It might have been the Tajik president’s birthday, but Vladimir Putin got what he wanted.
As expected, defense talks dominated the Russian president’s October 4-5 trip to Tajikistan. Before Putin landed in Dushanbe, the future of Russia’s military bases in the country was the source of boundless speculation and conflicting statements from officials on both sides.
In the end, on October 5 defense ministers signed a deal to keep some 7,000 Russian troops stationed in Tajikistan through 2042. But Tajikistan’s president, Emomali Rakhmon, managed to save face, embracing a playful Putin and receiving some crucial support for his ailing economy.
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