President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Rahmon, thank you for accepting our invitation to come to Moscow. As usual, we have an extensive agenda.
I am pleased to note that Russia remains Tajikistan’s number one trade and economic partner: 21% of Tajikistan’s entire trade volume is with Russia. Russia also has the highest volume of accumulated investments in Tajikistan, at nearly $1.5 billion.
We are continuing to cooperate in military affairs, defence and security. We are working together in culture, the humanitarian sector and education. Nearly 5,000 students from Tajikistan are studying at Russian universities – 4,700, to be exact. Just last year alone, over 500 tuition-free places were filled by young people from Tajikistan majoring in science. We also have some joint projects, first and foremost, pertaining to studying Pamir and space exploration with the use of high-altitude components.
Overall, our relations are very well-developed and diversified. There are several issues that require our attention, but I think they have to do with the global situation: there has been a small reduction in trade in the first six months of the year.
Today, we will have the opportunity to discuss all this in detail. Welcome.
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Thank you very much, Mr Putin.
First of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation to visit Moscow. This meeting gives us the opportunity to discuss current issues in our cooperation, including the questions raised during your visit to Dushanbe last year. These include our political and defence collaboration, current economic cooperation issues, cultural and humanitarian ties, and finally, regional and international matters.
We have always welcomed Russia’s active economic role, along with dynamic cooperation in defence technology and politics. Here, it is important for us to discuss issues pertaining to labour migration and improving its conditions, the supplies of Russian petroleum products to Tajikistan and other matters.
I think our meeting provides a good opportunity to discuss all these issues and make plans for the future.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.