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China’s activities in Central Asia pose no threat to Russia’s interests — senator

October 13, 2016, 13:19 UTC+3 DUSHNBE

The Russian Federation Council speaker notes Beijing is a very important strategic partner for Moscow

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© AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

DUSHNBE, October 13. /TASS/. China’s activities in Tajikistan and in Central Asia in general do not pose any kind of threat to Moscow’s interests, Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) speaker Valentina Matviyenko said after a meeting with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon.

According to the Russian senator, "Russia, Tajikistan and China have been developing diversified cooperation with various countries and regions according to their national and economic interests."

"I don’t see any contradictions here. I don’t see any threats, too, since Russia as well as Tajikistan are actively developing their relations with China," Matviyenko noted adding that Beijing is "a very important strategic partner" for Moscow.

"We are interested in boosting cooperation with Tajikistan and other Central Asian states. I believe, it only benefits our countries," the Federation Council speaker said noting Russia and Tajikistan have "a huge cooperation potential."

Speaking of positive examples of economic cooperation between the Central Asian countries, Matviyenko referred to the achievements made by Kyrgyzstan in the first year of its Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) membership. According to the senator, the trade turnover between Kyrgyzstan and Russia increased by 68% while the investment in the Kyrgyz economy grew 2.3 times.

"Tajikistan’s President said they were monitoring the situation in the Eurasian Economic Union, a working group has been set up to assess the possibilities and feasibility for Tajikistan to join the Union," the speaker said. She expressed hope that Dushanbe’s interest in the Union would grow as the EAEU "gathers momentum and shows its high efficiency" bolstering economic ties and building free trade zones. "I think, it would benefit Tajikistan but it is for the country’s authorities to decide. They need time," Matviyenko noted.

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