"Battle" for Tajikistan

Russia and the United States continue to fight for Tajikistan: two delegations arrived at the same time, our head is headed by the head of the Presidential Administration Sergey Naryshkin and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. The US delegation is led by Assistant Secretary of State for Combating Drug Spread and Crime William Brownfield. And a week before that, Tajikistan was visited by the Special Representative of the NATO Secretary General for Central Asia and the Caucasus, James Appathurai.

During the meeting, Sergei Naryshkin and Anatoly Serdyukov with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmonov discussed issues of Russian-Tajik relations, the details of the coming in September of this year, the arrival of President Dmitry Medvedev. After the meeting, the head of the presidential administration said that during the visit of the President of the Russian Federation to Tajikistan a new Agreement on cooperation between the two countries on border issues will be signed. They also discussed the issues of preparation for the anniversary summit of the CIS heads of state, which will be held in the Tajik capital 5 September, this year Dushanbe is presiding over the CIS. In addition to the Agreement on Border Cooperation, during the Medvedev visit, it is planned to sign the Economic Cooperation Program between Russia and Tajikistan for the 2011-2014 years.

Naryshkin also said that issues of military and military-technical cooperation between the countries were also discussed, in his opinion, "... the presence of the Russian military base in the territory of Tajikistan serves the interests of the two states." Naryshkin said that the issue of the use of the Aini military airfield near Dushanbe by the Russian Federation is at a “decision stage”.

Serdyukov was due to visit Tajikistan on June 24-26, but the visit was postponed without explanation. Apparently, the reason for this was the arrival in Dushanbe of the American delegation led by Appathurai. Rakhmonov, despite the words about “strategic cooperation” with Russia, leads an extremely “slippery” policy: the problem of deploying the Russian military base in Tajikistan, Russian border guards, as advisers, has not been resolved, using the Aini airfield.

Currently, units of the 4 military base of the Russian Federation are part of the former 201 motorized rifle division, located in Dushanbe, Kulyab and Kurgan-Tyube. In 2009, Tajikistan wanted to get 300 million dollars a year from Moscow as a rent, which is three times as much as the republic’s military budget. Then they were convinced to abandon this idea. On the whole, Russia's military presence in Tajikistan is advantageous to Dushanbe - without them, the threat from Afghanistan and local radical groups will greatly increase, and the big question is whether Dushanbe will survive in this fight.

A new agreement on the stay of Russian border guards has not yet been signed. In Dushanbe, they believe that they themselves will do an excellent job with border security, and they want the full withdrawal of Russian border guards, in Moscow they doubt that the flow of drugs from Afghanistan only grows and the main channel goes through the borders of Tajikistan. Border guards in Tajikistan for Moscow is a valuable source of information on the state of affairs on the border of Tajikistan. In addition, one of the issues that Rakhmonov discussed with a NATO representative was the joint guarding of the Tajik-Afghan border.

The Aini Dushanbe airport also behaves very contradictory: for example, in June 2009 of the year it was announced that the USA airport would be transferred for transit of military cargo, in the same year they offered to use the airfield to the Indian military - they invested 25 million dollars in its modernization. But in the end, no one has received the airport yet, although it would be beneficial for Moscow to cooperate with Delhi, our goals in the region coincide. For us, the airport is important for enhancing the air component of the 4 military base.

Washington also needs this airfield - in connection with the announced withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, it seems that they are only planning to “withdraw” them to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. William Brownfield visited the border, prepared for his visit the opening of the barracks in the Sharabad border detachment and the new frontier guard Yakhchi-pun, the USA spent 1,2 million on its construction. After 6 years ago, Russian border guards were “asked” from Tajikistan, the Americans are busy modernizing the border infrastructure and rearming Tajik border guards. In all, the United States since 1992 has invested over 984 million in the implementation of a program to promote the development of law enforcement structures and the security of Tajikistan. The United States plans to receive not only the Aini airfield, but also to create bases in Fakhrabad, possibly in Murghab, in the Pamirs - on the border with China.

What leverage does Moscow have? There is an economic “lever” - for example, customs duties on fuels and lubricants supplied from the Russian Federation to Tajikistan increased only 2011 by 50 for the year, which led Tajikistan almost to an energy collapse. And if now Moscow and Dushanbe fail to agree again, the duties can be increased again. Another argument is that Tajik migrants in the Russian Federation, currently in Russia more than 1,5 million people, provide more than 60% of the state’s GDP. Tightening the migration policy towards Tajikistan may simply blow up the impoverished republic, the Rakhmonov regime will be doomed.

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