The Republic of Tajikistan is a state in Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Up until the day of its independence in 1991, it was a part of the USSR. A presidential republic with a population of 7.5 million, the country’s capital is Dushanbe.

Throughout history, this territory has often represented the eastern portion of some of the great empires of which it was a part. From the empire founded by Alexander the Great, to the Parthian kingdom, to the Sasanian empire and finally the Muslim caliphate after the Arab expansion. Following Mongol domination, it came into the orbit of several khanates, before emerging as one of the strategically disputed lands between Russia and Britain (the so-called “Great Game”), until Russia’s full conquest and subsequent entry into the Soviet state, at which point it became one of the region’s republics. After its independence, in the years between 1992 and 1997, the country was ravaged by an internal civil war which undermined its economy and stability and resulted in numerous casualties and a significant number of refugees. Tensions and clashes persisted even after the peace agreements, so much so that a Russian military presence in the country was required to guarantee internal security.

The majority of the population is Tajik, an Indo-European and Iranian ethnic group, but there are also minorities of other ethnic groups in the country, including Uzbek, Yaghnobi, and, to a lesser extent, Russian. Sunni Islam is the most widely practiced religion. Tajik, a language of Indo-European origin similar to Iranian Farsi but written in Cyrillic characters, is the most widely spoken language.

Internationally, Tajikistan maintains good relations with Russia and other countries in the region. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, of the World Trade Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and it is an observer state of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Moreover, Tajikistan is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and of the OSCE. Relations with European countries and China are also improving.

With one of the lowest GDP rates among the former Soviet republics, the nation’s economy is fragile. A considerable portion of the population in working age has left the country, mainly moving to Russia. Like in other nations in the region, the cultivation of cotton is fundamental, while particularly valuable is also the exploitation of the country’s mineral resources, particularly gold, uranium, tungsten, and silver.

Bilateral economic relations between Tajikistan and Italy are limited.