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Turkmenistan Seeks Military Aid From Russia

Turkmenistan looks set to deepen military ties with Russia in a rare development for a nation that has since independence pursued a rigidly isolationist foreign policy.

ITAR-Tass news agency cited a spokesman for Russia’s defense ministry as saying on June 9 that Moscow would provide Turkmenistan’s armed forces with weaponry and training.

"During talks, the sides discussed relevant issues of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation, as well as problems of regional and global security," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, speaking at the close of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Turkmenistan.

Ashgabat’s sudden change of course appears likely motivated by concern over the worsening security situation on the border with Afghanistan.

Foreign-based website Alternative News of Turkmenistan, or ANT, on June 8 carried a sensational item claiming that 27 conscripts stationed on the border were killed in clashes in early May.

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Turkmenistan Seeks Military Aid From Russia

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