President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Mirziyoyev, friends,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Sochi.
In the beginning of our discussion, I would like to point out that our colleagues from both Russia and Uzbekistan are actively working on implementing the agreements that we reached during your recent visit to Russia.
I would also like to point out that we can see certain results, tangible results. Last year we had a slight decrease in trade, but this year we can see an increase: over 20 percent growth in the first eight months. This means that we will have an even bigger increase by the end of the year. There has been a significant increase in agriculture as well; growth is very serious and visible. If we add exports through third countries, our neighbours, there will be an even bigger increase of 40 percent, I think, overall.
Both our Industry Minister and Agriculture Minister paid visits to Uzbekistan, and both of them actively worked in their respective areas. We have good opportunities for cooperation in industrial production and for further broadening interaction in other areas, including agriculture.
I am very happy to see you and to have this opportunity to discuss all these issues on the sidelines of the CIS summit.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev: Mr Putin,
It is a pleasure to meet you again.
As you have said, in a short period of time, within a year, particularly after my visit to Russia, a great deal has changed, in every respect. Trade, as you have said, increased by 20 percent and even more, according to our statistics. This is heartening. All the agreements we have reached are being implemented.
I would like to express sincere gratitude that very many of your Ministers, not only Manturov, not only Tkachev, have visited Uzbekistan during this period. The Interior Minister and others have also visited Uzbekistan. A serious build-up is taking place, as the ministers are implementing our agreements. While formerly we said that we have a strategic partnership and an allied relationship, this year they have at last been invested with content and real results.
There is a lot of cooperation, as you have rightly said, in agriculture, in the textile industry, and serious shifts are taking place in the military-technical field. I believe this meeting today will contribute to the implementation of everything we have agreed upon.
I would like to say once again that today there is not a single area we have not touched upon. A year ago, we said that we were cooperating, but we had trade only in the gas sector. Today many sectors are finding each other, businesses are finding each other and the cultural and humanitarian areas look totally different.
A month ago, 20 days ago, Patriarch Kirill visited our country. We speak about tolerance and the tolerance we see in Uzbekistan today shows that people are living in peace and harmony.
I thank you once again for this meeting today. I think there is still much to talk about on the sidelines of the CIS summit and we will talk.