( Itar-Tass ) - Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmon, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin here Thursday, said his country was interested in seeing Russian businesses join projects in the energy sector, Putin's aide Sergei Prikhodko told reporters.
"Vladimir Putin spoke about the assistance we're going to give Tajikistan," he said. "Today as never before that country needs engagement and assistance on the part of all of its neighbors, and from this knotty situation we went over to a discussion of what we could possibly do together so as to rule out similar negative things in the future."
"We spoke in detail about the situation in the energy sector, in the development of Tajikistan's hydropower resources and about the role Russian companies could have in this," Prikhodko said.
He recalled that that the first power unit went on stream ahead of schedule, January 20, at the Sangtuda-1 hydro plant.
"President Rakhmon made it clear that it would be good to build and commission other power units at that plant ahead of schedule, too," Prikhodko said.
The commissioning of even the first unit there had a positive effect on the situation with abnormally low air temperatures in Tajikistan and marked a real contribution to the efforts to overcome the crisis, he observed.
"The sides are considering supplies of extra amounts of fuel oil to Tajikistan," Prikhodko said adding that Russia continues giving aid to the southernmost former Soviet republic.
"There's a special instruction from the Prime Minister, who discussed it with the President the other day," he said.
February 19 and February 21, two Ilyushin-76 heavy-duty cargo jets delivered various mobile power-generating installations and heating machines to Tajikistan.
According to Prikhodko, Putin and Rakhmon also discussed contacts in the format of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and preparatory work for another summit of the SCO.