Nikolai Zhuravlev: The role of parliaments in addressing the global agenda is growing

The Deputy Federation Council Speaker spoke at the plenary session of the Russia–Tajikistan: Potential for Interregional Cooperation forum.

Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Nikolai Zhuravlev spoke at the plenary session of the Parliamentary Forum Russia–Tajikistan: Potential for Interregional Cooperation in Dushanbe.

The forum was preceded by extensive preparatory work, the parliamentarian noted. In particular, the Inter-Parliamentary Commission on Cooperation meetings and five round table discussions took place last autumn.

Nikolai Zhuravlev commented on each of the main topics of the Russian-Tajik inter-parliamentary dialogue and its general focus. He primarily discussed the further development of inter-parliamentary cooperation between Russia and Tajikistan. “Obviously, the role of parliaments in addressing issues on the global agenda is growing. We can see the opportunities for parliamentary diplomacy are expanding, and there is greater responsibility for decisions made, and most importantly, for monitoring their implementation.”

The senator pointed out that regular meetings of parliamentarians from Russia and Tajikistan propel the development and strengthening of the legal framework for bilateral cooperation. We will certainly continue to deepen constructive interaction, using the mechanisms and opportunities of parliamentary diplomacy, and our close cooperation at international parliamentary organisations, including the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, and the OSCE PA.”

Another topic he highlighted as significant was the development of economic ties and trade between Russia and Tajikistan. “Today, bilateral trade shows good dynamics, and it is important to continue working to increase it. As of today, about 300 small and medium-sized businesses with Russian participation are operating in Tajikistan.”

The parliamentarian noted that the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation was contributing to the development of bilateral cooperation. Accelerated Eurasian integration is opening up good opportunities for strengthening economic cooperation, too. Tajikistan is enhancing interaction with the Eurasian Economic Union.

Nikolai Zhuravlev touched upon the topic of interregional cooperation, including in agriculture. More than 70 Russian regions have concluded over 80 agreements and memorandums of cooperation concerning trade, economic, cultural, humanitarian, scientific, technical and educational cooperation. “The interest of Russian regions in cooperation with Tajikistan continues to grow. Our task as parliamentarians is not only to facilitate the signing of new agreements, but also to oversee the implementation of those already signed.”

Nikolai Zhuravlev also mentioned cultural and humanitarian cooperation, as well as socially significant areas of partnership such as construction and materials and equipment of educational institutions in the Republic of Tajikistan, and the provision of the best conditions for schoolchildren studying the Russian curriculum.

“Projects aimed at supporting the Russian language are of mutual interest. We look forward to Russian schools opening in five cities in Tajikistan. We are discussing the possibilities for hiring teaching staff. We have significant achievements in this area. As Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko noted, the Russian Teacher Abroad project has been implemented for five years under the auspices of Russian-Tajik parliamentary cooperation, and has achieved impressive success,” Nikolai Zhuravlev said.

According to him, about fifty teachers from Russia have already moved to Tajikistan to help teach children in Russian during this academic year. “This means the number of teachers has doubled since the beginning of the project. The project is growing, expanding, and acquiring new facets.”

Nikolai Zhuravlev wished the Forum participants fruitful work and encouraged them to actively engage with one another.