ASTANA – President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Sochi, Russia, on Sept. 15–16 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and attend the 12th Forum of Interregional Cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan on cooperation in the field of agriculture and food security, the press service of the Akorda reported.
During the talks with Putin, Nazarbayev stressed that the forum plays a significant role for the two countries, especially in the context of current turbulence in the global economy.
“There is a decline in mutual trade caused by decreasing export prices and the volatility of currency markets. In my opinion, our governments rapidly respond to current issues. Today’s forum is giving us an opportunity to discuss the most important of these issues,” Nazarbayev said.
In turn, Putin stressed the importance of meetings involving regional leaders in Kazakhstan and Russia.
The leaders and members of regional governments in Kazakhstan and Russia attended the forum.
Nazarbayev stressed the importance of the forum’s theme, noting that food is the most stable currency in the world today.
“Both of our countries are agricultural and industrial. We have great potential in this area. According to the United Nations, by 2050 the world population will reach 9 billion people. Therefore, food security will become an acute issue in further global development. Kazakhstan and Russia have a priceless treasure, which is their huge agricultural land area totalling 435 million hectares, as well as great experience in agricultural science. A variety of climatic zones and fertile soils allow us to be competitive in many agricultural sectors,” he said.
Nazarbayev noted that the agricultural and industrial complex of Kazakhstan and Russia has a unique export potential. In his words, total imports from China, India, the Caspian states and Central Asian countries exceed $170 billion annually. The two countries have the potential to become leading players in the global food market. Russia ranked third among the world’s largest exporters of grain. Today, our country is also part of this market, he added.
Nazarbayev also stressed the importance of cooperating in mutual investments, establishing cross-border joint ventures, building production chains and providing quality transport and logistics infrastructure.
“Kazakhstan is completing the construction of the Western Europe–Western China highway, which crosses the territory of Russia. With its help, we can create centres of food supply expansion. For this, the resources of the Eurasian Development Bank can be used. Out of 12 bank projects funded this year, 10 were agricultural,” Nazarbayev informed.
Nazarbayev noted that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is going through difficult times and trade turnover has decreased by 20–25 percent because of instability in global markets.
“At the moment, some say that the EAEU has stalled. It has stalled not because it is bad, but because the situation is difficult. Economies rise and fall; we are experiencing crises not for the first time. We should stay calm and find new ways to increase trade turnover,” the President said, as reported by Tengrinews.
In addition, Nazarbayev met with the leadership of Russia’s Sverdlovsk region and Ural Federal University.
Governor of Sverdlovsk Region Evgeniy Kuyvashev thanked the Kazakh President for his great contribution to the development of neighbourly relations between Russia and Kazakhstan and strengthening relations between the border regions.
Chairman of Ural Federal University Victor Koksharov awarded Nazarbayev an Honorary Doctoral Degree in recognition of his achievements in state activity.