Ladies and gentlemen,
My colleague and friend Sirojiddin Muhriddin and I had constructive and substantive talks today, traditionally held in the spirit of friendship, trust and camaraderie.
We share views regarding the current state of Russia-Tajikistan relations, which correspond to the level of alliance and strategic partnership. In view of the agreements reached by our leaders during Emomali Rahmon’s working visit to the Russian Federation on Victory Day, we discussed topical issues of bilateral links and their development prospects in depth.
We commended the level of mutual economic cooperation. Russia remains Tajikistan’s leading trade partner, accounting for about 25 percent of the latter’s foreign trade. Russia is also one of the largest foreign investors in the economy of the Republic of Tajikistan. We welcomed the positive dynamic in trade that grew 18 percent as of 2022 and continues to grow this year, largely due to the efforts of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, co-chaired by Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kokhir Rasulzoda and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. They cooperate closely. The commission had its most recent meeting in Dushanbe on November 9, 2022. In mid-June, Marat Khusnullin is to visit Tajikistan with another deputy prime minister, Alexey Overchuk. We see it as a good opportunity to look at the overall picture and determine what needs to be done to solve the issues at hand, outline new vectors and set goals for reports to the presidents.
We discussed cooperation in labour migration. We consider these matters on a regular basis in line with the course set by the presidents. We almost always accommodate our colleagues’ requests for amnesty. The most recent pardon was issued a couple of years ago. One hundred and twenty thousand people were restored in their rights, despite their administrative offenses. We will continue to pay great attention to the interests of our Tajik friends and address issues that arise strictly in compliance with Russian law. Today Russian Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev and his colleague, Ramazon Rahimzoda, are holding joint events in Tajikistan. This matter will be a priority at the meeting, since migration is within the scope of responsibility of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Our cultural and humanitarian exchanges are developing smoothly. To mark the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between our countries, Russia held the Days of Tajik Culture (the festival opened in Moscow on October 24, 2022). This year, when we mark 30 years of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, Tajikistan will hold the Days of Russian Culture.
We particularly note the success of our education projects. Last September, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon participated, via videoconference, in the opening of five modern schools in the republic, with Russian-language study programmes, in accord with Russian education standards.
The Russian Teacher Abroad Programme is in its sixth year. Around 80 Russian teachers work at secondary education institutions in Tajikistan. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the warm welcome that the officials and the public in Tajikistan have given our professionals.
We spoke about fulfilling our agreements concerning military and technical cooperation, including the modernisation programme for the Tajik Armed Forces. We will continue to provide the necessary assistance to Dushanbe and all planned measures will be implemented.
We exchanged opinions on the topical regional and international agendas. We agreed to boost coordinated efforts concerning foreign policy, within international frameworks, including the UN, the CSTO, the CIS and the SCO. There is work to be done at wider platforms such as the CICA and the OSCE. We will continue to provide comprehensive support to each other’s initiatives. We welcome Dushanbe’s active position in the UN with respect to international cooperation on fresh water. There is an action plan, initiated by our friends, in which we are actively involved.
We paid particular attention to the situation in Afghanistan. Trust-based consultations between our countries are held on a regular basis. We cooperate at international platforms, the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan, the CSTO and the SCO being some of them. We noted that we have concurring approaches to the majority of issues. These approaches include the demand for creating an ethnically and politically inclusive government in the country and countering the threats of terrorism, illegal migration and drug trafficking coming from Afghanistan. Fulfilment of the decisions made at the Central Asia+Russia summit, held in Astana in the autumn of 2022, will have great significance in this regard. We are currently finishing the work on the fulfilment plan.
Russia’s 201st military base is located in Tajikistan. We appreciate being provided with conditions for the base to perform its tasks in cooperation with the Tajik military. We hold drills, exercises, in the interests of Tajikistan and all allies in the CSTO.
We will continue to counter terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking. We value our cooperation and the positions we hold on the international arena. They are strongly based on the principles of alliance. Tajikistan follows these principles when our ill-wishers try to justify, at international platforms, their years-long preparations for a war against Russia, by proxy of the racist regime they have cultivated in Kiev.
I invited my colleague to pay a reciprocal visit. We have several important agreements to be signed as a result of this meeting. I hope the signing will take place.