According to various translations, he told Putin: “We were witnesses with you. I witnessed how the [Soviet Union] fell apart. I participated in it. Then, you will excuse me, as now, there was no attention to small republics.
“We ask people for attention. [Our] traditions, customs, everything else were not taken into account.”
Mr Rahmon added: “Something is missing. Something doesn’t work. As it was the main reason for the collapse of the Soviet Union. I think you are not offended.”
He argued that the Soviets had underdeveloped Tajikistan while in control of it, and claimed that more than two million of its nine million citizens fly to Russia for work.