The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and CIS Heads of Government Council meetings.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Mr Smailov, colleagues, good afternoon. Before we begin our talks, I would like to ask you to convey best regards from President of Russia Vladimir Putin and me to President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Russian-Kazakhstani relations are based on centuries-long traditions of friendship and fraternal ties between our peoples. Cooperation with Kazakhstan is essential and a clear priority for us. This year, we will mark 10 years since the signing of the fundamental Russia-Kazakhstan Treaty of Good Neighbourly Relations and Alliance in the 21st Century. Our trade and economic cooperation are growing successfully despite the sanctions adopted by the collective West. Last year, our trade reached a record-high level of 2 trillion Russian roubles or 13 trillion tenge, which we discussed in detail. In January through April, 2023, it increased by over 9 percent and approached 716 billion Russian roubles or 4 trillion tenge.
It is essential to accelerate the establishment of new production chains in industry, machine-building, energy and transport infrastructure. This can be done thanks to the complementarity of the economic, manufacturing and technological capabilities of Russia and Kazakhstan. These issues are the responsibility of the intergovernmental commission, which is co-chaired by [Deputy Prime Minister of Russia] Alexei Overchuk. I would like to take this occasion to thank our colleagues for their successful work on the commission.
We highly value our cooperation with Kazakhstan at the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which Russia is chairing this year. Next year, Kazakhstan will assume the chairmanship of the Eurasian Economic Commission Board. We will work hard to realise the fundamentals created by our presidents, and I have no doubt that Kazakhstan will continue to implement all the plans and mandates very effectively.
I would also like to thank you for taking an active part in the Eurasia Is Our Home exhibition. Today we jointly reviewed Russia’s integration projects with Kazakhstan and other countries, both CIS members and EAEU countries. They are truly impressive. There are many new ideas and undertakings. I believe we should give an impetus to them, so that we will be able to produce more innovative high-tech products in Russia and Kazakhstan, and jointly with our other partners.
I am sure that by working together we will be able to strengthen Eurasian economic integration in the development interests of our national economies and to enhance the well-being of the citizens of Russia and Kazakhstan. Mr Smailov, you have the floor.
Alikhan Smailov: Thank you. Mr Mishustin, I am delighted that we are meeting again to discuss our bilateral agenda.
First of all, I would like to extend greetings from the Government of Kazakhstan and myself on the upcoming public holiday, Russia Day. It is integrally connected to your achievements in strengthening the state, building an effective economy and modernising the social sphere. I would also like to express appreciation for the traditional high standards of the events that are taking place these days in this beautiful city, Sochi.
An active political dialogue between our leaders ensures a high pace in all spheres of Kazakhstan-Russia cooperation. An important event last year was the official visit of our head of state, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to Russia.
That meeting between our leaders gave a major additional boost to the development of our interstate ties. The main task for our governments now is to fully implement the agreements reached at the top level.
Russia is the main trade and economic partner for us. Our bilateral trade increased by 6 percent last year and by another 10 percent in the first quarter of 2023, and we hope that this positive trend will continue.
I would like to mention the high level of our investment cooperation. Russia’s accrued direct investment in Kazakhstan approached $20 billion over the past 17 years, and Kazakhstan has invested around $6 billion in Russia. This was made possible, in part, thanks to industrial cooperation. Leading Russian companies, such as EuroChem, LUKOIL, EFKO and Tatneft, are working successfully in Kazakhstan.
Furthermore, Kazakhstani and Russian companies are ready to launch new innovative industrial projects, as we can see from the joint action programme signed last year. It provides for the cooperative implementation of another 29 projects worth around $9 billion, which will create 12,500 jobs. Overall, we are working on over 100 cooperative projects aggregately worth more than $22 billion, and I am delighted to say that we launch dozens of new projects every year.
We are paying special attention to the development of interaction between our border regions. An effective platform in this sphere is the Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum, which is always attended by our heads of state. The effectiveness of this platform as a factor for developing constructive dialogue between our regions is reaffirmed every year.
As you know, the next forum is scheduled to be held in Kostanai this autumn to discuss priority areas of interregional cooperation, first of all agriculture.
Mr Mishustin, I am sure that the high pace of strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Russia will continue to increase actively in all areas.