As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov paid on official visit on 25-26 April to Moscow at the invitation of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
On 25 April an informal meeting of Islam Karimov and Vladimir Putin took place. A sincere and detailed talk of the presidents continued longer that planned. The parties extensively exchanged views on Uzbek-Russian relations and events, taking place in different regions of the world.
Main events of the visit took place on 26 April in the Kremlin. During the meeting of Islam Karimov and Vladimir Putin the issues of developing cooperation in political, trade, economic, investment, military, technical, cultural-humanitarian and other spheres have been discussed.
Islam Karimov highlighted that the visit will provide a new impulse to develop interactions and is a good opportunity for comprehensive exchange of views on topical issues of regional and international politics.
Vladimir Putin particularly underlined that Uzbekistan is a strategic partner and a trusted ally of Russia and these relations have been evolving dynamically.
The cooperation between Uzbekistan and Russia is founded on a solid contractual-legal base. The relations between our countries have been steadily developing within the framework of the Treaty on strategic partnership, signed on 16 June 2004 and the Treaty on allied relations, signed on 14 November 2005.
Intergovernmental and inter-agency ties serve as a main factor in coordinating actions and implementing agreements, reached during the meetings on the highest level. Uzbekistan and Russia have been productively collaborating within the frameworks of such international organizations as the UN, the SCO and the CIS.
Presidents of the two countries exchanged views on the issues of regional and international politics, in particular, the Afghanistan issue, countering terrorism, extremism, narcotics trafficking and organized crime.
During the meeting a particular attention was paid to the activities, carried out within the framework of Uzbekistan’s chairmanship at the SCO. The significance of actions and efforts of Uzbekistan, aimed at further stimulating the activity of the organization, developing regional cooperation, strengthening peace and security, were stressed. Vladimir Putin highlighted that Russia supports new initiatives of Uzbekistan, which are planned for discussion at the SCO Tashkent summit in June.
Trade and economic cooperation has a specific place in Uzbek-Russian relations. In accordance with the Program of economic cooperation for 2013-2017 and the intergovernmental agreement on main directions of developing and deepening economic cooperation for 2015-2019, the relations of our countries in the area have been consistently developing.
Russia is the second largest foreign trade partner of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan exports transport vehicles, cotton yarn, textiles, fruits and vegetables, non-ferrous and ferrous metals, services to Russia. Russia ships to our country transport vehicles, chemical and cellulose-paper products, food products.
Over 900 joint ventures with Russian partners operate in Uzbekistan. 85 Russian firms and companies have opened their representative offices in our country. The volume of mutual trade turnover has been on the rise. In this first quarter the indicators have risen by 7.9 per cents.
The investment cooperation has also been steadily mounting. In recent years Russian investments to the economy of our country have reached over 6 billion US dollars. Last year this indicator increased for 40% in comparison to 2014.
Both Uzbekistan and Russia possess a huge potential in oil and gas sector, which plays an important role in developing cooperation in this area. Russian oil and gas companies Lukoil and Gazrpom are actively taking part in exploration and development of hydrocarbon fields in our country. On 19 April this year a construction of Kandym Gas processing complex was commenced in Bukhara region by Uzbekneftegaz national holding company in cooperation with Lukoil.
Cars made in Uzbekistan are always in demand in Russia. Such Uzbek cars as Matiz and Nexia have been recognized numerous times as the car of the year in Russia. In the first quarter of this year the sales of Ravon Gentra cars have increased by 7 per cent.
The demand for agricultural products is high in the Russian Federation. Uzbekistan possesses a huge potential in this area. The resolution of the head of our state “On measures to improve the system of procurement and use of fruits and vegetable production, potato and melons” from 12 April this year has created even wider opportunities in this sphere.
During the negotiations, an agreement has been reached to increase the volumes and assortment of exports of fruits and vegetables, grown and processed in our country. The issues of increasing the mutual trade, developing investment cooperation, widening ties in transport and transit spheres have been discussed. It was underlined that Uzbekistan and Russia have non-realized opportunities for further development of cooperation. Their implementation will be mutually advantageous for both parties.
The parties exchanged views on the issues of broadening interactions in culture, science, education, sports and tourism.
Following the negotiations, the documents on cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation in cultural-humanitarian sphere, in foreign policy, higher education, sports and others have been signed.
At the meeting with representatives of mass media Islam Karimov and Vladimir Putin emphasised that the negotiations took place in the spirit of openness and mutual trust, the parties extensively exchanged views on the issues of strengthening regional security and further development of cooperation. This has allowed to assess the current state of bilateral relations, determine priority directions of their further development. The similarity or proximity of positions of the parties on considered issues has been underscored.
The official visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has been concluded. During the negotiations, which served as a logical continuation of dialogue on the highest level, the main directions and prospects of developing strategic partnership between our countries have been determined, which will serve the interests of the peoples of Uzbekistan and Russia.
Anvar Samadov, UzA