Beginning of meeting with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon 2017-02-27 14:50:00 Dushanbe President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Mr Putin, I wish you a warm welcome to Tajikistan and I am grateful to you for accepting our invitation to make this official visit to our country. Tajikistan’s relations with Russia hold a special place among our foreign policy priorities. Russia is our key strategic partner and all areas of cooperation with Russia are important to us. I am sure that your visit will give new impetus to developing our bilateral relations. Welcome! President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr Rahmon. Let me start by passing on the greetings of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, with whom I met just before. Emomali Rahmon: Thank you. Vladimir Putin: This year, we are marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations. Tajikistan is one of our most important partners in the region. We are happy to see that Russia is Tajikistan’s biggest trading partner. We have already carried out big projects and we have good plans ahead. We are bound by long years of cooperation and friendship, and we truly consider Tajikistan to be our strategic partner. We agreed during our last meeting in St Petersburg that I would come to Tajikistan on this visit. I am sure that this will give us the chance to discuss many matters concerning our bilateral relations and the situation in the region. Tajikistan’s position on regional issues is of great importance for Russia. In this sense, I consider Tajikistan a key country for maintaining security and stability in the region. As we know, Russia has a military base here in Tajikistan, the purpose of which is to guarantee Tajikistan’s security, and that of Russia’s southern borders. Our colleagues will discuss matters with each other and go over all areas of our relations. Thank you very much for the invitation. You know of our decision to present a Russian Federation state decoration to you. It is my pleasure to do so now. I congratulate you most sincerely and thank you for all you are doing to develop the relations between our countries. Emomali Rahmon: Thank you very much. Presentation of state decoration to the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Thank you, Mr Putin. It is a great honour to receive this high Russian Federation decoration. I express my sincere gratitude for this assessment of our work to strengthen the strategic partnership between our countries. Vladimir Putin: For my part, I want to thank you once more for all you are doing to bolster our bilateral relations. Emomali Rahmon: Thank you. Presentation of state decoration to Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister Vladimir Putin: We work together very closely on the international stage. As the diplomats say, we share very close or similar approaches. This truly is the case. Thank you for supporting Russia’s initiatives. Mr Rahmon, let me assure you that we will also do all we can to support Tajikistan on the international stage.