Medvedev, Nazarbayev co-chair regional cooperation forum

September 7. Itar-Tass. UST-KAMENOGORSK

Medvedev, Nazarbayev co-chair regional cooperation forumThe Presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan, Dmitry Medvedev and Nursultan Nazarbayev, are attending a session of the 7th regional cooperation forum of the two states. The meeting is taking place on the premises of the Altai technology park, in the building of the D.Serikbayev East Kazakhstan State Technical University.

The parties are expected to sign a number of documents, including an inter-government agreement on the joint use and protection of cross-border water bodies. The document envisions the establishment of an international fund of the river Ural.

An official at the Kazakh Ministry of Economic Development and Trade said that the trend towards a decrease in this river’s flow is becoming more pronounced, which might entail negative consequences for the economy of the western region of Kazakhstan and the ecology in the lower reaches of the river and the northern part of the Caspian Sea.”

Russia and Kazakhstan are also preparing to sign an agreement on joint geological surveys of the Imashevskoye cross-border gas condensate deposit, the first gas field on the territory of the two states they plan to develop together.

The field is located at the junction of Russia’s Astrakhan and Kazakhstan’s Atyrau regions. Its reserves are estimated at 128.7 billion cubic meters of gas and 20.7 million tons of gas condensate.

Sergei Prikhodko, an aide to the Russian president, said “the participants in the 7th Forum of Inter-Regional Cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan will traditionally discuss regional trade, cooperation in the fuel and energy sector, transport, agriculture, education, cultural and humanitarian ties.

He noted that the question of agriculture and grain supplies would not be raised.

This year’s forum, titled Cooperation in the Area of Sustainable Development and High Technologies, will include an international exhibition of innovation technologies in the housing and public utilities sector, an investment business forum, and a number of sectoral workshops.

“From the very beginning, the forum was conceived as a cross-border function, but many Russian regions – that actively cooperate with Kazakhstan in trade, economy and culture – joined it later, thus making it a regional forum,” Prikhodko said.

“This forum is one of the most effective ones in terms of resolving practical issues, customs and border regulations, assistance in the implementation of transport projects and direct supplies between regions, and students’ exchange programs.

“Each forum yields good results.

“We have not set any specific tasks for the forum, as it is a functioning working mechanism,” Prikhodko said. “As a rule, the forum brings forward recommendations to the government, executive bodies, ministries and departments.

“The participants will have to discuss many topics, including cross-border cooperation between the Emergency Situations Ministries, which is particularly significant in the light of the recent events.

“Other items on the agenda include cooperation in nature’s protection and renovation of roads and railroads,” Prikhodko said.

Taking part in the forum for Russia are Minister of Regional Development Viktor Basargin, Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev, head of the federal border authority Dmitry Bezdelov, officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, of Transport, of Industry and Trade, Federal Customs Service, and Federal Migration Service.

The Russian delegation will include governors of 15 Russian regions, 12 of which are bordering on Kazakhstan’s seven provinces. These regions have signed more than 250 cooperation agreements, memorandums and protocols.

“Recently, regional chambers of commerce in the borderline provinces of Russia and Kazakhstan have begun to conclude cooperation agreements between themselves,” the presidential aide said, “cross-border cooperation is regulated by the program of regional cooperation between the two states in 2008-2011, and a number of intergovernmental agreements.”

Seventy-six Russian regions have trade and economic ties with Kazakh partners. Cross-border trade accounts for 40 percent of bilateral trade turnover, while regional trade accounts for 70 percent, Prikhodko said.

The sub-commission for regional cooperation under the intergovernmental economic cooperation commission is responsible for coordinating work in this field. The sub-commission last met in Gorno-Altaisk in August 2010.

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Russia, Kazakhstan sign cooperation deals

September 7. RIA Novosti. UST-KAMENOGORSK

Russia and Kazakhstan  signed a series of agreements on Tuesday, including trans-border water area protection and cross-border cooperation.

The Russian regional development minister and the Kazakh economic development and trade minister signed an agreement on interregional and cross-border cooperation.

The heads of some Russian regions, including Altai Territory and Novosibirsk Region, signed agreements with Kazakh regions on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the national railway operators.