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Russia, Kazakhstan to sign energy agreements

ASTANA, July 5 (RIA Novosti) - The presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan will sign energy agreements on Wednesday to boost bilateral trade and harmonize economic relations, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said Tuesday.

At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nazarbayev said major energy agreements designed to expand bilateral trade and bring the countries' economic interests closer to each other had been prepared.

Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko, who attended the meeting, said that the Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft and Kazakhstan's Kazmunaigaz would sign an agreement to develop the resource-rich shelf of the Caspian Sea.

Khristenko also said both countries were ready to sign an agreement on settling debts and establishing a joint venture at Kazakhstan's Ekibazstuz thermal power station, and also a memorandum on expanding cooperation in electricity production.

Nazarbayev congratulated Putin with the conclusion of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which unites five Eurasian states and China.

Nazarbayev said he had met with President Putin several times this year and most problems had been resolved.

The reform of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) remained an unsettled issue, which should be discussed at a summit in Kazan, Nazarbayev said. The president of Kazakhstan said all CIS member states supported a plan for the organization's reform that Kazakhstan and Russia had proposed.

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