Thank you for the invitation to come to Kazakhstan on an official visit.
As you noted, this meeting is taking place only a few days before an anniversary. On October 22, we mark 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.
We note the traditionally intensive development of our cooperation, strategic partnership and alliance. This is due primarily to the great personal relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. They will meet next in Sochi during the CIS Council of Heads of State and Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meetings. The day before that, we will meet with you at the meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers. So, our communication is quite intensive.
I would like to note that, despite all the global economic difficulties and other factors, between January and July of this year we increased trade by almost 40 per cent. In our opinion, that is largely an indication of the successful EAEU integration processes, a union proposed by President Nazarbayev.
Finally, I would like to thank the Kazakhstani leadership and all our colleagues for the excellent organisation of the 4th MGIMO Alumni Forum that opened in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana.