Kazakhstan’s President arrives in Russia on first official visit

Kazakhstan’s President arrives in Russia on first official visit

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has arrived in Russia on his first foreign visit since he took office. The presidential plane landed at Vnukovo-2 airport in Moscow at 11:00am (Moscow time).

A guard of honor was lined up on the airfield. A military band played the state anthems of the two countries. Tokayev was welcomed by Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin, Russian ambassador to Kazakhstan Alexei Borodavkin, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s chief of protocol Igor Bogdashev and Kazakhstan’s ambassador in Moscow Imangali Tasmagambetov, TASS reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev would discuss bilateral relations, integration in the Eurasian space and the regional agenda, the Kremlin’s press-service said.

Tokayev’s press-service said the agenda included bilateral cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, culture and the humanitarian spheres and crucial regional and international issues. A number of bilateral documents are to be signed.

Kazakhstan’s President will also hold a meeting with speaker of Russia's Federation Council Valentina Matvienko.

Senior researcher of the Analytical Center IMI of the Russian MGIMO Leonid Gusev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that one of the main topics on the agenda of Tokayev’s visit to Moscow will be the interaction in international organizations. "Of course, the presidents will discuss bilateral relations in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. In addition, they will discuss cooperation within the CSTO, the EEU and the SCO, since Tokayev will visit China soon. They will probably raise the topic of creating a commission on the five-year anniversary of the EEU and the 25th anniversary of the speech of first Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev at Moscow State University, where he proposed to create the Eurasian Union," he listed.

"But first of all, this meeting will be Vladimir Putin’s acquaintance with Zhomart-Kasym Tokayev in the status of president. Of course, they have known each other for a long time, Tokayev has been very active in international activities, he was the UN Deputy Secretary-General. But it will be he first talks between the two presidents. By the way, this visit shows that Russia remains a priority for Kazakhstan, because usually the leader's first visit is made to the main cooperation partner country," Leonid Gusev stressed.

The head of the Central Asia and Kazakhstan Department of the CIS Institute, Andrei Grozin, agreed that it is a reconnaissance visit in the first place. "On the one hand, Tokayev has long been a well-known person in Russia. But there are rules requiring the president to make visits to key countries, in accordance with them Russia was chosen as the first country. So any new president of Kazakhstan would do the same, as two things should be demostrated: stability and continuity," he explained. 

"Tokaev’s recent interview to Rossiyskaya Gazeta showed in detail that under the new president the republic would implement the same foreign policy as before. I suppose Tokayev will announce this position during meetings with the Russian leadership - that's why the visit was organized. Knowing Tokayev's biography, it is difficult to assume that this person is prone to drastic actions and unexpected policy changes. Now he faces many domestic political tasks, and, as a wise man, he will not complicate his work with experiments in foreign policy. A visit to Moscow proves it," Andrei Grozin concluded.