Vladimir Putin: Vol­ume of Our In­vest­ments Nears $9b, and That Is Just the Start

The state visit of the Pres­i­dent of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion to Uzbek­istan proved, with­out ex­ag­ger­a­tion, a break­through, be­cause the two sides not only signed a solid pack­age of doc­u­ments on var­i­ous ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion, but also laid the foun­da­tion for a n

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If one fol­lows its re­sults, then the key points will be more than enough: the launch of the nu­clear power plant con­struc­tion project, the will­ing­ness of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion to help Uzbek­istan cre­ate a na­tional space com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem, de­velop mil­i­tary-tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion with Uzbek­istan, prod­uct shar­ing for the Jel hy­dro­car­bon field, multi-bil­lion­dol­lar contracts among the re­gions of the two coun­tries, hun­dreds of agree­ments among higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions, bring­ing the vol­ume of trade to $ 10 bil­lion and much more.

Shavkat Mirziy­oyev and Vladimir Putin spoke in de­tail about all this dur­ing a press state­ment.

ECON­OMY IN PRI­OR­ITY, AS THE TRA­DI­TION GOES

Surely, the trade and eco­nomic sphere was and re­mains at the fore­front. Speak­ing about it, the Pres­i­dent of our coun­try noted: “Rus­sia is a key trade part­ner of Uzbek­istan. We are grate­ful to the Rus­sian side for cre­at­ing a “green cor­ri­dor” for the sup­ply of fruits and veg­eta­bles to Rus­sia. We have agreed to ex­tend this prac­tice to other types of our prod­ucts, in­clud­ing tex­tiles.”

A pack­age of new in­vest­ment agree­ments and trade contracts was pre­pared with lead­ing Rus­sian com­pa­nies and banks: Gazprom, Gazprom­bank, LUKOIL, Rosatom, Forus, Vneshekonom­bank and oth­ers – in the amount of about $ 25 bil­lion.

We are in­ter­ested in the de­vel­op­ment of di­rect con­tacts among the re­gions of the two coun­tries. Of great im­por­tance is the hold­ing of the First In­ter­re­gional Fo­rum of Uzbek­istan and Rus­sia dur­ing the visit, the out­come of which was co­op­er­a­tion projects worth more than $ 2 bil­lion.”

“The Joint State­ment that we just signed set clear guide­lines for fur­ther work of min­istries, de­part­ments and or­ga­ni­za­tions to deepen co­op­er­a­tion,” the Pres­i­dent of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion con­tin­ued. “Other im­por­tant bi­lat­eral agree­ments have been signed, as well as ma­jor com­mer­cial contracts.”

Tra­di­tion­ally, pri­or­ity at­ten­tion was paid to the is­sues of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and in­ter­ac­tion in this area.

Last year, bi­lat­eral trade grew by 34%, and in Jan­uary-July this year it added an­other 32%. The vol­ume of ac­cu­mu­lated Rus­sian in­vest­ment in the Uzbek econ­omy is close to nine bil­lion dol­lars. But I think this is just the be­gin­ning. We see how quickly and how fun­da­men­tally the sit­u­a­tion in Uzbek­istan is chang­ing, how re­forms are or­ga­nized and car­ried out, which are long over­due and ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary for the Uzbek econ­omy and the Uzbek peo­ple.

Rus­sian in­vest­ments in the Uzbek econ­omy ex­ceed $ 8.5 bil­lion.

We un­der­stand that there is a rather dif­fi­cult pe­riod at the first steps in this di­rec­tion. We can ap­pre­ci­ate it be­cause we our­selves have been through it. But we are sure that not only in the long-term, but also in the medium-term per­spec­tive, the ef­fect will be very pos­i­tive and the econ­omy of Uzbek­istan and the peo­ple’s life will change for the bet­ter, will change fun­da­men­tally for the bet­ter.

This gives us the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop re­la­tion­ships on a new ba­sis. Thanks to th­ese changes, which you are now spear­head­ing in Uzbek­istan, it is pos­si­ble to achieve this se­ri­ous ex­pan­sion of trade and eco­nomic ties.

In or­der to give the Rus­sianUzbek co­op­er­a­tion, pri­mar­ily in the eco­nomic sphere, an ad­di­tional im­pe­tus, we de­cided with the Pres­i­dent to cre­ate a joint com­mis­sion un­der the lead­er­ship of prime min­is­ters. The com­mis­sion will deal with strate­gic is­sues of eco­nomic, in­vest­ment and tech­no­log­i­cal in­ter­ac­tion.” THE DEEP MEAN­ING OF THE SYM­BOLIC BUT­TON

We are not afraid to re­fer to the launch of a project to build the first nu­clear power plant in Uzbek­istan to be the main event of the visit.

On Oc­to­ber 19, in Tashkent, Shavkat Mirziy­oyev and Vladimir Putin via video­con­fer­enc­ing launched the project to build the first nu­clear power plant in Uzbek­istan by press­ing a sym­bolic but­ton.

