24 Apr 2018 09:45

Russia bolsters its bases in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan to stop militants from entering CSTO states from northern Afghanistan - Shoigu

BEIJING. April 24 (Interfax-AVN) - The Russian Defense Ministry is taking measures to prevent militants from Afghanistan's northern provinces from entering Russia's Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) allies in Central Asia, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

"With that in mind, we are enhancing the combat readiness of the Russian military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and are equipping them with advanced weapons and military hardware. We are helping our partners in the region to boost the combat capabilities of their armed forces and are jointly planning their application," Shoigu said at a meeting of the defense ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries in Beijing on Tuesday.

Anti-terrorism command and staff drills were held in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in March 2018, he said.

"The Issyk-Kul Antiterror-2018 joint exercise, which will involve different security agencies, has been scheduled for September. A series of drills with the CSTO collective forces will take place in October. They will be held successively in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan following the same scenario," Shoigu said.

Prospects for the development of the military-political situation in different regions of the world and ways to maintain its stability were broadly discussed at the 7th Moscow Conference on International Security, which took place in early April, he said.

"The topic of the fight against international terrorism was once again discussed at a wide variety of levels. I would like to note the remarkable speeches delivered by the defense ministers of Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, China, Pakistan, and also by the SCO secretary general," Shoigu said.