The meeting took place before the start of a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the highest body of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space formed by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
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President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr Putin, I wish you a very warm welcome to Astana. I am very pleased that you have found the time to come here, all the more so as we are about to hold the historic first summit meeting of our Customs Union and Common Economic Space. Today, we will examine important documents. That is the first item on our agenda, and bilateral relations are the second.
After my visit to Moscow, the instructions that you gave on drafting a comprehensive agreement and updating the existing agreement have been carried out, and I hope that everything will be ready to sign during your official visit, the first that will take place after the election in Kazakhstan this year.
Both sides already have the draft and are in the process of finalising it. You gave instructions on the space launch centre and on military technical cooperation, and the work on these matters is progressing too. I met yesterday with Mr Shuvalov [First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Igor Shuvalov].
Our reciprocal trade and the Customs Union rest upon our countries of course, and it is our duty to complete all the work in this area and build a good and strong union.
Others are already showing interest. The presidents of Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan have come here. Let them take part, listen, and make their decisions.
We have a number of other meetings lined up for this year. I want to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for inviting us to take part in the G20 summit. This is a big honour for us.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I want to thank you too, for organising our work today and for the invitation to come here.
We see how much personal attention you give to Russian-Kazakhstani relations. This kind of direct involvement is helping our relations to develop very rapidly and effectively. Our bilateral trade is growing.
Of course, we see the crisis and its effects in the global economy, and this cannot but affect us too, but your attentive work and the work the Kazakhstani Government are doing are having their impact.
You are unquestionably one of the leaders behind the integration process underway, one of the driving forces behind its most essential forms and means. I would therefore say that it is actually quite symbolic that we are meeting here in Astana to look at the development of these integration bodies, including the key pillars that are the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.
I am sure that this will be a productive and useful meeting.
Thank you very much.