President Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Nursultan Abishevich, distinguished leaders, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends!
Let me warmly congratulate you on the 10th anniversary of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. It is an anniversary that ushers in a truly new era and embodies all the city's hopes.
This is the second time that I have visited Astana in the last two months and I am always surprised by its dynamism, distinctive energy and inner harmony. And then of course there are the hospitality and cordiality of its inhabitants.
It's no secret that the history of this city is closely linked to the destiny of our two peoples, and its future path will be determined by some very large and ambitious projects. And here we have many similar approaches and joint tasks to perform.
It is no exaggeration to say that for Russia, Kazakhstan is not just a strategic partner. It is a country in whose achievements and victories we sincerely rejoice and whose friendship we particularly appreciate, supporting each other as only brothers can.
Our peoples have lived together for centuries. We have shared the hardships of the war years and the difficulties of cultivating virgin lands. We worked shoulder to shoulder and created our native land together. In Russia we know well and deeply respect the dedicated, talented, generous people of Kazakhstan. And we know that this feeling is mutual.
Dear friends, by historical standards ten years is a very short time. Nursultan Abishevich just talked about this. But in this short space of time in an ancient land a super-modern and comfortable city has been created for its citizens, a city that has determined the tempo and rhythm of life for the whole of Kazakhstan.
Here, literally in front of our eyes the new face of the country has been created and its modern history written. And the capital now celebrates its anniversary in the midst of its own remarkable achievements, achievements caused by a high rate of economic growth and advanced social policies.
Of course, such an impressive performance says a great deal about the Kazakhstani people, and about the work of its leader, President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev. We all know that he has invested in this city not only his hard work but also his soul. And today we should say straight out that Astana is his brainchild, his pride and joy, and the mark of his success.
It is well known that the capital's unique geopolitical situation was a big factor in determining the philosophy of its development, a philosophy associated with the idea of Eurasianism. Astana splendidly reflects the national identity of the country. And at the same time it displays an extraordinary openness to the world and a willingness to accept anything that is new and forward looking.
Important international forums are held here, aimed at extending global and regional security. Issues of tolerance and ethnic harmony are discussed here, issues that are equally important for our countries. And here people of many different nationalities and faiths feel at home, and we are confident that this will continue.
After all, the fact that in the 1990s a boundary line was drawn between our countries does not mean that that the hearts of our people were divided. It has not changed our open and cordial relations with each other.
And whatever we do to ensure the development of our national economies, to address social or international issues, our closeness and unconditional trust will remain major links in our desire to move confidently forward. They constitute our unique joint strength and will help us face up to today's and the future’s challenges.
Again, I heartily congratulate you all on this anniversary. And I am sure that Kazakhstan, having literally rebuilt its splendid new capital, will always be able to embark on the most ambitious and innovative projects.
Let this holiday be a source of joy and happiness for all. Astana's 10th anniversary will be the point from which its future development can be launched.
I wish you every happiness, peace and prosperity!
I hope you enjoy new and great successes!