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TASHKENT, December 10. /TASS/. Integration processes underway on the post-Soviet space should provide for the further development of trade and economic relations between Russia and Uzbekistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
“All integration processes taking place on the post-Soviet area are definitely aimed at improving trade and economic climate and everything must be done to put it in practice, so that nothing would obstruct our bilateral trade and economic cooperation and provide for the expansion of relations,” Putin, who is currently on an official visit to Uzbekistan, said.
According to the Russian president, Russia and Uzbekistan have big plans for cooperation in the sphere of energy, nuclear sector and personnel training. He said that a total of 12,000 students from Uzbekistan were currently studying in Russia and the Russian State University had its branch in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.
Putin also said that Russia would maintain its cooperation with Uzbekistan in the military and technical sector.
Russia will start talks with Uzbekistan on a free trade zone between the post-Soviet trade bloc and the Central Asian republic, Putin said on Wednesday.
“We have agreed today to begin consultations concerning a possible signing of a deal between Uzbekistan and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on a free trade zone,” Putin told journalists after his meeting with Uzbek President Islam Karimov.
“I would like to underline that these will be only consultations,” Putin added.
The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is based on the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and is a new integration association, which will start functioning from January 1, 2015 instead of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), which officially ceased to exist on October 10.