Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Kazakhstan’s first president Nursultan Nazarbayev have confirmed the friendly nature of Belarus-Kazakhstan relations as they met in Nur-Sultan on 28 May.
“Thank you so much for this tremendous respect for the Belarusian people. This is not only due to me, but also due to your love and good attitude to my people. I know your attitude to Belarusians. Over 20 years I have heard this from you. I am very glad that you like Belarus. We are at your service, you can come anytime. You are always welcome,” the Belarusian head of state said.
“No matter what happens, no matter what positions we hold, we have strong bonds of friendship. You have put it right: no matter how hard we argued and no matter how much was at stake, we were always on the same side of the fence. You always defended our interests. Kazakhstan and Belarus have never had conflicting points of view. Therefore, our friendship will go on,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He noted that Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is a very decent person.
“Your decision was wise. Not all took it right at first but later they came to appreciate it. Calmly, quietly, as it should be. We do not need storms. They will orchestrate them from abroad, if they need to,” the head of state underlined.
The President noted that every nation, including Kazakhstan, now understands, unlike in the 1990s, who is a friend and who is an enemy and which way we need to go. “Kazakhstan values stability and order like other nations do. Peace comes first. All the rest will come from work. If you work, you get results,” the Belarusian leader said.
During the meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev awarded Aleksandr Lukashenko the order “The First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev”. This state award was instituted in May 2001. The order was presented to Aleksandr Lukashenko on the occasion of the 25thanniversary of the Eurasian integration idea and the 5th anniversary of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty, as well as for his special contribution to the promotion of cooperation with Kazakhstan. Aleksandr Lukashenko became the first head of state to be honored with this award.
Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that without the support of the Belarusian President no union would have happened. He also noted that it is the first time that he meets with Aleksandr Lukashenko in the capacity of the first president of Kazakhstan, leader of the nation vested with other powers, not in the capacity of the incumbent president. “All these years we have spearheaded all integration processes. We have always fought for them together. There have been all kinds of situations. But I will remember our relationship all my life. Now that I have more free time, I would like to tell you: I am your best friend here. You are always welcome here. I am always ready to help, to support in any area,” the Kazakh leader said.
Speaking of the Eurasian Economic Union, he noted that in recent years it has seen great advances in mutual trade, cooperation, joint ventures. “We must go on. There are challenges, but it will be difficult without the union,” Nursultan Nazarbayev said. The first president of Kazakhstan noted that he received an offer to become Honorary President of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and asked the opinion of the Belarusian head of state on this matter.
“I have already voiced my opinion, both today and earlier. We have discussed it with Vladimir Putin. I have told you once that now that you have more free time you should be more demanding when it comes to us. You have promised to do this,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The two leaders held a very warm and friendly conversation. Nursultan Nazarbayev told the Belarusian leader about Kazakhstan’s latest political transformations and his new government activity. He also emphasized the Belarusian President’s big contribution to the development of his country: “You manage to keep Belarus at such a high level in a very complex environment. Both the structure of the economy and the relations with the neighbors are complex today. You are a true fighter and a great example to follow.”
The first president of Kazakhstan invited Aleksandr Lukashenko to come to Kazakhstan on an individual trip. “We have a lot to show you. You will be happy to stay here in winter and there is also a lot to see in summer. I am very happy to welcome you here today,” he said.
The Belarusian head of state promised to visit Kazakhstan this year.
“As for the bilateral relations, you have already talked to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. He is an associate of mine. I met him first at the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Beijing when he was a young man. We needed diplomats when Kazakhstan declared independence. He has worked with me for 30 years. He will continue the course we have set out,” Nursultan Nazarbayev said.