Uzbekistan and Ukraine, which are one of the ancient cradles of civilization, has long-standing historical ties of friendship and cooperation based on mutual respect and interest, which are now consistently developing and strengthening. It should be noted that Ukraine is among the first to recognize the independence of our country. State visit of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and the signing on August 25, 1992 in Kiev, an international treaty on the establishment of diplomatic relations marked the beginning of cooperation between our countries. Diplomatic Mission of Ukraine in the Republic of Uzbekistan was opened in 1993. Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Ukraine was established in 1995.

Today Ukraine for Uzbekistan is the well-tried partner and friend. Between our two countries has never been any controversy.

Currently the relationship between Uzbekistan and Ukraine have been developing in all directions in accordance with the requirements of time.

Ukraine has an exceptionally powerful industrial potential, developed agriculture, industrial and social infrastructure, favorable geopolitical position. All this makes Ukraine attractive for foreign investors for expansion of Uzbek-Ukrainian cooperation.

I would like to emphasize that in a phased strengthening bilateral relations play a key role Presidents of the two countries.

When it comes to the Uzbek-Ukrainian relations, especially, it should be noted that political agreement, the closeness of views and positions of the two countries on many issues of international and regional politics.

1. Between two countries formed a solid legal base - there are 149 documents aimed at establishing a productive and mutually beneficial cooperation in the political, diplomatic, economic, trade, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres.

2. The Uzbek side is interested in continuing an active dialogue between the foreign activity ministries of the two countries.

Important impulse to further enhance cooperation in this direction gave the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Konstantin Grishchenko in February 2012 to Tashkent, and the next round of ministerial political consultations held in May this year in Kiev, during which they discussed issues of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest. This year, the sides noted the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

I want to emphasize that an effective mechanism of state support for the development of bilateral relations is the work of the Joint Uzbek-Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission on comprehensive cooperation, headed by the Prime Ministers of the two countries. The Uzbek side is preparing to host the next meeting of the Commission in Tashkent. The Uzbek side is interested in using the considerable potential of the Intergovernmental Commission for sustained and harmonious development of mutually beneficial relationships.

3. Positive factor of Uzbek-Ukrainian relations is the desire of the parties closely and fruitfully cooperate in trade and economic sphere.

Today, Ukraine is the 7th largest foreign trade partner of Uzbekistan, it accounts for about 6% of the total turnover of the republic, and ranked 3rd among the CIS countries (13%).

Dynamics of trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Ukraine for 2007 to 2012 and January-October 2013 presented in the following table:

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Jan-Oct 2013
Turnover 1 059,9 1 931,0 1 526,2 552,6 665,9 1 081,7 822,7
Export 629,9 970,7 691,1 175,7 180,0 410,5 414,1
Import 430,0 960,3 835,1 376,9 485,9 671,2 408,6
Balance 199,9 10,4 -144,0 -201,2 -305,9 -260,7 5,4

During 2012, bilateral trade amounted to 1 081.7 million US dollars. in January-October 2013, bilateral trade amounted to 822.7 million dollars, which allows to predict significant growth up to 2014 .

I am pleased to say that over time, our trade and economic relations have acquired a qualitatively new structure - to be exact, the Ukrainian market today is widely represented by products with high added value. In particular, the Ukrainian motorists well aware of cars produced on the basis of the Uzbek automotive industry.

Today, enterprises in Uzbekistan are ready to increase supplies to the Ukrainian market of agricultural machinery, chemical products, automotive products, polyethylene of high and low pressure, mineral oils, copper and zinc and their products, cable and wire products, fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, cotton fiber and finished textile products.

In turn, taking into account the traditionally developed in Ukraine metallurgical, steel and engineering industries, we invite Ukrainian partners to actively cooperate to supply modern equipment and technologies for processing of agricultural raw materials required, pipe and other products for the needs of the mining and processing industries of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

From Ukraine mostly imported mechanical and electrical equipment, ferrous metals and their products, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, rubber and rubber products, plastics and articles of paper and paperboard, fats and vegetable oils, chemical products, etc.

