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MOSCOW, February 22 (Itar-Tass) — On Wednesday the Federation Council ratified the Russian-Tajik agreement on border issues cooperation. The agreement was signed by the heads of the two states in Dushanbe on September 2, 2011.
Under the document, Russia maintains its presence in Tajikistan as a border cooperation group, while Russian representatives participate in perfecting the state border system, ensuring security on Tajikistan's border and training of personnel.
Russia and Tajikistan also agreed on cooperation in fighting terrorism, religious extremism, transnational organized crime, illegal migration, contraband of weapons, explosives, poisonous substances, radioactive materials and narcotics.
Earlier, deputy chief of Russia's Border Service, Federal Security Service, Nikolai Kozik noted that the ratification of the agreement would provide for protecting Russian interests in the post-Soviet space, maintaining prestige in security issues, and timely rebuffing the existing threats together with Tajik services.
Among these threats is a considerable increase in drug trafficking across the Afghan-Tajik border to Russia and Eastern Europe. Kozik pointed out that whereas areas under drug crops in Afghanistan made up 8,000 hectares in 2001, they increased to 120,000 hectares in 2011. According to the deputy head of the Russian Border Service, the Russian group of borderguards comprises some 200 persons. Russian specialists provide methodological assistance in training Tajik borderguards and planning Tajik secret services' operations.