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xinhui
02 Sep 11,, 20:40
Russia gets base agreement

Neighbours aim to keep Afghanistan stable after Nato leaves the country

Reuters
gulfnews : Russia gets base agreement (http://gulfnews.com/news/world/other-world/russia-gets-base-agreement-1.860641)

Taking the road together

Image Credit: AP
Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari walk prior to their meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Friday.

Dushanbe: Russia agreed with Tajikistan yesterday to extend the deployment of its military base in the country, a move likely to boost Moscow's influence in Central Asia after the pullout of Nato troops from Afghanistan.

The expiry of Russia's current 10-year base lease deal with Tajikistan in 2013 would have dealt another blow to Moscow's clout in its former imperial backyard ahead of the planned 2014 Nato pullout from next-door Afghanistan.

But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said after talks with his Tajik counterpart Imomali Rakhmon they had agreed to extend the presence of Russia's military in the country by 49 years.

"We have paid significant attention to the issues of security of our countries, to regional security," Medvedev said during a visit to Tajikistan. He said the new base deal would be signed in the first quarter of 2012.

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The military base in Tajikistan, formerly known as the 201st division, numbers around 6,000 servicemen and is the biggest deployment of Russian ground forces abroad.

Medvedev and Rakhmon also oversaw the signing of a separate agreement on cooperation in guarding Tajikistan's lengthy and porous border with Afghanistan — a source of Moscow's concerns over an influx of heroin and radical, Taliban-style Islam.

Nato combat troops are expected to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after handing over to Afghan security forces, raising concerns among regional powers about a power vacuum or a worsening security situation which could spill across borders.

Speaking alongside Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Karzai and Rakhmon, Medvedev told reporters: "I believe all of my colleagues are united on one issue: the responsibility for what is happening in our region will in the final account inevitably rest with our countries — Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan."

The four signed a joint statement agreeing to combat jointly terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and organised crime in the region."

Apart from political dividends, Russia is hoping to gain economic benefits from a number of future regional projects.

The joint statement of the four presidents welcomed Russia's interest in participating in the TAPI project which aims to build a natural gas pipeline from ex-Soviet Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and on to Pakistan and India.

Dreadnought
13 Sep 11,, 02:08
I wonder if they took into mind locations like Kuwait and a few others that will more then likely keep US troops in the area and thus NATO.