Russia attaches great importance to relations of alliance and strategic partnership with Tajikistan. This was stated by Vladimir Putin in a congratulatory telegram sent to the Tajik leader Emomali Rahmon on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the proclamation of the country’s independence.
The head of the Russian state expressed confidence that Russia and Tajikistan, by joint efforts, will ensure the further build-up of bilateral cooperation in various areas, as well as interaction within the CIS, CSTO, SCO and other multilateral structures.
This, as Putin stressed, “Fully meets the interests of our friendly peoples”, and “In line with the consolidation of peace, security and stability in Central Asia”…
Washington also hopes to strengthen the partnership with Tajikistan on the issue of regional security. What the US Secretary of State made clear in his congratulatory statement Anthony Blinken…
The head of American diplomacy noted that his country expects to continue cooperation with Tajik partners in the coming years. “In order to strengthen border security and regional stability”, and “Increasing the effectiveness of democratic institutions and promoting the observance of human rights”…
It is clear that Blinken’s statement is to a certain extent ritualistic. Nevertheless, the issue of strengthening the borders of Tajikistan after the well-known events in neighboring Afghanistan is quite acute today. And the length of the Tajik-Afghan border is more than 1.3 thousand kilometers, which are now controlled from the adjacent side by representatives of the Taliban * movement.
In July, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Oleg Syromolotov, reported that Russia has allocated $ 1.1 million to Tajikistan for the construction of a modern frontier post on one of the most vulnerable sections of the border with Afghanistan in the Khatlon region of the republic. Thus, Tajik border guards should soon receive a new infrastructure with modern technology and equipment.
According to the diplomat, Russia also maintains regular working contacts with Tajikistan through defense departments and special services.
Recall that the largest military facility of Russia outside the country is located in the Tajik republic – the 201st military base. It includes motorized rifle, tank, artillery, reconnaissance units, as well as air defense, radar, chemical and biological defense and communications units. The base is deployed in two cities – Dushanbe and Bokhtar. In addition, in Nurek there is a complex of optical-electronic tracking “Window” of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
And, as the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation previously stated Sergei Shoigu, in the event of a threat to Tajikistan, Russia will activate the troops of the 201st RVB to protect the borders of the republic. According to him, the base “This is why one of the CSTO members in Central Asia exists here to maintain stability and tranquility in this region.”…
These days, by the way, according to the information of the Russian defense department, at the Lyaur mountain range in Tajikistan, exercises of calculations of heavy machine guns NSV “Utes” are being held. They will end on September 17 with the execution of control shooting at targets, “Imitating lightly armored vehicles, long-term firing points and enemy drones”…
Earlier, Russian military personnel conducted exercises using tanks in the mountains of Tajikistan.
That is, the border is essentially covered by Russia. And what role the United States can play here is not very clear.
Meanwhile, on September 1, the US Embassy in Dushanbe announced its intention to build new facilities for the border detachment in Aywaj, the same Khatlon region. It was announced that the new facility would allow border guards to more rapidly deploy forces in border areas in response to threats.
About what interests the Americans pursue in Tajikistan in addition to strengthening the security of the border, “SP” told military expert, head of the department for Eurasian integration and development of the SCO of the Institute of CIS countries Vladimir Evseev:
– There is one reason here that really worries the Russian Federation. The Tajik leadership has taken a very tough stance against the new government in Afghanistan. This was manifested, in particular, during the visit of the Pakistani Foreign Minister to Dushanbe, where Emomali Rahmon spoke extremely sharply about the Taliban movement.
Western media write that Tajikistan is the only country that supported the anti-Taliban resistance and provided assistance to his son Ahmad Shah Massoud in Panjshir, allegedly delivering weapons, ammunition and military equipment there by helicopters.
“SP”: – According to Rahmon, Tajiks are 46% of the population of Afghanistan. Therefore, it is just possible to understand it …
– It’s hard to say how accurate the numbers are. But this is actually the majority of the population – more than Pashtuns, it turns out.
But we are talking about what is of interest to the Americans here. The United States would very much like to involve Russia in a confrontation with the Taliban. And in this case, a convenient tool for this is Tajikistan, which is a member of the CSTO, and whose interference in internal Afghan affairs forces Russia to somehow react to this.
But this at least threatens us with a deterioration in relations with the Taliban movement.
Let me remind you that only a few states have been invited to the inauguration ceremony of the new government of Afghanistan – Russia, China, Qatar, Turkey, Pakistan and Iran. That is, states that, shall we say, are viewed by the Taliban as more friendly.
And, of course, for us now, it is absolutely unnecessary to be drawn into the situation in Panjshir, where resistance has already passed to partisan methods of struggle.
The Americans, on the other hand, would very much like this.
Therefore, one of the US goals is to possibly push the Tajik leadership to support the anti-Taliban resistance forces. For the Americans, the escalation of the civil war in Afghanistan does not actually create any problems.
“SP”: – Why?
– Afghan refugees are more of a threat to Europe than to the United States. But the outbreak of a new civil war in Afghanistan is a serious headache for Russia. She will be distracted in the Afghan direction, and this, of course, is a negative scenario for us.
Therefore, I think that here the United States is not so much concerned about the security of Tajikistan – they do not care. Or about stopping drug trafficking – this is not a priority for them. But the involvement of our country through Tajikistan in the confrontation with the Taliban is exactly in line with American national interests.
“SP”: – But we have there, first of all, there is a military base. In addition, the Secretary of State of the Security Council of Belarus Alexander Volfovich did not rule out the deployment of the CSTO military in Tajikistan, in the event of an aggravation of the situation around Afghanistan …
– I deeply doubt it. The only CSTO member state that will actually provide assistance to Tajikistan is the Russian Federation. Belarusians can provide political support, they can even supply something from weapons. But no one will fight there except Russia.
Yes, we have a military base there. But why, tell me, was it necessary for our motorized rifle regiment from Kulyab, which is to be transferred so far right on the border with Afghanistan – to Dushanbe. How can he ensure the security of the Tajik-Afghan border in this case?
Again, the base is now busy training Tajik reservists. They were drafted by 30 thousand, but they have neither the skills to operate serious equipment, nor weapons.
So far, there are no serious situations with the breakthrough of large bandit formations on the Tajik border. But they may appear in the future if conditions arise for a civil war. It mainly deals with the infiltration of small sabotage groups – five to seven people. This is why the border is being strengthened.
Therefore, American aid to Tajikistan, as if against the background of US foreign aid, is close to zero. These are absolutely not the means that can somehow strain the Americans.
In fact, the States are pursuing, of course, their own goals. Perhaps they want to convince the Tajiks to place some kind of military facilities on their territory.
“SP”: – Will Russia allow this?
– Russia will not allow this. So is China.
The two states that have a decisive influence on Tajikistan are Russia and China. Moreover, if the Russian defining vector is military relations. It is precisely in the security structures that the influence is mainly not Russian, but Chinese. That is, there is a kind of separation of functions here.
But on the part of the United States, such attempts have already taken place. And I think they will continue.
The Americans will act as they have always done. They will try to create a problem within Tajikistan, and a problem for Russia through Tajikistan. This is their main goal, and not at all the protection and security of the border.
* “Taliban” – an organization recognized as terrorist in Russia by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and banned.