Russia bolsters its military presence in Central Asia

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June 15th, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 
– by Frederick
Assar – 

Amongst the several significant outcomes of the latest Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on June 7 the one that more manifestly displays the Kremlin’s resolve to lead the way in Eurasia’s security building processes is Russia’s decision to reinforce its military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. 

In an address to a SCO defence meeting, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed such decision to be necessary in order to counteract the continuous presence and activities of Islamic State-affiliated groups in Afghanistan. 

Asia Plus quoted Sergiei Shoigu saying that: “The activities of the ISIL terror group are not confined to Syria and Iraq, their units are now also active in Afghanistan, an SCO observer state,” adding that “The rise of ISIL militants in Afghanistan causes particular concern, since their number has reached 3,500, while the terror group’s strategy, aimed at creating a caliphate, poses a threat not only to Afghanistan’s security but also to the security of its neighbouring countries.

Russia’s military base in Tajikistan was opened in 2004 and is the largest non-naval military installation outside the country, hosting the largest Russian military contingent deployed abroad. 

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