ASTANA, October 15, 2018 – Kazakhstan and Lithuania intend to continue their enhanced comprehensive cooperation and partnership at the political level, to intensify economic diplomacy and interaction in the international arena. This is the main agenda of the past Kazakh-Lithuanian consultations between the foreign ministries of the two countries.

The Kazakh delegation was headed by Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roman Vassilenko, while the Lithuanian delegation was led by Vice – Minister of Foreign Affairs Darius Skusevičius.

A wide range of issues on enhancing of Kazakh-Lithuanian contacts was discussed during the talk. Kazakhstan is interested in the development of political dialogue in various formats, including at senior level and through inter-parliamentary exchanges. The parties confirmed their mutual focus on continuing to increase the effectiveness of the joint fight against international terrorism, the drug business, the consequences of climate change and other new challenges and threats.

Kazakhstan and Lithuania supported each other in the elections for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

“All our key initiatives have always found understanding among Lithuanian partners, whether it is the OSCE Summit in Astana or EXPO-2017 exhibition, Lithuania was an active supporter of the signing of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Kazakhstan and the European Union and one of the first countries to ratify this important Agreement”, R. Vasilenko noted.

For 2017, Lithuania became the largest trade partner of Kazakhstan in the Baltic and Nordic countries, confidently taking a place in the top 10 among the EU countries on this indicator. Diplomats stated the growth of trade volume in the first eight months of this year, which, according to Kazakhstan`s data amounted to $ 527 million, and in 2017 – $ 722 million. This means that bilateral trade comes out of a situation, where trade has tended to decrease, and the parties intend to consolidate a positive trend. The sides believe that this will be facilitated by the active work of the Kazakh-Lithuanian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the next meeting is scheduled for early next year.

“It is necessary to develop a comprehensive approach to the diversification of the content of the Kazakh-Lithuanian economic partnership”, D. Skusevičius noted.

The countries have established a solid legal and contractual basis of relations, including in the trade-economic, scientific-educational, and cultural-humanitarian spheres.

Transport cooperation remains priority area. The issues of transit, transport communications and logistics were discussed, which related to the need of developing and diversifying traffic flows. The launch of new container transportation services, which took place in May 2018, the opening of direct air communication between Astana and Vilnius, opens up new horizons for cooperation between the two countries in the transport area.

The parties agreed to jointly promote the development of so-called “New economy” field. Vilnius is becoming one of the new centers for the development of financial technologies (Fintech) in Europe, and the capital of Kazakhstan is a regional financial hub, which related to the opening of the Astana International Financial Center this year. Currently, the issue of creating a bridge between the European and Asian jurisdictions is being considered at the level of experts of the AIFC and the Bank of Lithuania, which will give a powerful impetus to further strengthening the positions of Kazakhstan and Lithuania as regional financial centers.

Special attention was paid to the development of contacts between the regions and making the twinning institutions more pragmatic. Currently, the establishment of twinning between major Kazakhstan and Lithuanian cities is being studied.

The sides gave a positive assessment to the development of cultural and humanitarian exchanges. A large groundwork in this direction was made by the youth organization “Mission Siberia”, which visited the burials of the exiled Lithuanians in Karaganda region this year. The delegation was accompanied by members of Youth Movement of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan “Zhangyru Zholy”

Relations within the educational and cultural spheres are strengthening. Contacts between the leading universities of Lithuania and Kazakhstani universities have been established. In general, about 150 Kazakh students receive training and have internships at universities in Lithuania annually. According to the Lithuanian side, over the last 6 years about one thousand citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan received a higher education in this country.

The situation around Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, and Central Asia was discussed among international issues. Particular attention was paid to the interaction of the two countries in the framework of international organizations such as the UN, OSCE, EU, OECD, IAEA.

On the same day, the delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov.

The negotiations were held in a friendly atmosphere traditional for the relations between the two countries.