Following the meeting, Mr Putin and Mr Nazarbayev signed the Protocol amending the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Status of the City of Baikonur and Procedures for the Formation and Status of its Executive Bodies of December 23, 1995, and approved the Concept for Continued Cooperation at the Baikonur Centre.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Nazarbayev, colleagues, friends, let me wish you a warm welcome once again to St Petersburg.
Mr Nazarbayev, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence. Under your leadership, Kazakhstan has achieved impressive results. We welcome this, all the more so as Kazakhstan is an active player in the integration processes underway in the post-Soviet area, and the very fact that a successful country is actively advancing the integration project reflects positively on all participants in the Eurasian Economic Union.
We wish you further success and hope that our integration organisation’s meeting planned today will likewise be a success.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Mr Putin, thank you, first of all, for the chance to meet before the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting today. The Eurasian Economic Union is a child of our creation and we must nurture and continue to develop it.
It saddens me to have to speak of the tragic events that have taken place in Russia, the ambassador’s murder and the plane crash. Let me once again express on my own behalf and on behalf of the Kazakhstani people profound condolences to the entire Russian people.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: This great tragedy affects and touches us all, and we share common sorrow. We express our deepest condolences to all of the victims’ families and loved ones.
Our relations are developing in normal fashion. Issues come up, but they are settled at the government level.
We have spoken before about Baikonur, one of the biggest and longest-running issues in our relations. The deputy Russian prime minister was in Kazakhstan and we had a detailed discussion. I am grateful to him for his highly practical approach to the issues involved. Now, we are ready to approve the new roadmap for the next 8 years, through 2025. The new medium rocket will be the linchpin for our bilateral cooperation at Baikonur with regard to continued use and all the other issues.
As for the Eurasian Economic Union, Kazakhstan’s presidency of the organisation is coming to a productive end. Overall, I think the Customs Code has been settled now and is ready for signing. I think the heads of state present will approve it and those not present will add their signatures later, seeing as no one had any objections and everything has already been approved.
There are some issues regarding some of our colleagues, which the governments continue to discuss. I think that our Supreme Council meeting today will settle some of these matters. We have seen our trade turnover decrease, of course, but this is due to current low market prices for our goods. In physical terms, trade volumes remain as before.
Yesterday, we visited two important enterprises here in St Petersburg that gave us a glimpse of the future. In this respect, I note again that we seek to continue our military-technical cooperation. We proposed the formation of a committee on science and technology and on defence and technical matters.
We have quite a few meetings ahead. Kazakhstan will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting, and then there is the opening of EXPO-2017. Next autumn, we have our interregional meeting in the Chelyabinsk Region, and then a new Eurasian Economic Union meeting in Moscow. We will have opportunities to meet, in other words, and will be able to settle any matters that arise.
Mr Putin, I wish you success in all your undertakings. 2016 is coming to an end. We spoke yesterday about how much progress the import replacement efforts have made, and I was particularly impressed by how you have resolved the question of manufacturing aircraft engines.
I know that the work in Syria places a heavy load on you and Russia. I think that you are pursuing this work for all of humanity, all people in the world, and we are starting to glimpse hope for a solution. Acting on your proposal, Kazakhstan is ready to host these talks [on peace in Syria] in Astana. We spoke with [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan yesterday, and [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani was in Almaty, and they all agree with this proposal. We will put in place the conditions so that they can work and meet.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.