Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Nursultan Abishevich!
I am happy about our latest meeting: it is taking place during the summit of the SCO. It is obvious that the relations between our nations are so close that we often communicate. This is very good because it helps us to discuss a variety of issues, both economic and political problems.
Today at a meeting of the SCO we had a productive exchange of views on all issues, both in a restricted and in an extended format. In my opinion the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has truly become an authoritative power. This should now be used to address a wide variety of tasks.
As to our bilateral affairs: I think that since our last meeting a lot has been done, but there are projects that require additional attention. I think that we will talk about this as well.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: I agree with your assessment of the Shanghai Organisation: it is a very important and authoritative organisation. I think that Kazakhstan, like Russia, is doing everything possible to strengthen the Organisation, to do what is really necessary and required, and what other countries, such as the People's Republic of China, want as well. The observers at our Organisation are major countries, and that is testimony to the great interest in our organization.
After your state visit to Astana our bilateral relations developed even more rapidly: in half a year we witnessed a growth in trade turnover of 30 per cent (our trade is approaching 20 billion dollars), and this is a very good indicator. We have created a group led by our assistants for cooperation in the innovative sectors of our economies. This group is working. A conference will be held on 22 September 2008 in the border regions of our countries. I would like to invite you to Aktyubinsk.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: We will discuss all the issues related to our border regions.
As we agreed, on 5 September 2008 we will hold the next session of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in Moscow.
Dmitry Anatolyevich, this is our first meeting after the events that occurred in South Ossetia. We spoke by phone and I expressed our position.
The most interesting thing is that on the morning of the 8th of August in Beijing we met with Vladimir Putin. He was called and told about the matter. Both he and I learned that Georgia had attacked Tskhinvali. And I saw how Vladimir Vladimirovich went over to [George W.] Bush and told him about this matter.
Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, and Bush said that nobody needs war.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: I am amazed that the West simply ignored the fact that Georgian armed forces attacked the peaceful city of Tskhinvali. Therefore my assessment is as follows: I think that it originally started with this. And Russia’s response could either be to keep silent, or to protect their people and so on. I believe that all subsequent steps taken by Russia have been designed to stop the bloodshed of ordinary residents of this long-suffering city. Of course there are many refugees, many homeless. Guided by our bilateral agreement on friendship and cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia we have provided humanitarian aid: 100 tonnes have already been sent. We will continue to provide assistance together with you.
Of course, there was loss of life on the Georgian side — war is war. The resolution of the conflict with Georgia has now been shifted to some indeterminate time in the future. We have always had good relations with Georgia. Kazakhstan’s companies have made substantial investments there. Of course those that have done this want stability there. The conditions of the plan that you and [President of France Nicolas] Sarkozy drew up must be implemented, but some have begun to disavow certain points in the plan. However, I think that negotiations will continue and that there will be peace — there is no other alternative. Therefore, Kazakhstan understands all the measures that have been taken, and Kazakhstan supports them. For our part we will be ready to do everything to ensure that everyone returns to the negotiating table.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Nursultan Abishevich, for your assessment and your support. It is absolutely clear that Russia had to respond to this act of aggression. Indeed, people have been killed, they won't be coming back, and this will always remain on the conscience of those who unleashed this aggression.
Now all military operations are complete. There is a special plan by which we must abide. That is correct, we prepared the six-point plan with President Sarkozy. The Russian side has fulfilled its obligations. Now the most important thing is to ensure that the Georgian side is in full compliance, including the demilitarisation and the withdrawal of the Georgian Armed Forces to their permanent positions of deployment, so that there can be no reason to suppose that in some subtle way the plan is being rolled back. Much remains to be done. We need to think about how to provide effective security in the so-called security zones around South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This is certainly a challenge which we intend to engage in the very near future, including with our partners in the OSCE. And the EU also wants to be involved in these issues.
As for your humanitarian assistance, I would like to thank you in particular for that. This is a positive gesture, the gesture of a true friend, which of course we will never forget.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: I want to reiterate your suggestion that in the future we need to resolve these issues according to the six-point plan, in line with decisions taken in the UN and other international organisations. I would very much like the international community to embark on the same path, instead of seeking global confrontation, which does nobody any good, or talking everywhere about a new Cold War. Now on the basis of international documents we should arrive at a consensus and put everything back on a peaceful footing. That would be very useful for everyone. For example, Kazakhstan would be happy to participate in the OSCE or in other organisations. We could be useful in negotiations and we are ready to help.
Dmitry Anatolyevich, I understand that these were very difficult decisions for you at the start of your term as President of Russia. I trust that you will find a course that will be beneficial for Russia and the Russian people and for all of us, your allies.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Nursultan Abishevich.