In a story from the weird news section this past week, Tajik parents living in Russia named their newborn son Shoigu — after the Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu.
Shoigu’s cousin, who is being brought up by the same couple, used to be called Rasul. But earlier this month he was renamed Putin, in honor of the Russian president. The mother told reporters the names are a tribute to her idols.
Perhaps it was an omen.
Several developments suggest that the often-troubled relationship between Russia and Tajikistan is on the upswing. In particular, there is lots of speculation that Dushanbe may finally agree to become a member of the stumbling Moscow-led Eurasian Union trade bloc.
Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, recently announced that the Russian leader will soon embark on a tour of Central Asia, taking in Tajikistan and neighboring Kyrgyzstan. The exact dates of the trip remain subject to discussions.
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