4. In the investment sector parties need to increasingly move to the implementation of joint projects, expansion of cooperation in priority sectors of the economy, in particular:

- in agricultural engineering: a joint assembly of tractors, agricultural machinery and components manufacture, maintenance on the basis of the enterprises of Uzbekistan and Ukraine;

- in the Republic establishment of joint livestock breeding imported from Ukraine breeding cattle, poultry farms and breeding reproducers with the introduction of Ukrainian technologies and equipment, the production of highly concentrated fodder and components, seeds and fodder crops;

- processing of fruits and vegetables, followed by the organization of its deliveries to the Ukrainian market and the CIS countries, as well as joint production of meat and dairy products, canned meat products;

- implementation of joint projects in the chemical industry, through the participation of Ukrainian companies in technical audit and reconstruction of Uzbekistan;

- Enhanced cooperation between UkrAuto and JSC Uzavtosanoat produced by the mutual supply of components and materials;

- in the oil and gas sector: Possible projects for the production of the necessary equipment for the construction of oil and gas industry of Uzbekistan and the participation of Ukrainian companies in the resuscitation of oil and gas wells in fields used for a long time;

- in the sphere of tourism: the creation of joint enterprises and the development of tourism products aimed at increasing mutual flow of tourists.

In the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan there are 48 enterprises with participation of Ukrainian capital, including five companies with 100% foreign capital.

Activities of existing enterprises is concentrated mainly in the sphere of trade, wood, food and chemical industry, construction and services sectors.

Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan accredited 11 Ukrainian firms and companies. These companies operate in the field of agricultural engineering, production of ferrous metals, pharmaceuticals and medicines, as well as the airline industry.

On the territory of Ukraine there are 31 joint ventures with the Uzbek capital. Areas of activity: production of consumer goods to supply crude to the Ukrainian market a wide range of export products, services, etc.

5. One of the strategic directions of cooperation is in the field of transport. In order to continue to create favorable conditions to increase the traffic flow between the two countries we need to intensify joint work aimed at ensuring:

- application of preferential tariffs in railway transportation through the territory of Ukraine of foreign goods from the Republic of Uzbekistan, including copper products and products of the chemical industry;

- continue to provide preferential conditions for reception and processing of cotton fiber in the ports, as well as expanding the range of goods in transit Uzbekistan using their preferential treatment conditions.

6. Further strengthening of scientific and technological cooperation fully meets the interests of both countries. Uzbekistan is ready to expand cooperation in the implementation of joint research projects, particularly in medicine, pharmacy and other areas.

Scientific schools in Ukraine are known for their achievements in the fields of new materials development, research in materials science, physics, computer science, electrical engineering, energy saving technologies, the use of alternative sources of energy, mining and many others.

Bilateral cooperation in the health sector is also actively pursued. The Uzbek side expressed gratitude to the Ukrainian side for assistance in training physicians and interested in developing mutually beneficial dialogue in this direction.

Also we are ready to continue cooperation on joint projects in pediatric cardiac surgery, gastroenterology, neurology and other areas of health care, as well as joint production of medicines.

7. A significant factor is the presence of cultural cooperation in Ukrainian and Uzbek diaspora, respectively, in the Ukraine, and Uzbekistan , which are making a worthy contribution to the rapprochement of cultures of Uzbek and Ukrainian people. In Tashkent now operate Republican Ukrainian Cultural Center "Slavutich" and urban Ukrainian Cultural Center "Batkivschina”.

In December 2002, in the capital of Uzbekistan there was held an opening a monument to the great son of Ukraine poet Taras Shevchenko. The parties also are considering the question of establishing a monument in Kiev to the outstanding poet and philosopher of the East, the illustrious son of Uzbek people Alisher Navoi.

Uzbek-Kiev cultural and economic society "Dustlik" (founded in January 2002), and the Kiev Regional Society of Uzbek culture operates In Ukraine.

In conclusion, I want to note that Ukraine is a state with which we want to have long-term and solid relationship and want to keep our agreement and good intentions always implemented. Between Uzbekistan and Ukraine there is a strong foundation and all the possibilities for lifting trade and economic cooperation between the two countries to a new level.

Samarkand is wonderful and fascinating with its beautiful architectural monuments, with striking harmonies of perfection between mausoleums, madrassahs, mosques, and city squares. Some of the main sights are listed below and more information will be added soon.

