MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti)
Moscow hopes to conclude an agreement with Tajikistan in October on the prolongation of the Russian military base’s presence in the Central Asian state, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Friday.
The Russian military base in Tajikistan was opened in 2004 and is the largest Russia’s base for ground forces abroad with up to 7,000 military servicemen stationed there. The base’s presence in Tajikistan expires in 2014, according to existing agreements.
“I hope that in October our Tajik colleagues will be ready to sign documents. I believe that the financial terms for the lease of the base will remain unchanged,” Serdyukov told journalists.
Under the current agreements Russia does not pay Tajikistan for its military base, but renders the country military and technical assistance. However, this form of assistance is not officially stated as a form of the payment.
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Sevastopol became Russia’s main naval base on the Black Sea, a role it was to play for many years. A total of 25,000 servicemen, not including civilian staff, are employed at the Black fleet’s facilities. When the families of these servicemen are taken into account, this figure grows to more than 100,000 people.