FACTBOX - Russia-Tajikistan Relations

FACTBOX - Russia-Tajikistan Relations

Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon arrived on a two-day visit to Russia on Tuesday at the official invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 16th April, 2019) Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon arrived on a two-day visit to Russia on Tuesday at the official invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Diplomatic relations between Russia and Tajikistan were established on April 8, 1992. The fundamental legal framework of relations is provided by the 1993 Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. Today, the two countries' bilateral relations are underpinned by over 150 inter-state, intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements, which regulate cooperation in the political, economic, military, humanitarian and other fields.

Tajikistan is Russia's strategic partner and ally in Central Asia. Russian-Tajik relations are characterized by an intensive friendly and trustful political dialogue, and they develop progressively in various fields.

Putin came to Tajikistan on official visits three times, namely, on October 16-17, 2004, on October 5, 2012, and on February 27-28, 2017.

On February 27, 2017, during the high-level talks, Putin and Rahmon exchanged views on the prospects for trade, investment, cultural, scientific and educational cooperation between the two countries. In addition, Putin awarded Rahmon the Order of Alexander Nevsky, while Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Aslov, was awarded with the Order of Friendship. A number of bilateral cooperation documents were signed following the Russian-Tajik negotiations.

Putin also repeatedly came to Tajikistan on working visits, in particular, on July 5, 2000, on April 26-28, 2003, and on October 5-6, 2007.

The Russian president was on a regular working visit in Dushanbe on February 27, 2018. During the visit, Putin took part in the Commonwealth of Independent Nations (CIS) summit and met with Rahmon on the margins of the forum.

Then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was in Tajikistan three times on official visits on August 29, 2008, and on September 2, 2011, and once on a working visit to participate in the ceremony of an official commissioning of the Sangtuda-1 Hydroelectric Power Plant on July 30-31, 2009. As the Russian prime minister, Medvedev came to Tajikistan for an official visit on May 31, 2018.

Rahmon was in Moscow on an official visit in April 1999 and on a state visit in October 2009. The Tajik president stayed in Russia on working visits in April and October 2005, in February 2009, in August 2010, in July and August 2013, in February 2014, in October 2015 and in October 2017.

The leaders of the two countries meet regularly during the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) activities.

On June 9, 2018, Putin met with Rahmon on the sidelines of the SCO summit in the Chinese city of Qingdao.

On June 14, 2018, at Putin's invitation, Rahmon attended the opening ceremony and the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow.

Both countries' foreign ministries maintain active political dialogue.

On April 8-9, 2018, Aslov paid an official visit to Russia.

On February 4-5, 2019, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid an official visit to Tajikistan. He held meeting with Rahmon and Aslov, who at that time changed his name into the Tajik-style name of Sirojiddin Muhriddin.

Russia and Tajikistan also maintain interparliamentary and interdepartmental relations. Trade and economic relations between the two countries are based on intergovernmental agreement such as Free Trade Agreement of October 10, 1992, and an agreement on deepening economic cooperation and the development of integration ties of February 27, 1995.

According to the Russian Federal Customs Service, Russian-Tajik trade amounted to $893.9 million in 2018, including $849.6 million in Russian exports and $44.3 million in imports.

Russia's exports to Tajikistan include mineral products, food products and agricultural raw materials, chemicals, metals and products made of them and other goods.

Russia's imports from Tajikistan consist mainly of textile goods and footwear, food products and agricultural raw materials.

In 2002, the two countries signed an agreement on the creation of Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation. The latest meeting was held in Dushanbe in March 2019.

In 2006, the Russian trade mission was opened in Dushanbe.

Russia is the main investor in Tajik economy, accounting for 20 percent ($1.6 billion) of all accumulated foreign investments in the country's economy.

The largest Russian investment project in the republic is the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant, which was built in 2009 with the assistance of Moscow-based Inter RAO engineering company.

The plant makes a significant contribution to the energy supply of the Tajik economy, providing 12 percent of the total electricity generation in Tajikistan.

Russia's Gazprom energy group began to cooperate with Tajikistan in 2003, signing an agreement on strategic cooperation in the gas industry for a period of 25 years, until 2028, with the government of the republic. Gazprom Zarubezhneftegaz, which is now named Gazprom International, was assigned to implement projects in the country.

A representative office of Gazprom International was opened in Tajikistan in 2006. In 2008, Gazprom and the Tajik government signed an agreement concerning the main principles for conducting geological survey of the subsoil in Tajikistan, which became a fundamental document for implementing projects in the republic.

In 2010-2013, Gazprom was drilling a the Shahrinav-1P well, the deepest one in Central Asia (21,161 feet).

Gazprom Neft-Tajikistan is one of the Gazprom Neft's sales enterprises and its official dealer in the country.

Major Russian companies, such as telecommunication operators Tacom LLC and MegaFon Tajikistan, are actively working in Tajikistan.

The Russian company Trolza producing trolley buses supplies machinery components to the republic. Modern trolleybuses are assembled in Dushanbe from these components.

In February 2017, Russia and Tajikistan signed an agreement on cooperation in peaceful use of atomic energy.

To date, the two countries have signed a number of agreements on trade, economic, scientific, technical and humanitarian-cultural cooperation.

Since 1989, the 201st motorized rifle division of the Soviet Union and then Russian Armed Forces has been deployed in Tajikistan. It was transformed into the Russia's 201st military base in 2004. This is the largest Russia's foreign military facility. The base is deployed in the cities of Dushanbe and Qurgonteppa with about 7,500 of military personnel.

In accordance with the agreement "On the status and conditions of stay of the Russian military base in Tajikistan," signed on October 5, 2012, the presence of the Russian base in the republic was prolonged until 2042.

Humanitarian cooperation in addressing the issues of disaster consequences mitigation and the economic and social situation in the republic remains important. Russia provides humanitarian assistance to Tajikistan on regular basis.

Strengthening the position of Russian education, promotion of Russian educational services and expansion of cooperation between educational institutions of the two countries are one of the priority areas of humanitarian cooperation.

Cultural ties are actively developing. In 2018, Culture Days of Tajikistan were held in Moscow and St. Petersburg with great success. The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between Russia and Tajikistan was also a significant event. A large historical and documentary exhibition "Russia and Tajikistan: The Path of Friendship and Creation," opened in the National Museum of Tajikistan in November 2018 to commemorate that anniversary.

Russia attaches great importance to cooperation with Tajikistan in the migration sphere. About 1 million Tajik citizens are annually living in Russia.

In 2018, the total amount of remittances from Russia to Tajikistan amounted to $2.5 billion.

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