President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends, colleagues,
First of all, I want to say that it is a great pleasure for me and our entire delegation to be here in Tashkent today. We are grateful for the invitation.
We have already had a substantial exchange of views in narrow format and have discussed practically every field of cooperation, including the economy of course and our political contacts. I would like to start with this.
We value greatly the high level of understanding and trust that characterises our political dialogue. We are in constant contact at the highest political level and also at government and parliamentary level.
The speaker of the Russian parliament’s upper house recently visited Tashkent and we are expecting a visit to Moscow by your parliament’s speaker. Our intergovernmental commission is working actively and recently held its 16th meeting here in Tashkent on November 26.
We are very happy to see that Russia remains solidly in first place among Uzbekistan’s trade and economic partners in terms of trade turnover. Uzbekistan is a privileged partner in trade with Russia. At the same time though, we think that there is still a lot more we could do to increase our bilateral trade.
There is no doubt that the integration processes underway in the post-Soviet area will improve the trade and economic climate and we must make every possible effort to ensure that this happens in practice. Nothing should get in the way of our bilateral trade and economic ties. On the contrary, we must do everything possible to facilitate their development.
We have big plans for developing our relations in other areas too. I am referring above all to the real sector of the economy, the energy sector, which was spoken about already, oil and gas. We are working together on research in nuclear energy and in this field too we have agreements in place between Uzbekistani and Russian partners.
We will continue to develop our cooperation in the area of training specialists. Currently, 12,000 young people from Uzbekistan are studying in Russia in a very wide range of areas. We will continue this cooperation, including through making available state-funded places for Uzbekistani students in Russian universities.
We are grateful to Uzbekistan’s government for supporting our humanitarian cooperation. A branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University is working actively and successfully in Tashkent and the Russian Centre of Science and Culture has also opened and is working now. We will continue to give this field of cooperation our full attention.
This is all the more so as there is a lot of interest in Russia in Uzbekistan’s culture and the history of this very important part of the world. We will most certainly continue to support cooperation in all of these areas. We will also continue our efforts on both sides in the traditional area of military technical cooperation. I hope that we will have the chance to discuss this in more detail during today’s visit and make the needed decisions.
A package of agreements was drafted for this visit and they will unquestionably help to cement the foundations for our continued cooperation over the coming years.
I want to thank our friends and partners and also my Russian colleagues for the work done in preparation for this visit.
Once again, thank you very much for the invitation.