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Russian, Tajik presidents to discuss bilateral ties, Tajik-Kyrgyz border clashes

Emomali Rahmon will also attend the Victory Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9

MOSCOW, May 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon in Moscow on Saturday to discuss bilateral agenda and recent clashes on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border.

"Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon will take place in Moscow on May 8, 2021," the Kremlin press service said.

The Tajik leader will also attend the Victory Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9.

Security issues

Although the two leaders frequently talk to each other, with their latest phone conversation taking place on April 23, they still have a wide range of issues to discuss. Such matters include security, and the sides plan to "exchange opinions on topical regional problems, including the situation around Afghanistan and security on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border," the Kremlin said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier told TASS that an agreement on Rahmon’s visit was reached before the events on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border. Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov is not expected to attend Victory Day celebrations in Moscow.

The situation at the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan escalated on April 28 near the Golovnoy water distribution station, which both sides consider their territory. On April 29, the conflict between local residents escalated into armed hostilities. Casualties were reported on both sides. Kyrgyzstan accused Tajikistan of using mortars and machinegun, and of an attempt to capture the water distribution station. Later that day, the sides agreed to cease fire and withdraw forces to their permanent deployment locations.

Economic cooperation

Economic cooperation will be another important issue addressed by the presidents of Russia and Tajikistan during their meeting.

"The leaders will discuss the current situation and perspectives for mutually beneficial cooperation in the trade, economic and humanitarian spheres, issues of joint measures to contain the novel coronavirus infection and various aspects of further strengthening of Russian-Tajik strategic partnership and cooperation, including with regard to Tajikistan’s presidency in the Collective Security Treaty Organization," the Kremlin press service said.

Russia remains one of Tajikistan’s main strategic partners and its number one trade partner. Despite the pandemic, bilateral trade turnover stood at $973.6 million in 2020.

During their latest phone conversation in April, the presidents discussed plans of increasing trade turnover between the two countries, including by boosting exports of eco fruits and vegetables from Tajikistan to Russia. Apart from that, Putin and Rahmon will discuss "migrant amnesty" for Tajik workers in Russia, construction of five Russian-language schools in Tajikistan and increasing the number of regular flights between the two countries.