 

Bibi-Khanum Mosque(the 15th century), which at that time was considered to be the largest dome in the Muslim world, is standing next to a noisy and crowded oriental market full of colorful fruits, vegetables and fragrant spices grown in Uzbekistan. The construction of Bibi-Khanum Mosque was undertaken by Amir Temur in 1399 after the victorious Indian campaign. Amir Temur dedicated Bibi-Khanum Mosque to his love queen Bibi-Hanim.

 

Registan Square The Registan was the heart of the ancient Samarkand. The name means ”Sandy Place”. The ensemble of three madrasahs is a unique example of town building art a remarkable pattern of the architectural planning of the main town square. Madrasah is a medieval Moslem clergy academy. The three madrasahs of the Registan are: the Ulugbek Madrasah (1417-1420), the Sher Dor Madrasah (1619-1636) and the Tillya Kori Madrasah (1646-1660).

 

The Ulugbek Madrasah has its majestic portal with lancet arch facing the square. The corners are flanked by the high well-proportioned minarets. Mosaic panel over the entrance arch is decorated by geometrical stylized ornaments. The square-shaped courtyard includes a mosque lecture rooms and is fringed by the dormitory cells in which students had lived. There are deep galleries along the axes. Originally, the Ulugbek Madrasah was a two-storied building with four domed darskhones (lecture room) at the corners. The madrasah was one of the best clergy universities of the whole Mouslem Orient of the 15th century.

 

In the 17th century the ruler of Samarkand Yalangtush Bakhodur ordered the construction of the Sher Dor and Tillya Kori madrasahs. The Sher Dor Madrasah was designed by architect Abdujabor. The decoration of the madrasah is not so refined as that of the 15th century “golden age” of Samarkand architecture. Anyway, the harmony of large and small forms, exquisite mosaic decor, monumentality and efficient symmetry- all these put the structure among the best architectural monuments of Samarkand.

 

The years later the Tillya Kori Madrasah was built, the name means “Gilded”. It was not only the place for training students, but it also played the role of grand mosque. It has two-stored main facade, vast courtyard fringed by dormitory cells with four galleries along axes. Mosque building is situated in the western section of the courtyard. The main hall of the mosque is abundantly gilded.

 

Tourist tips:

 

During the tourist season, the performance of Light and Music is played each evening on the Registan Square and tells about the history of the city. The show can be enjoyed from the main street in front of Registan without going inside and paying the entrance fee. It is also a place where a “Sharq Taronalari”, the international festival of oriental music, is held every two years. Some tips for ingenious tourists include (1) using a side entrance to avoid paying the entrance fee, (2) getting in touch with the policemen who “guard” the minarets - the policemen know the way upstairs for the most breathtaking view of Samarkand. Whilst in Registan, look for traditional Uzbek performers acting for small groups of visitors scenes from Uzbek life. The visitors are seated on ‘soure’, a bed-like table, and are offered some tea and snacks. The performance with professional music and dance unravels in front of visitors. Be ready to participate in the performance. There is also a small shop with traditional Uzbek instruments, which are not very cheap, and exclusive Uzbek music CDs priced $4 each.

 

Shah-i-Zinda, a big medieval burial complex, often referred to as “the street of the dead”. It is considered as a holy place for Muslims. Shah-i-Zinda consists of mausoleums and other worship buildings. The Gur-Emir Mausoleum, where Amir Temur is buried along with several sons and a grandson, is the most brilliant example of the medieval Central Asian architecture. Shah-i-Zinda is situated in the north-eastern part of Samarkand. The “name of living king” is connected with the legend that Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of the prophet Muhammad was buried there. He came to Samarkand with the Arabian invasion in the 7th century and preached Islam there. Popular legends speak that he was assassinated, but he took his head into his hands and went into the well, where he is still living now. The Shakhi-Zinda complex had been formed during nine centuries from 11th till the 19th centuries and now it includes more than twenty buildings. It comprises three groups of structures: lower, middle, and upper connected by four arched domed passages- “chartak”. The earliest buildings date back to the 11-12th centuries. Only their bases have remained now. The main group date back to the 14-15th centuries. The most ancient group - Kusam ibn Abbas complex is situated in the northeastern part of the ensemble. It consists of several buildings . One of them is Kusam ibn Abbas mausoleum is the most ancient building of the whole ensemble.

 

The Gur-Emir Mausoleum (the 15th century), where Tamurlane is buried along with several sons and a grandson, is the most brilliant example of the medieval Central Asian architecture.