At the beginning of April, Kazakhstan’s interim president made his first foreign visit as the head of the state, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The capital of Russia is the city where Kassym-Jomart Tokayev got his higher education. He is a graduate of Moscow State Institute (University) of International Relations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin received Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 3. After having exchanged greetings, the two leaders started their first bilateral meeting.
«You are well aware of the level of our relations, you yourself have done a lot to make sure, that contacts between Russia and Kazakhstan reach such a level», Putin said opening face-to-face talks with his Kazakh counterpart. «Of course, Kazakhstan’s first president deserves credit for that, but the entire team worked to accomplish that goal, and we have achieved a great deal».
Russian President pointed to the alliance spirit of relations, both in terms of international cooperation and bilateral ties. «I am confident that your current visit along with a team that came with you will contribute to enhancing our multifaceted, multilateral allied relations», he noted.
Vladimir Putin also said that he had known Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for a long time, adding that he was glad to welcome him to the Kremlin as the head of state. Russian President congratulated his Kazakh counterpart on the assumption of his duties.
For his part, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, addressing the Russian President, said: «I intend to ensure the continuity of the policy of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev and also to continue the work on the comprehensive and active development of Kazakh-Russian cooperation».
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is likely to continue Nursultan Nazarbayev’s strategy of maintaining close relations with Russia while still preserving good connections with Western countries. Kazakhstan’s president called his nation’s ties with Russia «a model relationship» at the meeting and said «my task is to make sure this strategy remains in place». Kassym-Jomart Tokayev defined the trip to Moscow as a sign of «continuity» in the two countries’ close cooperation and cordial ties.
«I am going to continue the strategic course to enhance comprehensive dialogue between our two nations», he told Putin.
The meeting of the two leaders concluded with the adoption of a joint statement. It said that during the Russian-Kazakh summit talks in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke in favor of expanding multidimensional economic and humanitarian relations and strengthening interaction between business communities, educational and scientific circles as well as legislative and executive authorities. They also stressed the importance of implementing the key provisions and principles of the treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
Following the talks between the two countries’ presidents, a number of bilateral documents were signed in the fields of gas supply as well as industrial, scientific and technical cooperation.
«The heads of state stressed that the fruitful negotiations and bilateral documents signed during the visit will contribute to the ongoing development of the traditionally friendly, equal relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan», the joint statement said.
«We propose moving to new forms of interaction. I mean first and foremost building a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan using Russian technologies», Putin said at a press conference following the talks.
According to him, the two presidents paid much attention to trade and investment relations during the meeting.
«Russia and Kazakhstan are key economic partners for each other, their bilateral trade is growing at a steady pace, last year it increased by 4.5%, exceeding $18 billion. Accumulated Russian investments in Kazakhstan amount to almost $13 billion. And Kazakhstani investments in Russia are close to $4 billion. Russian business is represented in all sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy», the Russian leader emphasized.
He said the two countries’ military cooperation was continuously expanding, adding that Russia trained Kazakh military experts.
In that respect, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the two leaders discussed assembling civil helicopters and establishing maintenance centers to repair military equipment.