Putin promises to help Tajikistan after clashes

Russian President, Vladimir Putin promises to give support to Tajikistan to help ensure stability within country

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Leaders attend a session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, September 15, 2015.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin pledged to help and cooperate with Tajikistan on Tuesday, to ensure stability within the country after clashes that killed at least 22 people.

The clashes happened in early September, and were allegedly planned by deposed Deputy Defence Minister, Abduhalim Nazarzoda who is accused of leading the attacks around Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe and Vahdat city.

Putin during his visit to Dushanbe for a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (ODKB/CSTO) on Tuesday said "Here in Tajikistan you are confronted with problems, with encroachments and attempts to rock the situation, and I would like to say that you can always count on our assistance and support."

The ODKB, this year is chaired by Tajikistan's President, Imomali Rakhmon, is seen as a counterbalance to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) in the region.

Putin, during his speech at ODKB summit which included the states of Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, said that he is worried about a possible spillover of violence from Afghanistan to its neighbour Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries.

"The real threat of terrorist and extremist groups infiltrating the countries neighbouring Afghanistan is rising," he said, in a clear reference to the Central Asian nations of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

"You can always count on our help and support, though (Tajikistan's) armed forces are capable of successfully dealing with the problems that arise," Putin said at the meeting, which included President Rakhmon.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon during a meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, September 15, 2015.

The Kremlin has a 6,000-strong base in Tajikistan and a military air base in the neighbouring Kyrgyzstan.

Putin addressed his concerns about Russian citizens who had left to fight with ISIS.

He also added that Moscow will continue to provide military assistance to Bashar al Assad regime.

"It's obvious that without the Syrian authorities and the military playing an active role, without the Syrian army fighting Islamic State 'on the ground', it's impossible to drive terrorists from this country and from the region as a whole," Putin said.

"If Russia had not supported Syria, the situation in this country would have been worse than in Libya, and the flood of refugees would have been even higher," he said.

TRTWorld and agencies