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#5 (67), 2018

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Arms Trade

Russia's Military-Political Relations with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan

Colonel Oleg BELOSLUDTSEV,

Candidate of Historical Sciences,

Colonel Alexander GRIBOVSKY


Following the collapse of the USSR, the mili­tary and political situation in Central Asia changed completely. Geostrategical factors have turned this region into a focal point of con­flicting interests of global and regional powers. The geopolitical changes that have taken place in the past ten years have significantly weakened Russia's military, political and eco­nomic positions in this vital region. Its military presence has waned with the loss of military bases in Central Asian states.

The events of the past decade in Central Asian nations have demonstrated that there is a real military threat to Russia emanating from this region. Therefore, military and political coop­eration with Central Asian states at the begin­ning of the 21st century aimed at strengthening military ties between our countries is becoming a priority for Russia. Its goal is to help the young independent nations to strengthen their defense capabilities and increase their ability to fight terrorism as well as to secure Russia's inter­ests in this important region.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent counter-terrorist operation in Afghanistan have given the military and politi­cal situation in the region a global dimension.

Russia's military and political relations with the three Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Taji­kistan and Turkmenistan are developing in at least three spheres: political, economic and mili­tary. Russia has the highest level of military and political relations with Kyrgyzstan and Ta­jikistan, which along with Russia are members of both the Collective Security Treaty (CST) and the other regional security structure - the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation (SOC).

Turkmenistan is not a member of the CST, and has never participated in its work. Therefore, Russia maintains other, lower level military and political relations with this country.

Kyrgyzstan

Military cooperation. Military cooperation be­tween the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kyrgyzstan is developing quite vigorously. The most important documents regulating rela­tions between the two countries in the military-political sphere are:

  • The Military Cooperation Treaty of 1993

    The Agreement on Military Service by Citizens of the Russian Federation in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and Their Status of 1994

  • The Agreement on Issues of Jurisdiction and mutual Legal Aid in Affairs Related to the Pres­ence of Russian Forces on the Territory of Kyr­gyzstan of 1996

Kyrgyzstan has considered cooperation with Russia on military issues a priority ever since it gained independence. The country signed the Collective Security Treaty in May 1992 at a summit of Commonwealth heads of state, and sent a Kyrgyzstani battalion to reinforce Rus­sian border forces on the border with Afghani­stan. Kyrgyzstani analysts reckon Kyrgyzstan's security is inseparable from the security of other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.1

Besides interests of a geopolitical and military-political nature, Russia also has purely practical military interests in Kyrgyzstan. A firing range for anti-ship weapons and a Navy communica­tions hub located in Kyrgyzstan are very impor­tant for equipping Russia's Navy with modern fighting tools, and for directing Navy forces and resources in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The rules governing their operation are enshrined in Russian-Kyrgyzstani intergovernmental agree­ments signed in 1993.2

Kyrgyzstan participates in the operations of the CIS Unified Air Defense System. The Kyr­gyzstani Air Defense Forces annually take part in Combat Commonwealth tactical shooting ex­ercises with other CIS air defense forces at Rus­sia's Ashuluk training ground.

Russian-Kyrgyzstani military cooperation has good prospects. It includes participation in joint exercises, training of personnel for Kyrgyzstan's army, etc. In 1999 alone, more than 100 citizens of Kyrgyzstan were accepted in Russian military academies.

In the fall of 1999, when Kyrgyzstan's military and political leadership was in trouble after a group of Islamic militants led by Juma Naman­gani invaded the Batken region, a unified task force was set up at the Armed Forces General Staff in Bishkek in September 1999 to help plan and carry out a special operation to destroy the guerillas, and to organize deliveries of supplies and equipment to Kyrgyzstan's armed forces. It included task forces from the defense ministries of Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbeki­stan.3

The task force from the Russian Defense Minis­try was headed by Lieutenant General A. Pi­menov, the deputy commander of the peace­keeping force in Tajikistan.

Defense procurement. After the breakup of the USSR, the fragmentary nature of the military-industrial base and its incompatibility with de­fense needs played a decisive role in the level of Kyrgyzstan's military-technical cooperation. Kyrgyzstani industrial enterprises that manufac­tured military products were a part of various components of the military-industrial complex of the USSR, dependent on partners outside the country and not connected with one another. An example is the engineering plant in Bishkek, earlier named after Lenin. In Soviet days, the plant made cartridges for Kalashnikov rifles, among other things. But now the plant's equipment stands idle most of the time because Kyrgyzstani defense companies cannot find a market.

Kyrgyzstan's defense enterprises are not capable of producing arms independently. Therefore, the armed forces are completely dependent on other countries for their equipment.

Given the country's difficult financial and eco­nomic situation, Kyrgyzstan has allocated virtu­ally no money for the procurement of weapons for its armed forces since 1991. Over this pe­riod, about 50% of existing weapons and military hardware has worn out and become unusable. Therefore, Kyrgyz­stan's military and political leadership is striving to develop military-techni­cal cooperation with other countries in the hope of receiving aid to modernize its weapons sys­tems and hardware.

One way to equip Kyrgyzstan's armed forces with the necessary weapons and hardware could be to sell existing heavy arms abroad, since the Kyrgyzstani army's main clashes with guerillas take place in mountainous areas where tanks are not very effective, analysts reckon. Kyr­gyzstani military analyst Alexander Kima said Kyrgyzstan could spend the proceeds from the sale of heavy weapons on the procurement of helicopters and combat aircraft for the country's Air Force, since it remains the most poorly equipped in Central Asia.4

Russian-Kyrgyzstani military-technical coopera­tion is developing quite actively. Regular raids on the country by Islamic militants are forcing Kyrgyzstan to step up mili­tary-technical cooperation with Moscow be­cause the country cannot fight terrorism on its own, neither financially nor militarily.

The decision to provide Kyrgyzstan with mili­tary-technical aid after the attack by militants in the fall of 1999 was made at an extraordinary meeting of the military chiefs from member countries of CST in Moscow with the participa­tion of President Vladimir Putin, who was Russian prime minister at the time.5

In 2000 alone Kyrgyzstan was visited by dele­ga­tions from the Russian Defense Ministry, Promexport and Rosoboronexport arms trade in­termediaries, the Atomic Energy Ministry, and aircraft manufacturer RAC "MiG". Kyr­gyzstan was provided with considerable aid for the re­pair of weapons and military hardware of the Air Defense Forces, allowing them to take on combat duty as part of the CIS Uni­fied Air De­fense System. A joint aviation pro­gram was car­ried out. The military equipment that Russia provided earlier, including weap­ons, ammuni­tion, reconnaissance equipment and other special equipment helped Kyr­gyzstan to carry out the successful military campaign in the southern part of the country in 2000.6

The two countries are also implementing agree­ments signed in 2000 between the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry and Kyrgyzstani De­fense Ministry on the technical modernization of the country's borders. Russia gave Kyrgyzstan $700,000 worth of security equipment as a grant. The alarm system equipment, electronic barriers and prefabricated watchtowers were de­livered and assembled first of all in the most likely areas that guerillas might infiltrate Kyr­gyzstan. In 2001, Russia's military-industrial complex manufactured more than 2.5 million rubles (about $86,000) worth of special equip­ment to secure Kyrgyzstan's borders.7 Last year Russia delivered equipment such as the "Vitim" and OS-21 radar stations. Radar installations on the Kyrgyzstani-Chinese border were upgraded with the help of Russian production association "Tar".

The countries have worked on issues involving the formation of joint ventures in the defense industry as well as manufacturing, scientific and technical cooperation in defense sectors. All this was supposed to have given Kyrgyzstan the opportunity to set up production of defense products.

Kyrgyzstan's part of the air defense system is being modernized with the help of the Russian Defense Ministry. Russia also makes its military testing grounds available for firing exercises by Kyrgyzstan's air defense forces.

Russia's Defense Ministry has given its Kyr­gyzstani counterpart large-caliber machine guns and grenade launchers as well as ammunition. Russia has also provided Kyrgyzstan with sev­eral military aircraft.

The Russian Federal Border Service has opened the first training courses for border guards in Kyrgyzstan. Although Russia has withdrawn from Kyrgyzstan's borders, it continues to train officers for service on the border. A third group has passed graduation exams after nine months of training in special courses conducted by the Operative Group of the Russian Federal Border Service. Operative Group commander Colonel Yuri Litovsky said that Kyrgyzstan could con­tinue to count on Russian aid in training border guard officers.8

The events of 1999-2000 related to the infiltra­tion of Kyrgyzstan by the fighters of field com­mander Juma Namangani demonstrated the need for closer military-technical cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and other countries.

In January 2000, 40 tonnes of military uniforms worth about $600,000 were delivered to Kyr­gyzstan from China at the request of the Kyr­gyzstani government. This made it possible to immediately put more than half of the Kyr­gyzstani army's enlisted personnel in new uni­forms. As early as the Shanghai Five summit in Bishkek in 1999, which coincided with the inva­sion of Kyrgyzstan's Batken region, China's leadership persistently offered Askar Akayev the most varied aid to repulse the invaders.

Tajikistan

Military cooperation. The Russian Federation and Tajikistan maintain fairly close relations with one another: in the period between 1992 and 2000 they signed more than 100 treaties and agreements in various areas.9 On May 25, 1993, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmonov signed a Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Treaty in Moscow.10

The first seven articles of the Treaty call for co­operation between Russia and Tajikistan in the military-political sphere. The Treaty determines the content, directions and forms of military-po­litical cooperation between the two countries. The military-political provisions of the docu­ment set out joint obligations in the area of de­fense, provide for bilateral consultations if a se­curity threat emerges and give Russia's armed forces the right to use military facilities on the territory of Tajikistan.

Subsequently, military-political cooperation be­tween Russia and Tajikistan developed steadily and progressively. This was fostered by the dif­ficult political situation within Tajikistan and around it, as well as Russia's interest in main­taining stability in this country and on the southern borders of the CIS in general. In the period from 1992 to 2000, the two countries signed 21 documents within the context of mili­tary-political cooperation. They include:

  • The Military Cooperation Treaty (signed on May 25, 1993; effective on November 17, 1993)

  • The Agreement on the Legal Status of Russian Military Forces on the Territory of Tajikistan

  • The Agreement on the Legal Status of Russian Border Forces on the Territory of Tajikistan and, as a supplement to it, a protocol on procedures for their financing and logistical support

  • The Agreement on the Principles of Logistical Support and Provision of Everyday Supplies to Russian Forces on the Territory of Tajikistan.

Russian-Tajikistani military-political coopera­tion developed in the following main directions:

  • defense of the Tajikistani-Afghan border, as the southern border of the CIS with countries that are not members of the Commonwealth

  • participation in joint peacekeeping forces of the CIS

  • stabilization of the armed conflict between government and opposi­tion forces

  • cooperation between the two countries' de­fense ministries through the capabili­ties of the 201st motorized infantry division and since 1997 through the office of the Chief Military Adviser from the Russian Defense Ministry at the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan

On January 21, 1997, Russia and Tajikistan signed a bilateral agreement under which the of­fice of Chief Military Adviser (CMA) was set up at Tajikistan's Defense Ministry. Additional agreements were also signed to send Russian military advisers to the heads of corresponding divisions of the defense ministry and general staff, commanders of formations and units.11

The officers of the CMA and the Russian mili­tary advisers provide assistance in drafting guidelines on combat training and maintaining the vital functions of the army, in conducting practical training with officers and enlisted per­sonnel from combat units of the national armed forces.

