Russian President Putin, PM Medvedev Express Condolences Over Karimov's Death

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed on Friday condolences over the death of Uzbekistan's long-time leader Islam Karimov, the Kremlin and the Cabinet press services said.

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov holds talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. (File) - Sputnik International
Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov Dies at 78
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Uzbek authorities announced in a televised statement earlier on Friday that Karimov, 78, died in a hospital after suffering a stroke last week.

Both Putin and Medvedev highly praised Karimov's role in maintaining strategic partnership between Russia and Uzbekistan, as well as in strengthening security and stability in Central Asia.

"His [Karimov's] departure from life is a great loss for the people of Uzbekistan, as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States and the countries-partners of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Islam Karimov was a prominent statesman, a true leader of the country. The most important milestones in the history of modern Uzbek state are associated with his name", the statement by Putin said.

The Russian president stressed that under the leadership of Karimov Uzbekistan "conducted a peaceful foreign policy, contributed to the strengthening of security and stability in Central Asia and the development of multilateral cooperation in the region."

"It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of Islam Karimov to the establishment of relations of strategic partnership between our countries. I am convinced that we will continue to develop the Russian-Uzbek cooperation for the benefit of our brotherly nations", Russian President Putin said.

Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalia Timakova said the prime minister will head the Russian delegation at Karimov's funeral in native Samarkand on September 3.

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