Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Kazakhstan on Sunday to discuss Russian-Kazakh bilateral ties and cooperation in the international area with former Soviet state's top officials.
During his two-day stay in the Kazakh capital, Astana, Lavrov will meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.
"Relevant issues of bilateral cooperation" will be discussed during the talks, he said. The sides are expected to focus on the cooperation in the international sphere, including in the "integrated unions in the CIS area."
Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus signed in late November 2009 an agreement to create a customs union, paving the way for a single economic space. The agreement came into force on January 1, when the three countries started using common foreign trade tariffs.
The Russian and Kazakh top officials are also expected to "discuss in details Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the OSCE and Russia's in the CIS in the current year" and to "outline joint plans for the long term", the spokesman said.
Security issues, including the impact of the situation in Afghanistan on the Central Asian region, are also included in the agenda of the talks.
The spokesman said "Russian-Kazakh relations are developing dynamically in all directions."
Kazakhstan is Russia's third main trade partner after Ukraine and Belarus, with the trade turnover between the two states estimated at $13 bln in 2009.
In June 2009, the heads of governments of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus notified the WTO of their intention to join the world trade club as a customs union. In October 2009, the three ex-Soviet republics announced they would hold talks on WTO accession separately, but on synchronized positions.
Russia and Kazakhstan actively cooperate in the space, nuclear, transport, innovation, energy and military spheres.
MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti)