19 Dec 2017 15:24

Tajikistan to reinforce border with Afghanistan using Russian tanks, howitzers, helicopters

DUSHANBE. Dec 19 (Interfax) - Russian armaments and hardware were handed over to one of the Tajik Defense Ministry's units on Tuesday, an Interfax correspondent reported from on site.

The weapons were supplied in the context of Tajikistan's army modernization program, which should raise the combat preparedness of Tajik forces and reinforce the Tajik-Afghan border.

Tajikistan received three T-72B1 tanks, nine BTR-80,BTR-70 and BMP-2 vehicles, three D-30 howitzers, three 23M1 anti-aircraft guns, Mil Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters, medical and topographic equipment, spare parts for armored vehicles, communication systems, logistics hardware, and a substantial amount of small arms.

"The delivered armaments and military hardware will increase the Tajik army's ability to deter a terrorist threat and keep the Tajik-Afghan border secure," the head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main International Cooperation Directorate, Lt. Gen. Alexander Kshimovsky, said at the arms transfer ceremony.

"Tajikistan received $122 million worth of Russian military products in 2017," Kshimovsky said.

The Russian Defense Ministry provides the military-technical assistance free of charge, he said.

Kshimovsky said he was sure that joint efforts and Russia's military-technical assistance could create a combat potential, which would deter every existent and prospective security threat in Central Asia.

The military-technical assistance is being provided as a result of the political will of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Kshimovsky said.

Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo attended the arms transfer ceremony.