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Putin, Nazarbaev Meet In Kazakhstan

Nazarbaev (file photo) Astana, 6 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev today met in Astana and praised an agreement to further develop the Kurmangazy oil field in the Caspian Sea.

Nazarbaev said the pact is "of world significance." He estimated Kurmangazy's oil reserves at one billion tons. Putin agreed with Nazarbaev's opinion. Putin said joint investments in the project -- which he said started in 2002 --
will amount to $22-23 billion, while the expected profit may reach $50 billion.

Putin arrived in Astana to take part in the summit yesterday of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which groups
Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

(RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, ITAR-TASS)