states grow interested in this organisation.
Today, we looked into a wide range of issues within our nations. We marked the 20th anniversary of the Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, signed in 1992. Twenty years have passed, so many changes have taken place and we have amended this Agreement by a special Protocol.
We have been saying for a long time that citizens of Russia and Kazakhstan in near-border areas should be able to spend up to 30 days in the other nation without a visa. Today, we have finally signed this agreement as well.
We discussed serious issues in our mutual relations and noted that trade turnover between Russia and Kazakhstan has reached a historic high: $25 billion. We have set a goal to increase it to $40 billion in the next several years. Three and a half thousand joint enterprises are working in our nation. This also speaks to the high level of our relations.
We discussed further economic cooperation. Energy is our primary area of collaboration – we are cooperating in the Caspian Sea. We have solid joint companies in the nuclear sector to mine uranium deposits in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan’s role is to extend uranium enrichment to get nuclear fuel. I think that in the future, we will work with our Russian partners on building a nuclear power station in Kazakhstan. The most advanced station we had was the VR-350 and we want to look into creating a similar station.
We have solid cooperation in the fuel and gas sector – this year, we were able to broaden the Caspian Pipeline Consortium to 67 million tonnes per year. The added oil production capacity will be go through Russian territory, so beginning next year, this station’s capacity will increase from 23 to 67 million tonnes.
We had a detailed discussion on the development of our cooperation in the space sector. The Baikonur Cosmodrome, which launched the first person on our planet into space, is a common source of pride for Russia and Kazakhstan and works for the good of our nations. We spoke about deepening cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan and participation by Kazakhstani specialists in this field, educating young people, and most importantly, maintaining the infrastructure of the city of Baikonur. Today, a special statement by both Presidents was adopted on this issue.
And we agreed that we will celebrate the Agreement’s 20th anniversary in Moscow. These 20 years have been 20 years of friendship and trust between our nations. Relations kept improving and we held concurrent positions on international policy.
We resolved other issues discussed today, as befits two nations that have such a high level of cooperation.
I thank you, Mr Putin, for your visit and welcome all the members of the Russian delegation.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,
For my part, I would like to thank the President of Kazakhstan for this invitation.
This is certainly not our first meeting. All our meetings have taken place in a very warm, friendly atmosphere and at the same time, they have always been very substantive and business-oriented. It was no different today.
In addition to the issues Mr Nazarbayev just mentioned, we also discussed possible cooperation in the field of chemistry; we heard about it again just now. We talked about cooperation in engineering. Two of our companies – the well-known AvtoVAZ and Sollers UAZ – are determined to make their own investments here. The cars will be manufactured here, in Kazakhstan, and the first production phase will involve around one hundred thousand units.
We spoke about cooperation in energy, of course, as well as the space sector, with the use of Baikonur. Indeed, we prepared a joint statement on this matter and we will work on implementing all our plans.
But most importantly (I would like to talk about what is most important), we are reaching these results in large part by eliminating administrative barriers, and that is the result of integration between Russia and Kazakhstan. All of you know this, but I want to emphasise it once again: one of the initiators of these processes was the President of Kazakhstan.
And the result has been achieved: by eliminating administrative barriers, as a result of creating the Common Economic Space, the gross domestic product of Russia and the other participants of this process – Kazakhstan and Belarus – has increased by several percent.
We will continue moving forward in this direction. The next step is the creation of the Eurasian Union. It requires additional attention and additional efforts from both sides, but we are determined to go all the way, as we had planned.
Thank you for your attention.