Kazakh leader urges Putin to boost cooperation in energy sector

Jan 12, 2005 01:00 AM

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Almaty on 12 January proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that they discuss cooperation in trade and the energy sector.
Nazarbayev said economic relations between the two countries were successfully developing. Trade increased by 47 % and amounted to $ 7 bn in 2004. This accounts for almost one fourth of Kazakhstan's trade.

Speaking about cooperation in the energy sector, Nazarbayev said the Russian LUKoil company had invested almost $ 2 bn in Kazakhstan, and positively assessed the company's contribution to Kazakhstan's economy.
Nazarbayev said that three major projects relating to the Kurmangazy, Tsentralnoye and Khvalynskoye [located along the median line agreed by Kazakhstan and Russia in the northern part of the Caspian Sea] deposits were under consideration and corresponding agreements were being prepared. The Kazakh president positively assessed the delivery of Kazakh gas to the [Russia's] Orenburg plant for processing.

Nazarbayev also suggested that the capacity of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium be increased.
"This work has slowed down lately, it should be developed. It is possible to increase the pipeline's annual capacity from 20 mm tons to 67 mm tons and to extend the pipeline to Novosibirsk. This will be a mutually beneficial step," he said.

The Kazakh president also suggested discussing the integration process within the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Community, and the development of cooperation within the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization; members are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia].
He said that the next summit of the presidents of the SCO member countries will be held in Astana.

Source: BBC Monitoring Newsfile
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