Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a Russian state-of-the-art sniper rifle to his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon, who is celebrating his 60th birthday on Friday.
“I have always known that you are a wise person. You have invited us, decoyed so to say, on your birthday because one cannot be denied anything on his birthday. So we will have to sign whatever you want us to,” he said in jest.
As a result of the bilateral talks the sides did seal a bunch of agreements, including those on cooperation in security, migration sector.
Moscow and Dushanbe have managed to iron out differences over the future of Russia’s 201st military base in the former Soviet republic. Defense Ministers of the two states signed a lease agreement which replaces a similar document expiring in 2014 and extends the term of Russian military’s presence up to 2042.
The base presence accords with strategic interests of both Russia and Tajikistan and will help to strengthen security and stability in the entire Central-Asian region, Putin noted at a media conference after the talks.
“Under the new document, a fee is practically not applicable,” Putin’s aide Yury Ushakov told journalists. “We did not have disputes during discussions of the document. There were certain requirements from both sides; and we have reached a compromise. Tajikistan needs the base as much as we do for security in the region.