President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am delighted to see you.
Thank you for coming to attend the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of Victory and the military parade. It is gratifying that a unit of the Uzbek armed forces – 75 people as far as I know – will march through Red Square tomorrow.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev: This will be the first time, by the way.
Vladimir Putin: This is a visible sign of our special allied relations.
I know that on May 9, you opened Victory Park in Tashkent. And in this regard, of course, I definitely have to mention that during the war, 2 million Uzbek people fought at the front. As many as 500,000 people died, and 130,000 went missing. This is a big loss. But Uzbekistan took in 2 million civilians evacuating from other Soviet republics.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev: 250,000 children.
Vladimir Putin: Many industrial facilities were relocated to Uzbekistan and immediately restarted operations to produce the necessary supplies for the front.
All this is our common history, our common achievements and our common Victory.
At present, we are developing as independent states, but we enjoy absolutely unique strategic allied relations. We have joint economic projects, our special services cooperate, and we fight terrorism together. Our armed forces are also collaborating.
We certainly pay a lot of attention to cooperation in education and culture.
Mr President, I am very glad to see you. Once again, welcome.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev: Thank you.
Mr President, first of all, I am very grateful for the invitation.
On behalf of the multi-ethnic people of Uzbekistan and on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate you and the people of Russia on this great holiday, the holiday of the victory over Nazism. As you have already said, it is our common history, our common Victory.
The park you mentioned today –we did, in fact, unveil a large memorial complex ahead of May 9. I hope we can go see it together when you come for a visit. It is a tribute to the memory of our grandfathers and fathers who gave their lives for the present day. It has great patriotic significance for the people of Uzbekistan and especially for the youth. This is a fundamental monument.
I would like to seize the opportunity and thank our Russian colleagues, especially the Defence Ministry, which opened up its archives for us for two years. We found a great deal of new information there.
Mr President, regarding the figure of 1.5 million, which you have mentioned. After working in the archives for two years, we found out that two million residents of Uzbekistan went to the front, and information on those who did not come back, who went missing in action, the numbers we discovered with our Russian colleagues from the Defence Ministry revealed new dimensions.
It is the memory we must never forget. And I want the park, the new memorial complex to serve the cause of educating the youth in particular so that they always remember how we secured our present, that their grandfathers and father fought in the battles and this Victory was paid for with their blood. Today they are an example the youth must follow.
Of course, Mr President, everything we have been doing in the past two and a half years – strategic partnership, allied relations – was filled with real results in all the areas you spoke about today.
Trade has exceeded the level of 2019 by about 18 percent. This is a big figure. We agreed on 10 billion but we are already approaching 7 billion, 6.6 to be exact. This is also a big figure.
I think the pandemic has slightly impeded our plans, and disrupted a state visit that was envisaged. But we have achieved growth in many areas, we have the results, and roadmaps have been adopted.
As you have said, our military-technical cooperation is running well, and cultural and humanitarian ties are working very well. As agreed, 10 branches of Russian universities opened in Uzbekistan, seven of them in the past two years. There are agreements being made to open four more branches in Uzbekistan by the year’s end. This is also a big result.
The cultural and humanitarian component, as I have told you, includes a translation into the Uzbek language of a 100-volume collection of Russian literature. This is also a result we have agreed on.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you every success. Of course, July 1 is a historic day for the new Russia – amending the Constitution. I think the people understand correctly that everything we can see today, everything stated in the amendments should have been done a long time ago, and now the time has come to do it. Therefore, I want this day to be a success in the history of new Russia.
Once again, thank you for the invitation.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
You said our cultural ties are advancing actively. I would like to note that our culinary ties are also progressing well. I want to invite you to lunch. We will be able to have an undisturbed discussion about everything there.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev: Good, thank you.