President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Kazakhstan and its future30 august 2014, 02:51
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, when speaking at the 10th Seliger-2014 Youth Forum of Russia, commented on the future of Kazakhstan, Russia Today reports.
Anna Sazonova, a student of the People's Friendship University of Russia expressed concern over escalating nationalism in Ukraine and asked whether a similar scenario could unfold in Kazakhstan if Mr. Nazarbayev left his presidential post. "There are concerns over growing nationalist sentiments in Kazakhstan's south. And the incumbent president Nursultan Nazarbayev seem to be the only deferring factor. Should we expect a Ukraine-like scenario if the President steps down? Has Russia got a strategy to deal with this possible scenario? And what are the prospects of Eurasian integration (and joining of the two countries together)?” she asked President Putin at the forum.
“Kazakhstan is Russia’s closest strategic ally and partner. First of all, President Nazarbayev is blessed with strong health and has no plans of stepping down. Being a wise leader, he has always been thinking about his country’s future. (...) But when it comes to individual statements made on the Internet, it’s quite natural that the worldwide web harbors various viewpoints (…)
"Kazakhstan is ten-fold smaller than Russia in terms of population, but it is still a big country. And I am confident that a majority of its population supports development of close ties with Russia.
"Nazarbayev is a prudent leader, even the most prudent in the post-soviet space. He would never act against the will of his country’s people. He is very sensitive to the people’s anticipations. And everything that has been done owing to his managerial capabilities and political experience has served Kazakhstan’s interests.
“He has done a unique thing. He created a state in a territory that had never had a state before. The Kazakhs had no statehood. From this perspective, he is a unique figure both in the post-Soviet space and in Kazakhstan.
"And I would like to emphasise it once again, this (friendship with Russia) is not only about him, this is about the sentiment of a majority of the population.
"Efforts we have been taking to launch the Customs Union, the Single Economic Space and the Eurasian Union, with the latter being his idea, by the way. It was he, not me, who came up with the idea of the Eurasian Union. He did. We all joined in and have been following it through.
"Philosophers (historically) track the development of the Eurasianism idea in Russia. The Kazakhs have picked it up. It is good for development of their economy and for staying part of the large Russian world that is part of the global civilization in terms of industry and advanced technologies. I am confident that that's the way things are going to be in the mid and long run”, Vladimir Putin said.