Russian, Tajik presidents hold talks in Dushanbe


 It is Putin’s 1st foreign trip since launching Ukraine war on Feb. 24

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday arrived in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, his first foreign visit since the start of a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Opening the meeting, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon said Moscow and Dushanbe are allies and have a strategic partnership.

“Today, we would like to discuss the state and prospects of bilateral relations, international and regional issues with an emphasis on the situation in Afghanistan,” Rakhmon said.

For his part, Putin said Russia and Tajikistan have deep relations, and admitted that bilateral trade had been breaking records recently.

He praised the input of the Tajik citizens working in Russia, saying that “they contribute to the country’s economic development and serve as a bridge between the two countries.”

Putin said he would inform Rakhmon about “sensitive issues,” and agreed that the recent developments in Afghanistan deserve particular attention.

“We are trying to build relations with the political forces, controlling the situation in Afghanistan, we have contacts with all Afghan political forces,” he said.

However, Russia’s position remains unchanged and for official recognition the Afghan government should be inclusive, he said.

After Tajikistan, the Russian leader will go to Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat, where he will attend a summit of Caspian nations including the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan.

Putin’s last trip outside Russia was a visit to Beijing in early February, where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping and attended the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games.

Russia says it sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 to “demilitarize” and “denazify” its neighbor.


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