President Vladimir Putin: Emomali Sharipovich [Rakhmonov], it gives me great pleasure to see you.
The event we have planned (by ‘we’, I mean all of our colleagues) – the CIS summit – has been specially timed to coincide with the St Petersburg Economic Forum.
I am sure that you will find it interesting, especially given that our economic ties are developing well. Our bilateral trade has increased by 60 percent since the beginning of this year, and although the figures are not high in absolute terms, the trend is a positive one. We will use our time today and tomorrow to discuss our bilateral relations and to look at cooperation in general in the post-Soviet area.
Emomali Rakhmonov: Thank you very much, Vladimir Vladimirovich. It gives me real pleasure to have this chance to meet with you once again. As strategic partners we have plenty to discuss and coordinate. I would like to add that our bilateral trade was up 44 percent last year compared to 2005, and according to our data it has increased by 70 percent over the first four months of 2007. But more opportunities lie ahead for developing our ties yet further.
I think we will have the chance today to discuss the results of our previous meeting and the implementation of the agreements signed during your official visit to Dushanbe in October 2004. Some of these agreements are being successfully implemented. Energy sector development is very important for our country. I think that we will be able to find common ground and resolve some of the problems that remain.
As far as our bilateral cooperation is concerned, our political and military-technical cooperation is going ahead well and there are practically no unresolved issues in these areas. I think that we will be able to give a positive impulse today to economic cooperation between our countries.