Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with Latvian President Andris Berzins, Tengrinews.kz reports.
Kazakhstan President confirmed readiness to increase trade turnover between the countries. “The current commodities turnover is #350 million and we are planning to take it to $500 million in the nearest time,” he said at the briefing after the talks.
Speaking of cooperation, he, first of all, mentioned logistics. “We are currently trying to transport containers to the Baltics from China via Kazakhstan. This could be a very perspective joint venture. As you know, it takes the cargoes 45 days to reach Europe from the Pacific coast by sea, while transporting via Kazakhstan by railroad to Europe takes 2 weeks. We have already sent several containers along this route, namely via Latvia,” Nazarbayev said.
During the talks the speakers also discussed participation of Latvian companies in Kazakhstan’s industrial development program. Kazakhstan is interested in Latvian experience of processing agricultural goods, Nazarbayev said.
Besides, the Presidents discussed social and cultural relations. “I passed documents on 268 cases of Latvians repressed (during the Stalinist era) during my visit to Latvia. This is a sign of respect to the memory of the compatriots who ended up in Kazakhstan by a twist of fate. Around 17 thousand Latvians were forcedly relocated to Kazakhstan in 1938-1941. During my visit to Riga in 2006 we met with the President and discussed this issue. This is the event being a bright example of our friendly relations,” he said.
Latvian President thanked Nazarbayev for support in opening the memorial to political repressions victims in Karaganda. “It is very important for us and very significant for further enhancement of our relations. This place is extremely important for Latvia and Latvians. During our visit (to Karaganda) we had a bus full of repressed persons and their family members who came from Latvia to personally take part in this event,” he said.
Berzins noted a high potential of cooperation between the countries in culture and especially in opera.
“I had a chance to visit your opera theater the one that is still under construction. An exchange between our operas and our music schools could be developed. I am confident that you will be able to see our opera singers and band directors at the stage of your theater. They are live in many countries around the world. So why not bring them here and create more opportunities,” he said.
By Renat Tashkinbayev