Being too preoccupied with Ukraine, Russia may loose Tajikistan

Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Tajikistan is connected with USA's attempts to intensify its destructive activities there and to ultimately destabilise the region of Central Asia.

For the first time since the start of the special operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit abroad, to Tajikistan, and then personally attended the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Not that long ago, Putin refused to go to Gomel, Belarus, which designated the importance of the Asian region for Russia.

There are several reasons for this:

1. Revitalization of US activities in the region. The head of the US Central Command, General Michael Kurilla, paid a visit to Tajikistan on June 16 and met its President Emomali Rahmon.

The press service of the head of Tajikistan reported that the sides considered issues related to the expansion of relations between Tajikistan and the United States, particularly in the field of cooperation in defence and security spheres, anti-terrorist activities and measures combating drug trafficking.

The US general said that he admired the leading role that Tajikistan played in Central Asia. Kurilla said that Dushanbe would be able to keep the helicopters of the Afghan Air Force and promised to assist in the construction of a new border detachment in Chaldovar, on the Tajik-Afghan border.

It is worthy of note that Soros's anti-Russian agency USAID has significantly expanded its mission in Tajikistan.

The Human Rights Program states, for example, that USAID addresses labor migration issues through social, educational, and financial support for former labor migrants, especially those who are no longer allowed to return to the Russian Federation. USAID programs purportedly help them reintegrate into their communities and gain the skills they need to find a job or start a business. Needless to say what kind of people they will be trained to become.

2. Tajikistan has been seriously destabilized by the conflict in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast in the Pamirs, where riots and protests have periodically taken place since 2012. In May, protesters demanded secession from the republic. The Pamirs were annexed to Tajikistan by the Bolsheviks, and the Pamirs were never allowed to power in the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic.

The second point of destabilization was the Fergana Valley water conflict with Kyrgyzstan. Skirmishes on the border do not stop, there are dozens of victims (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are members of the CSTO).

3. Tajikistan is going through hard times in its economy. As a result of sanctions against Russia and a reduction in remittances from migrants, prices of basic commodities such as flour, sugar and gas have risen significantly along with the value of the national currency, the somoni, even though it has declined sharply against the dollar and ruble.

4. Tajikistan is the only country in Central Asia that objects to the Taliban (banned in the Russian Federation) takeover in Afghanistan. The government of Tajikistan provides asylum to several former leaders of the Afghan government, including representatives of the former Northern Alliance. There are constant calls from Afghanistan to solve the Rahmon problem.

Tajikistan is a weak link in Central Asia, and destabilising hot spots in Central Asia is a deliberate strategy of the Anglo-Saxons to weaken the influence of Russia, whose attention is now riveted to the special operation in Ukraine. Moscow needs to be prepared for such a development of events. This explains Putin's visit to the region.

Andrey Suzdaltsev, lecturer at the Higher School of Economics, an expert on the CIS countries, told Pravda.Ru that Tajikistan's advantageous position (it adjoins Afghanistan) was important for the Americans.

"Due to the crisis in Russia's relations with the United States, the issue of cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States may be of a geostrategic nature," the expert said.

Russia is currently busy with the severe Ukrainian crisis. Therefore, Putin wants to discuss security issues in the first place. Russia's 201st base is located in Tajikistan — this is the largest base outside the borders of the Russian Federation, which ensures the security of not only the country, but also the region, the expert noted.

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