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A correspondent of the National Information Agency of Uzbekistan asked the president of the National Association of Broadcasters of Russia, the head of the Broadcasting Development Fund, electronic media and Internet technologies, member of the Academy of Russian Television, a well-known television journalist Eduard Sagalayev to answer a number of questions.

Dear Eduard Mikhailovich! Your small homeland, Samarkand, the people and the Uzbek land remember and are proud of you. Please tell us what Uzbekistan means to you.

— Thank you for your kind words, for remembering. Uzbekistan means a lot to me. First of all, I remember in Samarkand the places where my childhood and youth passed, I remember the famous monuments - Shahi-Zinda complex, Amir Temur mausoleum, Bibikhanum mosque and Registan square.

In Samarkand, I graduated from high school, university, worked as a radio announcer. So far, words in Russian, Uzbek and Tajik have been preserved in my memory: “Samarkand speaks, listen to the latest news”.

The life of the multiethnic Samarkand, in which Uzbeks, Russians, Germans, Tajiks, Armenians, Poles and representatives of many other ethnic groups live in friendship and harmony, multilingualism inherent in the city left a great imprint on my fate, my views, my approach to life and the choice of friends. There I formed the concept of friendship. I realized that there is nothing more precious than friendship. I am still friends with the son of the then leader of Samarkand, Tahir Shermatov, with whom we grew up in one yard, were sitting at the same table. Until now, I can smell samsa, baursaks, pies from a distant childhood. All this forever gave birth to me in the love of the country where I was born, and the people among whom I lived. I was very fortunate that I never saw an evil person in my life, even in villages, where at that time there were no decent living conditions. Young or gray-bearded, woman or man - all are good. Kindness, generosity, hospitality and sincerity are the primordial qualities of the Uzbek people. I am grateful to the fate that I was born in such a wonderful country like Uzbekistan, and grew up with such wonderful people.

— As you know, Uzbekistan is experiencing a very important stage of its development today. The country is literally changing before our eyes. And the future, according to the planned and already implemented plans, promises even more beautiful prospects, which I hope you are well informed about. Please share your opinion on the changes that have been taking place recently in Uzbekistan.

— I closely observe how the country is developing now; I often visit Tashkent, Samarkand and Jizzakh. All the transformations taking place in Uzbekistan now cause a feeling of pride. Only in my native Samarkand there were many different educational institutions, which indicate the great attention paid in the country to youth. There were new beautiful streets, majestic buildings. Sometimes I do not recognize familiar places, which causes mild sadness, but, fortunately, the feeling of pride that the country is developing so far outweighs. Today in Samarkand tourism is very developed. Here you can meet Japanese, Chinese, French, and Germans.

With gratitude I remember Islam Karimov, whom we met for a long time at each meeting. I know how intelligent and far-sighted he was, who wisely controlled his country and enjoyed the great confidence of the people. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev continues the policy of the First President, but also largely follows his course.

A serious step was taken - conversion, which will allow Uzbekistan to develop more dynamically, attract investments, create a free market. At the call of Shavkat Miromonovich, some people returned to Uzbekistan, who for various reasons were forced to leave the country. The president of Uzbekistan shows wisdom and is not afraid of opponents, solves all arising questions. So only a strong leader can act. With his arrival, the country will continue to be more confident in further development.

We, the natives of Uzbekistan, in Moscow are a lot. You will meet someone in the theater, at the exhibition and be sure to ask: “What’s new?” We are happy with the good news from Uzbekistan. They have become especially numerous recently. Every day something new is happening, not just an ordinary, but a symbolic, large-scale event. Say, the speech of the President of Uzbekistan to the UN, the World Exhibition in Astana in Kazakhstan, visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan. And every day sees a new decree, decision, decision. That new Ministry of Innovations Development is opened, then the Ministry for Preschool Education is established. Particularly pleased with the great work to improve the living standard of the population, in particular, payments to pensioners, students, salaries of civil servants are increasing. His statement “It’s not the people who should serve the state bodies, but the state bodies should serve the people” is accepted everywhere. This is a beautiful slogan, short and fair. Let now some bureaucrat or an official try to say something wrong, he obviously will not get well.

