Russia and Tajikistan talking the same language

The President of Tajikistan is on an official visit to Russia for the first time in modern history to conduct top-level talks in the Kremlin on military and energy co-operation and matters of cross-cultural interaction.

Dmitry Medvedev and Emomali Rakhmon have noted that they are both satisfied with the current level of relations between the two countries and that Russian-Tajik relations are those of true partners and allies. The Russian President stressed that despite the two presidents meeting each other on a regular basis, six times in 2009 alone, the current visit is a culmination of all of them, as President Emomali Rakhmon is on a state visit to Moscow for the first time ever.

The Russian President stated that the presence of Russian 201st military base in Tajikistan serves as a solid stabilization factor and promised “further help to our Tajik allies in accordance with previous agreements.”

201st military base

Formed on the basis of 201st infantry unit, which has been located in Tajikistan since fall 1945. In early 1990s, during the civil war in Tajikistan, the base went under Russia’s jurisdiction. Since May 1993, the base operated under numerous agreements reached by the two countries. Tajik authorities hadn’t initially requested any rent fees for the base, but in September 2009 reportedly changed their minds and requested up to $300 million per year.

Figures:

Military staff: approx. 7000 men, 60-65% are contract soldiers
Military equipment: approx. 160 tanks, approx. 300 armored vehicles of different types, artillery systems and surface-to-air missile systems

Russian-Tajik military co-operation will be maintained "for the sake of national and regional security,” says the statement of two presidents.

The presidents appealed to the international community to co-ordinate efforts to stabilize the complicated situation in Afghanistan, which threatens both Tajikistan and Russia. The presidents appealed to the international community to co-ordinate efforts to stabilize the complicated situation in Afghanistan, which threatens both Tajikistan and Russia.

Latest political developments in the country showed how tough the process of creating a new Afghan nation is, Medvedev said, and new forms of cooperation may be needed. Recently, Tajik President Rakhmon was described as “having defined a number of ideas on the matter.”

“I think, we should get back to some ideas that have been expressed and think about creating new formats of work,” said Russia’s President Medvedev.

The presidents commissioned the development of a program of economic co-operation between Russia and Tajikistan in 2010-2012.

In a joint communiqué, the presidents confirmed mutual interest in developing hydro-electric power projects in Tajikistan, like the construction of Sangtudin hydro power plant.

It was confirmed that Russian energy giant Gazprom will continue geological exploration in Tajikistan.

“The gas potential is being intensively studied,” Medvedev said. “All the decisions have been taken,” he added. “It’s now necessary to force the work.”

Considering the great number of Tajik migrants working in Russia, the document calls to further regulate the flows of migrants and protect their rights, including maintaining educational programs to teach Russian in Tajikistan and Tajik in Russia.

Emomali Rakhmon promised that the current status of Russian as a language of interethnic communication in Tajikistan will not be changed.

Dmitry Medvedev has gratefully accepted the proposal of the Tajik President to return the visit to the heart of Central Asia at a convenient time.

“We have great plans regarding expanding cooperation and sides pledged to do all the best for their practical implementation,” Tajik President Rakhmon said.