Over the last years Russia provided aid to Central Asian countries in the amount of about 3 trillion rubles. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said this on Thursday, speaking at the opening of the second Central Asian conference of the Valdai international discussion club.
"Since 2008, more than $4.2 billion in gratuitous financial aid has been provided to Central Asian countries on a bilateral basis alone. The cumulative effect of our assistance to the countries of the Central Asian region totaled about 3 trillion rubles," he said.
"A substantial part of this amount is accounted for by lending - both commercial and concessional," the senior diplomat added.
He pointed out that Russia actively participates in UN projects aimed at the socio-economic development of states in the region. "Central Asian countries are active participants in regional projects in the CIS space, in particular in energy efficiency, expanding access to climate finance and other areas," Rudenko continued.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs also drew attention to projects with Russian donor participation that envisage the empowerment of women and youth, in particular through increased employment and job creation.
Amount of investment
Rudenko noted that the total volume of Russian investments accumulated in the Central Asian states is approaching $50 billion, indicating that Moscow does not intend to leave the region.
"Trade and economic cooperation with [Central Asian] countries is actively developing. The total volume of Russian accumulated investments is approaching $50 billion, in Kazakhstan - $36 billion, in Uzbekistan - about $10 billion, in Tajikistan - $1.5 billion," Rudenko said. - "These figures refute the recent popular thesis that Russia allegedly has no economic interests in Central Asia and that Russia allegedly is going to leave it or is losing interest, this is absolutely not true. We are not going to and will not leave the region".
He added that Russia has provided significant assistance to Central Asian states in fighting the coronavirus by supplying consumables and test systems and by having Russian doctors on the ground. The deputy head of the Russian diplomatic mission also thanked the countries of the region, which in turn provided humanitarian aid to Russia during the pandemic.
"The Central Asian region has been and remains one of the key areas of Russia's foreign policy in the Eurasian space. Russia intends to continue to act as an active participant in the processes taking place here, both bilaterally and multilaterally. We will build the future together," Rudenko concluded.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
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Based on materials from TASS