The meeting was held on the sidelines of the informal Commonwealth of Independent States summit.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Rahmon, colleagues,
I am very happy for the opportunity to meet with you – within the framework of our integration organisations and the event we are holding to address these matters – and talk about our bilateral issues.
You know, something I have noticed recently which makes me happy is that in addition to developing our relations in many different areas (not only the economy, but military cooperation as well: we have a full-fledged base functioning in Tajikistan, and I am very grateful to you for your support of its work), our relations are also developing nicely on a regional level. More than 70 of Russia’s federal constituent entities maintain relations with their partners and colleagues in Tajikistan. And when relations reach that level, it speaks to the fact that the mutual interest is becoming substantial and fundamental. We have a good foundation for diversifying all our relations, and I am certain that is exactly what will happen.
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Mr Putin, I am genuinely happy for the opportunity to meet with you.
I will take this opportunity to once again congratulate you on taking office as President of the Russian Federation.
“More than 70 of Russia’s federal constituent entities maintain relations with their partners and colleagues in Tajikistan. It speaks to the fact that the mutual interest is becoming substantial and fundamental.”
I agree with your statements and would like to add that in the last four years, despite the economic and financial crises, turnover between our nations has been increasing by an average of 10–15 per cent.
Our relations are also developing very well in the humanitarian sector: just a few days ago, we opened the second branch of one of Moscow’s higher education institutions, and a third branch will be opened this year.
Cooperation with Russia’s regions is indeed developing dynamically. Your representatives frequently visit us and our regions’ representatives visit your nation. But it is true that many untapped opportunities still remain.
We recently met – Russia’s Foreign Minister visited us – and discussed cooperation in greater detail. I want to say again that there are basically no complicated, unresolved issues between our nations.
You rightly noted that there is a military base, which exists and is operating. So far, we don’t have any problems; “Okno” [the opto-electric space surveillance station] is working well, as are other facilities on the territory of Tajikistan.
We are working quite well in the quadrilateral format within the regional integration process in the South Asian region – I am referring to Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This year, we are scheduled to meet in Islamabad in September.
Overall, there are some issues that we must resolve after careful consideration, under mutually acceptable conditions, while taking into account the interests of each side. We need to negotiate and reach agreements, and we need to do that very seriously. I stated in my address and want to reiterate that in Tajikistan, we have always treated the interests of our strategic partner, the Russian Federation, with understanding and great respect. I feel that Russia must also respect the interests of its ally.
Vladimir Putin: We certainly will.