Cablegate: Tajik Media Names Russian Ambassador "Diplomat of the Year"
UNCLAS DUSHANBE 002129
STATE FOR EUR/CACEN, SA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPAO RS TI
SUBJECT: TAJIK MEDIA NAMES RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR "DIPLOMAT OF THE YEAR"
1. A New Year's tradition, Tajikistan's electronic news agency
"Asia Plus" and Russian-language independent paper "Kurier
Tajikistana" published best of the year lists, sourced from
editors' personal opinions and popularity polls, and the
diplomatic community wasn't left out of their end of the year
analysis. "Asia Plus" ranked Russian Ambassador Ramazan
Abdulatipov as "Diplomat of the Year." In "Kurier Tajikistana,"
Abdulatipov edged out Ambassador Hoagland 16 - 7 for "Most
2. "Asia Plus," published a lengthy section on Abdulatipov that
praises him for being the first Muslim Russian Ambassador to
Tajikistan as well as a famous scientist and statesman. He was
also lauded for his "zealous work in Tajikistan that
overshadowed his colleague, Ambassador Hoagland."
3. (SBU) COMMENT. The Tajik mass media is ever quick to pit
the United States against Russia on all manner of issues. This
is not always negative, however, as papers, editors, and issues
swing between the two camps, keeping readers engaged in what the
two countries are doing in Tajikistan. The influence of Russian
media organs, the Tajik State-owned press, and cautious
self-censorship continue to remain an issue with free
independent press in Tajikistan, but moments of open criticism,
genuine reporting, and free expression have been, and continue
to be, present. END COMMENT.