President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: You bestowed on me a high Russian Federation state decoration, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, just before. I consider this particular significant this year, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. I express my sincere gratitude for this high assessment of our contribution to strengthening our bilateral relations and strategic partnership.
Mr Putin, friends,
This official visit by the Russian President to Tajikistan is without any exaggeration an important milestone in developing our countries’ relations, and a good opportunity to discuss current bilateral cooperation and exchange views on the regional and international issues on the agenda today.
We seek to further strengthen our strategic partnership with Russia, a country close to us in all areas. I am sure that both countries share this desire, which is in our common interest.
It is with pleasure that I give you the floor, Mr Putin.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much for the kind words and for the invitation to make this official visit to Tajikistan, a country that is our friend and with which we have worked together for many years. This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our diplomatic relations with independent Tajikistan.
Tajikistan was and remains our important ally and strategic partner in all respects. We place great importance on Tajikistan’s work and your personal efforts to ensure stability in the region.
Of course, trade and economic ties are of crucial importance. As I said before at the meeting in narrow format, we have already carried out big projects and we want to continue our work.
We want to continue our efforts not just on big projects, but in all different areas, including small and medium-sized business, and develop interstate ties at the personal, human level.
At our past meetings, and today too, at the narrow format meeting, you always come back to the question of humanitarian cooperation, which I think is extremely important, particularly in education.
We will certainly examine your proposal to continue expanding cooperation in education, and not just at the higher education level, but at the school level too. As was noted just before, 21,000 students from Tajikistan are studying at Russian universities, and 10,000 of them are doing so at Russian government expense.
Defence and security ties are another aspect of our cooperation. Tajikistan is home to a Russian military base. I want to thank you for the attention you give to this area of our cooperation and for the assistance you give to our base’s operation. I have no doubt at all that this is also an important factor for stability and security in the region, including in Tajikistan itself.
Thank you very much for the invitation. I hope that we will look in detail at these various cooperation areas in this expanded format now.