Presidents Putin (left) and Nazarbaev during a January meeting in Astana (ITAR-TASS)
April 3, 2006 -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev is due today to start a three-day visit to Moscow.
This will be Nazarbaev's third meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this year. Putin visited Astana in January, and Nazarbaev made a follow-up trip to St. Petersburg in February.
The two are expected to discuss cooperation in the economic, military, nuclear, and energy sectors. They are also expected to discuss details concerning the launch of Kazakhstan's first communications satellite, and sign an agreement on Russia's use of Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome.
Putin and Nazarbaev are also due to unveil a monument to the Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbaev in Moscow, opening the Year of Abai in Russia. Kazakhstan, in turn, is to open the Year of Aleksandr Pushkin.
Nazarbaev will address Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on April 5.
Click on the map to see how many Russians live in each of the former Soviet republics.
RUSSIANS OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA: A total of some 30 million ethnic Russians remain in the republics of the former Soviet Union, including large diasporas in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. This historical legacy has often been a source of tension between Russia and its neighbors. "Support for the rights of compatriots abroad is a crucial goal," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his April 2005 state-of-the-nation address. "It cannot be subject to a diplomatic or political bargaining. Those who do not respect, observe, or ensure human rights have no right to demand that human rights be respected by others."
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