President of Russia Vladimir Putin meets with President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov
Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends, let me welcome you once again to Ufa.
Mr President, this year, we are marking the 10th anniversary of the agreement on an alliance, and in this respect, I note that it has been a long time since you made a state visit to Russia. We meet regularly and keep up our contacts, and you do come to Russia often, but the formal diplomatic side of things has its own significance, and I therefore want to invite you to make a state visit to Russia.
I note that our relations are developing very well. Russia remains solidly established as one of Uzbekistan's biggest trade and economic partners. We use different methods for calculating our trade. According to our statistics, our bilateral trade came to around $4 billion last year, and according to your statistics, around as much $6 billion, including gas transit. In any case, these are solid figures, especially considering that Russian companies have invested a total of $6 billion in Uzbekistan's economy.
Regarding our cooperation on the international stage, we are working together very productively. We work together actively on integration projects in the post-Soviet space, above all the CIS, and we also have cooperation within organisations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Uzbekistan is now about to take over the presidency in this influential international organisation.
I am very pleased to see you and have this chance to discuss our bilateral relations.