The leaders of the two countries discussed the further development of the Russian-Uzbek allied strategic partnership, including investment and humanitarian ties, as well as pertinent international and regional issues, including the situation in Afghanistan.
The presidents adopted a joint statement on cooperation in ensuring international information security. They signed a package of bilateral documents on the sidelines of the talks. These included a comprehensive intergovernmental cooperation programme for 2022–2026, a memorandum of understanding on bio-security, and a number of papers on interdepartmental cooperation. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Uzbek Direct Investment Fund (UDIF) signed cooperation and joint investment agreements. The VEB RF State Development Corporation concluded loan agreements with joint-stock companies Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Plant and Uzbekneftegaz.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your sweeping victory at the presidential election. We have spoken many times about your first steps as President of Uzbekistan and mentioned that there is important and difficult work ahead.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev: It is hard work.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, it is, but you are doing fine. You are moving forward confidently, upgrading the country, and already there are results. The people can see and feel this, which is why they have reacted positively to what you have accomplished over the past few years. I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate you on this and to wish you success during your next presidential term.
I am confident that cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan will help increase Uzbekistan’s capabilities and improve the wellbeing of its citizens.
Uzbekistan is not only a close neighbour but also an ally, this is how we regard Uzbekistan. It is a major regional country, with which we have many links, both historically and in the current period.
At present, Russia accounts for 18 percent of Uzbekistan’s trade. Our mutual trade is increasing: last year it went up by over 15 percent, despite the pandemic. It is a very good indicator showing that we continue interacting quite successfully even in the most difficult periods.
Russia is making considerable investments in Uzbekistan worth over $10 billion. There are interesting projects and work is underway in all spheres both in the regional and nationwide formats. This concerns the economy, humanitarian ties and the transport infrastructure.
There is a large scope for cooperation, and we certainly have so much to talk about.
I am delighted to see you. We actually have not met for a long time.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev: Thank you very much.
Mr President, thank you very much for the congratulations. In reality, and we have talked about this a lot, I believe the outcome of the presidential election in Uzbekistan was one of the positive results of our cooperation.
First, I am grateful to you for inviting me to visit Russia and for such a warm reception.
I would like to emphasise that we have made a breakthrough in our relations over the past few years – we never had such figures before. As you said, our trade is growing: in the last nine months, it already amounted to $5 billion and will reach $7 billion by the end of the year. I am very grateful to you for your support for our mutual agreements.
The Intergovernmental Commission headed by the prime ministers is doing a working very well – you supported this and it was very instrumental. Ministers and sub-commissions are all working.
Much was done before the visit. We had three big forums: a regional, an educational and a media forum.
As for the results, we are now working on projects worth a total of $14 billion. Some of the projects were produced by the inter-regional forum – when we launched it three years ago, we had nothing like this. The results are impressive: meetings between representatives of the regions are a big incentive.
Over 35 agreements were signed following the education forum the day before yesterday. In the past three years, we have opened 11 affiliates of Russian universities. Now we already have 15 affiliates: recently we opened a branch of Pirogov University.
Cultural and humanitarian cooperation is also making steady progress. This also applies to the military-technical cooperation, which you mentioned, and our transport ties.
Our parliaments have developed very good relations – this was not the case before, either. They are working very hard to monitor what is being done and to fulfil their tasks.
I believe we have things to discuss because now we have a completely different level of relations. We are intensifying our integration in all areas and it is intensive – before we had agreements between regions and now, we have projects that produce added value. These are serious projects. We have exchanged views on them. We have big projects in metallurgy and they are progressing well.
I think today is a good opportunity to discuss these issues – inter-regional, bilateral, security issues and the problem of Afghanistan. I think this is a very good occasion to review serious issues with a view to the future.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. Thank you for your visit.