Updated at 14:13,24-01-2022

Russia, Kazakhstan sign deals ahead of Economic Union summit

RFE/RL based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev have concluded several key agreements between their countries prior to a summit of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.

Putin and Nazarbaev signed a deal on December 24 on military-technical cooperation that includes joint production of military equipment and purchasing military vehicles from each other.

Another agreement covered Russia's use of the Soviet-era Baikonur cosmodrome in central Kazakhstan for rocket launches during the period 2014-16. Russia already has a lease to use Baikonur until 2050.

The two countries also finalized a deal for Russia to export oil to China via pipelines in Kazakhstan.

The two presidents then joined the presidents of Belarus, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan and the Ukrainian prime minister for talks on the future of the council, including plans for Armenia and Kyrgyzstan to be formally admitted and the possibility of Ukraine holding "observer" status in the council.

A senior Kremlin aide told journalists that Putin, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev would initial the portions of the draft treaty that establish the Eurasian Economic Union's objectives and mechanisms at the December 24 gathering.

The official said the presidents have set the goal of signing the treaty by May 2014.