Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that relations between Russia and Kazakhstan 'are developing problematically.' According to the president's press service, he made this announcement at a meeting with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev yesterday in the Kremlin. Putin said that over the first ten months of this year trade between the two countries fell by 12%. The Russian President proposed to his opposite number that they analyse and try to rectify the situation.
A decision was taken at the meeting to declare 2003 the 'Year of Kazakhstan in Russia'. Russia is currently Kazakhstan's main economic partner. Almost all launches of Russian carrier rockets take place from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.