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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RUSSIAN MILITARY BASE SET UP IN TAJIKISTAN

RIA Novosti

DUSHANBE, April 5 (RIA Novosti) - The infrastructure of the Russian military base in Tajikistan is 1,124 million rubles ($1=27.89 rubles) worth, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said to reporters in Dushanbe.

"In the next two-three years, this money will have to be spent to provide a normal and modern infrastructure for the base," said Ivanov.

Russian subdivisions will be based in Giprozem outside Dushanbe where barracks, a hospital, and a park for military equipment are to be built.

"Two Russian regiments will stay in Kulyaba and in Kurgan-Tube," said the minister.

Ivanov also said that aviation equipment would be transported from a civil aerodrome in Dushanbe to the air base in Aini. "A military base is inefficient without the aviation component," said the minister.

He added that it took Russian aircraft five minutes to reach Tajikistan from the Russian Kant air base in Kyrgyzstan and twenty minutes to get to Dushanbe. There should be a certain overlap of forces from Aini and Kant, said Ivanov.

The Russian defense minister arrived in Tajikistan to attend the final stage of exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB), Rubezh-2005. The ODKB includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia.

According to Ivanov, over a thousand servicemen, about 100 units of hardware and 15 aircraft and helicopters of Russia's Air Force will be involved in the exercises.

Moreover, a reinforced tactical group from the Russian base in Tajikistan will be representing Russia, along with the aviation of the Russian Kant base and the air base in Dushanbe.

"Exercises in Tajikistan are in no way connected to any internal political situation in the region," the defense minister told reporters.

According to him, as scenario has it, the forces employed in the exercises are to repel the attacks of large gangs that infiltrate Tajik territory." The main task is to help ODKB forces preserve territorial integrity, the minister added.



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