Russia hopes to keep military base in Tajikistan

Russia hopes to keep military base in Tajikistan
# 06 July 2012 19:23 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Russia hopes to extend its lease on a military base in Tajikistan after it expires in 2014, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Friday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"I hope our Tajik colleagues in October will be ready to sign all the documents. I think the financial terms for the lease will remain the same," Serdyukov said in Russian exclave Kaliningrad after the 62nd meeting of the Defense Ministries Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The Russian base benefited Dushanbe as it had attracted investments, generated tax returns and created jobs for the Tajik economy, Serdyukov said.

In 2004 Russia and Tajikistan signed a 10-year agreement on the deployment of the 201st Motorized Infantry Division, which has been in Tajikistan since 1945.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the division was incorporated into the Russian Armed Forces.

Earlier this week, Moscow threatened to stop financing the 201st division after the current agreement expires in 2014.

Dushanbe submitted to Moscow more than 20 terms and conditions concerning the extension of the treaty, said Vladimir Chirkin, commander of the Russian Ground Forces, who referred to the Tajik demands as "unacceptable."

Dushanbe has hinted that, if its demands are rejected, the base will be open to the United States.