Russia must decide where to build its national borders in Central Asia - on the border with Kazakhstan or further to the south, said Russia's President Vladimir Putin at a meeting concerning social and economic development of the Volga federal district on Monday. The meeting was held in Saransk, the capital of Mordovia, one of the Volga republics.
"The decision on the Russian border building depends on the Eurasian Economic Community that includes Russia, Belorussia and three former Soviet Central Asian republics - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. If the organization introduces a common economic zone, there will be no point in building borders between Russia and the former Soviet republics, Putin said.
He also said that this issue was one of the priorities at his negotiations with Central Asian leaders in Aktau /Kazakhstan/ on Saturday.
The President stressed that Russia was in an interesting situation when almost all its regions had become bordering which would cause a lot of trouble. He said that drug smuggling from Afghanistan was one of the problems. Though that country has been given money to eliminate the poppy-sown areas, they are increasing. "According to our data, this year the poppy harvest in Afghanistan will be record high," Russia's president stated.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969