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Putin to Pay Respects To Karimov In Uzbekistan

Islam Karimov and Vladimir Putin shake hands in 2015.

Islam Karimov and Vladimir Putin shake hands in 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he will visit Uzbekistan on September 6 to pay his respects at the grave of President Islam Karimov, who died last week after suffering a stroke.

Putin said that Karimov's death was a "great loss" for the country.

Speaking to reporters at the G20 summit in China, Putin said he hoped the Central Asian country's new leadership would be able to preserve stability.

Karimov, a former communist boss, ruled for 27 years at the center of a tight inner circle and ruthlessly applied the country's security and intelligence forces to keep a tight lid on dissent.

"One can make different judgements about what he did for his country, one can view various moments in Uzbekistan's modern history differently, but he preserved stability in the country, he preserved its steady development," Putin said.

"This is very important for such a country as Uzbekistan, it is vital for its self-preservation and future progressive development," Putin added.

Putin said he also hoped Russia's good relations with Uzbekistan would be maintained.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and TASS