Both countries need Russian base lease extension in Tajikistan

Tajikistan Materials 3 September 2011 15:24

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 3 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova /

The Russian military base in Tajikistan is of great importance for both sides. A decision on its lease extension is an expected action, Russian expert on Central Asia Leonid Gusev said.

The Russian and Tajik Presidents agreed to extend the lease for 49 years at a meeting in Dushanbe on Friday. The draft lease agreement will be prepared by late 2011. A joint plan of increasing the combat capability and rearming of the Tajik army is planned to be included in the draft lease agreement.

"I think that this might have been expected despite the deteriorating relations between the two countries," Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Studies of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Moscow State Institute of the International Relations Gusev told Trend via e-mail.

He said that the matter rests in the fact that the base is of great importance for Tajikistan itself.

At present, Tajikistan receives almost all the weapons from Russia. It is necessary to provide the Tajik army. According to the new agreement, the arms supplies will be continued.

Moreover, Tajikistan is interested in cooperating with Russia, as it depends on its supplied energy resources.

"Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that the parties agreed that the relevant bodies will prepare an agreement on the tariffs on oil products export to Tajikistan by late 2011," Gusev said. "It is necessary for the country."

He said that this base is of great importance for Russia, as drugs from Afghanistan are transported to Russia through Tajikistan. This base somehow restrains this flow. It would be really bad without it.

The Russian military base was established in Tajikistan in 2005 on the basis of the 201st Motor Rifle Division. It has been deployed in the country since 1993 in accordance with a mutual assistance treaty. The presence of the Russian base in Tajikistan is regulated by the agreement concluded in 2004. The agreement expires in 2014.