What Happened: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed 20 economic cooperation deals when they met on Oct. 19, AKIpress reported. During the meeting, Putin said Russia was ready to jointly produce military equipment with Uzbekistan.
Why It Matters: The meeting is another step toward stronger economic ties between Russia and Uzbekistan. In addition, Putin's offer to jointly produce military equipment and sell weapons at a discounted price shows that Russia is intent on wooing Uzbekistan now that Mirziyoyev is working to end the country's foreign policy isolation.
Background: Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev met with his Uzbek counterpart in Moscow on Oct. 17 to discuss increased security cooperation. Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu also met Uzbek Defense Minister Abdusalom Azizov in Tashkent on Oct. 12, during which time they signed a cooperation agreement for 2019.
- Why Russia and China Are Expanding Their Roles in Afghanistan (Sept. 5, 2018)
- Uzbekistan: Tightening the Security Knot with Russia (May 22, 2018)
- The Limits of Uzbekistan's Drift Toward Russia (April 13, 2017)