President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! Members of the Russian delegation, media representatives, ladies and gentlemen!
The President of Russia included yesterday's inauguration ceremony of the President of Kazakhstan, a historic moment for us, in his visit and for this reason I would like to once again express my sincere gratitude and that of our people. Undoubtedly the President of Russia's presence increased the status and international importance of our event.
We are very thankful that the Russian intelligentsia, mass media and Russian leadership provided us with formal and informal political support. I think that this reflects Russia's attitude towards Kazakhstan, relations between the peoples of Russia and Kazakhstan—their long histories and traditions—as well as our present good-neighbour relations that are oriented towards the future and the blessing of our states.
Last year's political agenda began with a meeting with the President of Russia and this year we are also glad to begin with this meeting. 2005 contained many such meetings. It is enough to mention meetings in Almaty, Astana, Chelyabinsk, within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, at Kazan's 1000 th anniversary and so on. Ten summit meetings have created a powerful dynamic and shown the whole world just what Russian-Kazakhstan relations consist of.
Today we once again discussed a wide range of issues concerning our bilateral relations. To summarize, first of all they concern security in Central Asia and cooperation within the framework of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community. An important meeting will take place in Saint Petersburg this year and I will gladly travel to Russia on my first trip after inauguration.
Secondly, there is the issue of deepening economic integration in the Eurasian territory and between our countries. I am referring to the Eurasian Economic Community which now contains Uzbekistan and members of the Common Economic Space. The documents are being prepared. And we expressed our conviction that thirty eight documents that will enable our states to form a customs union will be signed in March.
We discussed further cooperation in the fuel and energy sectors. Last year major problems were resolved and work will continue in this direction. The fuel and energy sectors include both bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation regarding the pipeline and gas transportation system. We can say that the joint development of the northern part of the Caspian sea and the Caspian shelf are proceeding without problems.
We discussed continuing the development of our cooperation in the fields of transport and communications. One major result of 2005 was cooperation on a space launching site. KazCosmos and the Russian Space Agency worked towards launching a Kazakhstan satellite. We hope that this will take place in the coming months. In addition, we are working together to create a new launching complex, Kazakhstan is participating in the creation of new missiles, and Kazkhstan is interested in being a shareholder and participating in the activities of the Energia company.
As we just mentioned, the increase in mutual investments for creating joint ventures which today number 1500 is proof of the high-level of economic cooperation.
Regarding trade, Vladimir Putin and I see the task as follows: trade in 2005 amounted to almost ten billion dollars. And it has the possibility of doubling in the coming years. Each year it will grow by more than thirty percent in relation to what it was the year before.
We have planned the development of cooperation in the cultural and educational spheres between our two countries. 2006 is the year of Aleksander Pushkin in Kazakhstan and the year of our great thinker and poet Abai Kunanbaev in Russia. We are grateful to the Russian party for deciding to place a monument to our poet, Abai Kunanbaev, in Moscow and we have also determined where we shall erect a monument to Pushkin in Astana. All of this draws us closer and shows that any problems which arise between our states can be solved in an atmosphere of friendship, trust and good-neighbour relations. Undoubtedly, this testifies to the close relations between presidents. I am very grateful to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for the fact that Russian policy, the policy of Russian leadership, is designed to instil a high level of trust and relations between good neighbours, partners and allies.
President Vladimir Putin: Dear Nursultan Abishevich! Dear ladies and gentlemen!
Today we had a very productive and, as always, open and sincere conversation with the President of Kazakhstan. I would like to thank the President of Kazakhstan, as well as our friends and colleagues from Kazakhstan for the warm welcome and the effective work we accomplished together in 2005. I would like to emphasize that a truly great collective joint effort occurred in all areas in which we cooperate. Everyone working in their own field performed their work in a commendable way.
A special ceremony took place during this visit to Astana. As we know, the inauguration ceremony of Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbaev took place yesterday. I would like to congratulate him once again on officially receiving the title of President after the elections that took place at the end of last year. I would like to congratulate all of Kazakhstan on this important step which will further stabilize the country and support the high rate of economic growth and development of the social sphere which started during the last few years.
Today's talks are yet further proof of the fact that allied relations designed for the the very closest cooperation exist between our two countries. You know that there is a very wide and multifaceted range of shared interests between Russia and Kazakhstan. The President of Kazakhstan talked about this just now. Today we examined in detail the state of affairs in the priority directions of Russian-Kazakhstan cooperation. By this I am referring to joint projects in the fuel and energy sectors, in the space sector and in the economy as a whole, including cooperation in the investment and financial sectors.
During the meeting we defined concrete measures that will help further our bilateral cooperation. The governments of Russia and Kazakhstan will formulate the corresponding orders on this topic. Undoubtedly, we did not forget to mention our cooperation within structures such as the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Community and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Nursultan Abishevich also talked about this just now. I would especially like to emphasize that Kazakhstan is one of the greatest supporters of strengthening integration in the territory of the former Soviet Union. We value this highly and intend to continue cooperating very actively on this issue with our Kazakhstan partners.
Today we signed agreements on founding the Eurasian Development Bank. I would especially like to emphasize what an important event this is for our bilateral relations and what positive developments it can bring to the territory of the former Soviet Union and within the Eurasian Economic Community. Its nominal capital amounts to one and a half billion dollars. Its headquarters will be in Almaty. A Russian will head this bank and a citizen from Kazakhstan will act as her deputy. We shall open a branch of this bank in St Petersburg. I am confident that after we have accomplished the necessary work this will be a very important institute and tool that assists our cooperation and integration in the territory of the former Soviet Union.
An agreement was also signed between Vnesheconombank and the Development Bank of Kazakhstan. I think that this agreement makes a significant contribution to the legal basis on which Russian-Kazakhstan cooperation is founded.
As you just saw, at the end of meeting Nursultan Abishevich and I exchanged letters for the ratification of the agreement on the state border between Russia and Kazakhstan. We often use the word historic, and indeed overuse this term, but in this case it truly applies. This is a historic event in the relations between our countries. As a whole I am satisfied with the results of our meeting. Once again it showed that Russian-Kazakhstan relations have more than just a strong base—they have huge prospects not only in economic but also in cultural and educational spheres, which are increasing year by year. The main thing is that both sides have the desire to develop these multifaceted ties.
Nursultan Nazarbaev: In conclusion, I would once again like to thank the President of Russia and the Russian side. The main issue was resolving the border problem. And this was made possible thanks to the substantial support and trust that Russia gave to Kazakhstan. We understand this very well. The border has been determined for the first time since the existence of our peoples and our states. For the Kazakh people, for Kazakhstan, this constitutes distinct proof of just what Russia means to us. I think that future generations shall never forget this. The second important thing that Vladimir Vladimirovich talked about is the creation of the bank. In practice this is a Russian-Kazakhstan bank since we are the only two investors. It brings the Eurasian alliance to a completely new level since we can now give credit to the members of the Eurasian alliance ourselves, and do not have to go through any third countries. Credit under the same or better conditions. In other words, the Eurasian Economic Community has a true instrument that will help integration. In the language of those who work in finance, one and a half billion dollars implies that this money will undergo a tenfold increase and attract other money as well. This is enormous work. I just wanted to mention the importance of these two events.