Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan: Negotiations Focus on Gas Pipeline, Railroad

Putin's visit was preceded by a series of trade and economic consultations in Moscow and Tashkent

Vladimir Putin e Shavkat Mirziyoyev

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Uzbekistan on Sunday, May 26, for a two-day official visit at the invitation of his counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev. According to a Russian-Uzbek statement, the two leaders will discuss issues related to the further development of bilateral political, military, economic, and trade relations. As the Kremlin presidential administration emphasized, “special attention will be paid to practical cooperation, primarily to increasing commercial exchange and promoting joint economic projects.”

At the center of the “economic block” of negotiations will be two intercontinental projects that involve the construction of a super railroad and a gas pipeline that would run from Russia through the territories of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to Pakistan and India.

At the political level, Moscow fears that the West could open a kind of “second front” against Russia in Central Asia. “During the summit with Mirziyoyev, the Russian leader will discuss political and military measures aimed at preventing this destructive development of events, completely undesirable for both Russia and Uzbekistan,” said Valentin Grozin, head of the Central Asia department of the Institute for the Countries of the Former Soviet Union.

A number of cooperation agreements and memorandums are expected to be signed by the end of the summit. On Monday, May 27, Mirziyoyev and Putin will also attend the first session of the Council of Regions Heads of Uzbekistan and Russia.