President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr President,
The visit to Astana by the President of the Russian Federation Mr Putin has the status of a state visit and is made on my invitation. The high level of the visit stresses the special nature of relations between Russia and Kazakhstan.
Our countries have a long and successful history of cooperation and friendship. Each one of our meetings results in specific agreements on the implementation of joint projects and the development of new areas of cooperation on mutually beneficial terms.
Given the current complicated situation, coordinated action in the economy was the main topic of our talks. We have all the necessary instruments for this, both bilateral and within the Eurasian Economic Union.
The very fact of the EAEU existence is a huge positive factor for our countries. Kazakhstani producers have gained unlimited access to the broad market of the EAEU member states. All we have to do is enhance the competitiveness of our goods, works and services to establish ourselves on this market.
In the course of our talks, we established a set of specific measures to mitigate the consequences of the problems in the global economy. This includes transit through Kazakhstan, including pipeline transit, the possibility to transit through our territory to China, joint development of the Caspian fields Tsentralnoye and Khvalynskoye, cooperation in the coal industry and transit using the new road along the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf.
We had a separate discussion on the completion of the Western Europe – Western China highway and other conditions of infrastructural cooperation. There is enormous potential for the further development of our partnership in these areas.
Russia has traditionally been Kazakhstan’s major trade partner. The average annual trade turnover amounts to about $21 billion. Naturally, as you may understand, it is dropping against the drop in prices. I believe this is understandable and it will be restored with time.
Russian companies take part in the development of major Kazakhstani hydrocarbon fields. There are more than 5,600 companies with Russian capital operating in Kazakhstan. Currently 20 major joint investment projects have been implemented under Kazakhstan’s industrialisation programme, four are underway and three more are planned.
We paid special attention to current international matters. Among them were, of course, the implementation of the Minsk agreements, enhancing cooperation within global and regional organisations, including for the purpose of stability and security in Central Asia. Mr Putin briefed me on the situation there and we discussed it.
There are speculations now regarding Shiites and Sunnis. This has nothing to do with it [the situation] because what is going on in Syria is a threat to all of us, especially for Central Asia. We already know about the incidents on the border with Turkmenistan and we are concerned about Tajikistan.
In this connection, we discussed our idea to create a forum Islam Against Terrorism. If this idea receives support, this would help properly direct our efforts to achieve a better understanding of what we are doing.
Kazakhstan and Russia share their assessment of developments in the world and coordinate their approaches to their resolution. An exchange of views on these matters confirmed the unity of our views.
I am confident that the agreements reached will help further strengthen cooperation between our two countries along the entire range of cooperation in the spirit of friendship and a mutually advantageous partnership.
Prior to your arrival, I was welcoming the astronauts who have been to the space station [ISS]. Thank you, Mr President, and the Russian side for making it possible for the third Kazakhstani astronaut to go to space and work on the tasks set before our nations.
Thank you for your visit and your attention.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr President,
Today we have had truly constructive and quite intense talks, which traditionally took place in a frank and friendly atmosphere.
The highly dynamic political dialogue fully demonstrates our mutual desire to develop our strategic partnership and strengthen our alliance. We have exchanged views on the entire range of trade and economic relations, giving special attention to such important areas as trade, investment, energy, transport, space and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
I would like to note that the advantages of our two countries’ close economic integration are benefiting both sides. Despite the complicated external conditions, the drop in the price of our main export items and the fluctuation of currency exchange rates, we have nevertheless managed to retain the high intensity of trade and economic relations.
In the first 7 months of this year trade increased by 23 percent in ruble equivalent. Mutual investment is growing. Total volume of cumulative Russian investment in Kazakhstan’s economy exceeds $9 billion.
Kazakhstan’s investment in Russia amounts to about $3 billion, with Russian business represented in almost all areas of Kazakhstani economy and 5.8 thousand joint enterprises created and operating successfully.
In the fuel and energy sector, we cooperate on a grand scale. The main volume of Kazakhstani oil – about 20 million tons – is exported to external markets through Russian territory.
We have great plans for joint oil production in the Caspian Sea. We have signed a document to amend the 1998 Agreement on the delimitation of the bottom of the northern part of the Caspian Sea. This would allow companies from both countries to launch the development of the major Struktura Tsentralnaya oil field.
The power systems of our two countries have been synchronised since 2000. We are working on a programme to create a common electricity market for Russia and Kazakhstan. The implementation of the project to expand and reconstruct the Ekibastuz-2 (GRES-2) power plant is in full swing. We are preparing to build the first nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan.
The Russian-Kazakhstani intergovernmental commission will give an additional impetus to expanding cooperation in trade and the economy. We have agreed that the commission will meet again before the end of the year.
Industrial cooperation is also becoming stronger. Leading Russian car manufacturers are building assembly facilities and service centres in Kazakhstan. The AvtoVAZ plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk will be the largest with a capacity of 120,000 automobiles a year.
Transmashholding together with Kazakhstani Railways and the French Alstom company have built an electric locomotive plant in Astana producing 100 mainline cargo locomotives a year. Work is underway to set up a joint venture for the assembly of the Ka-226T multi-purpose helicopters.
We are developing closer cooperation in space exploration. Russian and Kazakhstani scientists and engineers are working on the Baiterek Space Launch Complex. In September, a Kazakhstani astronaut completed his flight to the International Space Station with the Soyuz TMA-16M crew.
The intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in rocket launches from the Dombarovsky positional area using a site in Kazakhstan will help in the successful implementation of promising space exploration programmes. It contemplates further orbital injections of scientific and commercial equipment, such as the Kazakhstani KazEOSat-2 remote sensing satellite launched last year.
Russia and Kazakhstan are closely cooperating in air transportation. The intergovernmental agreement we have just signed creates new opportunities for greater cooperation in aviation search and rescue operations.
Humanitarian exchange is also growing. In the 2014–2015 academic year the number of Kazakhstani students studying at Russian educational establishments at no cost has doubled. Six Russian higher education institutions have their branches in the Republic – Moscow State University, the Moscow Aviation Institute, Moscow University of Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
Russia and Kazakhstan are closely coordinating their approaches to international issues. In the course of our talks, we discussed key regional and global problems.
We briefed Mr Nazarbayev on the main results of the Normandy Four meeting in Paris and on the development of the situation in Syria and our actions to suppress terrorist activities in that country.
We, of course, support the proposal made by the President of Kazakhstan to join the efforts of all countries, primarily those with an Islamic population, in fighting terrorism.
We have also touched upon some aspects of the functioning of the Eurasian Economic Union, including prospects for developing mutually beneficial ties with third countries and international organisations.
In conclusion, of course, I would like to thank the President of Kazakhstan and all our Kazakhstani friends for their hospitality and the constructive and vast agenda they have put forth today for our joint work.
Thank you for your attention.
Question: America responded to our proposal to send a delegation headed by Dmitry Medvedev – they refused. What do you think about this?
Vladimir Putin:I do not really understand how our American partners can criticise Russia’s actions in Syria to combat international terrorism if they are refusing to have a direct dialogue in such an important area as political settlement.
I believe this stand is not constructive and the weakness of the American position in this case is probably based on the absence of any agenda on these issues. It seems as though there is nothing to talk about, but we nevertheless leave the doors open and strongly hope for a constructive dialogue with all the participants in this complicated process, including our American partners.