We are fascinated by the energy, enthusiasm, dedication and accuracy with which the President of Uzbekistan acts. His foreign policy activity deserves special attention. As is known, preparations have already begun in Tashkent for the meeting of foreign ministers for Afghanistan in May. This is a very serious, painful issue that has not been resolved for decades. We hope that a shift in this matter will take place in Tashkent.

Now in the center of Tashkent the construction of the International Business Center Tashkent City with 45-50-storey buildings has been started. I remember Tashkent, Samarkand is still one-story. And in the not too distant future, the capital of Uzbekistan, I believe, will become one of the most modern cities in the world.

But most importantly, and I would like to emphasize this especially - all this is done in the interests of a simple working man. And it pleases.

— Uzbekistan is a rich country. It grows cotton, extracts gas, gold and many other metals. What, in your opinion, is the role and place of the republic in the world community?

— The role and place of Uzbekistan in the world community can not be overestimated. As you correctly noted, this is a rich, dynamically developing country, with an independent policy, which I really like. Uzbekistan is friends with many countries, despite certain difficulties. I am very glad that relations with Turkey have been restored.

Even such a superpower power as China is interested in cooperation with Uzbekistan, and the country reciprocates. This is very encouraging.

— We would like to know about your attitude to modern Uzbekistan and how do you see its future?

— I am absolutely sure that Uzbekistan is waiting for a beautiful, happy future. The foundations for this are laid in its centuries-old history. The Uzbek people have always fought for their independence, while demonstrating and demonstrating tolerance.

Today, Uzbekistan is an independent state that is firmly following its own path of transformation and progress. The country will continue to develop. Some of its citizens work in Russia and other countries, which gives an impetus to further development, creates a basis for understanding what the modern world is. This is beneficial to the country and the people. Thanks to all the tests that have been passed, the spiritual strength of Uzbekistan and its economic power are growing stronger. In the future, Uzbekistan is a blooming, joyful and very bright country.

— Uzbekistan is connected a lot with Russia. Your assessment of the current state of Uzbek-Russian relations…

— Indeed, Uzbekistan and Russia are linked by long-standing friendship and close cooperation. Uzbek-Russian relations are growing and developing. The visit of Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Moscow marked the continuity of the policy pursued by Islam Karimov, which was a new step in strengthening bilateral relations.

Living in Moscow, approving the policy pursued by the President of Uzbekistan in relations with Russia, I am glad of the cooperation of our countries in the economy, culture and other spheres. I am confident that Uzbek-Russian relations will continue to grow and develop, bring joy to the peoples of Russia and Uzbekistan.

— Uzbekistan, as you know, is in the heart of Central Asia. Do you think that the geopolitical location of the country bears certain obligations?

— Of course, it imposes, and serious ones. One neighborhood with Afghanistan is worth... Such geopolitical, geostrategic position obliges Uzbekistan to be ready for any kind of situations, including provocations. As they say, you need to keep the powder dry. On the other hand, it is simultaneously a policy of restraint and openness, here a certain talent, readiness for dialogue, the presence of a strong army is needed.

The Almighty granted the Uzbek people a unique position, the diversity of nature and culture, all the riches of nature. I see that the leadership of Uzbekistan respects a reasonable balance and understands all its responsibility to the whole world for what happens on the borders and inside the country.

— What, in your opinion, untapped reserves are there in the sphere of mass media in Uzbekistan?

— I want to say kind words about the mass media of Uzbekistan, especially electronic, about television. Since I am the president of the National Association of TV and Radio Broadcasters of Russia, I very often communicate with the head of the NAEMM of Uzbekistan Firdavs Abdukhalikov. I have known him for many years, since the beginning of his activity in Samarkand on private television. It should be noted that it is developing very well for you. Unfortunately, in Russia there is sometimes pressure on private television, some regional channels are being closed. In Uzbekistan, bоth public and private television is developing very rapidly. For example, the participants of the recent congress devoted to the digital economy and the further development of television were impressed by the speech of Firdavs Abdukhalikov on the pace of television development in Uzbekistan. I want to wish the independent Uzbek television to continue to follow the chosen path of winning new audiences and space. I know that the plans of the national broadcaster of Uzbekistan are to create new channels, including those that will broadcast Russia. So, keep it up!

