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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dushanbe, Moscow Near Deal On Russian Base in Tajikistan




DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Russia plans to put a military base in ex-Soviet Tajikistan, Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said Tuesday.


Sergeyev told reporters in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe that the two countries agreed to establish the base during his talks with the Central Asian state's head Imomali Rakhmonov.


"Virtually all the questions we had were resolved during my talks with the Tajik president, including the establishment in the republic of a Russian military base," he said.


Sergeyev stated only technicalities remained before a final decision could be reached and these would be addressed during Rakhmonov's planned visit to Russia in mid-April.


He gave no details as to the size or type of base that would be set up in the former Soviet state of 5.7 million people.


But Valentin Orlov, head of Russia's Tajik peacekeeping force, told the daily newspaper Business and Politics that it would be located in Tajikistan for 25 years and staffed largely by the 201st division of which he is in charge.


Russia already has approximately 20,000 troops deployed in the mountainous republic to strengthen its southern flank with Afghanistan and to safeguard a shaky cease-fire agreement from 1997 that ended Tajikistan's own five-year civil war.