PREFERENCES OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING
The 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkmenistan and Russia was marked at a round-table in the Russian capital. The event was organized by the Embassy of Turkmenistan jointly with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University). It brought together heads and representatives of the foreign ministries of Turkmenistan and Russia, the diplomatic corps accredited in Moscow and prominent orientalists. Among the guests was cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, native of Turkmenistan, holder of the Order of Turkmenistan "Star of the President", Hero of Russia.
In his opening remarks, Rector of MGIMO University Anatoly Torkunov noted the importance of this significant date that opened a new page in the history of relations between the two independent states. "This is a landmark event, presenting a good opportunity to take a fresh look at our cooperation in terms of its further expansion and raising it to a qualitatively new level," Anatoly Torkunov stressed. Praising Turkmenistan's successes in all spheres of state building, the Rector of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations supported the idea of promoting contacts between scientific and educational centers, academic circles of the two countries, and noted their great potential in the field of humanitarian cooperation.
Speaking at the round-table, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Director of the 3rd Department for CIS Alexander Sternik noted the similarity of positions of Turkmenistan and Russia on regional and international issues that enables the two countries to fruitfully cooperate through the reputable international organizations. "It is impossible to overestimate neutral Turkmenistan's contribution to ensuring security and stability in Central Asia and neighboring countries. Thanks to this policy Turkmenistan enjoys a well-deserved respect and reputation throughout the world," the Russian diplomat said.
Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Russia Batyr Niyazliyev noted the strategic nature of the Turkmen-Russian partnership. This was confirmed during the visit by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Russia in November last year and his talks with President Vladimir Putin.
Turkmenistan Foreign Ministry's Ambassador at Large Gurban Kasymov spoke of the pace and prospects of bilateral cooperation. Congratulating the meeting participants on the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the diplomat said it was a historic event. He also said that the document signed on 8 April 1992 provided the foundation for the legal framework of bilateral relations.
"We are connected with Russia by the centuries-old friendly relations in various areas of life. At the current stage of cooperation, these relations take a new form that fully meets the long-term interests of our countries and peoples," the diplomat stressed.
He also cited President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov's congratulatory letter to President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. The line reads as follows: "It is gratifying to realize that Russia is a strategic partner of Turkmenistan. Our countries successfully cooperate not only bilaterally but also through the international structures. This is evidenced by the mutual support of the international initiatives and proposals put forward in the framework of reputable international and regional organizations."
Speaking about the state of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, the Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan provided statistics and facts that confirmed the dynamics and large-scale of this cooperation. Turkmenistan currently accounts for 188 business entities with Russian capital, 304 investment projects involving Russian companies exceeding USD 2 billion, Euro 370 million, Russian ruble almost 4 billion and Turkmen manat 540 thousand.
A number of well-known Russian companies operate in Turkmenistan, including "KAMAZ", "ARETI", "Tatneft", "Siberia", "Vozrozhdeniye" and others. They are implementing projects in the strategic sectors of the country's economy. They also offer their products and services at the Turkmen market.
A High Level Group (HLG) on Support to Trade and Investment was set up in November 2015 as part of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Russian Commission for Economic Cooperation to make trade and economic relations more effective and targeted. Following two meetings of the HLG, the sides have already come up with more than 80 upcoming joint trade-economic projects.
The utmost importance in the agenda of bilateral relations is attached to the humanitarian cooperation. It was not accidental that the Pro-Rector for scientific work of the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Jumamurad Gurbangeldiyev took part in the roundtable meeting. He emphasized the two countries' interaction in the scientific and educational sphere, which is a priority vector of the humanitarian cooperation.
"The language policy of the head of state contributes to bringing the two peoples closer to each other and mutual enrichment of their cultures. This policy attaches great importance to the Russian language as one of the main languages taught in the secondary schools of Turkmenistan," Jumamurad Gurbangeldiyev said.
Teachers of the Russian language and literature are trained at the Turkmen higher education establishments. Over the years of independence, the Turkmen State University named after Magtymguly, the Turkmen National Institute of World Languages named after D. Azadi, the Turkmen Pedagogical Institute named after S. Seyidi have trained thousands of specialists in Russian philology. The Russian language is taught in all higher education establishments of the country. The Russian language teachers regularly attend refresher courses and scientific-methodical conferences.
Beginning in 2017, the Russian universities annually admit a large group of Turkmen students. The growing number of young Turkmen citizens wishing to obtain higher education at the best Russian educational institutions is a steady trend. This is evidenced by the statistics provided by the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan. For example, more than 12 thousand Turkmen boys and girls studied at the Russian universities in 2015; their number reached almost 20 thousand in 2016. The graduates of the Russian universities successfully work in various sectors of the national economy and social spheres of Turkmenistan.
"Turkmenistan is my home country, where I was born and raised. In all three space flights, I had Turkmen souvenirs with me, as they reminded me of this beautiful land," cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko said speaking to the round-table participants. He also praised the President of Turkmenistan for his outstanding role in developing the space industry in the country, in particular his decision to establish the National Space Agency of Turkmenistan. Noting the great potential for cooperation in this area, Oleg Kononenko proposed to implement joint scientific space programs.
Speakers at the round-table also included Russian experts, analysts and academic staff of MGIMO. A photo exhibition was set up as part of the round table, illustrating the history and modern development of Turkmenistan.