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Eastern Express 13.07

Today’s episode of Eastern Express focuses on the situation in Tajikistan as the country is still largely dependent on Russia due to the economic underdevelopment. Recently, Russian leader Vladimir Putin held talks with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon in the Tajik capital Dushanbe. This was Putin’s first visit to a foreign country since he started the war in Ukraine.

Back in the USSR era, Tajikistan was the poorest Soviet republic. Now the country’s economic prosperity is still dependent on economic ties with Russia, which remains the Tajik main trade and economic partner, as trade between Dushanbe and Moscow has increased by 50 percent in the first five months of 2022.

However, Tajikistan is also intensifying relations with Iran. Recently the Tajik president met in Tehran with the spiritual leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Sajjid Ali Khamenei. This was the first visit by a Tajik president to Tehran since 2013. Tajik authorities are hoping to find an ally in Tehran.

This episode further covers topics of the pro-Kremlin party calling for Vladimir Putin to be referred to as Russia’s “ruler” rather than Russia’s “president”, China and Russia wanting to replace the US Dollar with BRICS currencies, Iran’s preparations to send military-grade drones to Russia and the possible reintroduction of voluntary conscription in Lithuania.

To shed more light on these issues TVP World invited Bruce Pannier, journalist over at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

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