Russian president visits Karimov’s grave in Samarkand, meets Uzbek PM

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 6 placed flowers at the grave of late Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov in his home city of Samarkand.

Putin also expressed his condolences to Tatyana Karimova, the widow of the president, and his youngest daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, RFE/RL reported.

At a meeting with Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev, Putin said that Uzbekistan can fully count on Russia.

“Of course, we very much hope that the groundwork laid by President Islam Karimov will be used further,” he said.

“For our part, we will do everything to maintain this path of joint development and to support the people of Uzbekistan and the Uzbek administration. You can fully count on us as your most reliable friend,” Putin told Mirziyaev.

Mirziyaev said that Uzbekistan was keen to maintain and develop strategic relations with Moscow.

“Your visit today says a lot and we are very grateful,” he told Putin during their meeting.

Mirziyaev is considered as Karimov’s successor as Uzbekistan’s next president.

Putin did not attend Karimov’s funeral on September 3, as he was hosting the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The Russian delegation to the funeral was headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Speaking to reporters at the G20 summit in China on September 5, Putin called Karimov’s death a “great loss” for Uzbekistan.

“One can make different judgements about what he did for his country, one can view various moments in Uzbekistan’s modern history differently, but he preserved stability in the country, he preserved its steady development,” Putin said.

Putin said he also hoped Russia’s good relations with Uzbekistan would be maintained.

Sergey Kwan

TCA