DUSHANBE, October 4, 2012, Asia-Plus – Russian President Vladimir Putting is expected to arrive in Dushanbe for a two-day official visit today evening.

Emomali Rahmon and Vladimir Putin will discuss bilateral energy and military cooperation between their countries as well as the labor migration problems.

RIA Novosti, referring to Yuri Ushakov, an aide to the Russian president for international affairs, reports that the visit will result in signing of a number of important cooperation documents.

The schedule of Putin’s visit to Tajikistan reportedly includes negotiations in narrow format, negotiations with participation of delegations of both countries and joint visit to the headquarters of Russian military base.

Besides, both presidents celebrate their 60th birthday this month – Emomali Rahmon on October 5, and Vladimir Putin on October 7.  “In this connection, Putin will congratulate the Tajik president on the occasion of his 60th birthday and present gift to him,” Ushakov was cited as saying by RAI Novosti.

The negotiations’ program reportedly includes bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Russia in political, military, economic and humanitarian fields as well as cooperation between the two countries within regional organizations.  The sides will also discuss a number of international and regional problems being of mutual interest, including the current situation in Afghanistan.

The heads of state are expected to outline priorities of bilateral cooperation between their countries in energy sector.

Russia’s largest investment project in Tajikistan is the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant (HPP).

Gazprom International, an affiliate of Russia’s state-controlled company Gazprom, is actively carrying out exploration work in Tajikistan.

Gazpromneft-Tajikistan is currently implementing the project for construction of refueling stations and gasoline tanks in Tajikistan.

“There is an opportunity to participate in construction of small and medium-sized hydropower plants on internal rivers of Tajikistan,” Russian president’s aide noted.

He stressed that a special attention will be paid to expansion of cooperation in the migration sphere.  “According to the statistical data from Russia’s federal Migration Service (FMS), more than 900,000 Tajik nationals traveled to Russia in 2011 and at present more than 1.13 million Tajik labor migrants are working in the Russian Federation,” said Ushakov.  “Labor migrants are a critical component in Tajikistan’s economy.  In 2011, labor migrants remitted some 3 billion U.S. dollars to banks in Tajikistan, which is nearly half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).”

Cooperation on providing regional security and stability is being intensified and Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan is acting as a factor of stability in Central Asia, Ushakov noted.

In 2011, a two-way trade between Tajikistan and the Russian Federation valued at 808.7 million U.S. dollars and Tajikistan-Russia trade over the first six months of this year has amounted to 413.2 million U.S. dollars.

The main items of Tajikistan exports to Russia included textile goods – 47.3 percent, food products and agricultural raw materials – 23.9 percent, and mineral commodities – 20.9 percent.

The main items of Tajikistan’s imports from India included fuel-and-energy goods – 37.2 percent; food products and agricultural raw materials – 19.5 percent, lumber and pulp-and-paper goods – 16.0 percent, and metals and hardware – 10.1 percent.

125 Tajik-Russian joint ventures now operate in Tajikistan.