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Official website of the President of Russia

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Beginning of Russia-Kazakhstan talks in expanded format

November 9, 2023, Astana

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Mr President,

I would like to once again cordially welcome you and all members of the Russian delegation to Astana.

Your official visit to Kazakhstan can be rightfully, without exaggeration, considered a historic occasion: it marks a new chapter in the strategic partnership with Russia. We have just had detailed talks on almost all issues of our cooperation, and we understand each other completely when it comes to our joint work.

There is a lot of work to be done, but, as I see it, we are committed to constructive work, and there is no doubt that the result of this work will be positive, as it has been in the past. In the past, there were issues demanding rapid solutions either at the government level or higher, between the heads of state, and they were found, of course.

It is symbolic that this event, I mean your visit, is taking place on the eve of the tenth anniversary of signing the Treaty between Russia and Kazakhstan on Neighbourliness and Alliance in the 21st Century. Let me remind you that it was signed on November 11, 2013. This is a fundamental document, and the long-term principles of relations enshrined in it became a specific roadmap that is being actively implemented.

Today, bilateral cooperation is developing successfully in all areas in the spirit of strategic partnership and alliance. Your visit began with our speeches at the opening of the interregional forum. We acknowledged that this format of cooperation is effective and useful and, of course, we will continue our work in this direction.

We are allies and strategic partners. There are no fundamental issues or problems in our alliance or in our relations. Kazakhstan and Russia both understand clearly that the independent and sovereign choice of development paths does not inhibit but, on the contrary, makes equal and mutually beneficial partnership even more rewarding. You have spoken about this many times, and I thank you for your deep understanding of the situation.

The unshakable values of friendship, trust and neighbourliness are the legacy of our ancestors, who lived side by side on both sides of the border from time immemorial. And we ought to preserve these values and pass them on for generations to come. This is truly a value.

Thanks to our joint efforts, the border is actively working for the benefit of both countries’ economies. About 25 million ordinary Kazakhstanis and Russians living in border regions enjoy concrete benefits. And we can say with confidence that our time-tested bilateral relations will remain unshakable and free from any political bias. Of course, it is very important that not only the governments, but also the people of our countries fully understand the value of mutually beneficial cooperation based on the principles of strategic partnership and alliance.

We talked today about the active and fruitful development of trade and economic interaction and investment cooperation during the opening of the interregional forum. The numbers are truly impressive. According to our data, trade reached $27 billion, and about $20 billion came from Russia to the economy of Kazakhstan as direct investment, but Kazakhstan also managed to invest $6 billion in the Russian economy. That is, the process is mutually beneficial, reciprocal, and this is a cause for joy.

Ties are actively developing not only in the trade and economic spheres, but also in culture and education. Today you have mentioned the Russian Seasons, which means that cultural exchanges are developing successfully. All of this will monitored, and we will maintain these ties. Personally, as the head of state, I absolutely want to see multilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia continue to develop successfully.

Thank you for your attention.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends, colleagues,

I would like to begin by saying words of gratitude to the President of Kazakhstan for inviting me and for providing the venue for today’s meeting to discuss in detail the full range of our relations.

We talk about Russia and Kazakhstan being allies, but I would like to emphasise that we are not just allies – at least that is how we see it in Russia – but the very closest of allies. It took us many years to shape these relations, and I am very pleased to note it and I would like to thank the President for keeping alive this trend and this tradition of strengthening our relations, which certainly benefit our peoples.

The economic cooperation numbers tell the tale. I will not go over them again now, since the President has just mentioned them, and we covered this during the forum of regions which provided a striking illustration of what is happening, as they say, on the ground, that is, in real life, and was the reason for our meeting today. But in this case, in the literal and figurative sense, we are talking about what is happening on the ground, because the forum focuses on agriculture which is one of the most important sectors of the economies of both Russia and Kazakhstan.

We in Russia take pride in what we have accomplished in agriculture over the past eight to ten years. From being a net importer of agricultural products, Russia has turned into a major exporter and tops the list of the world’s wheat exporters. I have said it before, and I will say it again – saying and repeating it is a delight – we will continue to have excellent capacity this year with 60 or maybe even more million tonnes of wheat to be exported to international food markets.

Our economic relations with Kazakhstan are not limited to the critical area of agriculture. Cooperation in high technology is the most important area of focus. We have good prospects and achievements in this sector, so, in this regard, education is of paramount importance, because only educated and well-trained people can address these priorities.

In this context, education is a real factor in economic growth. It is extremely important, and here mutual exchanges in education and science – not only the education of specialists in Russia – are very important and oriented to the future of our countries and peoples. There is room for improvement in this respect. I will not mention everything at this point but these are interesting, promising areas of our cooperation.

Good clusters exist or are taking shape in industrial production, notably in agricultural equipment manufacturing, mechanical engineering in general and the chemical industry that is linked to the entire production complex.

Of course, in a restricted format, we just now talked about financial cooperation in some detail. We are aware of all difficulties related to the current situation. Yet, I am confident that proceeding from our national priorities, we will always be able to resolve problems that are of obvious mutual national interest for us without violating any international commitments. In this way, we will also strengthen our sovereignty in the international arena.

This is very important for the development of any country. Just as education is vital for developing high technology, sovereignty in the development of a state is vital for the future of a nation – any nation. We believe this sovereignty will grow stronger despite the need to keep all of our international commitments as well. One does not interfere with the other. That said, national development, the interest of one’s own nation, should always be the priority and this is our bottom line in Russia.

We believe that also goes for our closest allies all over the world. I am not referring just to Kazakhstan. Naturally, Kazakhstan is our very closest ally as I have already said. This is how our relations have developed – primarily owing to the policy of the President of Kazakhstan – and we will act in the same vein.

In addition to education, everything related to the humanitarian area is creating a very good foundation for people-to-people relations – not only for supporting mutual interests but also for promoting mutual respect of our people and our nations. This attitude has developed over centuries, not just in the past few years or decades. For our part, we are doing all we can to maintain this trend.

Thank you very much for the invitation.


November 9, 2023, Astana