President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President of Tajikistan,
Dear builders, dear friends,
I congratulate you on this important event – the start of operations at Sangtuda-1 Hydroelectric Power Station.
As President Rahmon said just now, a large number of organisations and people took part in this project, and I wish success to all of you who contributed to building this wonderful facility. Of course, I also offer my congratulations once more to those who were awarded high Russian and Tajikistani state decorations yesterday.
This power station’s construction and inauguration marks without doubt an important stage in our two countries’ cooperation. This project will certainly give a big boost to developing a broad range of ties between our nations.
The President of Tajikistan said that thousands of invisible threads connect us, and this is the truth. The decision to build this power station and the construction itself created another strong tie between our countries, which truly are strategic partners. This is not to mention that on the technological level, the inauguration of Sangtuda-1 will help to make Tajikistan’s energy system more sustainable, which is important not just for Tajikistan’s own development, but also for the development of the region in general.
The energy generated by Sangtuda constitutes an important resource not just for developing industry but also for developing agricultural production, and small and medium business, as well as providing light and heating to schools, kindergartens, and people’s homes – probably the state’s primary objective in building such facilities.
Also important is that Russian and Tajikistani engineers and workers have acquired valuable experience of building large-scale facilities together. When you think about it, after all, there has been nothing on this project’s scale in the last two decades. This project really is a milestone and an important stage in our countries’ lives. I am sure that we will be able to put this experience to use in new big projects, and not only in the hydroelectricity sector.
Dear friends, Russia places great value on its friendly relations with Tajikistan, our strategic partner and ally. Our relations have shown very confident and dynamic growth over these last years, and this development has been mutually advantageous. There are many examples of the fruits of our cooperation – construction of hotels in Dushanbe, and the projects that Gazprom currently has underway.
I am sure that the opening of new offices, including by Russian banks (Rosselkhozbank recently opened an office here) will help to develop our industrial, technical and economic cooperation in all different areas.
We are drawing up a number of new agreements on cooperation in the energy sector and in geological prospecting. We expect productive new decisions from our governments and from the Intergovernmental Commission which will hold its tenth meeting in Dushanbe in September 2009. All of this illustrates the great potential for cooperation between Russia and Tajikistan. Our common task now is to make maximum use of this potential.
Dear friends, once again, I wish everyone taking part in today’s ceremony good health and success, and I wish the friendly people of Tajikistan peace and prosperity.
An important, joyful and long-awaited event has taken place today, and I am happy to have been able to take part. May it all be smooth sailing! My congratulations to you all!