World Bulletin/News Desk
Russia and Tajikistan are “very close” to signing an agreement extending Russia’s lease of a military base in the Central Asian state, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.
Talks on the extension of the lease, which expires in 2014, came into a deadlock earlier this year as the sides could not agree on the length of the new lease and the payment terms.
“I can say that the main issues have either been resolved or are close to being resolved,” Shuvalov told reporters on Friday after a meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.
“There will be no unresolved issues left after the expert reports to the presidents have been submitted…The final decision will be made by the presidents because without their political will these issues can never be settled,” Shuvalov said.
A total of 7,000 Russian troops are stationed at three military facilities collectively known as the 201st military base - in Dushanbe, the southwestern city of Qurgonteppa some 100 km from Dushanbe, and Kulob, about 200 km to the southwest of the capital.
The base was opened in 2004 and hosts Russia’s largest military contingent deployed abroad.
Moscow planned to extend the lease of the base for 49 years, but Dushanbe proposed to cut the extension to 10 years. Tajik authorities also demanded that Russia pay at least $250 million a year for the lease.
Under the current agreements Russia does not pay Tajikistan for its military base, but renders the country military and technical assistance.
Shuvalov did not specify the terms of the new agreement.
Two leaders announce they will form new government
The attack targeted a meeting of ISIL leaders in the eastern Deir Ez Zour province
Official results of Iraq’s parliamentary election have been dogged by controversy and allegations of vote-rigging
Threat comes after EU announced 25 percent tariff on US products
Armed terrorists ‘neutralized’ in northern Iraqi region of Gara
Palestinians have been holding mass rallies near Gaza-Israel security fence since March 30
Police report states driver of car that killed pedestrian in Arizona was streaming television show
Decision follows Trump's pledge to end “war games” during Singapore summit
Conservative bill was widely expected to fail in the chamber
Washington urges Moscow to reign in ally amid offensive in de-escalation zone
‘Koko touched lives of millions as an icon for interspecies communication and empathy’, Gorilla Foundation says
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says they will look into strengthening transatlantic bond in summit next month
Administration to no longer require immediate legal proceedings for undocumented adults who cross illegally with children
Trump administration makes request following backlash over its immigration policy