The Russian military presence in the form of the 201st motorized infantry division, units of which made up the core of the CIS Collective Peacekeeping Forces, plays an important stabi­lizing role in Tajikistan. Russia, in the condi­tions of the armed conflict between government forces and the opposition, assumed the main role in preventing the fighting from escalating and defending the Tajikistani-Afghan border.12

Because of the critical situation that emerged in Tajikistan in the fall of 1993, CIS heads of state on September 24 adopted the Resolution on the Formation of Collective Peacekeeping Forces and the Beginning of their Operations, as well as the Agreement on Collective Peacekeeping Forces and Joint Measures for their Logistical Support. Under these documents, it was deter­mined that the Collective Peacekeeping Forces (CPF) would be formed for a period of six months, though if necessary the period of their presence could be changed. The CPF was to in­clude peacekeeping contingents from Kazakh­stan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan. All the participants in these decisions provided con­tingents except Kazakhstan, whose parliament did not ratify these documents. These provisions were the basis for the formation of the Com­monwealth CPF, which were deployed in the Republic of Tajikistan on October 15, 1993.13

Acting within the framework of the joint peace­keeping force, the 201st motorized infantry divi­sion was made up of 6,000 to 7,000 personnel (including more than 1,000 officers), four tacti­cal missile launchers, about 150 tanks and as many armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting appromaximately vehicles, 220 guns and mortars, about 20 combat helicopters, eight multi-launch missile systems, anti-tank weapons and surface-to-air missile complexes.

In the course of fighting in 1992-1993, and later as well, the 201st division acted as a kind of curb on the scale of bloodshed, with its presence preventing extremist forces from spreading the war to all of Tajikistan. The division's human losses in 1993-1995 alone amounted to 97 casualties.14

At the same time, the division's servicemen helped to train personnel for Tajikistan's army, transported humanitarian aid to local popula­tions, took part in the cleanup of natural disas­ters, and as part of the Commonwealth CPF, carried out three operations to evacuate fighters of the united Tajikistani opposition after the signing of a ceasefire.

On February 10, 1995 Tajikistan signed the agreement to create a Unified Air Defense Sys­tem for CIS countries. But the actual state of the air defense forces at their current stage of development does not allow them to take part in joint combat duty to defend the air space of the Commonwealth.

An important direction of Tajikistani-Russian cooperation in the military sphere was collabo­ration, through the two countries' defense min­istries, in building up and developing Tajiki­stan's armed forces. A fundamental aspect of this was the fact that Tajikistan, given the mili­tary-political situation, was the only former Soviet republic to receive almost nothing from the division of the armed forces of the Soviet Union.

In the mid-1990s, Tajikistan's army had only about 60% of the officers it needed and only 40% of them had a military education. This process was exacerbated by the outflow of ethnic Russian of­ficers from the country: in the middle of 1995 alone more than 800 officers left Tajikistan.15

Training of personnel for Tajikistan's armed forces was conducted, first of all, at Russian military academies and, secondly, by sending citizens of the country for military service in units and formations of the 201st motorized in­fantry division and the group of Russian border forces in Tajikistan. An officer corps was also trained at the S. Safarov Higher Military Col­lege in Dushanbe, which was created on the basis of the experience of similar Russian military edu­cation institutions.

In December 1999, the two countries signed a bilateral agreement on the status and conditions for the presence of a Russian military base on the territory of Tajikistan. Under this agree­ment, a Russian base composed of the Russian military forces already stationed in the country, primarily the 201st division was to be set up within a year of the agreement going into force.16

Given the difficult military-political situation in Central Asia, and Afghanistan in particular, it would be premature to talk of partially or com­pletely withdrawing Russian border forces and the 201st division from the Republic of Tajiki­stan in the next few years. Especially since, due to organizational and personnel problems, the security institutions of Tajikistan have not been finally formed yet and the combat and tactical service readiness of Tajikistani border forces is insufficient.

A special relationship in the military-political sphere has taken shape between Tajikistan and Iran. Iran sees Tajikistan as a friendly country and is interested in expanding bilateral rela­tions, including military cooperation. Rela­tions between the defense ministries of the two countries were established in 1997 after the first official visit to Teheran by a Tajikistani military delegation. Documents on cooperation were signed during a visit to Iran by Tajiki­stan's Defense Minister Sherali Khairullayev in December of that year. The two countries signed a number of agreements concerning the training of military personnel and technical deliveries.

