Russia to extend lease of Tajikistan military base

© RIA Novosti . Dmitriy Astakhov / Go to the photo bankRussian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon - Sputnik International
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The presidents of Russia and Tajikistan agreed to prepare in early 2012 an agreement extending Russia's lease of a military base in Tajikistan by 49 years.

The presidents of Russia and Tajikistan agreed to prepare in early 2012 an agreement extending Russia's lease of a military base in Tajikistan by 49 years.

Moscow and Dushanbe are currently in talks on the continued market-based lease of a base in Tajikistan by the Russian military. Talks to extend the lease beyond 2014 were held at the working-group level in August.

"We agreed to instruct our departments that a new forward-looking agreement for 49 years should be prepared for signing in the first quarter of the next year," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.

In exchange, Russia will provide Tajikistan’s army with up-to-date weaponry, a source within the Russian Defense Ministry said.

He added that the presidents have also agreed to sign a new agreement on the joint use of Ayni airport near Dushanbe.

Medvedev and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon confirmed their determination to finalize the deal in the agreed timeframe.

A total of 7,000 Russian troops are serving at three Russian military units in Dushanbe, the southwestern city of Qurgonteppa some 100 km from Dushanbe, and Kulob, about 200 km to the southwest of the capital. Russian troops in Tajikistan constitute Moscow's largest ground force deployed abroad.

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