ASTANA – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday thanked the Kazakh people and its president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, for speaking out in favor of “territorial integrity.”
Poroshenko, who is on an official visit in Kazakhstan, was speaking at a press conference in the Akorda Presidential Palace in Astana after meeting with Nazarbayev for more than two hours.
“We appreciate the unwavering commitment of Kazakhstan on compliance with international rules on territorial integrity and borders,” Poroshenko told the press conference.
The Ukrainian president was especially grateful for statements made by Nazarbayev to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 29, during which the Kazakh leader said that the Ukrainian crisis should be solved peacefully through full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
“In your appearance before the UN you mentioned the conflict in Ukraine and its accession to the position of territorial integrity,” Poroshenko said.
Regarding the conflict with Russia, the Ukrainian president mentioned Nazarbayev’s efforts to achieve a ceasefire.
“The ceasefire has arrived. The guns have been silent for two weeks, and this gives grounds for cautious optimism,” he said.
“The elimination of light vehicles, tanks and mortars has begun,” Poroshenko said.
Regarding trade relations, the Ukrainian president noted that, “Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine are members of the World Trade Organization and must comply with the accepted obligations.”
“Kazakhstan is Ukraine’s window to Asia,” Poroshenko said.
Nazarbayev, during the joint press conference, cited a series of trade measures to be put into motion, including the supply of Kazakh coal to Ukrainian power plants.
“The main theme of cooperation between our countries is energy. We agreed on the type of Kazakh coal to deliver to power plants in Ukraine and in the treatment of ash,” the Kazakh president said.
“Ukraine in turn will supply turbines for power plants in northern Kazakhstan,” Nazarbayev said.
“Concerning the supplies of Kazakh oil to oil refineries in Ukraine, there is a problem, as the pipelines pass through Russian territory. But we are ready to solve the problem through deliveries of Kazakh oil products to Ukraine,” he said.
Nazarbayev also recalled cultural ties and how Ukrainians participated in the development of virgin lands in Kazakhstan.
“Many of them stayed here and became citizens of Kazakhstan,” he said.
Poroshenko also held talks the previous day in Astana with Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov.