President Vladimir Putin : Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen!
I would like to say at once that we are pleased with the outcome of the talks that just took place with the President of Kazakhstan.
During our first meeting of 2007 year we discussed a wide range of issues relating to both bilateral and multilateral cooperation, identified promising areas for cooperation, and discussed increasing our trade and economic cooperation in detail.
I would like to inform you that we were able to preserve the positive trend and increase in our bilateral trade in 2006. Our volume of trade increased by almost a third. Russian exports increased by almost 40 percent. We consider it important to concentrate our efforts and cooperation in precisely those sectors where cooperation is most needed. And, of course, I am first and foremost referring to the energy sector.
Today we reviewed how earlier agreements are being implemented and, in particular, agreements with respect to transporting energy resources, developing innovative projects and creating joint ventures in the fuel and energy sector. We have a wide range of opportunities in science and technology cooperation. First and foremost this concerns more efficient use of the Baikonur Cosmodrome and the development of the Caspian Sea’s resources. Our cooperation in nuclear energy is also reaching an absolutely new level.
You know that today at a meeting with the members of the government cabinet of the Russian Federation we discussed the issue of establishing a uranium enrichment centre in which Kazakhstan would participate. And President Nursultan Abishevich once again confirmed Kazakhstan’s interest in participating in this joint project.
It is in Russia's and Kazakhstan's mutual interest to broaden investment cooperation and strengthen the financial mechanisms for cooperation. We hope that the Eurasian Development Bank that was created last year will play a larger role in this respect. Regional cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan continues to develop. 76 regions of the Russian Federation have strong ties with their partners in Kazakhstan. Interregional and cross-border trade accounts for about 70 percent of our trade. This is obviously a significant and meaningful indicator. We are ready to continue to provide the necessary support for all promising projects and initiatives.
During our talks we paid considerable attention to developing our cultural and humanitarian partnership, including preparations for the second CIS Arts and Science Communities Forum. We are convinced that holding such a conference will reveal new opportunities for fruitful contacts in science, the arts, sports and youth exchanges. More generally, it will enrich our peoples’ cultural life.
An important part of our meeting was devoted to cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan in regional and international affairs, including in the process of deepening integration on the territory of the former Soviet Union. I will emphasise that our countries’ positions on basic issues such as reforming the CIS and developing the Eurasian Economic Community coincide. We consider that today we can significantly expand mutually advantageous economic integration between CIS countries precisely within the Eurasian Economic Community and then subsequently established a common economic space.
We attach great importance to our cooperation within the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). Russia and Kazakhstan are convinced supporters of the idea that security is inevitably linked to the use of political and diplomatic methods to resolve any international disputes.
Along with this, we are aware that the threat of potential conflicts in today’s world remains real. And both our countries and other members of the CSTO must always be ready to provide adequate responses to any threats that should arise.
In conclusion I would like to thank Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbaev for the interesting and trusting conversation that we had today. I am convinced that this meeting will act as a significant step in the development of our countries’ strategic partnership and will help the development of neighbourly and, I would say, friendly multifaceted relations for the benefit of the peoples of Russia and Kazakhstan.
Thank you very much for your attention.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev:
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!
Ladies and gentlemen!
I fully agree with what was just said about the results of our talks. I can add several things that will perhaps anticipate some of your questions. According to the treaty they signed on eternal friendship, cooperation and alliance in the 21st century, Kazakhstan and Russia are and – I am sure of this – will remain the very closest neighbours with an equal partnership in economic, political and military issues.
We are not competitors in the oil and gas sector, we are partners. Russia has resources and so does Kazakhstan. The fact that in 2006 alone Kazakhstan transported 43 million tonnes of oil through Russian territory – and there were 50 million tonnes in total – acts as proof of this. Kazakhstan exported 24 billion cubic metres of gas through Russia. We have major joint ventures in the Caspian Sea shelf – ventures with a 50 percent stake. These projects are planned for decades to come.
And as to other issues in the military technical complex, Russia uses four military testing grounds in Kazakhstan, including Baikonur. And we are now undertaking major joint ventures in the space sector, such as Kazakhstan’s accession to GLONASS.
The fact that last year our trade grew by 35 percent is a result of the fact that in the last calendar year Vladimir Vladimirovich and I met ten times. The results are obvious.
And the meetings between the governors of our border regions are producing important results. Our positions with respect to CIS integration coincide. With respect to using the CIS itself as a forum where presidents can meet to discuss major issues. And as you know, in a recent address I proposed that we create a Eurasian Economic Union.
I would like to once again confirm – and I think a certain group of countries are ready for this – that we should proceed along this road without inventing anything. Go down the same road that once allowed western Europe to become the European Union. We undoubtedly possess the capacities to do so.
I am convinced that our agreement-based cooperation – and in 2006 alone we signed 20 agreements – and our meetings help us a great deal.
I invited Vladimir Vladimirovich to make an official visit to Kazakhstan this summer. And I think that this visit will represent a new milestone for our cooperation. We will embark on the joint development of uranium deposits in Kazakhstan and the joint enrichment and production of nuclear fuel. Fuel that, as the President of Russia said, other countries that wish to develop their civil nuclear industry can use and be associated with.
I want to thank you for your attention, for the invitation to make an unofficial working visit to Russia, and for the chance to once again exchange opinions on all these issues.
I want to say that our opinions fully coincide. Today Kazakhstan and Russia have no economic or political problems. I think that this can serve as a good example for other countries.