Reviews 20 Years of Friendship and Cooperation
The Treaty on Friendship between Kazakhstan and Russia will be updated and expanded before the end of 2013, following agreement between Presidents Nazarbayev and Putin in Moscow on October 9.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of both the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Russia and the signing of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the two countries.
The two leaders discussed the development of bilateral trade and economic relations. The energy sector was a particular area of focus, including cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and the oil and gas industries – notably the transit of Kazakh oil through Russia, Russia’s sale of natural gas from Kazakhstan and development of hydrocarbons in the Caspian region.
The talks extended to cooperation through regional organizations, as well as a wide range of issues on the international agenda. President Nazarbayev described the positive evolution of Kazakh-Russian relations as a benchmark for cooperation between post-Soviet countries and emphasized that the integration process between Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus envisaged by the Customs Union should continue to develop in a careful and balanced way.
Further cooperation in space was also envisaged in the meeting through joint projects related to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the GLONASS satellite system and KazSat satellites.
The two Presidents issued a joint statement on October 9 noting that the events held to mark the 20th anniversary of relations had helped deepen mutual understanding and strengthen the social basis of bilateral ties.
During his visit President Nazarbayev met with a number of Russia’s business and industry leaders, including Vagit Alekperov, CEO of Lukoil, which has been active in Kazakhstan since 1995 and currently participates in seven Kazakh mining projects, as well as the Caspian Pipeline Consortium. Mr Alekperov outlined Lukoil’s investment activity in Kazakhstan and prospects for its cooperation with Kazakhstan’s national oil and gas company, KazMunaiGas. Vladimir Yevtushenkov, CEO of Sistema Financial Corporation, also met with the President to discuss his company’s investment activity in innovative industries, petrochemicals and other sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy, as well as potential for future cooperation with domestic businesses.
Russia and Kazakhstan share a long history as well as the longest border in the world. Common interests and shared infrastructure are a key part of the bilateral relationship.
In the 20 years since diplomatic ties were established, relations have gone from strength to strength and contact at the highest level has been maintained. The two Presidents met last month at the Russian-Kazakh Forum on Interregional Cooperation in the northern Kazakhstan city of Pavlodar following President Putin’s official visit to Kazakhstan in June.
Trade between Kazakhstan and Russia has grown steadily to reach USD 25 billion in 2011; during the first half of 2012, bilateral trade amounted to USD 11 billion. In an article published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta on October 5, President Nazarbayev noted that roughly ten years ago, bilateral trade was only USD 4.7 billion.
At this week’s meeting, the two Presidents agreed that the economic integration process of the Customs Union had greatly facilitated close cooperation in many areas and will contribute to future trade growth between the two neighbors.