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Russian-Uzbek Relations Can Have Important Implications for Regional Development

The visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Uzbekistan is the culmination of what seems to have been a years-long effort to create good working relations at all levels with this populous Muslim country. Putin’s bringing along the heads of many Russian regions, as well as other members of the government, is part of a policy of creating a Forum of the Regions, and of establishing personal and business contacts on a region-to-region basis between the two countries. Speaking to the delegations of both countries today, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev indicated that Uzbek regional leaders had spent last week visiting corresponding Russian regions. He also gave some figures that indicate the extent of the relationship.

Mirziyoyev said: “Since the beginning of this year our contacts have become especially active. Last week, the delegations of all regions of Uzbekistan visited partner regions in Russia. Earlier, in April, more than 2,000 delegates from 65 constituent entities of the Russian Federation participated in our traditional exhibit ‘Innoprom.Central Asia’ in Tashkent. At that exhibit, there were signed hundreds of new cooperation projects. Presently at the regional level, more than 200 joint projects are being implemented for $4 billion. In addition, the regions have prepared a new package of agreements worth $5 billion.”

He indicated that Uzbekistan would set up a permanent trade mission in Russia, and that Russia would set up a trading house in Tashkent. Extensive scientific cooperation has also been established with the Bauman Aviation Institute and other scientific and educational institutions in Russia. The two countries have also created an investment fund of $500 million for projects in Uzbekistan.

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