Alisher Sul­tanov, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter of Uzbek­istan, and Alexey Likhachev, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Rosatom, were at one of the pri­or­ity sites for the con­struc­tion of a fu­ture nu­clear power sta­tion in the Jiz­zakh re­gion. “In ac­cor­dance with your in­struc­tions, dear Shavkat Miromonovich, sev­eral sites have been al­lo­cated for the study of seis­mol­ogy, ge­ol­ogy and eco­nomic ex­pe­di­ency. Now we are on one of them and are ready to start ex­plo­ration works,” Alisher Sul­tanov re­ported.

“We are ready, to­gether with our Uzbek friends, to be­gin ex­plo­ration and site se­lec­tion. The main cri­te­rion here is safety and full com­pli­ance with all in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and rules of the IAEA,” said Alexei Likhachev.

“To­day, to­gether with es­teemed Vladimir Vladimirovich, we will launch the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a new project of strate­gic part­ner­ship – the first nu­clear power plant in Uzbek­istan,” Shavkat Mirziy­oyev said. “Its con­struc­tion will con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of in­dus­trial po­ten­tial and the cre­ation of new jobs in var­i­ous sec­tors of the econ­omy of our coun­try.”

Vladimir Putin noted in this con­nec­tion: “To­day, to­gether with Shavkat Miromonovich, we will launch the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this project. In fact, this is not just about build­ing a large in­dus­trial fa­cil­ity; it is about cre­at­ing a new in­dus­try in Uzbek­istan, a new sec­tor.”

Two NPP power units with a to­tal ca­pac­ity of 2.4 megawatts will en­sure the pro­duc­tion of in­ex­pen­sive and clean elec­tric­ity, which is planned to be sup­plied to con­sumers both in Uzbek­istan and in other coun­tries of Cen­tral Asia, which will con­trib­ute to the en­ergy sta­bil­ity of not only Uzbek­istan, but also of the en­tire re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to Rus­sian spe­cial­ists, the first power unit of the sta­tion is planned to be launched be­fore the end of 2028. SE­CU­RITY WILL BE GUAR­AN­TEED The prox­im­ity and con­cur­rence of the po­si­tions of the two coun­tries on many is­sues cre­ates a re­li­able ba­sis for fur­ther­ing the bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion. The Tashkent talks reaf­firmed the sim­i­lar­ity of the stances of lead­ers of the two na­tions on top­i­cal re­gional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues.

In this re­gard, Shavkat Mirziy­oyev said that in­ter­ac­tion within the frame­work of the United Na­tions, the CIS, the SCO and other au­thor­i­ta­tive in­ter­na­tional and re­gional struc­tures will con­tinue. “Se­cu­rity is­sues will al­ways be in our fo­cus,” he said. “There was a de­tailed ex­change of views on the co­or­di­na­tion of joint ef­forts to counter terrorism and ex­trem­ism, es­pe­cially rad­i­cal­iza­tion among the youth. We also com­pre­hen­sively dis­cussed co­op­er­a­tion in the mil­i­tary and mil­i­tary-tech­ni­cal fields.”

“It is in our com­mon in­ter­ests to nor­mal­ize the sit­u­a­tion in Afghanistan,” Vladimir Putin stressed. “Rus­sia wel­comes the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of Uzbek­istan in help­ing to launch the peace process. We con­sider it im­por­tant to stop the threats em­a­nat­ing from that coun­try that are as­so­ci­ated with the spread of terrorism, drug traf­fick­ing and or­ga­nized crime.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Rus­sian leader, an im­por­tant fac­tor in en­sur­ing the se­cu­rity of our states is the fac­tor of mil­i­tary and mil­i­tary-tech­ni­cal in­ter­ac­tion. In this re­gard, he ex­pressed readi­ness to de­velop mil­i­tary-tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion with Uzbek­istan, in­clud­ing joint pro­duc­tion of weapons in the re­pub­lic: “We are ready to de­velop mil­i­tary­tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion, bear­ing in mind not only the sup­ply of arms and mod­ern equip­ment, but also the joint pro­duc­tion of this equip­ment on the ter­ri­tory and at the en­ter­prises of Uzbek­istan,” he said, adding that sev­eral hun­dred of­fi­cers of the army of Uzbek­istan are cur­rently study­ing in Rus­sian mil­i­tary col­leges. THE WORK­ING, LIVE FOR­MAT

Agri­cul­ture was one of the main top­ics on the agenda of the First Fo­rum of Re­gions held in Tashkent. It was a large-scale event or­ga­nized jointly with a num­ber of min­istries and or­ga­ni­za­tions of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion. A prom­i­nent Rus­sian del­e­ga­tion rep­re­sent­ing dozens of re­gions took part in it.

As Putin noted, “the idea of such a joint event was pro­posed by Shavkat Miromonovich, and we, of course, fully sup­ported it. The Rus­sian-Uzbek Fo­rum of Re­gions can be­come an an­nual for­mat. Rus­sia holds sim­i­lar in­ter­re­gional fo­rums with a num­ber of CIS coun­tries, and this brings good re­sults not only for the de­vel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion among the re­gions, but also for bi­lat­eral re­la­tions in gen­eral.”

