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Putin, Rahmon to discuss law enforcement cooperation, Afghanistan

August 02, 2013, 2:01 UTC+3

On August 13, 2003, the 201st Motorised Infantry Division participated in a joint exercise with the Tajik military outside Dushanbe

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NOVO OGAREVO, August 2 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on Thursday, August 1, to discuss cooperation in the field of law enforcement and the situation in Afghanistan.

Putin and Rahmon also paid attention to the agreements reached during the Russian president’s official visit to Tajikistan in October 2012, specifically the implementation of the agreement on the status and terms of presence of the Russian military base in Tajikistan.

Russia ratified the agreement on May 7, 2013. The agreement formalises a long-term Russian military presence in Tajikistan for 49 years and regulates at the interstate level all issues pertaining to the deployment and operation of the Russian military base in Tajikistan.

Ratification of the agreement will help strengthen military security in the region.

The agreement was signed on October 5, 2012 by the defence ministers of the two countries in the presence of President Putin and President Rahmon. It will replace the previous agreement that expires at the end of this year.

The new agreement extends the presence of the Russian military in Tajikistan for 49 years since the start of the first agreement (May 25, 1993) until 2042. After that the agreement may be extended for a new term.

The agreement raises the status of the Russian military base, its personnel and their families and gives them immunity.

The document also stipulates the terms of lease for facilities. Practically no fee will be charged under the new agreement.

The 201st base is a part of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force created by the CSTO.

The two countries are not engaged in negotiations on further presence of the base in Tajikistan.

When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the 201st Motorised Infantry Division was deployed in Tajikistan. Most of the conscripts drafted to the division had grown up in Tajikistan and deserted while the Russian officers kept control of the division's equipment after its subunits were reinforced with Russian special task troops. In September 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin re-established firm Russian control over the division. The Commonwealth of Independent States had created the Collective Peacekeeping Force in Tajikistan, and the 201st Division made up its core.

In 2001, the division was deployed to the Afghan border in expectation of a U.S. attack on Afghanistan, and possible attempts by the Taleban to cross the border into Tajikistan.

On August 13, 2003, the 201st Motorised Infantry Division participated in a joint exercise with the Tajik military outside Dushanbe.

Prior to the current agreement, the presence of the Russian troops in Tajikistan was regulated by a bilateral agreement, signed in 2008, on joint planning for the use of troops (forces) to ensure common security. According to the document, Moscow and Dushanbe study the military and political situation in the region, define the contingent of coalition troops composed of Russian and Tajik military personnel, and plan their deployment in accordance with each other’s laws.

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