Russian FM Visits Kazakhstan, Attends MGIMO Alumni Forum

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov exchanged views on preparations for the Nov. 9 14th Interregional Cooperation Forum in Chelyabinsk and attended the 4th International Forum of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) alumni during an official visit by Lavrov on Oct. 6 visit to Kazakhstan.

Abdrakhmanov noted that the interregional forum and the cross-border cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan offer an excellent opportunity to test the Eurasian Economic Union’s economic freedoms related to the movement of goods, services, capital and labour. He also stressed that Lavrov’s visit will allow Russia to learn more about Kazakhstan’s large-scale modernisation process.

The Kazakh foreign minister also praised the Kazakh – Russian bilateral cooperation within international organisations, such as the United Nations Security Council, the General Assembly, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), among others.

“We have similar positions on the most pressing issues, including countering terrorism, strengthening the non-proliferation regime, achieving sustainable development goals and many other issues,” Abdrakhmanov stressed.

The ministers also discussed Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s 2015 proposal to optimise non-core functions of the Commonwealth of Independent States in order to make that organisation more efficient. They also noted the successes of the recent Astana Process peace talks on Syria, which were held in the Kazakh capital, and the situation on the Korean peninsula.

Lavrov also noted that bilateral trade from January to July increased 40 percent and attributed the increase to Eurasian Economic Union integration efforts. He credited Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev with the idea of creating the Union and praised both presidents for maintaining close bilateral relations, which began 25 years ago.

“We can see the traditionally intensive development of our interaction, strategic partnership and alliance. First of all, this is due to the good personal relations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev,” Lavrov noted at the end of the meeting.

Earlier on the same day, the two foreign ministers gave remarks during the opening ceremony of the MGIMO Alumni Forum. Lavrov is an alumnus of the class of 1972.

Speaker of the Senate (upper chamber) of the Kazakh Parliament Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, himself an alumnus, read a statement from President Nazarbayev in which the Kazakh leader stressed the importance of such gatherings.

Lavrov also delivered a welcoming speech and read out President Putin’s address, which noted that Astana is considered a centre of multilateral diplomacy, international economic cooperation and Eurasian integration processes.

Abdrakhmanov also said he hopes MGIMO alumni would make an intellectual contribution to the global dialogue.

The forum included discussions on world trade, EXPO 2017 lessons, Eurasian integration processes and cooperation in the field of education and culture.