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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Offers Tajikistan Border Protection

The head of Russia's border guards vowed Tuesday to give Tajikistan whatever help it needs, including military help, to protect its border with Afghanistan, Interfax reported.

Colonel General Nikolai Bordyuzha was in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, for talks with President Emomali Rakhmonov. Russia has 25,000 troops in Tajikistan already to guard the border with Afghanistan.

The former Soviet republics in Central Asia fear that if the Taliban Islamic army gains full control of Afghanistan there will be an influx of refugees and weapons across their borders.

Bordyuzha, head of Russia's Federal Border Service, said that he and Rakhmonov worked out measures to be implemented in the most "explosive'' parts of the Tajik border if necessary, Itar-Tass said.

Interfax said he offered whatever help Russia could give, according to Mizrob Kabirov, Tajikistan's adviser on defense and law enforcement.

Kabirov said there was no immediate threat to the border, but that the situation could change rapidly. He said the Taliban and opposition Northern Alliance were fighting 20 kilometers from the border with Tajikistan.

Moscow is also sending a first deputy foreign minister and the head of the general staff of the Russian armed forces to Tajikistan for talks this week.