Iran's defense minister, Ali Shamkhani, visited Dushanbe in March 2001.17 A broad range of issues were discussed during his visit including the joint effort against interna­tional terrorism, narcotics trafficking and pro­gress on implementation of previously signed documents.

Defense procurement. Unlike other Central Asian and CIS countries, which have built their armed forces on the basis of former divisions and units of the Soviet Army, Tajikistan has had to create its army virtually from scratch. Kazakh­stan and Uzbekistan inherited the hardware and assets of whole military districts of the former Soviet Union, while Turkmenistan and Kyr­gyzstan were left with two powerful, fully de­ployed corps. Tajikistan got neither hardware, weapons, nor military-training bases. After the People's Front of Tajikistan emerged the victor in the first armed clashes in 1992, the weapons and military hardware that it prossessed made up the military-technical foundation of the Tajikistani army. Everything else that the armed forces needed was bought later: helicopters, tanks, combat vehicles and other types of heavy weap­ons. At the same, is only one rifle for two or three soldiers an everyday reality for Tajiki­stan. The difficult economic situation in the country does not allow it to buy the nec­essary quantity of arms and ammunition.

The fact that Tajikistan had no defense enter­prises producing military hardware, weapons or uniforms also made life considerably harder for the government.

In these circumstances Tajikistan built its ground, air defense and air forces. By the be­ginning of 1997, the country's armed forces al­ready had about 200 armored fighting vehicles, including 35 tanks, and more than 200 field ar­tillery guns, mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns. The country also had 5 Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.

Tajikistan's military-technical cooperation with other countries has been conducted mainly within the framework of cooperation with Rus­sia. According to Russian analysts, Russia trans­ferred S-125 SAMs to Tajikistan and rebuilt the country's military airfields as part of the crea­tion of the Unified Air Defense System.18

Within the context of the general deterioration of the situation in Central Asia, the Russian leadership decided to provide military-technical aid to Tajikistan. A Russian delegation headed by Russian Munitions Agency general director Zinoviy Pak arrived in Dushanbe in November 2000 to discuss the issue of bilateral military-technical cooperation between Tajiki­stan and Russia. Issues of bilateral military-technical cooperation and joint use of the mili­tary-industrial complex inside Tajikistan were discussed at a meeting with the country's prime minister.19 Corresponding documents were signed following the negotiations.

A delegation from the Russian Conventional Arms Agency visited Tajikistan in March 2001 as part of efforts to build on these agreements. The goal of the visit was to study the state of Russian-made weapons and military hardware being used by Tajikistan's army. The specialists determined what repairs were needed and how much work would be required.20

The two countries are pursuing cooperation both at the state level, and at the level of military agencies. The Russian 201st division stationed in Tajikistan plays a special role in this. There are constant meetings between Tajikistani Defense Minister Colonel General Sherali Khairullayev and the commander of the forces of the Volga-Urals military district, Colonel General Alexan­der Baranov. At these meetings they discuss the expansion of military-technical cooperation that lies within the competence of the district com­mander.

After the launch of the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan, military-technical cooperation between the United States and Tajikistan moved to a new, higher level. In January 2002 the United States lifted restrictions on arms sales to Tajikistan that had been in place since the beginning of the 1990s. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher explained the lift­ing of the arms embargo by saying that Tajiki­stan was cooperating closely with the Americans in the war against terrorists.21 Soon after this step by the American administration, a military delegation from the US Central Command ar­rived in Dushanbe. The goal of the visit was to discuss issues of military cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States in the light of the implementation of earlier agreements and within the context of existing American and in­ternational military cooperation programs. The American programs include cooperation in the joint effort against international terrorism, ille­gal narcotics trafficking and extremism; ex­change of information, military education, semi­nars and conferences and joint regional exercises as well as long-term humanitarian and technical aid.22 Thus, the prospects for stronger mili­tary-technical cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States in light of the presence of an American military contingent in the country look quite realistic.

