Russia and Kazakhstan discuss bilateral relations
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed economic ties with his Kazakh counterpart in Moscow Saturday, November 18, as well as the development of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Interfax reported.
Moscow and Almaty "have reached a new stage in their economic integration" and will now examine "practical issues over implementing the accords," said Putin after holding talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Russia signed an accord last month with the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan seeking to create a Eurasian economic community.
The development of the CIS — which groups together all ex-Soviet Republics except for the Baltic states — was also raised during the meeting, added Nazarbayev.
Putin paid an official visit last month to Kazakhstan, where 30 percent of the 15 million residents are ethnic Russian.
Moscow is seeking to expand its influence in Central Asia, a region rich in natural resources, having lost ground to the United States and Iran since the collapse of the Soviet Union.— (AFP)
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