Beginning of a Meeting with Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmonov 2005-06-22 21:49:02 The Kremlin, Moscow President Vladimir Putin: Dear Emomali Sharipovich, Let me wish you a warm welcome once more; I am very happy to see you. I must say that practically all the plans, all the tasks which we have set ourselves are being carried out. Last year trade turnover between us grew by 30%. As far as I know, work is also underway on realising major investment projects. I consider our cooperation in the military and military equipment spheres to be no less important. We agreed to create a Russian military base, and as far as I am aware, work is also proceeding in the right direction. There are also probably some problematic issues. I am very glad to see you, and I hope that we will also use this time for work in the framework of our integration associations and discuss bilateral relations, the ones that I already indicated and all others which you consider necessary for discussion today and tomorrow. Emomali Rakhmonov: Thank you very much, Vladimir Vladimirovich. For Tajikistan, Russia is a natural strategic partner and ally. We are generally satisfied with the level of cooperation, since, as you already noted, after your official visit the agreements that were signed in Dushanbe in the area of developing hydro-electric engineering, non-ferrous metallurgy and other areas are developing successfully. Official construction of Sanktuda-1 has begun, and design of the Rogun hydroelectric station is underway. In October this year an official consortium will be announced, and despite this, 25 million will be already invested this year in the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric station. As for cooperation in the military equipment sphere, full mutual understanding exists between our defence ministries. Our law-enforcement bodies are working actively in this area – in fighting extremism, especially in fighting drug trafficking. There are almost no serious issues concerning creation of a Russian military base in Tajikistan. On 24 June there will be a meeting of the CIS Council of Defence Ministers, and Sergei Borisovich [Ivanov] will be present, and we will have another meeting. We are pleased that there are virtually no unresolved issues remaining between our countries. Of course, as is usual for every ministry and department, there are some nuances, but this can be resolved.