Vladimir Putin: Dear Askar Akayevich,
Dear colleagues and friends,
First of all, I and the members of our delegation want to thank you for the invitation. The President of Kyrgyzstan and I have many opportunities to solve problems of interest to the two countries. We do that regularly, we are constantly in touch. But in just this format we meet infrequently. Members of the Russian and Kyrgyz leaderships can now discuss straightforwardly, within the framework of this visit, all the problems of interest to them, specific to their departments. We have many things accomplished and, of course, we also count on this visit to be a stage, summing up certain results of the work done over the previous time and determining the prospects for the development of our contacts.
Askar Akayevich Akayev and I discussed the full range of problems, different questions, and talked about ways for our cooperation on a multilateral basis within the framework of the CIS, Collective Security Treaty, Eurasian Economic Community and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We also thoroughly went over certain regional and international problems.
One of the principal tasks is that from the high level of political cooperation we need to move to more substantial work in the sphere of economy. Askar Akayevich outlined the most promising areas. And I too will allow myself to say a few words about this.
It is gratifying that the decline in mutual trade has been overcome recently. We not only have overcome it, but a growth tendency has taken off — 49 percent in 11 months.
Of course, the volume in absolute figures thus far is very small, but the trends are positive. I think that more effective use should be made of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation to step up the practical collaborative effort in the economic field.
We have a good buttress — the Treaty and Program of Economic Cooperation for the 2000–2009 Years. Based on these documents, a lot can surely be done and it is my conviction that we need more frequently to draw on the experience in arriving at mutually acceptable solutions — we have that experience. The Ministry of Finance and other departments had worked ahead of our meeting, had prepared three documents which we, for our part, are ready to sign.
We regard the resumption of real cooperation in electric power production as promising. Russia is a natural partner of the Central Asian countries in developing water resources. I was at one of our enterprises, saw finished product which could be used. It is obvious that the program can't be limited to those products; there is a need for large capital investments, it is necessary to combine the efforts of not only Russia and Kyrgyzstan — the capabilities of international financial organizations also need to be attracted. We discussed that with the World Bank leadership. Here we have something to talk over.
These are not simple, but promising, realizable projects. We have the potential and work experience in this field. RAO UES Russia could make supplies of equipment and materials to generating plants of Kyrgyzstan in exchange for electricity supply to Kazakhstan. There we also have relevant economic interests and joint ventures.
The time has come to consider the possibility of deepening this cooperation, and on this question we absolutely agree with the Kyrgyz President.
We are interested in cooperation in water conservancy on a bilateral basis and in a multilateral format, involving other interested countries. And it may well be possible to arrive at the adoption of appropriate programs.
It is important to encourage more ties under the auspices of subjects of the Russian Federation. We also support this line of cooperation. We are very glad that direct contacts are being established, and it is no coincidence, of course, that our delegation incorporates the heads of major regions of Russia, those which directly work with Kyrgyzstan. We will continue to encourage this work in every possible way.
Actively and dynamically our ties are evolving in the humanitarian sphere. We regard cooperation in this field as one of our priorities. We highly appreciate the policy of the leadership of Kyzgyzstan in questions of the preservation of the Russian language use, of the Russian-language cultural-information space. For our part, we will continue to render comprehensive support to your efforts in these fields. I believe that the practice of meetings similar to the All-Kyrgyzstan Meeting of Alumni of Russian Colleges and Universities, in which you took part, could be continued. We are pleased to invite you to carry out such an undertaking in Russia, in Moscow. We know of the decisions to constitutionally enshrine, impart to the Russian language the status of an official language. We highly appreciate this position of the Kyrgyz President and the deputies of parliament.
Russia is duty bound, of course, to respond appropriately to the policy which Kyrgyzstan pursues toward cultural and educational issues linked to Russia, including the Russian language. This must find a positive response.
We understand your anxiety over the migration processes. These issues, too, may well be resolved through bilateral agreements.
I know of the Kyrgyzstan side's interest in deepening cooperation between the Russian Olympic Committee and the Kyrgyzstan’s Olympic Committee. We count on this cooperation to be effective, we know Kyrgyzstan's capabilities. I hope that the plans which both Olympic Committees have will be implemented. We are ready, at a state level, to support these initiatives.
That's what I would like to say at the beginning of the talks.