Dushanbe, Moscow reach agreement on military base

Dushanbe and Moscow have reached an agreement on the terms and conditions of a further stay of the 201st Russian military base in Tajikistan, sources close to the negotiations told CA-News.

The negotiations on the terms and conditions of the 201st Russian military base’s stay in Tajikistan are being held in Dushanbe today.

The Russian delegation is headed by Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov, who arrived in the Tajik capital on Tuesday night. The Tajik delegation is headed by Minister of Justice Rustam Mengiliev. Antonov is expected to meet with the Tajik political leadership.

Moscow and Dushanbe will specify the positions on certain provisions of the new draft agreement on the terms and conditions of the 201st Russian military base, a source in the military and diplomatic circles, refusing to give further details of the negotiation process said.

According to another source close to the discussions, Tajikistan and Russia have reached an agreement on the draft of a new agreement on the terms and further presence of the base.

He stressed that these arrangements are in new time frames which are limited to 30 years. Earlier, Russia hoped for a period of 49 years, Tajikistan insisted on a 10-year period.

CA-News source said that the new document excludes the possibility of charging for the continued presence of the base. «According to the draft agreement, Russia will increase the quota for staff training for the Tajik army at Russian military schools, as well as provide the Tajik army with modern technology and weapons,» the source said. «This is the basic agreement reached today.»

Media reports say that Tajikistan asks for at least $250 million from Russia for the continued presence of the base, but this information was not officially confirmed.

The 201st Russian military base is the largest land base outside Russia. Its units are located in three Tajik cities — in the capital and two cities in the south. It was founded in 2004 for 10 years.

Tajikistan and Russia have been negotiating the prolongation of the Russian military base presence for the fourth year.

A new agreement is expected to be signed in October during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Dushanbe.