Tajikistan does not plan to join Russia-led EAEU economic alliance
Tajikistan, an ally of Russia, said on Wednesday (June 7th) that it does not consider joining an economic alliance led by Moscow that seeks to strengthen its now contested influence in Central Asia, particularly since the invasion of Ukraine.
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon (illustration image). AFP/Archives
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Tajikistan's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is not on the agenda," Tajik Foreign Ministry spokesman Chokhin Samadi told AFP. The statement came after a two-day visit to Tajikistan by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov's hopes dashed
On Monday, Lavrov said he "hopes Tajikistan will soon realize for itself the benefits of EAEU membership," during a speech in the Tajik capital Dushanbe for soldiers from Russia's 201st military base, the largest stationed abroad. The EAEU is an economic alliance bringing together five former Soviet republics (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan).
The issue of Tajikistan's collaboration with the EAEU was not discussed during the meeting between Lavrov and Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, "nor during the talks between the two foreign ministers," the spokesman added. He said the two sides discussed intensifying cooperation in various fields.
Strengthening ties with China and the EU
Tajikistan is already a member of other political, economic and military organizations, including Russia, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. This mountainous former Soviet republic is also moving closer to China, which is increasing its presence in Central Asia, but also wants to strengthen its economic relations with the European Union.
>> READ ALSO: China opens a new era in its relations with Central Asia
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