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On the agenda: key issues of bilateral cooperation.

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Meeting of the Joint Commission at the level of the Heads of Government of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mikhail Mishustin: Good afternoon, dear Abdulla Nigmatovich! Good afternoon, dear colleagues!

We are pleased to welcome you to Moscow at a meeting of the Joint Commission at the level of the heads of government of the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan. This unique format was created on the initiative of the presidents of our states – Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev.

The agenda of our meeting includes key issues of bilateral cooperation and interaction. It will become an important stage in the preparation of the upcoming state visit to the Russian Federation of the President of Uzbekistan.

Colleagues, before we start, I would like to say about today’s date. June 22 – Day of Remembrance and Sorrow. On this day, exactly 80 years ago, the Great Patriotic War began. It became the most brutal and bloody in world history, claiming tens of millions of lives. Today we pay tribute to both those who fought and the home front workers who defended the independence of the Motherland in the conditions of the hardest trials that fell on the generation that fought and protected us.

This is our common history. The fraternal people of Uzbekistan made a significant contribution to the victory over fascism. Hundreds of thousands of Uzbeks have shown fearlessness, courage and heroism. Many did not return from the battlefield, as did the Russians.

I propose to honor the memory of all who fought valiantly at the front. Pay tribute to the people who won the Great Victory at the cost of their own lives.

I declare a minute of silence.

A minute of silence.

Thank you.

Now I would like to move on to the agenda of our meeting.

The Government of the Russian Federation pays special attention to strengthening strategic partnership with the Republic of Uzbekistan. Our cooperation is based on the principles of friendship, good neighborliness and mutual respect that unite our fraternal peoples. We are sincerely interested in taking Russian-Uzbek interaction to an even higher level. Fill it with promising joint projects and initiatives, together confront new challenges, above all the coronavirus pandemic, and protect the life and health of citizens of our states.

Russia and Uzbekistan are actively working in integration associations. We meet regularly. Quite recently, at the end of April, in Kazan, Abdulla Nigmatovich and I took part in a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council.

We welcome constructive interaction with Uzbekistan as an observer state in the EAEU. You can familiarize yourself in detail with the work of our association, with the procedure for preparing and making decisions that relate to the most important issues of economic cooperation within the union, look at the experience of creating common markets for goods, services, capital and labor – without barriers, exemptions and restrictions.

I am convinced that full-fledged participation in the Eurasian Union will provide additional opportunities for the growth of the Uzbek economy and, of course, tangible advantages for the citizens of Uzbekistan.

If we talk about bilateral relations, then here we have good results, even despite the pandemic. Last year, mutual trade grew by more than 15% – to almost $ 6 billion. In the first five months of this year, growth continued, and it also exceeded 15% – this is about $ 2.5 billion. Russian exports increased by almost 12%, and imports from Uzbekistan by about a quarter.

The supply of agricultural products is growing at an outstripping pace, largely due to large joint projects in the field of the agro-industrial complex. And here, the creation of agrological complexes in Uzbekistan, as well as the development of wholesale distribution centers in Russia, is of great importance. In addition, we are opening transport logistics corridors based on an intergovernmental memorandum, which is signed following our meeting.

We have great opportunities for cooperation in all areas. I believe that it is necessary to seriously expand cooperation in industry, the fuel and energy complex, including the peaceful use of nuclear energy, in medicine and education, the digital economy, and in high technologies in general.

Russian business makes a significant contribution to the development of the fuel and energy complex of Uzbekistan. There are many examples. Gazprom, in particular, participates in the development of large hydrocarbon deposits. Joint construction of a new gas processing complex is underway at the Kandym group of fields. One of the leading investors is LUKOIL, which plans to spend more than $ 12 billion on joint projects, in addition to the $ 8 billion already invested in the development of energy facilities.

In total, over 2 thousand enterprises with Russian participation operate in Uzbekistan. We have about 600 registered companies with the participation of Uzbek business. Perspective projects in the automotive industry, energy, pharmaceuticals and many other areas are being discussed.

It seems to me that it is very important to strengthen contacts between the business community. Create conditions for building close relationships.

In early April, the first international industrial exhibition “Innoprom” was successfully held in Tashkent. We are preparing for the next Forum of Interregional Cooperation, which will give a start, I am sure, to new business projects.

Russia is ready to share practical experience with Uzbekistan in many areas. Joint work is underway to improve the tax administration system. Our common goal is to help make the work of the Uzbek tax authorities more modern and efficient. And see what the colleagues have interesting. Apply the advanced software products and technologies necessary for this.

In addition, a pilot project is being launched to create a system of state cadastral valuation. And in this direction, we are ready to share with our colleagues the most modern solutions that have been developed in Russia.

There is great potential in the field of digital technologies. They are increasingly penetrating the economy, business, government, and urban economy. You, Abdulla Nigmatovich, a well-known expert in this, headed the relevant ministry in Uzbekistan.

Our companies offer competitive products to share. And I hope that these products will contribute to the effective implementation of information technology in all areas of activity.

Dear Abdulla Nigmatovich, during your past visits to Moscow, you personally got acquainted with a number of Russian decisions, including in the field of tax administration and labeling of goods. And today, after the meeting, we will present you new developments. We made special preparations and were waiting for you. We have something to share and work on together. We will be glad if we actively use these opportunities.

Of course, our countries are united by historically strong humanitarian and cultural contacts. We will continue to develop joint programs in the field of education and culture.

We are already creating conditions for young people to have the opportunity to get an education in Russia and Uzbekistan. More than 200 scholarships have been allocated for the citizens of Uzbekistan in the current academic year. And for the next academic year we plan to provide about 400 places.

Branches of 12 leading Russian universities operate in Uzbekistan. We will expand their network. I think this is a very important area.

I want to emphasize that there are concrete results in all areas. And following today’s meeting, a significant package of documents will be signed. This will provide additional opportunities for Russian-Uzbek cooperation.

Thanks for attention.

The floor is yours, dear Abdulla Nigmatovich.

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

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