5 Jul 2021 21:32

Putin assures Rahmon of Russia's readiness to help Tajikistan amid border tensions both bilaterally and at CSTO level - Kremlin

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon had a telephone call on Monday, during which the Russian leader reaffirmed the willingness to provide the necessary support to Tajikistan amid the tensions growing on the Tajik-Afghan border, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.

"The parties had a detailed discussion on the complex situation on the Tajik-Afghan border prompted by the escalation of armed confrontation in Afghanistan, including in the border zone. Vladimir Putin reaffirmed determination to provide all necessary support to Tajikistan, both bilaterally and within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO]," it said.

The two presidents expressed their reciprocal determination to continue strengthening Russian-Tajik strategic partnership and allied relations, it said.

"They agreed to continue contacts at different levels," it said.

The Tajik presidential press service later circulated a statement on the telephone conversation between the two leaders.

"The presidents of Tajikistan and Russia substantively discussed the current alarming situation in the northern and northeastern provinces of Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries. To prevent the existing threats to regional security, they highlighted the importance of further joint steps to strengthen interaction between the competent bodies and relevant ministries and other agencies, both on a bilateral and multilateral basis," it said.

The presidents agreed that the Tajik-Afghan section of the border is of strategic significance in terms of ensuring security of the southern boundaries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

In this context, the two leaders discussed ways to reinforce the Tajik-Afghan border and provide logistics support and assistance to Tajik border guards in this respect, it said.

Rahmon and Putin voiced their mutual determination to work purposefully to further promote Tajik-Russian relations of strategic partnership, it said.

The fighting in the northern part of Afghanistan prompted over 1,000 Afghan government troops retreat to Tajikistan under pressure of Taliban (banned in Russia) militants in the early hours of July 5, after over 300 Afghan troops had retreated to Tajik territory on Saturday and 94 others on Sunday evening.

Rahmon has instructed the Defense Ministry to mobilize 20,000 reservists to reinforce the Tajik-Afghan border, the Tajik presidential press service reported on Monday evening.