Prime Ministers of Russia and Uzbekistan meet in Samarkand

01 December 2022

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will go on a two-day visit to Uzbekistan on Thursday. In Samarkand, the chairman of the Russian Cabinet of ministers and his Uzbek counterpart Abdulla Aripov will hold a meeting of the Joint commission at the level of heads of governments and take part in the Russia-Uzbekistan business forum.

According to the press service of the Russian Cabinet of ministers, the meeting of the Joint commission "will discuss topical issues of development of Russian-Uzbek cooperation, special attention will be paid to deepening cooperation in trade and economic, industrial, energy, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres." The Russian governmental body has specified that energy, automobile, airplane construction, transport infrastructure, light industry, tourism, science and education will be among the subjects of cooperation between the two countries. It is also planned to discuss preparations to the III Forum of interregional cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan.

On the eve of Mishustin's visit to Samarkand, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to discuss cooperation in the economy, including "promising joint projects." According to the Kremlin press service, these topics will be discussed in detail at the upcoming December 1-2 meeting of the Joint commission at the level of heads of governments of the two countries in Samarkand.

One of such promising projects may be the idea of a gas union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. On November 28, Putin held talks in Moscow with President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on the establishment of a "triple gas union" with Uzbekistan. Spokesman for the Russian president Dmitry Peskov explained that the first stage involved the creation of a coordination mechanism initiated by Putin. Later it became known that it was a question of cooperation in processing and supply of gas, including to new export destinations.

Cooperation between Moscow and Tashkent

"Uzbekistan is a reliable strategic partner and ally of Russia in the Central Asian region," stresses the office of the Russian government. The Cabinet of ministers states that "trade and economic and investment relations of the two countries are developing steadily, despite the work in post-pandemic conditions, the turbulence of the global economy and geopolitical tensions."

"At the end of 2021, the Russian Federation came in first place in the foreign trade turnover of Uzbekistan with a share of 17.9%. The growth was 17.3%, reaching $6.9 billion. Exports increased by 11.7% (to $5.2 billion) and imports by 38.7% (to $1.7 billion)," the Cabinet of Ministers office noted. According to the Russian party, "in January-October this year the trade turnover increased by 30.5% to $6.9 billion, exports increased by 23.4% to $4.8 billion, and imports increased by 50.9% to $2 billion."


Russian investments in the economy of Uzbekistan exceed $12 billion. There are more than 2.9 thousand joint ventures with Russian capital, including processing and supply of fruits and vegetables, production of agricultural machinery, excavators, spare parts for the automotive industry, compressor equipment and construction materials. Investments are also being channeled into agriculture, engineering and metallurgy.

"Uzbekistan shows practical interest in the work of the Eurasian Economic Union and is an observer country," the Russian government office recalled. Moscow believes that "Uzbekistan's accession as a full member of the EEU will give Tashkent significant advantages, with many economic barriers and restrictions automatically removed, the movement of goods, services, capital and labor will be greatly simplified."

Humanitarian ties

The Russian government's office stated that for the current academic year, the quota for enrollment of Uzbek citizens in budgetary places at Russian universities was significantly increased from 420 to 651.


"For the 2023/24 academic year it is planned to allocate 800 federal quota places for applicants from Uzbekistan," the Cabinet office reported. In terms of the number of students in Russia, Uzbekistan is the leader among the CIS countries, with more than 46,000 Uzbek citizens studying in Russia. Moreover, there are 14 branches of leading Russian universities in Uzbekistan.

"The Russian language is widespread and is a language of interethnic communication among 130 ethnic groups living in Uzbekistan," the government office said. The countries are now implementing the "Klass!" project, which involves sending Russian teachers to schools in Uzbekistan and comprehensive retraining of Uzbek teachers, as well as the "Malysh" project, which focuses on improving the quality of preschool education in Russian. "It is planned to provide further assistance to Russian-speaking sections of libraries and Russian theaters and organize advanced training programs for journalists of Russian-language media," the Russian government office assured, adding that "the Russian diaspora in Uzbekistan is an important participant in deepening friendly relations between the two countries and numbers about 1 million people."

The Russian cabinet also considers the cultural cooperation successful. Each year Russia and Uzbekistan hold large-scale cultural events, including concerts and tours, libraries, education, cinematography and museums. It has become a tradition to hold comprehensive exchange Days of Culture. In 2023, it is planned to carry out the international project "Russian Seasons" in Uzbekistan. It is also planned to hold the Days of Cinema of Russia in Uzbekistan and the Days of Cinema of Uzbekistan in Russia.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Federation Council

Based on materials from TASS