Russia announces free arms deliveries to Tajikistan

Moscow will provide the Tajik army with weapons and equipment free of charge, reports RIA Novosti, citing the Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoygu.

"Today, joint work to neutralize threats from the territory of neighboring Afghanistan comes to the fore. The hasty withdrawal of foreign troops from there provoked a rapid degradation of the situation, an increase and a surge in terrorist activity," Shoygu said.

According to Shoygu, the Russian 201st base will provide military assistance to Tajikistan if the security of this country is threatened.

"Of course, we do not ignore all the events taking place on the border and militants’ attempts to infiltrate into the territory of Tajikistan. That is why I can say unequivocally that the 201st military base in Tajikistan should be the first one to respond," Shoygu said.

According to him, Russia does not give up hopes that  "some kind of consensus and interethnic reconciliation will be achieved" in Afghanistan.

"But at the same time, we see how actively ISIS units are moving. They are moving there from different regions, including Syria and Libya. Moreover, in some parts we observe a rather serious organization of these movements," Shoygu said.

Between August 5 and 10, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia will hold joint military exercises at Harb-Maydon training site near the border with Afghanistan.

During the first stage of the exercises, the joint group of troops will prepare for “the operation to destroy terrorists”. During the second stage, the troops will train to “eliminate the militants who crossed the border”. During the third, the troops will practice to “destroy of a hypothetical enemy after it crossed the border”.

From the Russian side, about a thousand military and tanks will take part in the drills.

  Tajikistan, Russia, Shoygu