Astana, 2 December 2010 – Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev and prime minister Karim Massimov today as part of the OSCE summit in Astana.
Ansip and his Kazakh counterpart agreed that relations between their countries had become much more active since their last meeting and that they were satisfied with the work of the intergovernmental committee established to promote cooperation between Kazakhstan and Estonia in the fields of the economy, science and technology. The first session of the committee was held in Tallinn in spring, while the next is due to be held in Almaty in February.
Ansip emphasised the need for direct contact between the two countries and welcomed the visit of the management of Atameken – the association representing Kazakhstan’s business unions – to Estonia in August this year. “It became clear during that visit that there is enormous potential for economic cooperation between Estonia and Kazakhstan,” said Ansip. “Your country is Estonia’s most important partner in Central Asia, and we look forward to working with you in a large number of different areas.”
Those with the greatest prospects the prime minister listed as information and communications technology and e-services, transport and logistics and the energy sector. However, Ansip also stressed the importance of agriculture, education and science.
Prime Minister Ansip also expressed his satisfaction in regard to the negotiations taking place between the two countries’ national airlines to launch direct flights.
“We hope they produce an agreement and that there are direct flights operating between Tallinn and Astana by the time of your president’s visit to Estonia next spring,” he said.
During the meeting the prime minister announced that in order to intensify relations between the countries, the Estonian government has decided to open an embassy in Astana and appoint an ambassador to permanently reside in the city.
“I hope Kazakhstan will do the same and open an embassy in Tallinn,” Ansip said. “It would be a very important step in relations between our countries.”
In autumn 2009 Prime Minister Ansip opened Estonia’s first honorary consulate in Central Asia in Astana and appointed an honorary consul to it. A temporary consular mission was also dispatched to the city this summer.
As part of the OSCE summit Prime Minister Ansip also met with political leaders from Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.