25 January 2013, 20:42

Allied relations without scandals and sensations

Allied relations without scandals and sensations

As was confirmed by the results of the talks between Russia’s and Kazakhstan’s foreign ministers, Moscow did not present any ultimatum to Astana over the situation around the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Interaction in the field of space is strategic for Russia and Kazakhstan, the two ministers stressed. They also discussed the drafting of a new Friendship Treaty and the developments in the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union.

The issue of the possible contradictions around the Baikonur Cosmodrome was one of the main issues at the press conference on the results of the talks between Russia’s and Kazakhstan’s foreign ministers. Ahead of the visit of the Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov to Russia, mass media said that Moscow had sent a note to Astana over its decision to limit carrier rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It was also reported that this document contained a number of measures that Russia will take in response to Kazakhstan’s conduct, allegedly including the possible suspension of all space projects. During the press conference Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that journalists should not be looking for sensations and that there were no differences between Russia and Kazakhstan.

"We regularly exchange letters on a wide range of issues which emerge between Russia and Kazakhstan, taking into account a huge volume of cooperation between the two countries. This is a standard form of diplomatic communication. I don’t know who published this note. As it appears, the one who published it wanted to make mountains out of mole-hills."

Regarding the Russia-Kazakhstan cooperation on Baikonur, numerous questions emerge, Sergei Lavrov said. This is natural, especially when it concerns Baikonur, which is a large mechanism, the minister said, adding though that all problems are settled in working order.

An inter-governmental commission has already been set up to resolve the current issues. On the Russian side it is headed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. The talks within this format will be held soon, Sergei Lavrov said in conclusion. Commenting on the reports over possible differences over Baikonur, his Kazakh counterpart Erlan Idrisov was more emotional.

"There is no row between Russia and Kazakhstan over Baikonur. Of course, I’ve seen many commentaries in mass media. I want to stress that nobody will succeed in orchestrating a quarrel between Russia and Kazakhstan. The two countries are proceeding along the road into the future together, and the meeting held as part of the intergovernmental commission is not a reaction to the situation over Baikonur. It is a meeting that was planned long in advance."

Speaking about the relations between Russia and Kazakhstan, the two ministers stressed that they were strategic and allied in character. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of a relevant agreement. Later this year Russia and Kazakhstan are due to sign a new treaty on friendship and union in the 21st century. During Friday’s talks Idrisov said that he had brought a draft treaty to Moscow. It is expected to bring comprehensive cooperation between the two countries to a higher level, the Kazakh Foreign Minister added.

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