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Russia to Keep Tajik Military Base Until 2042

RIA Novosti

15:33 05/10/2012 DUSHANBE, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow and Dushanbe reached an agreement on Friday on a Russian military base in Tajikistan, which will remain in the former Soviet republic until at least 2042, a Russian presidential aide said.

The deal was sealed during a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, Putin’s aide, Yury Ushakov, said.

The current agreement on the base was set to expire in 2014, but was prolonged for 30 years, with the option of repeatedly extending it for five years after that date, Ushakov said. Russia sought to extend the deal for 49 years, while Tajikistan wanted to limit it to 10 years.

Media reports said earlier Tajikistan wanted $250 million a year to host the base, which hosts 7,000 troops across three locations. But Ushakov said on Friday that Russia would get the base “almost free of charge.” He gave no further details.

In another deal sealed by Putin and Rahmon on Friday, Russia will also extend residency and work permits for Tajik nationals. Money sent home from Russia by Tajik workers in 2011 amounted to $3 billion, making up around half of the impoverished Central Asian republic's GDP.

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