President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev: Mr Putin, Russian colleagues, friends,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to Kyrgyzstan. This is a great opportunity for us to discuss bilateral cooperation.
It is highly symbolic that this meeting takes place in the run-up to the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries, which we will be celebrating on March 20. I am confident that our countries will remain strategic allies and partners in the future, as should be the case for two brotherly nations with a shared history.
Let me note that Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union has elevated trust and cooperation between our countries to a new level. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank Russia and Mr Putin for supporting and assisting our country in this challenging period of transition and adaptation.
I can say with confidence that it is thanks to the political will of the Russian President that a $500 million Russia-Kyrgyzstan Development Fund was created. This initiative went hand in hand with the decision by Russia to provide Kyrgyzstan $200 million in technical assistance for resolving issues related to joining the Eurasian Economic Union and purchasing the needed hardware and software.
I strongly believe that despite all the rumours and gossip, we did the right thing. I believe that joining the Eurasian Economic Union was the right thing to do. I also believe that with the help of brotherly Russia we will be able to resolve all outstanding issues by the end of this year and become Eurasian Economic Union member in our own right. I think that by that time we will have overcome all impediments and barriers.
Of course, today’s meeting is yet another opportunity to make sure that we are on the same page and outline future steps to develop our cooperation.
Colleagues, friends, let me once again welcome you to Kyrgyzstan.
Mr Putin, please, you have the floor.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Atambayev, colleagues, once again thank you for the invitation.
You have just mentioned that we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations on March 20. Over these years, a great deal has been done to develop relations between Russia and independent Kyrgyzstan.
The fact that there were many achievements does not mean that the path was easy. Nation-building has been a challenging process for many post-Soviet republics. Nevertheless, we are happy to see the situation in Kyrgyzstan stabilise, and the way the country has established itself as a democracy.
We know that the talks on Eurasian Economic Union membership were riddled with challenges, and remember the emotional and tough stance adopted by the President as he advocated Kyrgyzstan’s interests. Agreements of this kind are always a compromise that suits all parties involved in the process.
Let me note that in 2017 Kyrgyzstan assumes the Chairmanship of the Eurasian Economic Union. I would like to wish you success and assure you that we will support this process in all possible ways. You have just mentioned tools and mechanisms that were created with a view to making Kyrgyzstan’s accession smoother and help its economy better adapt to the rules of the Eurasian Economic Union.
Overall, it is a great pleasure for us to meet with you and discuss plans we had outlined previously. We are here to make sure that we are on the same page, as you said, and do everything to implement the ideas we had.
Thank you very much for your invitation.