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The meeting took place on the sidelines of the meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council.

From the transcript:

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Conversation between Mikhail Mishustin and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan Kohir Rasulzoda

Mikhail Mishustin: We are sincerely glad of your visit with colleagues to the Russian Federation, to hospitable Kazan in connection with your participation as a guest in a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council. First of all, I would like to ask you to convey warm greetings and best wishes to President of Tajikistan Emomali Sharipovich Rahmon from President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and, of course, from me personally. I also congratulate you on the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Republic of Tajikistan is traditionally our partner, strategic partner, ally in Central Asia. Our relationship has always been based on the principles of friendship, mutual respect and brotherhood. We are sincerely interested in bringing them to a new level, filling them with new promising joint projects.

Russia is one of the leading foreign trade partners of Tajikistan. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has made its own amendments to our trade and economic activities. At the end of last year, the trade turnover between our countries decreased by 15%. But we hope that by joint efforts we will restore the dynamics. I hope that the Intergovernmental Commission, headed by Deputy Prime Minister A. Overchuk, will do a good job so that we not only return, but even exceed the previous indicators of our mutual trade.

Large joint projects are being implemented in the energy sector, industry, and the agro-industrial complex. Through the Government, we are giving priority to the joint fight against coronavirus infection. We transferred mobile laboratories, test systems to Tajikistan, organized medical missions for our epidemiologists. We help each other mutually. Within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, we use the appropriate mobile application “Traveling without COVID-19”, which allows you to enter the Russian Federation in a simple and technologically sound form, if the relevant vaccination information is confirmed. And we believe that today this is a serious opportunity to simplify the movement of citizens between our countries, as well as a good technological platform.

I am also ready to discuss with you our joint projects and new ideas. The floor is yours, dear Mr. Rasulzoda.

Kirill Rasulzoda: Dear Mikhail Vladimirovich, I am glad to have the opportunity to meet you personally and, as they say now, to meet in person.

the trip

We are in constant contact with the chairman of the Russian part of the intergovernmental commission – your deputy Alexei Logvinovich (Overchuk), discussing topical issues of Tajik-Russian relations. And, taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to you for your constant and keen attention to promoting the range of bilateral issues of Tajik-Russian cooperation, especially during the new coronavirus pandemic.

Dear Mikhail Vladimirovich, the development of relations of alliance and strategic partnership with Russia is of priority importance for Tajikistan. I would like to emphasize that the good and trusting relations between the heads of our states contribute to the advancement of the bilateral agenda in all its azimuths.

Last week, the heads of state held a telephone conversation, during which a number of priority issues in bilateral relations for the near future were identified.

First of all, an agreement was reached to work out the official visit of the esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to Tajikistan in the second decade of September this year.

Thus, a large front of work awaits us, primarily in terms of the content of this visit. I believe that taking into account the certain consequences of the pandemic for our trade and economic relations, it is necessary to concentrate on developing new and non-standard approaches to their development.

The pandemic has entailed certain cuts in trade and economic ties between Tajikistan and Russia. At the end of 2020, the volume of trade, according to our data, amounted to $ 974 million. Our main goal at this stage should be to make the necessary joint decisions to revive trade and economic ties, investment cooperation and industrial cooperation. We discussed these issues in detail with Alexei Logvinovich (Overchuk) in February in Moscow at a meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic issues, and agreed that additional measures would be taken.

Dear Mikhail Vladimirovich! Unfortunately, statistics on Tajik-Russian ties last year showed certain reductions in certain areas. So, in 2020, the volume of direct investments of Russia in the economy of Tajikistan amounted to only $ 14 million, and then $ 13 million of them is for mobile communications. I believe that this indicator does not correspond to the existing potential at all, it is the lowest in almost 10 years. It turns out that in terms of direct investments in the economy of Tajikistan, according to the results of last year, Russia did not even enter the top ten countries.

During the official visit of the President of Tajikistan to Russia in April 2019, we handed over to the Russian side a list of investment projects in various fields at the request of your side. In the past, in 2020, detailed information was transferred on a number of individual projects. We expect that these proposals will be studied by the Russian side.

In addition, we would be glad to see the active participation of large Russian companies in the creation of joint Tajik-Russian enterprises on the territory of Tajikistan, using, among other things, the mechanism of industrial cooperation.

Dear Mikhail Vladimirovich, I would like to separately note the Tajik-Russian cooperation in the field of countering the new coronavirus. Taking this opportunity, I would like to convey to you and in your person – to all the responsible departments of Russia deep gratitude for the timely helping hand last year in the form of deliveries of test systems for determining the coronavirus. The relevant departments of our countries are implementing various projects aimed at exchanging experience in the field of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

I would suggest organizing the activities of joint teams of doctors and their training. Our sanitary and epidemiological services should establish a more effective information exchange on the spread of the new coronavirus infection and other dangerous infectious diseases.

We are sincerely glad about the successes of our Russian friends in the field of vaccine production. All three Russian vaccines have shown their high efficiency. We are seeing clear attempts in some Western countries to politicize the topic of vaccines. Unfair competition is used in relation to the Russian vaccine.

In Tajikistan, mass vaccination of the population began at the end of March this year. We use the British-Indian AstraZeneca vaccine, which we got through the World Health Organization. At the same time, I will not hide the fact that the population of Tajikistan trusts more precisely Russian vaccines. In February of this year, I sent you an official appeal with a request to consider the possibility of allocating a certain batch of Russian vaccines to Tajikistan. The heads of our states also spoke about this last week. You know, Mikhail Vladimirovich, that this year, in September, is the 20th anniversary of the SCO and we are chairing this summit. We would like to vaccinate the majority of the population before that.

Dear Mikhail Vladimirovich, with your permission, I would like to briefly touch on a number of other pressing issues on our bilateral agenda.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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