Moscow, 8 March 2023 (TDI): Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin held a constructive phone conversation with Uzbekistan’s President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev to address strategic alliance issues.

During the conversation, the two countries’ presidents exchanged opinions on various trade and economic issues.

They underlined their desire to expand Russia-Uzbekistan cooperation to build more promising joint ventures and projects to benefit both countries.

The leaders’ conversation is the most recent development in the two countries’ negotiations. Both countries intend to expand the alliance in various areas, including energy, transportation, agriculture, and military cooperation.

The Presidents also discussed the regional situation. They pledge to continue working together to address the region’s challenges.

Russia and Uzbekistan Ties – An Overview

Russia and Uzbekistan have had complex political and economic ties since the Soviet era. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Uzbekistan established relations with all nations, including Russia.

The two nations have maintained a friendly relationship despite periodic friction. The energy sector is a crucial area of cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan.

Russian businesses have significantly invested in Uzbekistan, mainly in oil and gas. This investment has massively improved the country’s economy and assisted Uzbekistan in reducing its dependency on gas imports.

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Furthermore, both countries have worked on several infrastructure projects, including constructing a gas pipeline connecting Uzbekistan to Russia’s natural gas network.

They have also collaborated on transportation projects, such as building a new railway line connecting Uzbekistan to the Russian port of Olya.

A cultural exchange has also taken place between Russia and Uzbekistan. Many Uzbek students attend Russian universities, and countless cultural interactions and festivals occur between the two countries.

Nonetheless, there have been recent difficulties over human rights violations and trade conflicts. Uzbekistan’s intention to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), a trade bloc dominated by Russia, has been a severe issue.

The decision was considered a way to strengthen Uzbekistan’s economic relations with Russia and other EEU members. But it sparked concerns about Uzbek independence and sovereignty.

Uzbekistan’s relations with China and the United States are potential points of contention. As the influence of China and the United States in Central Asia has grown, Uzbekistan has attempted to strike an equilibrium among all superpowers.

Russia is concerned that China’s and the United States’ growing regional involvement will jeopardize Moscow’s strategic interests.