President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Mr President, welcome to Tajikistan. It is a pleasure to see you.
We were looking forward to you coming to Tajikistan to take part in the CSTO Collective Security Council’s meeting because your visit will give a new boost to developing our bilateral relations. That our society has an interest in this is not by chance of course, as our countries have been strategic partners and allies throughout the post-Soviet period and are linked by countless ties.
We value greatly the level of relations and cooperation we have with Russia and are happy overall with the way they are developing. Tajikistan, for its part, is ready to make every effort needed to continue strengthening our strategic partnership.
Before turning to concrete aspects of our relations, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Russia and to you personally, Mr President, for the support we received during the events at the start of September and for the humanitarian aid sent as part of the relief effort following natural disasters in Tajikistan.
Now, it will be my pleasure to listen to what you have to say on the state of our relations and the prospects ahead. Please, the floor is yours, Mr President.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, thank you very much for the opportunity to meet in this format on the sidelines of the international event underway here. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you personally on your country’s recent national holiday, Independence Day.
Relations between Tajikistan and Russia are based on obligations as allies and relations as equal partners. I am pleased to be able to say that we work together closely and coordinate our positions in all of the international organisations – in the UN, OSCE, CIS, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Our foreign ministries and our security agencies are all involved in this work.
As for our bilateral relations, let me note that Russia is still solidly in place as Tajikistan’s main trade and economic partner. Russia accounted for 26.2 percent of Tajikistan’s foreign trade in the first half of 2015. Our bilateral trade increased by nearly 22 percent in 2014. True, there was a downward adjustment in the first half of 2015, and this is something we will need to discuss, of course.
Russia is in first place in terms of total accumulated investment in Tajikistan’s economy, with $1.6 billion, nearly 30 percent of all foreign investment. Around 130 companies with Russian capital work in Tajikistan.
We are discussing and pursuing cooperation in a variety of fields and are working actively in these areas. I am very pleased to have this chance to meet again to look at the whole range of our relations. Thank you very much.