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MOSCOW, December 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s 201st military base in Tajikistan can be used if the situation in the Central Asian region aggravates after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014, Russian ambassador to Tajikistan Igor Lyakin-Frolov said in an interview with the Kommersant business daily on Tuesday.
“Undoubtedly, it can be used if the situation poses a direct threat to security of Tajikistan and, respectively, to security of other member-states of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation,” he said.
The deal prolonging a lease of the Russian military base sealed by Moscow and Dushanbe was a part of package agreements, under which Russia exempted its petroleum products from export customs duties in Tajikistan.
The decision concerning duties was “rather positively” met by Tajikistan’s authorities and business,” Lyakin-Frolov said, adding that “according to expert estimates, Tajikistan will get economic benefits of up to $300 million.”
“Despite certain financial losses Russia had taken such a step on the assumption that support for our strategic partner is important,” he said. “By the way, such agreements have already been effective in relation to Kyrgyzstan and some other countries. Petroleum products supplied under the agreement cannot be re-exported to third countries and in the event of re-export facts the Russian side reserves the right to stop duty-free supplies of petroleum products.”
Speaking of an agreement on privileged stay of Tajik migrants in Russia that was being considered by the State Duma, he recalled that labor migration agreements were in the package envisaging the deployment of the Russian military base in the Central Asian republic on a non-repayable basis.
“The signing of this package of agreements responds to the spirit of strategic partnership and is targeted at strengthening integration relations between Russia and Tajikistan,” Lyakin-Frolov said.