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Russia to Establish Permanent Military Base in Tajikistan - 2004-10-16

Russia and Tajikistan have signed a deal to have a permanent Russian military base in the former Soviet republic.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rakhmonov, made the agreement Saturday in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

In exchange for the base, Russia will invest about $2 billion in Tajikistan's economy over the next five years. Details about the base were not immediately clear, but Mr. Putin said it will guarantee Tajikistan's stability.

He and Mr. Rakhmonov also set a timetable for Tajik forces to replace Russian soldiers who currently guard the Central Asian country's border. And they finalized an agreement for Russia to take control of a space monitoring system that is in Tajikistan.

Mr. Putin is scheduled to meet officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan during his visit.