Tajik president challenges Putin, asks for ‘more respect’ for his country from Russia

Rahmon says Russian oligarchs exploit Central Asian CIS states’ resources but give nothing in return

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mandiner

At a recent meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Astana, Kazakhstan, Russian President Vladimir Putin had to listen to a rare, seven-minute admonishment of Russian policies versus lesser CIS members by Emomali Rahmon, long-time leader of Tajikistan.

“We may be small nations, we may not have 100-200 million people, but we have history, we have culture, and we want to be respected. We don’t need anything but to be respected,” said Rahmon, 70, who has been the de facto leader of his country of 9 million since 1992.

In this handout photo released by the Kazakhstan’s Presidential Press Office, from left: Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon and Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhamedov attend a joint photo ceremony before the Russia-Central Asia Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. (Kazakhstan’s President Press Office via AP)

Rahmon even accused Putin of making the same mistakes that led to the fall of the Soviet Union. The speech by the Tajik leader is seen by some analysts as a sign that Putin has less of a grip over the former Soviet satellite states due to Russia’s poor performance in Ukraine, which has diverted resources and attention from nations traditionally in Russia’s orbit.

Rahmon also complained that Russian businessmen had arrived in Tajikistan, enriching themselves from the country’s resources, but refusing to invest.

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