— We know you as one of the highly professional leaders of ORT, the editor-in-chief of the youth programs of the Central Television, the famous Vzglyad, the 11th floor, the information program Vremya, as the creator of many other youth and non-youth programs. This is a question, maybe a little abstract, but topical... Do you think television is the media, an element of society management, an art form or business?

— We see how television is changing before our eyes. Unfortunately, in Russia this does not happen for the better. Television, which was called art, has become increasingly dependent on money over the past 20-25 years. Today, this is no longer art, and no one disputes on this topic. Modern television is difficult to do without advertising. Now Vladimir Zhirinovsky is trying to ban advertising of medicines, which is a contentious issue. Whatever the State Duma deputies say, no matter how they try to ban advertising, we all know that advertising is not only a motor for commerce, but also bread for television. We need money to pay for the transmission of signals throughout the country and abroad, to produce, as we say, content - programs, movies.

On the other hand, advertising money has largely changed television. If earlier it was created and developed exclusively on public funds, today the state, of course, finances, for example, VGTRK, in part the First Channel, Culture, Public Television of Russia, but this money is not enough for the TV to exist and meet the interests of the audience. I really love television, I put a lot of energy and energy into it, I try to notice only good, for example, good programs “Voice”, “Best of all”.

Now in Russia, cable and satellite channels, which broadcast in Russian, are about 300. This is the result of the development of technology, television informatization. On the screens you can see everything you want. The main thing is that there is a choice for bоth adults and children. I really appreciate this in our television. People with good taste will not succumb to bad influence, propaganda of bad ideas.

— Please tell us about your activities as the president of the National Association of TV and Radio Broadcasters, the head of the TV and Radio Broadcasting Development Foundation, electronic media and Internet technologies in Russia.

— You can tell, of course, for a very long time. If in a nutshell, then we are developing the technologies of modern television and radio. This is a very interesting task related to the process of digitalization in the field of television and radio broadcasting. This process has been going on for several years, and this year digitalization of television will be completed. A lot of work has been done, several thousand transmitters have been installed throughout the country. All of Russia will watch more than 20 channels in a new digital format. The digital inequality will be overcome, since before that there were areas that only looked at three channels, and there were cities where 300 channels were broadcast. Satellite TV has stepped far ahead and actually gets to any corner of the globe.

The Association and the Fund actively participated in the digitalization process, and now we are moving on to the next stage - the development of the digital economy and the participation of television in the life of the country. There are a number of unsolved problems. First of all, this is the state of the regional TV, developing so far only in the cable.

— Eduard Mikhailovich, who is Stanislav Grof of whom you have repeatedly spoken? You are seriously interested in Islam, especially Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism. As they say on your website, you are deeply engaged in self-identification. Is it possible to elaborate on this in more detail?

— This is a topic for a separate big conversation. I made a series of films called “Mysterious Travels with Eduard Sagalayev”.

Stanislav Grof is a scientist, just as popular now as Sigmund Freud used to be. He was born in Prague, but went to the USA as a student and still lives and works there. Grof is a remarkable modern psychologist, the founder of transpersonal psychology, which takes into account the past life, process and date of birth of a person, the collective unconscious.

I am grateful to all people with whom fate brought me together. I learned a lot about myself, my life, God, how it should be loved and comprehended, even though he is unknowable until the end.

Even in my youth, I met dervishes in the streets of Samarkand, and I was interested in who they were. Then I seriously began to study this doctrine and soon realized that it was the deepest storehouse of wisdom and mystical experience. Sufism and Islam are created and exist only by the will of the Almighty. I am fascinated by Sufi dances, poetry, music, but most of all, of course, are interested in the philosophy of life and attitude towards God, people. For me, this is a vivid example of how to strive to live life.

— You are a person with a lot of theoretical knowledge, practical experience. Tell me what is most important for you in life?

— I’m asking myself exclusively philosophical question: “Who are we, where and where are we going?” At my age there were only questions to God. I have already answered all the others. And they are not as interesting as those eternal questions that people who live on the earth ask themselves.

Uzbekistan Today