"Tashkent believes Moscow" - this thesis was a common thread of the whole negotiation process of the official visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to the Russian Federation.
The informal meeting of Uzbek and Russian leaders, which took place on the first day of the visit and lasted more than it was scheduled, has demonstrated the trust, sincerity and openness to dialogue. "We had an opportunity to talk informally face to face. We have been talking in detail on the bilateral relations and on the international situation, the situation in the region for three hours," Vladimir Putin said. Thanking for the invitation Islam Karimov said, "In Uzbekistan we consider this official visit to the Russian Federation as a claimed continuation of the bilateral and multilateral cooperation, as an opportunity to take stock of the realities and prospects of our relations including trade and economic relations, investment relations, in a word, the issues of practical filling with new content of the fundamental agreements on strategic partnership and alliance between Uzbekistan and Russia."
The most important topics of the bilateral cooperation, specific plans for the future were discussed in a constructive and meaningful manner during a meeting in expanded format. A special place among them was given to trade and economic cooperation. Russia is the second largest foreign trade partner of Uzbekistan. The republic exports vehicles, cotton fiber, jersey, fruits and vegetables, ferrous and nonferrous metals, services. Russia supplies vehicles, chemical and pulp and paper industry products, food to our country. Assessing the state of this area of cooperation, Vladimir Putin noted, "Although the volume of trade has declined slightly in dollar terms, but it has grown in rubles, as well as in volume. And this growth is maintained in the first quarter of this year. Supply of agricultural products from Uzbekistan has significantly increased. The total deliveries from Uzbekistan have been increased for 10%, and much more for some products."
Let’s refer to the figures: There are more than 900 joint enterprises with Russian partners, representative offices of 85 Russian firms and companies in Uzbekistan today. The volume of mutual trade turnover has been growing dynamically. Its value increased by 7.9% in the first quarter of this year. Investment cooperation develops actively as well. Russian investments in the Uzbek economy amounted to more than $6 billion in the recent years. This figure increased by 40% in 2015 compared to 2014. According to the Russian leader, "the program of action for development of economic cooperation for 2015-2019 years has been being implemented successfully. As a result, the proportion of industrial and high-tech products in our export have been increased up to 30%. Deliveries of agricultural products to Russia from Uzbekistan have grown." However, the parties intend to use more the existing potential, and this intention resulted in an agreement on increase of the volume and expansion of the range of exports.
The leaders called power industry the field with a great potential for development of the cooperation. Russian oil companies "Lukoil" and "Gazprom" is actively engaged in the exploration and development of hydrocarbon fields in Uzbekistan. National Holding Company
"Uzbekneftegaz" together with "Lukoil" company started construction of Kandym gas processing plant in Bukhara Region, which cost is more than $3 billion, on April 19. Implementation of this ambitious project will create thousands of new jobs, provide a significant inflow of financial and tax revenues in the budget of the republic.
In the opinion of the Russian side, the recent entry into force of the agreement of 2014 on the settlement of mutual financial claims and liabilities opens additional opportunities for new projects, expansion of credit and financial cooperation.
A detailed conversation on major international and regional issues also took place. As Islam Karimov noted, "we have the opportunity to exchange views on the issues that life itself puts on the agenda ... The more because a lot of things that really requires more than just an exchange of views, but clarification the positions happen in the world." The two leaders agreed that the closeness and coincidence of positions enable countries to cooperate both on the site of the United Nations and to develop constructive cooperation within the CIS. They expressed their conviction of the need to form a broad anti-terrorist coalition acting on the basis of international law and under the auspices of the UN, especially with regard to Afghanistan. In this regard, the Russian leader said, "Uzbekistan – is a strategic partner and reliable ally of Russia. Our cooperation aims to strengthen the relations of friendship and mutual support."
The result of two days of talks was the signing of cooperation documents between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation in cultural and humanitarian sphere, in the sphere of foreign policy, higher education, physical culture and sports, and others. The parties expressed their intention to continue expanding the cooperation in education and training. "About 21 thousand Uzbek students study in Russia. Branches of the leading Russian universities operate in Uzbekistan: Moscow State University, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. Deepening educational and scientific contacts will ensure the signed agreement on cooperation between Bauman Moscow State Technical University and Tashkent Institute of Railway Transport Engineers," Vladimir Putin says.
Appreciating the visit in general, the head of Uzbekistan said, "I am satisfied with the conversation, and I think it will certainly give effect if not today, then tomorrow." His colleague, having thanked the Uzbek delegation for the productive and substantive talks, said that they will undoubtedly serve to further promote the multifaceted cooperation between our countries.