President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
I am very happy to have this bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit. We marked an important date in June – the 10th anniversary of the intergovernmental strategic partnership agreement of June 16, 2004. During these years, we have achieved a great deal in enhancing our cooperation based on the principles of pragmatic cooperation, equality and mutual respect for each other’s interests.
We maintain regular contacts at various levels both bilaterally and within such multilateral organisations as the CIS, SCO and the UN. We hold regular summit meetings. This is good and we expect the mechanism we have created in the past few years will help our further development in the economy, politics and humanitarian cooperation.
Our countries are linked by years and even centuries of friendship and cooperation. I am certain that we will move ahead using this positive capital as a foundation.
I am very happy to see you.
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov: Thank you, Mr President, I am very happy to have this meeting with you today.
Due to this year’s turbulent events, the schedule of our meetings has shifted somewhat, even the regular planned events that took place in the previous years. I will be frank and say that our meetings have become even more significant in the sense that many issues come up and it is important that we meet and exchange views on them.
Frankly speaking, I fully agree with you in that our meetings always give me food for thought. And when these meetings are too far apart, I find myself somewhat at a loss. There are questions I need to ask you to find some guidelines.
Russia is our strategic partner, and I realise there are those for whom this expression is just empty words to be used on formal occasions, when they talk about “our relations of strategic partnership and alliance”. I believe the meaning of this phrase is that we should seek each other’s advice more often and try to get answers to our questions so as not to find ourselves at a loss.
From this point of view, I believe our working meetings should be truly regular, and if we have any questions, we should raise them, get answers, and discuss things if we need to. Sometimes these discussions may not be very pleasant, but I would rather have a discussion than wander in the dark groping for information in some dark corners.
Today it is easy to be influenced by the media lies. True information is exchanged face to face. When you ask a question and hear the answer, you can find your true bearings.
Therefore, I am very happy to have this meeting despite your tight schedule – I was told you only had half an hour for this meeting. Even this half hour is of double value for me, because we have accumulated many questions. I am grateful to you for this opportunity to meet on the sidelines of the SCO summit. I think this is very timely and necessary. Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: This is the first time I hear about the half hour. I suppose our colleagues are too lazy to work with us. We have never had any time limits, and we do not have them today either.