Ad­dress­ing the fo­rum par­tic­i­pants, the Uzbek Pres­i­dent stressed: “Con­tacts be­tween the re­gions have ac­quired high in­ten­sity and ef­fi­ciency. Over the year, more than forty re­cip­ro­cal vis­its took place, and in re­cent months alone, lead­ers of all 14 re­gions of our coun­try have vis­ited 26 con­stituent en­ti­ties of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion. Heads and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 18 fed­eral re­gions of Rus­sia par­tic­i­pate in our joint fo­rum. This has never been the case be­fore. I would like to es­pe­cially note that it is you who de­ter­mine spe­cific ar­eas of in­ter­ac­tion.”

Speak­ing about the need to cre­ate joint high-tech in­dus­tries, ex­pand­ing co­op­er­a­tion for the pro­duc­tion of mar­ketable goods and ex­plor­ing the mar­kets of third coun­tries, the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan cited sev­eral ex­am­ples of suc­cess­ful co­op­er­a­tion: “It is the cre­ation of a joint tex­tile clus­ter with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of com­pa­nies in the Ivanovo re­gion in the re­gions of Uzbek­istan (in Navoi re­gion), to­gether with a part­ner from Tatarstan, the pro­duc­tion of chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers in the Tashkent re­gion and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in Karakalpak­stan. The co­op­er­a­tion uses the in­fra­struc­ture of the whole­sale dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters in the Moscow re­gion, Bashkiria, the Oren­burg re­gion and other parts of Rus­sia to or­ga­nize the sup­ply of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, the cre­ation in the Surkhandarya re­gion of a mod­ern agri­cul­tural com­plex for grow­ing and sup­ply­ing fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles to the mar­kets of Moscow, with the Sverdlovsk re­gion – the con­struc­tion of a plant for the pro­duc­tion of light and heavy metal struc­tures of the Kashkadarya re­gion. And there are many such projects.

But the most im­por­tant re­sult is that strong, long-term part­ner­ships have been es­tab­lished among our re­gions. I want to as­sure you: our col­leagues from Uzbek­istan present here, mem­bers of govern­ment, heads of min­istries, de­part­ments and re­gions will fully con­trib­ute to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of th­ese projects. You, dear guests, must be sure that each project [will be im­ple­mented], be­cause Vladimir Vladimirovich and I have long wanted this.”

The pro­gram of the Fo­rum in­cluded pre­sen­ta­tions of Rus­sian com­pa­nies in the field of trans­port and in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies, en­ergy and en­gi­neer­ing, the tex­tile in­dus­try, a meet­ing of the Uzbek-Rus­sian Busi­ness Coun­cil, a prac­ti­cal sem­i­nar “Agribusi­ness: Growth Points for De­vel­op­ing Co­op­er­a­tion”, the ex­hi­bi­tion “Promis­ing Ar­eas of Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Rus­sia and Uzbek­istan” meet­ings of busi­ness­men in B2B for­mat.

How­ever, the fo­rum par­tic­i­pants also dis­cussed bu­reau­cratic ob­sta­cles that hin­der the rapid de­vel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion. The heads of state as­sured that the base cre­ated to­day be­tween Uzbek­istan and Rus­sia cre­ates all the con­di­tions so that th­ese ob­sta­cles do not ex­ist. In par­tic­u­lar, Putin de­clared: “Of course, the work on op­ti­miza­tion of mu­tual trade and its lo­gis­tics should be con­tin­ued. The is­sue of load­ing the trans­port re­turn­ing to Uzbek­istan will have to be re­solved, and, of course, in this case, Rus­sian prod­ucts, in­clud­ing food­stuffs are point of dis­cus­sion. There are op­por­tu­ni­ties for this, the vol­ume of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion in Rus­sia over the past five years has in­creased by more than 20%. We say that a real break­through has been made in this area. Last year, a record yield of grain was har­vested – 135 mil­lion tons, this year it will be a lit­tle smaller, but still a sig­nif­i­cant amount – over 100 mil­lion tons.”

In this con­text, the agri­cul­tural ex­hi­bi­tion held as part of the fo­rum al­lowed for es­tab­lish­ing use­ful busi­ness con­tacts and en­ter­ing new promis­ing joint projects. Rus­sia ex­pressed its will­ing­ness to fully meet the needs of Uzbek farm­ers in high-qual­ity agri­cul­tural equip­ment, to help in the mod­ern­iza­tion of the food and pro­cess­ing in­dus­try. And, by the way, the largest en­ter­prise in the field of agri­cul­tural ma­chin­ery in­dus­try, Rost­sel­mash, is launch­ing a project to man­u­fac­ture for­age har­vesters in Uzbek­istan. Other Rus­sian man­u­fac­tur­ers have sim­i­lar plans.

I em­pha­size that dur­ing the con­struc­tion of NPP, the most ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies, cost-ef­fec­tive and re­li­able en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions will be ap­plied, the high­est safety stan­dards and the most strin­gent en­vi­ron­men­tal re­quire­ments will be ob­served.”

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