Russian minister points up “strategic” Tajikistan military base

Russian minister points up “strategic” Tajikistan military base

ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow
16 Oct 04

Dushanbe, 16 October: The Russian military base that is due to
open in Tajikistan on 17 October will have “an important strategic
significance” for ensuring regional security, Russian Defence Minister
Sergey Ivanov told an ITAR-TASS correspondent today, following the
talks with his Tajik counterpart, Sherali Khayrulloyev.

“The base, which is being set up under the Collective Security
Treaty Organization CSTO; members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia , will become a main component of
the rapid deployment forces in Central Asia,” he said.

The minister said the base would include the 201st Russian Motor-Rifle
division and the Norak optical-electronic tracking station some 120
km southeast of Dushanbe and would definitely be reinforced by an
air squadron as well. Sergey Ivanov also added that the base would
comprise approximately 5,000 servicemen.

“Its combat potential will be tested as early as 2005, in the course
of CSTO military exercises planned in Tajikistan” he said. He added
that with the formation of the base, there would more opportunities
to provide “more military as well as military and technical assistance
to the Tajik armed forces”.

Commenting on the 201st division, the Russian defence minister said:
“The personnel of the division have accomplished all the targets set.”

“During Tajikistan’s tragic period (the five-year civil war of
1992-97 ), the division demonstrated high military preparedness and
its ability to accomplish the tasks set,” Sergey Ivanov concluded.