Russia says Kazakh leader’s election win should promote Eurasian integration

Nursultan Nazarbayev’s victory in Kazakhstan's presidential election should ensure the nation’s consistent policy on maintaining good neighbourly relations with Russia and facilitate the Eurasian integration process, a senior deputy of the Russian lower house of parliament said on Monday.

Nursultan Nazarbayev’s victory in Kazakhstan's presidential election should ensure the nation’s consistent policy on maintaining good neighbourly relations with Russia and facilitate the Eurasian integration process, a senior deputy of the Russian lower house of parliament said on Monday.

Leonid Slutsky, chairing the State Duma's committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs (CIS), Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, told TASS: "Nursultan Abishuly is one of the most authoritative leaders in the CIS space and the patriarch of the Eurasian integration."

"We can only welcome the preliminary data showing his convincing victory," said Slutsky, who leads the State Duma’s observer mission to Astana.

"This will ensure that the existing policy on relations with Russia and development of the Eurasian Union will continue," Slutsky said, referring to the new Russia-led political and economic bloc formed with Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

Nazarbayev scored a crushing victory in Sunday's presidential ballot, taking 97.7% of the vote to win a fifth consecutive term, preliminary results showed. The country's Central Election Commission said that there had been a record turnout of more than 95% for the poll.

Slutsky, who leads the State Duma’s observation mission to Astana, described the election in the Central Asian nation as democratic, saying there had been no serious violations.

The Eurasian Economic Union started operating in January, replacing the Eurasian Economic Community, which officially ceased to exist in October.

The treaty was signed by the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in May last year. It establishes the union ensuring free movement of goods, services, capital and labour and binds its member states to conduct co-ordinated or common policy in economic sectors.

Membership is open to other states assessed as sharing the assembly's aims and principles, its founders say. The former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan is due to accede to the bloc by mid-year and Tajikistan is also a prospective member.

First published by TASS.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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