Tajikistan wants $250 million a year for the Russian 201st military base
Tajikistan wants Moscow to pay at least $250 million a year for the Russian military base deployed in the Central Asian state, Kommersant business daily reported on Thursday citing an unnamed Tajik source. The Russian military base is the largest Russia’s base for ground forces abroad with up to 7,000 military servicemen stationed there.
Last week Russia has accused Tajikistan of putting forward some unacceptable terms for Russia. The Tajikistan ministry of defense responded by claiming the Russia’s stance is “politically incorrect”. During the meeting of defense ministries from CIS on July 6, the Russian minister Anatoliy Serdyukov emphasized that Russia expected the terms of agreement to remain unchanged. Minister Serdyukov specified that Moscow sent a draft agreement to Dushanbe in November 2011. However, his colleague from Tajikistan, minister of defense Sheraly Khairulloev claimed seeing no Russian version of the agreement and working on their own draft.
The Kommersant’s source said that in a new draft agreement on the prolongation of the base’s presence Tajikistan included 20 provisions, which are “unclear and unacceptable for Russia”, regarding the timeframe for the base, and the level of military and technical assistance, including free arms and ammunition.
The Russian defense ministry neither confirmed nor rejected this information saying that it still did not receive the draft agreement from Tajikistan, the daily added. Yet, one of the Russian officials involved in the negotiation process has expressed his resentment with the claims from Tajikistan that “may not provide the grounds for constructive negotiation and only raise questions”.
The Russian military base in Tajikistan was opened in 2004 and is the largest Russia’s base for ground forces abroad with up to 7,000 military servicemen stationed there. The base serves as an important element of the overall system of security in the Central Asia. The base’s presence in Tajikistan expires in 2014, according to existing agreements. Under the current agreements Russia does not pay Tajikistan for its military base, but renders the country military and technical assistance. However, this form of assistance is not officially stated as a form of the payment.
Meanwhile, yesterday (July 11th), the Kyrgyz minister of defense has announced that Bishkek is going to raise the rent for the three Russian military bases in Kyrgyzstan., starting as of 2014, by the time of signing a new rental agreement between Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Currently, Russia pays around $4,5 million per year, and provides training for the Kyrgyz military in Russian military schools.
Fergana International Information Agency