President Vladimir Putin: Dear Nursultan Abishevich,
I would like to thank you for the joint organisation of our work today on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Baikonur. I am very pleased to be in Kazakhstan, especially on such an occasion as the anniversary of a space centre which the best forces of Russia and Kazakhstan have been involved in creating and where they continue to work today.
Undoubtedly, cooperation between our countries in the high-technology sphere, where Russia does not just have major experience, but also achievements recognised by the entire world, cooperation in this sphere between Kazakhstan and Russia will open up new possibilities for both countries.
I am very pleased to note our previous agreements – I mean the major projects to create a new launch complex in Baikonur, which we saw today and ascertained that work is proceeding properly, and cooperation in the space communications sphere – I mean the launch of the communications satellite in the second half of this year in the interests of Kazakhstan, and with Kazakhstan’s participation.
However, it is no less important that we are able to reach newer and newer stages of cooperation, to look for new projects in which Kazakhstan and Russia are interested. We think identically in this area, and our colleagues support these plans. I think that this is quite natural, because Kazakhstan is naturally a space power not only because Baikonur is located here. If we look at the national flag of Kazakhstan, a steppe eagle embracing the sun, we will see in this profound symbolism the aspirations of Kazakhstan in the areas of high technology and space.
I am certain – and I am very pleased to note that you share this point of view – that cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan in this sphere which is important for both countries can be highly effective and organised for many decades to come.
Once more I want to thank you for this cooperation, for your understanding of the importance of the problems that we deal with. I am sure that it will give noticeable results not just in the sphere of developing high technology, that it will be felt not just by our contemporaries, but by the future generations of our citizens.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich. I am happy that we have met today. We recently agreed on this meeting in Chelyabinsk. Today is an important day not just for the employees of this space centre and city, but for both our countries.
There were many opinions about what would happen to the space centre after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The space centre suffered complete ruin, as everyone left it. The fate of the multi-billion complex created by the entire Soviet Union could have been lamentable.
I believe that thanks to the agreement, thanks to Russian science and Russian cosmonautics, the space centre is alive and is gaining a second wind. That is the first point.
Kazakhstan is becoming involved [in the space industry] – thank you that for saying a “space power” (and we need to become one). But I think that Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan citizens also need to be grateful to the Russian side: we agreed to build the Kazakhstan space complex Baiterek, this year we will try to launch the Kazakhstan satellite Kazsat, and now we are training two Kazakhstan cosmonauts in Russia. We agreed today that Kazakhstan students would be accepted, and trained on military and space subjects. Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan citizens should be grateful to you for such great trust.
And thirdly, we agreed to participate more extensively in joint projects of a world level. Today Kazakhstan is ready for this, because I think that investing money in the space industry is an investment in the future. This is the most profitable investment in new equipment and technology, which the whole world is striving towards. We have this unique opportunity.
And today, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Baikonur, I would like to say that the space centre is an important object of trust and friendship between Kazakhstan and Russia, between our nations. By extending the lease agreement to 2050, we made it possible for both the Russian and Kazakhstan sides to work on long-term perspective periods.
I would like once more to congratulate all our cosmonauts, scientists, and all space employees, all Russians and Kazakhstan citizens on this important date.
I welcome you, Vladimir Vladimirovch, to the Kazakhstan land. I wish you all the best in your work for the good of the people of Russia.
Vladimir Putin: I completely agree with you, especially when you talked of the enormous resources that were spent on creating this enormous complex of Baikonur here, on the land of Kazakhstan, by the Soviet Union.
But if Russia today actively works with all leading space powers of the world, if today we have virtually reached an agreement with our European partners on joint rocket launches in the Atlantic Ocean, in Latin America (at the French space centre), it would be extremely stupid not to make use of what was created by former generations of cosmonauts, engineers, scientists, workers, who created one of the most powerful complexes in the world. And what has been done in recent years to restore Baikonur, in creating prospects for development in the future, is extremely important for both Kazakhstan and for Russia.
Nursultan Abishevich and I agreed on the necessity to found a joint bank. I just talked about this on the flight here with members of Government. I think that it will be right to give two to three months for this work to be completed, so that we can create a good investment bank to carry out joint projects between Russia and Kazakhstan, and perhaps also for other CIS countries which wish to take part in this work. The bank, according to your proposal, will have decent nominal capital — $1.5 billion, $1 billion of which will be contributed by Russia, and half a billion by Kazakhstan. As we discussed, we agree with your proposal to have the head office of this bank in Almaty, on the understanding that…
Nursultan Nazarbayev: …that the president [of the bank] will be Russian – according to the contribution.
We will also meet at the beginning of July in Astana for a SCO meeting. I think that we will also agree on important matters there – on cooperation within the SCO and bilateral cooperation. Our government is currently preparing an agreement. The simplified border crossing procedure that we agreed on in Chelyabinsk is currently being implemented. I think that everyone involved in this is happy. The governments have passed decisions, and I think what we did before the 25th of May was very important, when we could have caused complications in our relations.
Until we meet again in Astana.