DUSHANBE, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday stated that relations between his country and Tajikistan were developing successfully.
“As for bilateral relations, they are developing quite successfully. In January-July, trade turnover increased by more than 60%. This is a very impressive indicator,” he said at a meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Dushanbe.
Putin said Russia regarded Tajikistan as “a very close partner and ally” and noted that the two countries had strategic relations.
“Russia remains our strategic partner, and our partnership and allied relations go further every year,” Rakhmon said when receiving Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this year.
He noted the intensity of meetings, from top-level political contacts to various cultural and humanitarian events.
Lavrov said the implementation of all agreements reached at the high-level meeting in Dushanbe in 2012 was underway. “The purpose of our meeting, just like that of high-level political contacts, is to look for new ways to deepen our strategic partnership,” he said.
The minister said Russia and Tajikistan had built allied relations and strategic partnership.
Lavrov reaffirmed during his visit that Russia would continue to help Tajikistan upgrade its Armed Forces.
“We are determined to continue to help Tajikistan modernise and reequip its Armed Forces and step up border protection capabilities, especially on the Afghan track,” the minister said after talks with his Tajik colleague Sirojiddin Aslov.
Lavrov said this work would proceed both on a bilateral basis and within the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
Aslov said military-technical assistance to his country was “a tangible and real contribution to the strengthening of regional security”.
In May 2013, President Putin signed the ratification instrument for the agreement with Tajikistan on the status and terms of stay of the Russian 201st military base in that Central Asian country. The base will remain in Tajikistan for 49 days with a possible automatic extension for a five-year period.
The Russian Defence Ministry said Moscow could provide up to 200 million U.S. dollars’ worth of hardware and funding for the rearmament of the Tajik Armed Forces.