"I think the Russian people were fortunate to have Putin, who at the beginning of the 21st century, headed the country and led it through the most challenging trials. Under his leadership, Russia became a great power again," said the first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in an interview with Sputnik, APA reports.
Answering the question of journalist on "You have met with Vladimir Putin many times. When did you find out that Putin would succeed the first president of Russia? What impression did he make on you?" Mr Nazarbayev said: "The 1990s era was complex and contradictory. It was during this period that cardinal political and economic changes occurred not only in Russia but throughout the world. There was a transition from the old Soviet system to a market economy; the foundations of modern Russia were laid.
All this was happening through a struggle. Many disagreed with the ongoing reforms and changes in society. To Boris Yeltsin’s credit, he believed the pursued course was the right one, to completely transform Russia."
He said the first thing that struck him when Vladimir Putin took office was his extensive knowledge, energy and readiness to solve the most difficult issues. "Twenty years ago, I had the feeling that the young politician was ready for everything, and that he would be able to respond to any challenge clearly and accurately."