Mikhail Mishustin held talks with Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov.
Mikhail Mishustin: Mr Smailov, friends,
I am happy to welcome you to Yekaterinburg, to the Innoprom International Industrial Trade Fair.
Kazakhstan is participating in this trade fair as a partner country for the first time. I am convinced that the deepening of industrial cooperation, which we, Mr Smailov, discussed when touring the exposition, and the launch of new joint projects will give a powerful impetus to developing the scope of trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to ask you to convey the warmest greetings and best wishes to President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, from President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and from me personally.
On 17 June, the leaders of our countries held productive talks on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum and made very important decisions to intensify cooperation in the main areas. The goal of our governments is to ensure the implementation of the agreements reached at the highest level, which is what we are engaged in.
We regard the further strengthening of friendship and partnership with Kazakhstan as an unconditional priority. Our cooperation has been tested by time and has repeatedly proven its resistance to external challenges.
Together with our Kazakhstani partners, we are taking effective measures aimed at protecting bilateral cooperation from the influence of the illegitimate economic sanctions by unfriendly states against Russia, as well. These efforts are yielding positive results, primarily in trade and economic cooperation.
Last year, mutual trade reached a record high and exceeded $25 billion. From January to April 2022, trade increased by another 10.5 percent compared to the same period in 2021 – up to $8 billion. We need to increase these indicators by creating new production chains in industry, engineering, energy, peaceful nuclear power, transport infrastructure, and the digital economy. We saw all of this today in the examples of our joint cooperation, which was also demonstrated by our Kazakhstani partners. Over 200 companies from Kazakhstan are represented today at Innoprom. And a good basis for this is the mutual complementarity of the economic, production and technological capacities of Russia and Kazakhstan.
We plan to launch promising infrastructure and transport projects very soon. As part of the import substitution programmes, additional production capacity will be created. We believe that our Kazakhstani partners have a good opportunity to replace companies from unfriendly states that have suspended operations in the Russian market, especially since the redirection of trade flows is not a temporary trend but a long-term process, and, I am sure, this will strengthen the stability of our economies and help create new points of growth.
We are working to develop region-to-region cooperation. Most Russian regions maintain ties with Kazakhstan, and today I saw how many governors visited the stands of our Kazakhstani partners. We are preparing for the next Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum, which will be held this autumn in Orenburg. It will be devoted to a pressing issue – the removal of infrastructural restrictions in trade.
We attach special importance to cultural and humanitarian interaction. Preparations are underway to open branches of Russian universities in Kazakhstan, including a branch of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute in Alma-Ata.
I would like to note Kazakhstan’s caring attitude towards the Russian language, which has the status of an official language. This makes it possible for our citizens to freely communicate, build business relations and establish intercultural ties.
Russia and Kazakhstan fruitfully work in the Eurasian Economic Union. We consistently remove obstacles, barriers and restrictions on common markets and ensure the freedom of movement of goods, services, capitals and labour. We are creating a financial and settlement infrastructure independent of third countries. The main thing is that we protect the interests of entrepreneurs and citizens of our countries, who receive specific benefits from the deepening of Eurasian integration. Dear Mr Smailov, once again I want to thank you and everyone who visited Innoprom today. I am ready to discuss all the issues on our current bilateral agenda.
Alikhan Smailov: Mr Mishustin, glad to see you again. First of all, I would like to thank you for the hospitality and cordiality shown to the Kazakhstani side as part of our participation in the 12th Innoprom International Industrial Trade Fair.
This year Kazakhstan is acting as a partner country of this event. That is why today the Kazakhstani side is represented by a large delegation of representatives of the public sector and the business community. I hope that our companies will take full advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate their developments and products and establish mutually beneficial and promising business contacts.
Kazakhstan and Russia enjoy a traditionally high level of bilateral cooperation in the entire spectrum of interstate relations, supported by regular meetings at different levels.
The special nature of bilateral relations is confirmed by the regularity of meetings between our heads of state. During the recent meetings of the presidents at the CSTO and St Petersburg International Economic Forum, further guidelines for developing our strategic partnership were outlined. The main goal of the governments of our countries is to implement all the tasks set at the highest level. This is our third meeting this year. The Government of Kazakhstan is ready for an active dialogue in all areas of interaction with a view to deepening economic cooperation.
Russia is our main trade and economic partner. At the end of last year, bilateral trade, as you rightly noted, reached a record high of almost $25 billion. And this year, we can see a positive trend: in January-May, trade increased by almost 5 percent, amounting to more than $9 billion. Systematic work is underway to develop multifaceted economic ties between our countries.
A special role in addressing a wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation and increasing bilateral trade is played by the Kazakhstan-Russia intergovernmental commission. In this context, the timely implementation of the comprehensive economic cooperation programme for 2021-2025, which was signed between our countries, is important.
Industrial cooperation is one of the priority areas of bilateral cooperation. The result of our joint industrial efforts are the 13 large-scale cooperation projects already implemented and the nine ongoing projects. It is important not to reduce the effectiveness of this work. And today we are also signing a joint action programme to further expand industrial cooperation. I think it will give fresh impetus.
Mr Mishustin, the Government of Kazakhstan is committed to working to support the dynamic development of the Kazakhstani-Russian strategic partnership in all areas.