Tajikistan Agrees Terms with Russia for Army Base
Tuesday 17 July 2012
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – Tajikistan has approved Russian terms for an agreement on a lease extension for a Russian army base in the central Asian nation after 2014, Russia’s ground forces commander Vladimir Chirkin said on Tuesday.
- Russian military base in Tajikistan
Russia has several military bases in foreign countries, especially on the territory of the former Soviet Republics. The largest and most important Russian military base in a foreign country is the Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol, Ukraine. Other important bases exist in Armenia, Tadzhikistan, Georgia (In the disputed regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia). In Tajikistan, Russian military bases are situates in Dushanbe, Qurghonteppa and Kulab; joint use of the Ayni Air Base; Okno space facility near Nurak.
“The Tajik side considers the draft agreement between Russia and Tajikistan, strengthening the 201st army base’s presence there for another 49 years, as acceptable. The republic’s leadership intends to bring about a joint agreement quickly,” Chirkin said. The draft agreement maintains the existing terms for the base’s tenure in Tajikistan on a non-paying basis, he added.
There was no official reaction from the Tajik part early on Tuesday.
Talks between the two sides had recently become difficult, with Tajikistan demanding at least $250 million a year for the rent of the base, Kommersant business daily reported earlier this month, citing an unnamed Tajik source.
The Tajikistan base was opened in 2004 and is the largest foreign base for Russia’s ground forces with up to 7,000 servicemen stationed there.
Meanwhile, RFE/RL reported that Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi has told journalists in Dushanbe that no talks are being held with Washington on a possible military base on Tajik territory. Zarifi’s statement comes less than two weeks after one of the heads of a visiting U.S. congressional delegation to Tajikistan, Dan Burton, said that Washington views Tajikistan as a possible alternative to Kyrgyzstan’s Transit Center at Manas, which has been used for providing NATO troops in Afghanistan with nonlethal supplies for years.
The transit location at Manas is scheduled to be closed after NATO troops’ withdrawal in 2014.