Moscow is prepared to provide both bilateral support and assistance to Tajikistan within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) due to the escalating crisis on the border with Afghanistan, President Vladimir Putin said.
The state of affairs in Afghanistan, which borders on Tajikistan, formerly a Soviet republic and currently a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, has complicated recently after the withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country.
Putin discussed the question in a telephone conversation with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, a message posted on the Kremlin's website said.
Russia and Tajikistan are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Under the terms of the CSTO, in the event of a threat to security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty of a party to the treaty, all CSTO member countries undertake to immediately put into operation mechanisms of joint consultations in order to coordinate their positions and agree on required assistance.
In addition, if a party to the treaty is attacked, all other members of the treaty shall provide necessary assistance, including military one, to the affected party.
The Russian military is stationed on the territory of Tajikistan as part of the 201st military base. This is Russia's largest military base in a foreign state. The base is located in the cities of Dushanbe and Bokhtar. In 2012, it was decided that the base would remain in Tajikistan until 2042. Motorized rifle, artillery, reconnaissance, anti-aircraft missile and other military units are stationed on the base. An aviation group joined the Russian base in Tajikistan in 2015.
The crisis on the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan has escalated recently after the United States and its allies completed the withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan, in particular from the main army base in the country - Bagram. The military contingent has been staying in Afghanistan since 2001. A small number of military personnel was left in the country to guard key facilities.
After the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, the Taliban movement (recognized as terrorist organisation in Russia, its activities are banned) went on a large-scale attack on government forces. The Afghan government announced national mobilization and started distributing weapons to volunteers.
The Afghan military fighting with the Taliban were forced to retreat towards the territory of Tajikistan.