‘Russia is oriented toward raising interregional cooperation with Kyrgyz Republic’

Last Updated on July 11, 2024 4:57 pm

Krasnoyarsk is hosting the 11th Russian-Kyrgyz Interregional Conference. More than 700 representatives of business, public organisations and authorities of the two countries are taking part in its business programme.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov addressed the conference with welcoming words.

Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Alexei Overchuk and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Head of the Presidential Administration Akylbek Zhaparov took part in the plenary session.

Excerpts from the transcript:

Today, we changed the traditional format for holding a meeting of the Intergovernmental Russian-Kyrgyz Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical, and Humanitarian Cooperation. We have combined the meeting with the 11th Russian-Kyrgyz Interregional Conference, which is being held in Krasnoyarsk, the economic, educational and cultural centre of Eastern Siberia. I would like to thank the Krasnoyarsk Territory for the warm welcome and excellent organisation of this event.

The Kyrgyz Republic is a strategic partner and ally of Russia. Our relations are based on our common history, mutual respect and trust. Modern cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan is a partnership with more than 30 years of creative experience. Over these years, our countries have learnt to see challenges as opportunities and use them to develop our economies. We have learned to set the right priorities, focusing on the tasks set by the presidents of Russia and Kyrgyzstan to increase investment, trade, introduction of technologies, development of small and medium-sized businesses, and strengthening of the labour market.

We are conducting a meaningful dialogue and enhancing cooperation within multilateral formats, including the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

We are developing special relations in the format of the Eurasian Economic Union. Deepening of integration within our union promotes our national economies, direct investments and, eventually, the wellbeing of our people.

The EAEU accounts for 27.8 percent, or almost a third, of Kyrgyzstan’s trade. The Union is the main market for food products and goods produced by the Kyrgyz light and chemical industries. For example, 84 percent of Kyrgyz textiles and ready-to-wear clothing, and more than 56 percent of food products are exported to the EAEU markets.

It is important that consumers in the EAEU member states know and appreciate Kyrgyz products, and their movement between countries is carried out as part of the execution of the four freedoms proclaimed by our Eurasian Economic Union: freedoms of movement of goods, services, capital, and labour.

The EAEU serves as the main supplier of energy resources and raw materials to Kyrgyzstan. Membership in the union makes it possible to obtain these goods at a much cheaper price than they are supplied to third countries, which helps Kyrgyz enterprises reduce costs thus making them more competitive, including in the global markets.

Russia is a leading partner of Kyrgyzstan in this format, with 18.7 percent of the republic’s foreign trade in 2023. We can also see a growth rate in mutual trade this year: it grew by 5.8 percent in January through April 2024.

Investment cooperation is also developing actively. We are discussing several large joint industrial, transport, and energy projects. We have devoted considerable time to these issues at the meeting of the intergovernmental commission today. We can see a large potential for enhancing cooperation.

I have listed traditional areas of cooperation, but we also have the digital economy and logistics to work with, and pay a great deal of attention to the development of transport corridors. Industrial cooperation is also important: we have launched a mechanism to support industrial cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union, which can be used to subsidise the interest rate on loans that will be issued for industrial cooperation projects where three or more EAEU countries are involved. We have developed this special formula – three or more EAEU countries – so that small economies that are members of the union could have an opportunity to take part in these projects and develop.

We cannot forget the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund, which is a successful example of our cooperation. As of 1 March 2024, the total amount of funding provided – as you know, projects are being implemented in Kyrgyzstan – amounted to $668.3 million, with a total of 3,411 projects.

The work between the two countries’ business circles is carried out within unions of industrialists and entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce and industry, and business councils. These contacts are also very intense.

In today’s conditions, protecting the national sovereignty is also of great importance. This means it is necessary to develop information technologies and protect cyberspace. We are also ready to cooperate with our Kyrgyz friends and brothers in this sphere.

We consider more active cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan in the media sector especially important, including the proposal to increase the exchange of content, in particular cinematographic, animated and historical content, as this is vital for the formation of the younger generation. I am convinced that this will promote mutual penetration of our cultures and greater mutual understanding between our close peoples.

We pay special attention to cooperation in the humanitarian sphere: in culture, education, science, sports and youth interaction.

In this regard, I would like to thank the leadership of the Kyrgyz Republic for their attentive attitude to the Russian language, its support and development in the republic. We also talked a lot about it today (during the Intergovernmental Commission meeting). Thanks to this work, today we are able to communicate without language barriers, in one language – this is our tremendous advantage. The Russian language is a part of our common history, our contemporary life, and it is very important that the next generations of our peoples have the opportunity to communicate with each other freely without an interpreter.

In this context, it is important to develop education in the Russian language, to popularise Russian culture in the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as to popularise Kyrgyz culture here in Russia.

There are Russian-language libraries, Russian choirs and creative associations of compatriots in Kyrgyzstan, and the Chinghiz Aitmatov Russian Drama Theatre and other theatres in Kyrgyzstan are successfully operating, staging productions by Russian authors, including in Russian.

To that end, we are also implementing a project to build nine joint Russian-Kyrgyz schools. Once this project is completed, we expect that these schools will have 11,000 students. We have also discussed this issue in detail and heard with Mr Zhaparov reports about its progress today.

Nowadays, the Kyrgyz Republic has received the greatest number of teachers, including those teaching Russian, 117 pedagogues are now working in the Kyrgyz Republic. Today, we have discussed how to increase support for educators working in the Kyrgyz Republic, so that this would make it possible to increase their number in the future.

This coming August, there are plans to organise an innovative exhibition-fair near Lake Issyk-Kul; it will showcase Russian achievements in the sphere of education and will contribute to stronger ties between our countries and nations.

I would also like to say that 16,000 citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic now study at Russian universities, including 6,000 at the expense of the Russian federal budget.

I would like to thank our Kyrgyz colleagues for their all-out openness and a desire to expand cooperation in the field of the youth policy. Kyrgyzstan plays the lead here and it was on the Kyrgyz Republic’s initiative that we have organised the CIS-EAEU Youth Forum. This became our first and successful experience. Last year, we already accomplished this in Sochi, during Russia’s EAEU chairmanship. We hope that we will jointly support such projects and undertakings in the future because they help strengthen ties between our young generations, and this lays a successful foundation for our prosperous common future.

Year after year, we can watch this potential grow stronger; we support each other on these issues. For example, on 1–7 March 2024, Sochi, Russia, hosted such a large-scale event as the World Festival of Youth and Students, and Kyrgyzstan sent a 272-strong delegation to attend the festival. This very impressive figure shows that Kyrgyzstan is interested in expanding our ties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *