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Eurasian AXIS?? ::: Easing tensions with a muslim country:::Russia, Kazakhstan agree on gas supplies, military cooperation
[link to en.rian.ru]
18:41 | 20/ 05/ 2006
SOCHI, Southern Russia, May 20 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that Russia and Kazakhstan had reached agreement on supplies of gas from the Central Asian country and on possible Kazakh purchases of Russian military hardware.
Speaking after talks in the southern Russian resort of Sochi with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Putin said: "During today's meeting we made significant progress in deciding on interaction in the energy sphere. Our specialists have agreed on joint steps for extracting, processing, cleaning and supplying Kazakh gas."
Putin also said he and Nazarbayev had agreed on steps to build up the armed forces of Russia and Kazakhstan, and on possible further purchases by Kazakhstan of Russian military hardware.
"We agreed on the next steps to do with building up the armed forces, both in Russia and Kazakhstan," he said. "We agreed on cooperation in military-technical interaction, with an eye to possibly extending purchases of Russian military equipment by our Kazakh partners.
Nazarbayev said he hoped to see trade turnover between the two countries double to $20 billion a year.
"I think that in the very near future we can double [trade turnover], because we will soon start work on a new joint deposit in the North Caspian Sea," Nazarbayev said.
Putin also said progress had been made in implementing agreements on customs tariffs.
"This is very important for our Kazakh partners and to increase the volume of cargo on Russian railways," Putin said. "I am confident that the steps the two sides have taken to meet each other will facilitate the development of economic ties between the two countries in the most effective way."
Earlier, Putin said the two countries had made progress in energy and security cooperation since the leaders' last meeting April in Moscow, when Nazarbayev made a two-day official visit, focusing on economic ties, scientific research including space, and bilateral cultural links.
Nazarbayev said a strong Russia was important for its partners and allies. He praised Putin's recent state of the nation address to parliament.
"You managed to touch upon very pressing issues to do with the country's security, demography and social situation," he said.
Putin also said Uzbek President Islam Karimov had proposed a meeting in a wider format involving four of five regional leaders in Central Asia.
Nazarbayev said the Commonwealth of Independent States had played a major role in preventing bloodshed between former Soviet Union republics.
"The CIS played the greatest role during the collapse of the U.S.S.R., and all honest people should be thankful [to the CIS] that we went through all this process... of gaining independence without major bloodsheds between the republics," he said.
[link to www.atimes.com]
Emerging triangles: Russia-Kazakhstan-China
By Robert M Cutler
The significance of the agreements on energy cooperation achieved during Russian President Vladimir Putin's recently completed visit to Kazakhstan is only an indicator of the consolidation of deeper tectonic shifts in Eurasian security and economic affairs. A new triangle is emerging in East Central Eurasian geo-economics among Russia, Kazakhstan and China. (It is being complemented by the emergence of another such triangle in West Central Eurasia among Russia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.) Energy cooperation is a linchpin of each of the the emerging triangular ententes, but the ententes themselves go far beyond energy.
My 2¢: This is a step at securing alliance and cooperation to Russia's problematic southern border - and will go a long way towards easing tensions by affording a bit of economic substance.
As well as a eurasian axis!!!!!!!
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