"It is no coincidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin's first foreign visit this year was to Kazakhstan, the Year of Russia in Kazakhstan is this year and in late February or early March Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov is also going to visit the country," Mr. Rushailo said.
According to Mr. Rushailo, Mr. Nazarbayev also "attaches special importance to cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan within the CIS, the CST [the Collective Security Treaty that comprises Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan] and the EurAsEC [the Eurasian Economic Community that comprises Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, with Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine as observers]." Mr. Rushailo said the problem of "counteracting terrorism at all levels" was among the most important issues discussed at the meetings with the Kazakh leader and with the country's Security Council Secretary Bulat Utemuratov.
Russian and Kazakh leadership believe, "now terrorism poses the major threat to national securities of both states," said Mr. Rushailo. "The terrorist attack in the Moscow metro is yet another proof of this," he emphasized.
Mr. Rushailo and his Kazakh counterpart signed a plan of cooperation between the staff of the Russian and Kazakh Security Councils for 2004, as well as a joint declaration.
The parties will introduce certain adjustments to bilateral security cooperation, Mr. Rushailo pointed out.