By Gunay Hasanova
Uzbek Defense Minister Kabul Berdiyev and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signed an agreement on developing military-technical cooperation (MTC) and the plan of bilateral cooperation between the defenses ministries for 2017 on November 29, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
The documents were signed following the talks between the defense ministers of two countries in Moscow.
“Situation near the borders of Uzbekistan once again raises the question about the necessity of cooperating within the CSTO and SCO in order to maintain peace and security in the region,” noted Shoigu.
The minister expressed his confidence that the countries have prospects and possibilities to strengthen military and technical cooperation in the interests of their own and regional security.
In his turn, Berdiyev stressed that Russia had been the main strategic partner for Uzbekistan.
The agreement aims at deepening cooperation as well as joining efforts to improve each other's military hardware and technology and working on both countries' scientific, technical and industrial capacities related to military, security, law enforcement and special forces applications.
The agreement may lead to the creation of joint military-technical programs, the signing of contracts between the two sides' relevant agencies and holding consultations with the involvement of experts from both Russia and Uzbekistan.
The Russian minister noted that program aimed at modernization and re-equipment of the armed forces of Uzbekistan with modern Russia armament and military hardware will be implemented.
Cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan is based on a solid legal base. Relations between the two countries have been developing within the framework of the signed Agreement on Strategic Partnership in 2004 and the Treaty on Allied Relations in 2005.
Moreover, the trade-economic cooperation has a special place in the Moscow-Tashkent ties. Russia is Uzbekistan's second largest foreign trade partner with a share 17 percent.
Currently, over 900 joint ventures established jointly with Russia operate in Uzbekistan. Also, some 85 Russian companies have opened their representative offices in this Central Asian state.
According to Russia’s Federal Customs Service, Russia’s trade with Uzbekistan in 2015 hit $2.8 billion. In recent years, over $6 billion was invested in Russia in the Uzbek economy.
Gunay Hasanova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @gunhasanova
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