''Kazakhstan could take into account the experience of Tatarstan in petrochemistry development''
Why President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov has visited Astana and what the parties agreed on
Tatarstan delegation headed by President Rustam Minnikhanov arrived in Kazakhstan on 3 July. The programme of the visit includes participation in Astana Finance Days events dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, and the official launch of the international financial centre Astana. Realnoe Vremya experts assessed new prospects the visit opens for Tatarstan.
Flight is good, but the Internet is better
The Tatarstan delegation started its work in Astana before the official opening of the forum Astana Finance Days. Director General of the information agency Kazinform Askar Umarov told the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya that he met with Vasil Shaykhraziev who arrived in Astana as part of the Tatarstan delegation. The Tatarstan deputy prime minister visited the office of the news agency to discuss the prospects of media cooperation between Kazakhstan and Tatarstan.
''The trend of time is that now, in the age of the Internet and united media space, news agencies often do not need to keep in different countries offices and their own correspondents,'' said Umarov. ''It is enough to have several large partners and to provide information exchange. After your deputy prime minister got acquainted with the work of our agency, met with the staff, we agreed on a memorandum of cooperation, which will be concluded between our agency and the agency Tatar-inform. In addition, tomorrow in Astana, in our agency, a TNV press centre opens.''
According to Askar Umarov, it is especially important to develop information links between Tatarstan and Kazakhstan, as the Tatar diaspora is very strong in Kazakhstan, where there is a special demand for news from the native region. But it is quite difficult to create personal links in the days when Astana is experiencing its 20th anniversary, and Russia — the 2018 World Cup. Answering the questions of the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya, the director general of Kazinform noted that for these days the tickets for flights connecting Kazakhstan and Tatarstan were sold out in a few months.
''Bridge'' between the countries as a reason for self-realization
''The presidents of Tatarstan and Kazakhstan meet in Astana, as the saying goes, build bridges between our countries. How do you think this will affect us, inhabitants of these two republics?'' the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya asked editor-in-chief of the newspaper Yuzhny Kazakhstan, local historian from the city of Shymkent Kenesbay Ismailov.
''Well, our contacts have never been interrupted. Over the years of independence, Kazakhstan and Russia have never broken off economic ties! On the contrary, they became the founders of Eurasian cooperation. And I think it is right… Kazakhstan was established as a state, we have all attributes of an independent state. The European Union is on this path, and our Eurasian Union… There are a lot of interstate organizations in the world, but they are all on the path of economic cooperation. And today in the world all the integration processes take place in purely economic field. In Soviet times, we had a lot of ties not only on economic level, but also on personal level — there were mixed marriages, friendly contacts… This can become a basis for rapprochement. I personally treat the arrival of the honorary guest such as the president of Tatarstan on the anniversary of Astana as a friendly token, as a token of respect!''
''Today in Kazan economic relations with Kazakhstan are clearly expressed in the fact that at construction sites, in other production sectors there work workers from Kazakhstan…''
''...But Kazakhstan citizens do not work as laborers at construction sites! They can be superintendents, engineers, crane operators and so on… They are skilled professionals! The fact that they work in your country is normal. People look for where there is a job, what is more — high-paying job. In Chimkent, Russian citizens work in the economic sphere, in the field of IT technologies, in the media. People always look for better and integration of communication allow people to move easily! People should have the opportunity to move, to work, to realize themselves and to return home. It is not necessary to present them with a challenge — to cut off all ties with the homeland, including cultural, to realize their potential, or to abandon self-realization. In Europe, by the way, it happens. People who do not want to burn bridges behind them, they feel like second-class people there. In Kazakhstan, in Russia such doesn't exist.''
''What could the relations that Tatarstan, so to speak, directly establishes with Kazakhstan, give you personally… and us?''
''For example, I as a philologist, teacher of Russian language and literature, could come to Kazan with pleasure, so that, without cutting off the connection with my roots, homeland, to implement some interesting projects for me in Russia. Given, of course, that it would interest me financially as well. Or vice versa — we have formed a new region – Turkestan region, and the city of Turkestan has received the status of a regional centre. A draft of its master plan is going to be developed. I'm helping a group of architects from Moscow, and if they win the tender, they will come here to work, and then be able to go home — that's great, right?.. And the Tatars could work here. By the way, my son lived in Kazan for four months a few years ago, and he liked Kazan, and I know a lot about Kazan, its history — why not the ground for fruitful cooperation? I would love to see Kazan!''
''The economy is not divided by religious apartments''
Well-known Kazakhstani politician Amirzhan Kosanov, answering the questions of the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya, analyzed both the expected consequences of the visit of Rustam Minnikhanov to Astana and the possible directions of development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Tatarstan.
''The visits of the presidents have two important meanings,'' Kosanov stressed. ''First, they become an impetus for the development of bilateral relations and concretize joint projects. Second, the factor of personal, without intermediaries and protocol, communication between the top leaders is also important. Sometimes the second point largely determines inter-state relations. In this regard, I am pleased that our leaders have such humane contact.''
''What do you think is the most important in the relations between our republics today?''
''Economic relations are always important and decisive. During Nazarbayev's last visit to Kazan, such areas as petrochemistry, military-technical and transport-logistics cooperation were particularly noted. There are established relations, it is important to develop them. This is especially important for Kazakhstan, where the issue of increasing oil and gas processing is acute. On the other hand, the availability of natural resources is a kind of obstacle for diversification of the entire economy and the departure from oil dependence. This direction is important for both nations.''
''In what areas do you see the most promising and necessary cooperation between Tatarstan and Kazakhstan for each country?''
''I think that Kazakhstan could take into account the experience of Tatarstan in the development of petrochemistry. Military-technical cooperation also requires its updating, both technical and personnel. After all, in this area there is fierce competition, which is also pretty mixed in 'big politics', new technologies are developing by leaps and bounds. It is important to keep up with the world's advanced trends, although the need for militarization of the economy remains open. It is very important to minimize Western sanctions against Russia, because in the case of close integration they can hurt our enterprises. Humanitarian, cultural and educational ties are also very important. Many Kazakhstanis study in Tatarstan universities, and we have a lot of Tatars living in our country… I think that the brotherly, kindred nature of our relations does not give us reasons to worry about the state of affairs in this area. However, we, Kazakhs, are concerned about the situation with the study of the Tatar language in Tatarstan. Unfortunately, this is the common, negative trend for all non-ethnic Russian peoples of Russia at the present stage. I wish the fraternal Tatar people to pass this hard way safely.''
''The agenda of the visit of our delegation to Astana includes participation in the forum of Islamic economy…''
''Yes, there are some talks about the development of Islamic economy in Muslim countries, including in our country. But the economy, both of individual country and the global economy, is not divided by religious and national apartments. This is the common space where each country should find its niche and fight for survival. In this sense, close and mutually beneficial cooperation is important. What Kazakhstan and Tatarstan should do. The talks about the Islamic economy in our republics may be related to the activities of Islamic banks that come to our region. But I do not think that their work will be decisive in our specific conditions. If they work here, they will only be part of common economy that will live by all the clear and accepted global laws.''