(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) – The presidents of Kazakhstan and Belarus hailed their countries’ trade and economic ties after a bilateral meeting in Minsk.
The talks took place on November 29, a day ahead of a collective security summit of six former Soviet republics in the Belarusian capital.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev on November 29 stressed the “historically friendly relations” between the two former Soviet republics and called Belarus “Kazakhstan’s reliable partner.”
His Belarusian counterpart, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, called Nazarbaev’s visit “important,” and expressed hope that bilateral trade and economic ties would increase further.
Nazarbaev pointed out that, for the first nine months of 2017, trade volume between the two countries increased more than 60 percent to $441 million.
Without being specific, the Kazakh presidential press service said agreements expected to be signed during Nazarbaev’s two-day visit to Belarus would further boost ties between the two nations.
Kazakhstan and Belarus are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with fellow founding members Russia, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.
On November 30, Nazarbaev and Lukashenka are expected to take part in a summit in Minsk of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led regional security group of former Soviet republics that also includes Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
The CSTO was formed in 1992.