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DUSHANBE, June 3. /TASS/. Security in Central Asia largely depends on concerted action by the armed forces of Russia and Tajikistan, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday.
"In the context of the international coalition’s pullout from Afghanistan our armed forces must be prepared for any march of events, including the most unfavorable one," he said at a meeting with Tajikistan’s Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo.
Shoigu pointed to the need for paying the main attention to "enhancing the combat capabilities of Tajikistan’s armed forces and Russia’s 201st base."
"Joint operative and combat training exercises are held every year. Our troops participate in joint exercises by the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Shanghai Cooperation Organization member-states," he said.
The surprise check of CSTO rapid reaction contingents, held in Tajikistan in May, received a high rating.
"Our units have demonstrated a high degree of combat readiness and ability to cope with the set tasks," Shoigu said.
The Russian Defense Ministry regards interaction with Tajikistan in the military and military-technical spheres as a "major factor for preserving regional stability," Shoigu said. He recalled that military personnel was being trained at Russia’s military academies on a disinterested basis.
"This year we have welcomed 150 cadets. In all, 482 Tajik military servicemen undergo training in Russia at the moment. Besides, on the premises of the 201st Russian military base we started training junior specialists. We are determined to go ahead with support for Tajikistan in maintaining its security," Shoigu said.
He thanked Tajikistan’s defence minister for the participation of Tajik servicemen in the May 9 ceremonial march-past in Moscow’s Red Square on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany.
"The Tajik contingent demonstrated high morale and good marching skills. The memorable events on this occasion in Moscow and Dushanbe reaffirmed the joint perception of the Victory as an integral part of our common history. They were also a reminder of the need for enhancing the defense capabilities of Russia and Tajikistan," Shoigu said.
He thanked his Tajik counterpart for hospitality and an opportunity to exchange opinions on topical issues of military cooperation and regional and global security issues.