Single umbrella of security for all
b]Nuclear security is a vital aspect of global policy, since Al Qaeda terrorists could acquire a nuclear bomb or certain states could choose to settle regional conflict by threatening nuclear attack. Global leaders are keen to promote nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, with US President Barack Obama placing this issue on the international agenda. In this respect, the interests of Minsk and Washington coincide, as confirmed by the adoption of a joint Belarusian-American announcement, made at the OSCE Summit in Astana in December 2010. It forms the basis for further co-operation [/b]Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Belarus’ Foreign Minister, Sergei Martynov, have confirmed in this breakthrough document that our two states adhere to a policy of nuclear security. Belarus has decided to liquidate its stocks of highly enriched uranium by the time of the next Nuclear Energy Summit (scheduled for 2012 in South Korea), to which Belarus is invited. The United States plans to render us all necessary technical and financial assistance.
Benefits from some of this, e.g., the roadmap of trade-economic co-operation development for 2014-2016, will be assessed by our enterprises in the nearest future. Tourists and businessmen will be able to feel positive results of action of agreements, aiming to improve the procedure of staying of Belarusian and Kazakh citizens on the territories of both states.
The aircraft of the President landed at Astana International Airport around 5.00pm (local time). Almost immediately the automobile cortege drove to the Defenders of the Fatherland Monument and Mr. Lukashenko laid flowers at its base.
The bronze stela with a figure, symbolising the Motherland, is a tribute of memory to the heroic deed of the Kazakh nation in the war years. The monument which is 24m high is located in one of green zones of Astana old parts. This location hosts parades during the celebration of the Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War. Nearby, an Alley of Heads of State is situated. Young fir trees were planted by presidents of foreign states, who once visited the capital of Kazakhstan. There’s also a Schrenk’s spruce here, planted by Mr. Lukashenko in May 2005 during his official visit to Kazakhstan.
The current visit is the third since that time and convincingly proves an important role, played by Kazakhstan in Belarus’ foreign political priorities. This country is a reliable ally and a strategic partner for us, with two countries boasting almost $1bn of trade turnover and a range of joint projects. Moreover, production and sci-tech co-operation is also developing. In recent years, the Belarusian-Kazakh relations have been developing especially dynamically in trade-economic sphere and Minister of Industry Dmitry Katerinich announced the following facts.
This year, the supplies of quarry machinery to Kazakhstan have increased by 30 percent. Moreover, our partners have fancied new produce — railway carriages of the Mogilev Railway Carriage Works, and $25m of these have been already sold. Assembly productions of our tractors, harvesters and adjustable agricultural technique are also operating efficiently. Recently, an assembly production of lifts has been launched. All these result in currency earnings for the country, new jobs for our people and of course, the enhancement of our country’s image.
Undoubtedly, the current visit by the President will give a new impetus for beneficial partnership, Kazakh economy is developing dynamically, as is immediately seen judging by large-scale construction in Astana. Looking on its contemporary buildings —which are sometimes ahead of time — one can hardly believe that some twenty years ago it was an ordinary provincial town. We also have what to propose to our partners. Mr. Lukashenko had tкte-а-tкte negotiations with the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, as well as talks in an extended format.
Evidently, these tackled major areas of collaboration and a range of documents was signed. Moreover, the presidents attended the Belarusian-Kazakh Centre for Training and Retraining Engineers at the S. Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University. Meanwhile, the tight schedule of Mr. Lukashenko’s two-day visit is attentively monitored by local media, testifying to mutual interest towards each other among our peoples, especially when it’s reinforced by mutual profit.
Mr. Nazarbayev thanked Mr. Lukashenko for the visit, especially noting that, “Belarus and Kazakhstan are close partners and we’re united by close co-operation ties. I’m convinced that your visit will greatly contribute into the development of these relations.”
The two presidents primarily focused on the development of the bilateral trade-economic, political and humanitarian ties between the states.
Our countries share similar approaches towards the assessment of international agenda. From year to year, economic partnership strengthens and Kazakhstan is ranked third among the CIS states in terms of Belarusian exports. Although they have recently fallen by 10 percent because of the situation in the world economy, there’re all conditions for its new growth. New partnership opportunities are primarily connected with joint participation in integration processes within the Single Economic Space and in the Eurasian Economic Union. Mr. Lukashenko accentuated that, “We need to use to the uttermost the advantages of the Single Economic Space to strengthen the mutually beneficial relations between our countries while making them sustainable and progressive.”
Production and sci-tech co-operation is still a priority in the economic area. At present, all harvesters of the Belarusian production, two thirds of MTZ tractors, each tenth lift, delivered to our Kazakh partners, are assembled on the territory of this country. This means efficient saturation of the internal market with the domestically-manufactured goods, as well as the enhancement of competitiveness of our countries’ economies and the creation of new jobs.
Mr. Lukashenko noted during the negotiations that Belarus, in its turn, is interested in the presence of large Kazakh capital in the country. The country offers diverse areas for investments: petrochemistry and power engineering, transport and logistics, innovations and new technologies.
Transport and logistics is a promising area for co-operation and, according to Mr. Lukashenko, its potential has significantly expanded once the Single Economic Space was launched. Joint plans also include logistics centres for transportation of Belarusian and Kazakh goods to European and Asian consumers. According to Mr. Lukashenko, Belarus is ready to open logistics centres at the border with the EU to sell there grain from Kazakhstan and products of its processing.
Agriculture boasts inexhaustible potential for partnership and Belarus is keen not only to increase the supplies of agricultural processing goods to Kazakhstan. Our specialists, possessing precious experience, are ready to take part in the modernization of Kazakhstan’s agro-industrial complex. At present, Belarus manufactures over 800 varieties of agricultural machinery and separate samples of this technique have been donated to the Kazakh Agro Technical University, where the Belarusian-Kazakh Centre for Training and Retraining Engineers has opened. The conditions, created in the centre, will assist would-be agrarians to receive knowledge in theory and practice. The establishment of the centre is the best proof that bilateral contacts are dynamically developing in the educational sphere. Moreover, books were donated by Mr. Lukashenko to the centre, describing Belarus’ export potential.
In total, the potential of the partnership is high and presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan have signed a joint statement, confirming their mutual aspiration to strengthen friendship between the countries and peoples.
By Lilia Khlystun