President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Emomali Sharipovich!
We are now into our second day of talks. I would like to thank you for participating in the CIS summit yesterday and today for your participation in our Petersburg forum. I think it is a useful exercise for all of us, for our countries. It is not just socialising, but rather the opportunity to express one's views and talk about the problems that exist today, not only in the region but around the globe in the world economy. Thus I believe such contacts are important and should be continued. And, despite the fact that we have already had two days of talks, I hope that we will be seeing you again in late August, at the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organisation] summit in Dushanbe, where we will be able to continue the discussion of all the issues and projects that today link the Russian Federation and Tajikistan. Let's talk about bilateral affairs and problems in the format of the SCO.
Such a dialogue should be continuous and this is an opportunity to engage in it.
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Thank you dear Dmitry Anatolyevich.
First, once again I would like to congratulate you personally on your election as President of Russia and wish you success. This is our first official meeting since your election. I am very happy about how things have worked out.
I have been very interested in the proceedings, especially your speeches, those made by other speakers, and those of representatives of international financial institutions. This is very useful for countries that are members of the Commonwealth. It is a forum where one can have a dialogue and inform the business community about projects and opportunities that each country has as members of the Commonwealth.
The Republic of Tajikistan is very strongly represented here: the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Industry, the Minister of the Economy, the President of Tajikistan and other top officials — half the members of the government are at this forum.
We have done this to accommodate investors, to inform them of those projects which are now being pursued jointly with Russian companies in Tajikistan, not only in the field of electricity but also in other areas.
I think I can say that we are generally satisfied with the ways in which economic cooperation has developed between our countries. As a result, during the first quarter of this year trade has increased by 60 per cent.
Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, during 2007 trade grew by 50 per cent.
Emomali Rahmon: And over the past five years, trade has increased threefold. And there is potential for a great deal more. The most important thing is that we are generally satisfied. I would like to congratulate you and all the members of the government and Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin].
There is a high level of cooperation between our law enforcement agencies and security agencies in combating international terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking. There have been no differences or problems.
We have to give this cooperation a new impetus. I formally invite you to pay an official visit to Tajikistan during the SCO summit. We would be very happy to have you and can guarantee you beautiful weather.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you. I will definitely come, especially for the beautiful weather. That is enough to get me there. It's a promise.