Russia presents Tajikistan with a shipment of heavy weapons
The Ministry of Defense of Russia has shipped a batch of small arms, artillery, armored hardware, anti-aircraft weapons and also paramedical, land surveying and other equipment, for free, to its counterpart in the Republic of Tajikistan, t RBC news agency reported cutting the Russian Ministry of Defense.
In particular, the Tajik Army received three T-72B1 tanks, nine BTR-80, BTR-70 armored personnel carriers, BMP-2 armored fighting vehicles, three D-30 howitzers, three 23M1 air-defense systems, and Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters.
The official transfer of the equipment took place in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. The shipment was part of a bilateral agreement on the modernization of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan signed between Vladimir Putin and Emomali Rahmon.
“The supplied armament and munitions will considerably strengthen the defense arsenal of Tajikistan’s Army and will enhance its capabilities to fight against terrorist threats,” the statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense said.
In 2017 Russia supplied armaments, munitions and military equipment to Tajikistan totaling USD 122 million.
The Commander of the Central Military District of the Russian Army, Aleksander Lapin, present at the transfer ceremony, stressed that after the resounding defeat of the Islamic State fighting groups in Syria by Russian Air Forces, the ISIL started growing its presence in neighboring Afghanistan. “We all face the common task of defending our borders and ensuring collective safety in the region, and I am sure we will achieve this task,” the commander said.
The head of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Sergey Shoygu, announced his intention to start supplying arms to Tajikistan as of 2017, in November 2016.
Tajikistan hosts one of the largest Russian foreign military bases - the 201st military base (former 201st motorized rifle division).
The Russian Army’s presence in the country is endorsed under an agreement with Dushanbe that expires in 2042. The personnel of the military base amount to approximately 7,500 Russian troops. In October 2015, the military base was strengthened with combat and transport helicopters. In 2017, the military base was reinforced with Uragan multiple rocket launcher systems and a program for the navigation of unmanned aerial vehicles that is underway.
In the period from 1992 to 2005, Russian border guards carried out protection of the Tajik-Afghan border. Currently Russian military professionals train Tajik military at the Afghanistan border.