With the planned US and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 looming ever closer, Russia is pressing to solidify strategic relationships with Central Asian states, especially with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Since the start of 2012, Moscow has provided military hardware worth $16 million to the to the Kyrgyz National Security Committee's border service. Russia also has ratified an agreement covering border-control cooperation with Tajikistan, a pact signed in Dushanbe last September. That agreement ensures "the preservation of the Russian presence in Tajikistan [and] participation of Russian representatives in the improvement of state border protection and the operational border security of the Republic of Tajikistan.”
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Deirdre Tynan is Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.