In late July, World Bank analysts published a report on the Tajik economy. They emphasised that Russia’s special operation allegedly had a negative impact on the Republic. Experts “counted” 53 percent of enterprises, as if affected by it. In a recent interview with CentralAsia.news, a political scientist Igor Dubovsky emphasised that cause-and-effect relationship is sorely lacking in the above report. The document has become another element of anti-Russian propaganda.
In a new interview with CentralAsia.news, Dubovsky explained what a valuable partner Moscow is for Dushanbe. He also compared the foreign policy of the Russian Federation and China towards the CIS Member States.
Igor, does Tajikistan have any economic potential at all?
Thanks to its favourable geographical location, the large natural resources, but a small domestic market, Tajikistan has a very large export potential.
Further, logically, they often talk about what makes it to develop it.
However, this potential can develop through substantial investments in the country’s infrastructure, construction of roads, logistics and development of cities and settlements in high mountain regions.
Partnerships with which countries will enable to achieve a tangible effect on the economy?
Another factor that will create advantages for the economy of Tajikistan is the model of resource, technological and industrial integration with the economy of a major regional power. For Tajikistan, such states are either China or traditionally Russia.
China is a neighbour. How does it look at such, say, a territorially and economically small state?
China, according to its Silk Road concept and the Chinese economic system in general, is pursuing a policy of subordination, not integration. After entering the states, the PRC pursues a rather aggressive financial policy. It is very similar to the Western model pursued by the IMF, but has its own, Chinese specifics, sometimes being tougher on an external borrower.
Is nothing like that observed in Russia?
The Russian Federation, while remaining socially and politically the legal successor of the USSR model, is implementing precisely the integration approach of interaction with the former Soviet Union republics. For several decades, Russia has been generating about 40 percent of Tajikistan’s GDP by providing jobs to migrants from the Republic, who send home their earnings.
Can we say that Moscow has built a strong partnership with Dushanbe in several economic areas?
Russia remains Tajikistan’s largest economic partner. The structure of a trade turnover includes the export-import of hydrocarbon resources, agricultural products, equipment, transport and special equipment, chemical products and raw materials. The trading volume surpass $1 billion per year.
Is there any example of serious investment from the Russian Federation?
In 2009, Russia launched the Sangtudinskaya HPP-1, which is the largest investment project of the Russian Federation in Tajikistan. The large Russian corporations also operate in the Republic.
Can we say that Moscow and Dushanbe are conducting a dialogue “on all fronts”?
To date, more than 150 interstate, intergovernmental and interagency agreements have been signed, regulating political, economic, military, and humanitarian cooperation.
Given the examples you cited, is it so that close relations with Moscow are obviously in the interests of Tajikistan, no matter what Western analysts write there?
It can be concluded that active integration with Russia is a strategically important priority for Tajikistan, its economy. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said those states that will be able to ensure their sovereignty will have a future. Tajikistan will be able to ensure and preserve its sovereignty only in commonwealth and partnership with Russia. Historical experience has proved that Tajikistan earned its statehood, sovereignty, integrity and security from cooperation with Russia.