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MOSCOW, November 21 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Kazakh counterpart Yerzhan Kazykhanov are expected to discuss on Monday the formation of Common Economic Space as well as trade and economic relations.
The Kazakh foreign minister arrived in Russia for the first official visit after being appointed to the post, although the two foreign ministers have already met several times.
Moscow considers the pace of a political dialogue with Astana “as the best proof of progressive advance of bilateral cooperation with an aim of further integration and comprehensive development of strategic partnership,” Russian Foreign Ministry sources stressed.
“Trade-economic cooperating develops successfully,” they added. “Last year the figures of mutual trade improved sizably – by almost 20 percent. This year, the growth of trade is over 30 percent,” the sources stressed.
Talks will focus on issues concerning celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance (signed on October 22, 1992), and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations (October 22, 1992), as well as on trade and economic cooperation.
The ministers will also consider the implementation of the plan of joint action for 2011-2012, as well as instructions of the two countries’ presidents on the results of the forum of inter-regional and border cooperation, held in Astrakhan on September 15, 2011.
On November 18, the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan - Dmitry Medvedev, Alexander Lukashenko and Nursultan Nazarbayev, signed at a meeting in the Kremlin the Declaration of Eurasian Economic Integration and the Treaty of the Eurasian Economic Committee, which will begin working starting from January 1, 2012.
According to experts, Kazakhstan has the best chances of the Customs Union’s trio to become WTO member after Russia’s accession. This issue is also expected to be discussed on Monday.
Russia and Kazakhstan actively cooperate within the framework of EurAsEC, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the United Nations.
After the meeting Lavrov and Kazykhanov will sign a plan of action between the two foreign ministries. Earlier, Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Altai Abibulayev said “The talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will focus on the current state of and prospects for political, trade, economic, cultural, humanitarian cooperation. The ministers will exchange views on a wide range of global issues”.
Special attention will be paid to “practical steps towards strengthening interaction between Kazakhstan and Russia within inter-regional and border cooperation, in the fuel and energy sector, and space in compliance with the plan of action for 2011-2013 and the joint statement by the heads of state of December 2010”, the spokesman said. In addition, “the foreign ministers of the two countries will discuss cooperation within the CIS, the EurAsEC, the CSTO, the SCO and the U.N. to ensure security and stability in Central Asia and exchange views on Caspian issues”, the Kazakh diplomat said.