Press Statement Following Russian-Kazakh Talks 2005-01-18 20:28:17 The Kremlin, Moscow President Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to once again receive in Moscow our friend and respected guest [President of Kazakhstan] Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev. Today we held substantial and very fruitful talks. I would like to inform you briefly on the outcome of our work. First of all the main event: we have just signed an agreement on the state border between Russia and Kazakhstan. This document is of great importance for our bilateral relations. It is a very significant agreement and it marks a new stage in the strategic partnership between Russia and Kazakhstan, an equal and mutually advantageous partnership that works in the interests and for the benefit of our two fraternal peoples. For millions of our people this agreement will open up new opportunities for business and humanitarian cooperation, for strengthening inter-regional and border ties and, of course, for encouraging direct contact and friendly ties between people. The signing of this agreement is the result of more than five years of work by our delegations on delimiting the border. This was a responsible and meticulous job, as Russia and Kazakhstan share a border of more than 7,500 kilometres in length. I note that we have found a mutually acceptable solution for one of the most difficult areas where Astrakhan Oblast and Atyrau Oblast meet. The border in this region crosses the Imashevsky gas field and we have agreed to divide this territory and the deposit itself on an equal basis and have also settled questions relating to economic activity. The governments of Russia and Kazakhstan have been instructed to draw up an intergovernmental agreement defining the principles for joint exploitation of the gas deposit, and also to establish the legal, tax and customs regimes that will apply there. Our governments are also to draft a number of other agreements stemming from today’s treaty and relating to, above all, development of mineral deposits and the operation of infrastructure and communications facilities that cross the border or lie along its length. Today we continued the discussions on our bilateral agenda that we began a few days ago in Almaty. Our discussions focused primarily on trade and economic cooperation, which we noted is developing steadily. Our bilateral trade, for example, increased 1.5-fold last year and came to around $7.5 billion according to preliminary estimates. Our common task now is to consolidate this positive trend and constantly enrich our business cooperation with new large-scale initiatives and investment projects. We plan to develop our cooperation in such traditional priority areas as the space and energy sectors. We also see good prospects for strengthening our corporate ties in the area of military-technical cooperation. We also paid considerable attention during our talks both yesterday evening and today to developing the integration processes underway in the post-Soviet area through the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and also through the Common Economic Space that is in the process of formation. Kazakhstan is one of the most active and consistent supporters of developing these integration processes. We highly value this position and will continue to work actively with our Kazakhstan partners and friends in this direction. In conclusion I would like to thank Nursultan Abishevich for the frank and constructive talks we held. I am sure that the strategic partnership and friendly mutual understanding between Russia and Kazakhstan will continue to develop intensively in our traditional spirit of friendship and good-neighbourliness. And finally, I would like to stress once again that we attach great importance to the agreement on the state border signed today. It is undoubtedly a significant event in the history of our countries. It once again confirms and strengthens the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan. We welcome Kazakhstan’s development as an independent state and we are sure that this will create a good and trusting foundation on which to develop the integration processes between our countries on a completely new basis. Thank you very much for your attention.