Moscow, Aug 19 (EFE).- The presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, met Friday in the resort of Sochi, on the shores of the Black Sea, to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
“I am very pleased that our meeting will give an additional boost to the development of the strategic partnership of trust,” Putin said when receiving the Kazakh leader, according to a statement from the Kremlin.
He stressed that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Russian-Kazakh diplomatic relations and particularly emphasized the growing bilateral economic ties.
“Trade is increasing: last year it grew by 34.4, and this year, in the first five months almost 9, 8.8 (%),” Putin said.
He added that mutual investments are also increasing, noting that Russian investments in Kazakhstan have reached $17 billion, and Kazakh investments in Russia have reached more than $4.5 billion.
Tokayev agreed with his host on the good progress of Russian-Kazakh relations.
“In general, there are all grounds to be satisfied with how our cooperation is developing, in this I agree with you,” he told Putin.
He said that Russia and Kazakhstan are united by the longest continuous land border in the world, and that it is completely delimited.
“That is why there is certainly no basis for pessimistic forecasts regarding our future cooperation,” said Tokayev, who assured that he personally intends to give “additional dynamism” to bilateral cooperation.
Last June, during the plenary session of the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Tokayev, in Putin’s presence, stated that Kazakhstan will not recognize the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics in eastern Ukraine, recognized by Russia as independent states.
“We recognize neither Taiwan, nor Kosovo, nor South Ossetia, nor Abkhazia, and evidently the same principle will apply to the quasi-state territories of Donetsk and Lugansk,” the Kazakh leader said on the occasion.
The defense of these two self-proclaimed republics is one of the arguments used by Russia to justify the beginning of its military intervention in Ukraine, which in almost six months has left tens of thousands of people dead and millions displaced. EFE