The Russian Ministry of Defense is taking measures to prevent possible penetration of militants from northern provinces of Afghanistan into territories of Central Asian member nations of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), RIA Novosti reported.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu remarked this on April 24 while delivering a statement at the meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing.
“For the purpose of raising military efficiency of Russian military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, we equip them with modern weapons and military equipment. Providing assistance to our partners in the region in improving opportunities of their armed force, we jointly plan the use of them,” Shoigu was quoted as saying.
Russian minister noted that “a number of drills involving armed forces of the CSTO member nations will be conducted in October this year in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan sequentially under a single plan.”
Recall, in a statement delivered at the SCO defense ministers’ meeting in Astana, Shoigu noted on June 7, 2017 that “the rise of ISIL militants in Afghanistan causes particular concern, since their number has reached 3,500, while the terror group’s strategy, aimed at creating a caliphate, poses threat not only to Afghanistan’s security but also to the security of neighboring countries.” Russia is reinforcing its military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with state-of-the-art weapons to stonewall shifting terrorist activity from Afghanistan to Central Asia, the Russian defense minister went on.
The Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan is Russia’s largest non-naval military facility outside the country. It was officially opened in Tajikistan in 2004 under a previous agreement, which was signed in 1993, and hosts Russia’s largest military contingent deployed abroad.
A total of some 7,000 Russian troops are now stationed at two military facilities collectively known as the 201st military base – in Dushanbe and Bokhtar (formerly Qurghon Teppa, some 100 kilometers from Dushanbe.
Kant Air Base is a Russian military air base in Ysyk-Ata district of Chuy oblast in Kyrgyzstan. It is located just south of the city of Kant, some 20 km east of downtown Bishkek.