Working visit to Kazakhstan

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko is paying a working visit to Kazakhstan on 30-31 May.

During his working visit Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The parties discussed current matters of bilateral relations and cooperation in integration organizations.

Belarus and Kazakhstan will soon put together a program to guide the bilateral trade and economic cooperation for a decade. The issue was on the agenda of the meeting of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana on 30 May.

“Our meeting is very important. Due to the situation on international markets, in neighboring Russia and Ukraine — our main partners — the situation is not so simple in Belarus and Kazakhstan. Our trustful and friendly discussions have always been beneficial. I think we will agree today how we are going to recover from this situation.”

In his words, the sides have not been able to reverse the falling mutual trade trend yet. “For now we’ve been unable to reverse the process but we should do it. We are close and friendly countries in the same economic union. We definitely should tighten up the foundation of our relations — trade and economy. Moreover, in the past you and I determined the avenues we should move along and we’ve done a lot in this regard,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko. “But we need some new breath of air. Today no matter how difficult it can be, we should give the relevant instructions to the governments and give a nudge to our relations in order to get out of this situation faster.”

Speaking about international agenda, the Belarus President stated that the two countries had totally concurrent views. “We support you in the UN on the global document — the manifest you have put forward. There are absolutely no questions about that,” said Andrei Kobyakov.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that negotiations on advancing R&D cooperation between Belarus and Kazakhstan were underway. “I think we will come to terms on the timing of your visit [to Belarus],” added the Belarusian leader. “There is a great deal of avenues to explore and we are ready to work with the Kazakh side.”

In turn, Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that close allied relations have evolved between Belarus and Kazakhstan. A lot of joint ventures have been established in the last few years thanks to joint efforts.

The Kazakhstan President noted that while the mutual trade is falling in financial terms, the volume in natural terms is still strong. “A crisis cannot last forever,” said Nursultan Nazarbayev. “We are now working on further strategic cooperation.”

At the meeting the sides agreed to work out and pass a program document of bilateral trade and economic cooperation for a decade in the near future. This document will outline new large-scale projects of Belarus and Kazakhstan. Plans have been made to consider a corresponding draft program at the session of the intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation in Gomel.

Belarus and Kazakhstan have also worked out draft interstate agreements on the peaceful use of outer space, development of the communications infrastructure. It will help create new serious platforms for the enhancement of economic relations between Belarus and Kazakhstan.

During the meeting in Astana the heads of state discussed not only new projects but also the projects that have traditionally shaped the bilateral economic relations. Those are primarily mechanical engineering projects and projects relating to joint ventures. They operate well but need new parameters in order to be competitive. The participants of the meeting stressed that it is needed not only to establish joint ventures and promote products on the markets of third countries.

Besides, the head of state will attend a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. Its participants will hold narrow-format and extended meetings.

The meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will discuss ways to strengthen the economic ties of the EEU with third countries and key integration organizations.

Belarus will be particularly interested to discuss the concept of the development of the common markets of gas, oil, and oil products in the EEU.

The participants will also talk over major guidelines for the macroeconomic policy of the EEU member states for 2016-2017 and the progress on the union’s foreign policy objectives.