President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,
We are delighted to welcome the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Tokayev, to Moscow. This is our first in-person meeting since the January events in Kazakhstan, which were an unprecedented challenge to the country’s sovereignty, integrity and stability. In fact, Kazakhstan faced an act of terrorist aggression committed with the direct participation of destructive internal and external forces.
Thanks to President Tokayev’s firm stance and the resolute support on behalf of Russia and all allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, control of the situation was regained in a short time, law and order were restored, and peace and tranquillity returned to Kazakhstan.
At the same time, the CSTO has convincingly demonstrated its ability to effectively respond to emerging threats, to promptly deploy peacekeeping forces to protect the security and interests of its member states.
President Tokayev is doing everything to finally normalise the situation. We see that the situation in Kazakhstan has become stable and calm. Society fully supports the course of the country's leadership towards achieving ambitious goals, and we, Russia, for our part, will do everything to support the President of Kazakhstan.
We are confident that Russian-Kazakhstani cooperation will continue to expand and grow with all objective conditions for doing so in place. Naturally, the current state and prospects for further deepening bilateral cooperation was the main topic that we reviewed during today's talks.
Our countries are traditionally bound by truly strong allied and neighbourly ties. This year, we will mark the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. These relations are based on the principles of reliable mutual support, respect and consideration of mutual interests.
Russia and Kazakhstan are key economic partners. Trade is growing even amid the relentless pandemic, and steadily at that, reaching US$25.6 billion in 2021. Cumulative Russian investments in Kazakhstan amount to US$17 billion whereas Kazakhstan investments stand at US$4.6 billion.
Russian business is broadly represented in all areas of Kazakhstan’s economy. The republic has around 7,500 business entities with Russian capital. The two countries’ companies are successfully working together in the fuel and energy sector. Most of Kazakhstan’s oil goes to foreign markets via Russia, and Russian oil is supplied to the People’s Republic of China through the territory of Kazakhstan.
I would single out mineral fertilizers, iron casting, cargo equipment components, automobiles and automobile tyres among significant joint projects. A project is underway in Kazakhstan for the production of Kirovets tractors and spare parts to them. Work is ongoing to increase local production of Lada automobiles. Bilateral cooperation in pharmaceuticals and medicine is actively promoted.
Russia came to the aid of the brotherly republic of Kazakhstan during the peak of the pandemic by sending an impressive task force of medical personnel and humanitarian cargo. Reliable production of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V has been set up at Karaganda pharmaceutical complex. In total, over six million doses of the first and the second vaccine components have already been produced.
In addition, Sputnik Light vaccine is being delivered to Kazakhstan which can be used as a booster for various vaccines.
Obviously, the talks covered further stepping up of military and defence industry cooperation. Russia continues to render assistance to Kazakhstan in training military specialists at the higher education establishments of the Russian Defence Ministry and other security agencies.
We will keep working together on establishing in the republic licenced production facilities and maintenance centres for Russian military equipment.
The President of Kazakhstan informed me that Kazakhstan is starting to implement a comprehensive plan of priority measures aimed at improving the social protection of citizens, eradicating corruption, modernising the economy, and strengthening the country's security agencies. We wish our Kazakhstani partners success with their plans and are ready to assist them in every possible way.
While considering regional and global problems, we affirmed that the positions of Russia and Kazakhstan are very close or identical on most of them. Our countries firmly uphold the principles of the supremacy of international law, sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. They closely coordinate efforts at key multilateral platforms, including at the United Nations.
Russia and Kazakhstan are successfully advancing integration, primarily, of course, within the Eurasian Economic Union, which our Kazakhstani partners chaired last year.
By the way, this year Kazakhstan chairs the Commonwealth of Independent States. We will certainly provide our Kazakhstani friends with all the assistance they need.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank President Tokayev for supporting Moscow's bid to host the world exhibition EXPO-2030.
We also greatly appreciate Kazakhstan's agreement to be this year's partner country of our International Industrial Trade Fair INNOPROM, which traditionally takes place in Yekaterinburg.
I can also mention that during our talks I invited the President of Kazakhstan to take part in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in June this year as one of the key guests. We hope that he will accept our invitation, and we always anticipate a large delegation of Kazakhstani politicians, businessmen and public figures to the forum in St Petersburg.
In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to the President for the productive work we did together today. During the current visit, the President of Kazakhstan will visit one of the dynamically developing regions of Russia – the Republic of Tatarstan, which closely cooperates with our Kazakhstani partners. I am convinced that today’s talks will help further strengthen the allied relations between Russia and Kazakhstan for the benefit of the fraternal peoples of the two countries.
Thank you for your attention.
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Mr President,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation for his invitation to come to Moscow on an official visit.
We have just completed our long talks with the agreements President Putin has described in detail. It is true that the talks were very substantive and interesting, I would say. I would like to take this opportunity to express my satisfaction with these talks.
This year is a milestone for our states: we are marking the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. Over this time, we have built truly exemplary interstate cooperation based on our strong ties of friendship, common history and the similar mentality of our peoples. Thanks to our intense political dialogue, we have achieved impressive success in almost all areas.
Our common land border, the longest in the world, is a clear example of real, I would say, exemplary neighbourliness, reliable cooperation and strategic partnership to the entire international community.
