View Full Version : Putin Will Try To Keep U.S. Military Out Of Tajikistan

10-07-2005, 08:04 AM
Putin Will Try To Keep U.S. Military out of Tajikistan: Report




Russian President Vladimir Putin will use Oct. 6 talks here with his Tajik counterpart to try to dissuade him from allowing the United States to open a military base in the Central Asian country, the business daily Kommsersant reported.

"The main task of the Kremlin is to persuade its guest from Dushanbe not to allow the establishment in Tajikistan of an American military base," the newspaper said, citing unidentified sources.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov "vows that the feet of American soldiers will never step on his country's soil, but Moscow fears that Washington, fully aware of the chronic lack of cash in the Tajik treasury, will make Dushanbe an offer that would be difficult to refuse," Kommersant said.

"It has become clear that the Americans don't intend to leave the region. This very much worries Russia, which views the American presence in Central Asia as a threat to its security," the newspaper said.

Kommersant noted that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - whom it referred to as Washington's “heavy artillery” is to visit Tajikistan next week, the latest in a string of visits by senior U.S. officials.

"Vladimir Putin's wish to have a serious talk with Emomali Rakhmonov before the visit of the U.S. secretary of state is completely understandable," the paper continued.

The U.S. hunt for a new air base has intensified, the paper said, since the neighboring state of Uzbekistan informed Washington in July that it planned to eject a major U.S. base in that country, which has been used as a staging post for U.S. operations in Afghanistan.

The newspaper said it did not rate highly Moscow's chances of keeping Rakhmonov on board.

However even if Rakhmonov stuck by Russia, this would in the end rebound on Moscow, the newspaper said.

Washington would step up pressure on Tajikistan over its reluctance to democratize, thus adding to the perception that Russia has a tendency to prop up unsavory leaders, the paper said.

"The Kremlin has consciously taken a course of surrounding itself with odious regimes that won't give way. This goes against the thesis of Russia as a locomotive for democratic reform" in the former Soviet area, Kommersant said.