President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, it gives me great pleasure to continue our conversation that we started yesterday evening in an informal setting.
First of all, I would like to note not only that Kazakhstan is a strategic ally for Russia and one of its closest partners, but also that relations between our countries are developing successfully and consistently.
Last year trade increased by 30.5 percent, which is a positive result as far as the economy is concerned. Russia remains a leading trade and economic partner for Kazakhstan. I would like to note that Russia is increasing its direct investment in the economy of Kazakhstan.
There are many areas of cooperation between our countries, and we have regular contacts on all these matters. It is great that we are offered yet another opportunity to meet on the sidelines of today’s summit to discuss the bilateral agenda.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Thank you, Mr President.
My colleagues have probably congratulated you already, so let me join the chorus. A truly historic event took place on March 18, when you won the trust of the Russian people with such great triumph. This was a major achievement given the challenging environment, demonstrating that Russians have confidence in your work and the course you have taken to enhance the profile and pride of Russia and its people in this extremely challenging environment. It is for this reason that the people came together to support you.
I wish you good health and the ability to withstand all the challenges in order to give Russia an even brighter future. After all, this is what we in Kazakhstan wish for you sincerely, since our country enjoys very close ties with Russia, and our relations are in many ways exemplary.
You have mentioned economic ties. Trade between our countries exceeds $16 billion, and efforts to set up joint ventures are gaining momentum. All this is happening in keeping with our agreements.
In 2013, we signed the agreement on strategic partnership in the 21st century. It sets out all the modalities for cooperation, and we have been working within its framework ever since.
The inauguration is behind us. I congratulate all Government members who were appointed. We have already worked with and know many of them. We wish them every success.
Kazakhstan will always be nearby, we will always work together to overcome the challenges of our time in order to move forward. Our efforts are steadily advancing. Yesterday we reviewed all the questions we had. As neighbours, sovereign states always have questions that need to be addressed, but the ties between our governments and ministries are so close, that all the issues that emerge can be resolved calmly without any unnecessary agitation.
As we discussed yesterday, I do not pay attention to such things. We are allies and very close to each other as states, so the media in both countries must follow the same line by refraining from blowing things out of proportion. Any issues that arise must be resolved. This is how we have been working over the past 25 years. So let me wish you all the very best, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.