Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Velkome, Mr. Berdimuhamedov.
We are very happy to have you as a guest of honor at the meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council. First of all, I would like you to convey my warmest greetings and best wishes to President and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin and myself. I also want to express my sincere and heartfelt sympathy over the death of your grandfather Myalikguly Berdimuhamedov. It is a great loss for the people of Turkmenistan. For many years he had been a living example of diligence for the youth.
Regarding our relations, I reaffirm that Russia has sincere interest in strengthening friendship, neighbourliness, partnership and mutual economic development with Turkmenistan. We would like to give a new boost to bilateral interaction and create the necessary conditions for re-launching promising joint projects and initiatives in diverse economic areas.
Practically all key issues of our interaction are dealt with by the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation. I would like to congratulate and thank you for being Turkmenistan’s co-chair of this commission. It is co-chaired by Alexei Overchuk on our part. I know that you work on the agenda entire seriously and systematically.
We have made big advances in trade despite the crisis and the global processes that have a negative impact on our relations. According to Russian statistics, trade rose by almost 40 percent compared to 2019 and has reached almost a billion dollars. This is a five-year high.
Russia’s leading companies operate in Turkmenistan. Large joint projects are underway in machine building, transport infrastructure, the oil and gas sector, agriculture and telecommunications. Cooperation in medicine and in the sanitary-epidemiological areas remains among our priorities. Collaboration in education is making good progress. The number of Turkmen students in Russian universities is growing every year; at present there are over 30,000 of them.
Regretfully, a number of scheduled joint cultural events had to be postponed last year because of the pandemic. As the epidemiological situation improves, we will definitely hold the Days of Culture, the Russian Cinema Week in Turkmenistan and reciprocal tours of our leading theaters.
I am ready to discuss the most important issues of Russia-Turkmenistan cooperation. You have the floor, Mr Berdimuhamedov.
Serdar Berdimuhamedov: Thank you very much for your words of encouragement.
I would like to begin with a request, Mr Mishustin, to relay the warm words of greeting to Russian President Vladimir Putin on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Allow me to also pass on the warm words of greeting from the President of Turkmenistan addressed to you personally.
Mr Mishustin, as you know, exactly one month ago a delegation from Turkmenistan was in Moscow on a working visit, during which the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation met and discussed the main issues of bilateral cooperation.
Over 60 bilateral meetings with heads of government agencies and large Russian companies were held during this visit, which resulted in signing more than ten bilateral documents.
I take this opportunity to thank you, Mr Mishustin, for receiving the Turkmenistan delegation and letting them visit the Coordination Center of the Russian Government. It was very interesting and useful. Thank you very much.
Mr Mishustin, this is the first time that Turkmenistan has taken part in a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, as an honorary guest. We express our gratitude for the invitation and hope that today’s meeting will give a boost to promoting mutually beneficial cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation both bilaterally and multilaterally.
Mr Mishustin, regarding bilateral relations, Turkmenistan pays a lot of attention to cooperation with the Russian Federation. Obviously, the key factor of dynamic bilateral relations is an open and friendly political dialogue between the presidents of Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation. A very solid political and legal foundation has been laid for stepping up Turkmen-Russian cooperation.
Regarding economic cooperation: the volume of Turkmenistan’s trade with the Russian Federation totalled $ 1.37 billion last year. Thanks to the efforts of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, bilateral relations are moving ahead in many industries and areas.
Another key area of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation is cultural and humanitarian interaction. Turkmenistan pays a great deal of attention to teaching the Russian language. Russian language and literature are taught at all schools and universities in our country. Prior to the pandemic, 36,000 students from Turkmenistan were studying at Russian universities.
Concerning culture, various events are regularly held in Turkmenistan and in the Russian Federation that involve culture and arts figures from both countries.
I would like to note that close ties have also been established between Turkmenistan and several large regions of the Russian Federation such as the Republic of Tatarstan, the Astrakhan Region and the city of St Petersburg.
Once again, thank you very much.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.