Tuesday, July 03, 2012 -
The Kremlin said Tuesday it has suspended financing for development of a military base in Tajikistan in the face of “stubbornness” by the Tajik side during negotiations over renewing the lease.
Russia and Tajikistan had earlier agreed to extend the lease of the 201st Russian military base (RMB) beyond 2014, when the current agreement expires. The deal should have been signed in the first quarter of this year but Tajikistan suddenly imposed a raft of demands, according to Russia’s top military brass.
"The negotiation process on this basis is difficult. But we hope that common sense will prevail," Russia’s Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces, General Nikolai Makarov told the Interfax news agency.
The Tajik side “reared up” and made its agreement to the extension conditional on Russia’s agreement of as many as 20 new demands, he said.
Russia’s defense ministry regards the demands as “unacceptable” and is suspending money transactions until the issue is resolved, said Makarov.
“The talks on this base have been quite staggering but we hope that commonsense will prevail,” he told Interfax.
The Tajik government has not commented on the withdrawal of funding.
Last September, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and his Russian counterpart agreed in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, to ink agreement by March 2012 on extending the lease by 49 years.
The 201st Division military base has been operating on Tajik territory since 2004. More than 6,000 Russian troops are stationed in the country, which lies in the southeast corner of Central Asia and shares a long border with Afghanistan.