17 Jun 2019 17:43

Tokayev: Russia absolutely necessary for Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN. June 17 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has not asked for any guarantees or commitments from Kazakhstan, yet there is a common understanding that there is the need to increase cooperation, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.

"It's entirely logical that I've made my first visit to Russia at the invitation of Russian President, since we're not divided but united by the longest border in the world. My approach is that Russia is absolutely necessary for Kazakhstan as a big state close to us; a state that is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. But without Kazakhstan, Russia wouldn't be the same either," Tokayev said in an interview with TV channel Euronews.

"We had very productive negotiations in Moscow and signed joint statements. As for the guarantees, as you [the Euronews journalist] put it, the president of the Russian Federation, didn't ask for anything, as there is a common understanding that there is the need to increase cooperation," he said.

Tokayev additionally commented on the prospects for cooperation with the European Union.

"The European Union is Kazakhstan's biggest trading partner of. Trade with the EU exceeds $37 billion, which is more than half of Kazakhstan's total trade turnover. In other words, prioritizing the cooperation with the EU is absolutely obvious," Tokayev said.

"I'm very optimistic about cooperation with the EU, primarily in trade, economic cooperation, investment, a dialogue on strategic partnership in the international arena, and, of course, drawing on the experience of the developed European countries in terms of political transformation of society," he said.