Mikhail Mishustin: Welcome, Mr Tokayev. Welcome to the Government House of the Russian Federation. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on Diplomatic Worker’s Day, because a large share of your official and professional activities has been directly related to diplomacy, including in the high office of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General. I sincerely wish you new diplomatic successes and a growing role for Kazakhstan on the international stage.
Your visit to Moscow has special meaning for us in terms of further strengthening the friendship, partnership and alliance between Russia and Kazakhstan. Today you had substantive talks with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. I know that key decisions have been made to expand our practical cooperation and promote our joint projects in energy, industry, high technology, education, and an entire range of other promising areas. Rest assured that the Russian Government will do everything possible and take all measures necessary to fulfill the agreements reached at the highest level.
The Russian Federation truly treasures our neighbourly and brotherly relations with Kazakhstan. They are built on the foundation of many centuries of friendship, shared affinity between our peoples and the unique historical and civilisational code that we share. We fully support your decisions that made it possible to protect the friendly country of Kazakhstan from an attack by international terrorist groups. During this difficult period, you demonstrated fortitude and courage, united society and put up fierce resistance to the militants and extremists.
We also welcome all the proposed comprehensive initiatives to strengthen state institutions, reform the economy and social services. It is important that the focus be on the task of improving the lives of people and harmoniously developing the regions of Kazakhstan. You have also given special focus to the social responsibility of businesses and have established a constructive dialogue with the business community.
For our part, we are ready to render, among other things, practical support for the implementation of all your large-scale plans. We will be pleased to share our best practices and adopt yours, including in promoting public-private partnerships and training managers. Your proposal to modernise Kazakhstan’s higher education system is also a very interesting project. Russian universities are ready to take an active part in this.
Let me also say a few words about trade and economic cooperation. We are happy to see it develop dynamically. By comparison with 2020, our trade grew by one-third to over $25 billion in 2021. Incidentally, these are record-high indicators in history. We regard all our most important joint projects as a priority. Russia and Kazakhstan have great potential in industry, green economy, power engineering, transport infrastructure, and a number of other areas.
Mr Tokayev, I would like to thank you once again for your time. I am glad to see all our colleagues. The floor is yours, Mr Tokayev.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Mr Mishustin, I am glad to see you here in the building of the Government of the Russian Federation. I would like to state right away that we are looking forward to your official visit to our country. We have just held one-on-one talks on all current matters on our joint agenda.
I am glad to see your deputies and other Government representatives. We have recently met in Kazakhstan’s capital.
We have indeed a lot of work ahead to promote our strategic partnership and truly allied relations between our two countries. For this, of course, all our efforts should be primarily focused on implementing the preliminary agreements and on achieving concrete results on issues that have been, in principle, put on the agenda.
I have just held long and intensive talks with Mr Putin. We discussed all issues related to the development of our cooperation and the international and regional situation. I informed him about the situation in Kazakhstan and the measures I am going to take to further stabilise the situation and, of course, to make it irreversible.
In fact, our leadership and the new Government have much work ahead. I would like to encourage your representatives’ contacts with the new Government of Kazakhstan, which, naturally, has been instructed to maintain pro-active and close business and working contacts with the Russian Government.
We have just discussed a digital platform. This is really a priority. Your deputy, Mr Chernyshenko, and German Gref have visited Kazakhstan recently. It is only natural that we will be focusing our efforts on this area, because I feel that this will be the prime sphere of our collaboration in the future. We will be unable to make a qualitative breakthrough unless we take up digitalisation.
We have important projects that are of truly strategic nature. I am referring to KamAZ operations in Kazakhstan, Tatneft, Sibur, and other companies. Generally, Russia has emerged in the lead in terms of investment in Kazakhstan’s economy: the figure stands at $17 billion in a matter of just one year. You have just mentioned the volume of trade: $25 billion. This is also a record, despite the pandemic restrictions.
We are resolved to work within the Eurasian Economic Union. Not so long ago, we had a very serious and detailed discussion with your deputy, Mr Overchuk. I think the immediate task is for us to enhance the EAEU’s prestige in the eyes of our partners within the organisation itself as well as in the eyes of its outside observers. I have no doubt that concrete, positive results will be achieved.
As for other matters, we have agreed that we will return to their discussion during your visit to Kazakhstan so as to reach concrete agreements.
Education certainly has great importance. Speaking at a press briefing earlier today, I put a special emphasis on this sphere of our cooperation. We are grateful to the Russian Government for its decision to open branches of Russia’s famous technological universities in Kazakhstan.
As for training specialists for the nuclear power industry, the relevant agreement, as I understand, has been signed. This is the first step in this direction. I think we will continue to move ahead to create a separate and highly important nuclear power industry in Kazakhstan.
This is all I wanted to tell you. I am very glad to see you, your deputies and colleagues. They often visit Kazakhstan, and we very much appreciate this, because it is not so easy to take a plane, make a three-and-a-half-hour flight, work in our capital, and then take a plane back. All of this is dictated by the truly strategic goals of our cooperation. And we highly value this.
Mikhail Mishustin: They always say they do it and will continue to do it with pleasure. Thank you very much, Mr Tokayev.