As I have already said, the talks concerned almost all aspects of cooperation between our states, such as our economic and investment ties, and, of course, our approaches to the main international problems. We discussed the main topics on the Russian-Kazakhstani agenda openly, in an atmosphere of trust, and were satisfied to note the highly successful development of comprehensive contacts between our countries. Considering the enormous potential of our mutually beneficial cooperation, we reaffirmed our shared intention to strengthen political, economic, investment and cultural ties. We have agreed to maintain positive momentum in bilateral trade.
Just now President Putin has cited convincing figures achieved in this very important, even key, area of trade and economic cooperation. Despite the pandemic and quarantine restrictions, the highest result has indeed been achieved. Last year, trade exceeded US$21 billion. Russian companies are in the top five investors in the economy of Kazakhstan. Their total investment exceeded US$17 billion. In Kazakhstan, Russia is by far the leader in terms of the number of enterprises with foreign capital. Every third enterprise was created with the participation of Russian companies, with their total investment portfolio represented by almost all industries.
We discussed in detail the prospects of expanding production cooperation. Our countries have completed 13 major projects in this area. Eight projects worth over US$2.5 billion are at the stage of implementation. Work to elaborate another 11 projects with total investment volume of almost US$1.5 billion is underway. During the talks, I told President Putin that all these projects will be under my personal supervision. They are intended to create new jobs and enhance our countries’ industrial and technological potential.
Interregional cooperation also yields major practical results. Mutually beneficial trade between our countries and regions amounts to about 70 percent of our total trade. Productive partnership between Kazakhstan and Russia is constantly expanding through new innovative points of growth.
Today we signed a number of documents which will allow our countries to advance considerably on pressing issues: digitisation, space exploration and training specialists in nuclear power engineering. Given the demand for highly qualified personnel in the engineering and technical area in Kazakhstan, we emphasised cooperation in education.
During the talks, I expressed my appreciation to the President of Russia for agreeing to send branches of the most well-known Russian universities, primarily technical ones, to Kazakhstan. I think that they will make a very serious contribution to the development of education in our country.
We welcome meaningful agreements on expanding the network of Russian university branches in Kazakhstan, just as I have already mentioned. I want to underscore that Kazakhstan will open well-known branches of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Bauman Moscow Higher Technical School – now it has a different name, evidently it has become a university, although the reputation remains. I think this is a great stride in education and mutual support in this area.
We secured each other’s support in promoting international initiatives. I want to make a point that Kazakhstan, without any hesitations, supported Moscow’s bid to host EXPO 2030.
As I already said, we exchanged views on the most pressing issues of regional and global politics. I would like to emphasise that our positions and approaches remain unchanged on the whole. The Russian Federation plays an exceptionally important role in ensuring stability and security in our region.
I would like to say that we support Russia's position regarding the indivisibility of security in the Eurasian space. In the end, this principle was enshrined in the declaration signed following the 2010 OSCE Summit in Astana. We agree that in the modern world it is impossible and essentially irrational to strengthen your own security at the expense of the security of others.
Therefore, I think that the proposals that were made by the Russian Federation on holding talks on security on a significant international scale are a very good platform for holding successful, I stress, successful diplomatic talks. We are in favour of holding talks not for the sake of talks, but to achieve results. After all, a bad peace is better than a good quarrel.
Once again, I would like to thank President Putin and our other CSTO partners for their invaluable support in repelling a terrorist attack that was unprecedented for Kazakhstan.
I think that, without any exaggeration, the current talks were some of the most important, if not the most important, that took place in recent years between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.
I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am quite satisfied with the outcome of these talks. Once again, I express my gratitude for the hospitality and business-like approach to our meeting.
Vladimir Putin: (Addressing media representatives.). Are there any questions?
Question: If it is not a secret, did you have a telephone conversation yet on the results of Mr Macron’s visit to Kiev? Maybe he told you something about his talks with Mr Zelensky. And what do you think of Mr Zelensky’s comment on your phrase “like it or lump it, you have to fulfil them” in which he hinted that you might have spent too much time with President Macron?
Vladimir Putin: You know, there was nothing personal to it, I should say that right off. I never get personal in my work, in all these years, so again there was nothing personal about it. The issue is that when we hear from a head of state that he likes or dislikes something about fundamental agreements that regulate very important relations between countries in terms of security, including that of Ukraine, I think it is out of place. If a state assumed certain obligations, the more so when they are enshrined in international law, UN Security Council Resolution 2202, I think, then everything must be followed and performed as agreed. That is all there is to it.
Regarding talks with our European and American partners, they are ongoing both in open and closed formats; we are preparing a response to NATO and Washington. The President of France – we did indeed agree that he would call me after his series of consultations in Kiev and also in European countries and with US partners. I take it the consultations have not concluded yet, since we have not talked yet.
To be honest, we actually expected questions on the state of Russia-Kazakhstan relations. For my part, I want to once again thank the President of Kazakhstan for his visit today. I realise it was not easy to find time to visit Russia since there is a lot to do back home, it goes without saying. Yet I think this visit was needed in view of the level, nature and quality of our relations, as well as their scale.
Today the President of Kazakhstan informed me about the big plans to change the country’s economy and the way relations in society are regulated. It is a complex and big, if not enormous, challenge, and I would like to stress again that Kazakhstan’s leadership and its President have every right to count on Russia’s support in all those areas of the country’s development that he has outlined. That is exactly what will happen.
Thank you very much.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Thank you.