Sunday, February 28, 2021
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Nursultan Nazarbayev in Moscow
'There is nothing unusual about the visit to Moscow of Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev; it is part of normal, regular, well-developed consultations between the leaders of the two countries. This is not a breakthrough or evidence of friction,' Sergey Markov told. Markov is director of the Institute of Political Research. He was commenting on the visit to Moscow by Nazarbayev that began yesterday. 'Kazakhstan is Russia's partner No. 1 in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States),' Markov underlined. 'Belarus began to put the brakes on its partnership with Russia, when Lukashenko realized that he could never become leader of a joint government.' Ukraine, the political scientist said, continues 'to waver between Russia and the European Union.' He added: 'The creation of a single economic sphere for Russia and Kazakhstan is really happening. This is connected to the fact that the [economic] systems of the two countries are very similar to each other. The reforms in both countries are of the same type. In some ways, we have gone beyond Kazakhstan, but on many measures of liberalization, Kazakhstan has gone beyond Russia.' In addition, the political systems of the two countries are very similar, he said. 'We could see a merging into one government even under Putin,' Markov said. 'We could see a merging of currencies as a transitional step, creation of a single customs policy, of powerful financial-industrial groups, a single defense policy.' Markov described terrorism as an external problem for Kazakhstan, an external threat, and said Kazakhstan 'needs Russian help to secure its southern borders, including its border with Uzbekistan.'
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