Turkmenistan

Military cooperation. Since Turkmenistan de­clared independence, President Saparmurat Ni­yazov has taken an active part in the discussions of CIS military planning and said that Turk­menistan would not create its own army. In May 1992 before a meeting in Tashkent he refused to sign the CIS collective security pact, and it became clear that the Turkmen presi­dent intends to oppose the creation of a joint CIS armed force. Niyazov formed a defense ministry and began to develop bilateral relations with Russia. On July 31, 1992, Turkmenistan signed a Friendship and Cooperation Treaty with Russia that contained several protocols on close cooperation in the military sphere.23

In 1992-1993 Turkmenistan attempted to create a small national armed force based on the for­mer 52nd army, which was located in the coun­try and depended on support from Russia. Of the 300 formations and units, numbering 110,000 people, 200 were transferred to the command of Turkmenistan, 70 remained under Russia's jurisdiction, and 30 were either withdrawn or demobilized.24

Russia and Turkmenistan concluded a number of agreements in the military sphere, including:

  • The Agreement on the Legal Status and Sondi­tions for the Presence in Turkmenistan of Divi­sions of Russian Air Defense and Air Forces (July 31, 1992)

  • The Agreement on the Principles for Supplying the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan and the Divi­sions of Russian air Defense and Air Forces in Turkmenistan with Property, Equipment, and Everyday Supplies (July 31, 1992)

  • The Agreement on the Military Service of Rus­sian Citizens in the Armed Forces of Turkmeni­stan and their Status (September 1, 1993; ex­pired on December 31, 1999).

In 1999 the Russian Federal Border Service task force was permanently withdrawn from Turk­menistan. Thus Turkmenistan became the third CIS country, after Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, on the external borders of which Russia ceased to maintain a presence.25

The Further development of Russian-Turkmen mili­tary-political relations depends on the develop­ment of the situation in Afghanistan and the Caspian Sea. While on the whole supporting the actions of the anti-terrorist coalition formed for the operation in Afghanistan, Turkmenistan did not take a direct part in it.

Ashgabat has distanced itself from active par­ticipation in military cooperation among the CIS countries. Therefore, the further develop­ment of Russian-Turkmen military cooperation is quite problematic.

Cooperation between the military agencies of Russia and Turkmenistan has been moved onto a purely pragmatic course. In practice this means that Turkmenistan plans to turn to Russia only in cases of dire need for Russian technical assis­tance. In the absence of such need contacts and long-term agreements make little sense.

Nikolai Mikhailov, Russia's deputy defense minister at the time, visited Turkmenistan in November 1999. This was the first visit by a representative Russian military delegation to this country in five years.26 The goal of the visit was primarily to work out the procedural issues for the withdrawal from Turkmenistan of the last 50 Russian officers from a Russian De­fense Ministry task force that had been in the country since 1994.

Defense procurement. Turkmenistan inherited one of the largest stockpiles of weapons and military hardware from the Soviet army, and this left the country's military and political leadership with the problem of maintaining and modernizing it. Turkmenistan could not do this alone. Therefore military-technical cooperation with Russia, which had long languished in an embryonic state, became necessary in the face of the threats emanating from neighboring Af­ghanistan.

Active contacts between the two countries be­gan in the summer of 2001. On June 14 Sergei Chemezov, a first deputy general director at Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, said after negotiations in Ashgabat that Turk­menistan plans to supply natural gas to Russia in exchange for weapons and military hard­ware.27

The corresponding agreement was reached dur­ing a meeting between Turkmen President Sa­parmurat Niyazov and top executives from Ro­soboronexport and the international energy com­pany Itera, which transports Turkmenistan's natural gas to CIS markets.

President Niyazov voiced an interest in Rosobo­ronexport's proposals regarding the moderniza­tion of the Turkmen army's Soviet-era hardware, as well as in the delivery of modern Russian mili­tary equipment, including border patrol boats.

Turkmenistan is also trying to establish bilateral cooperation with other members of the CIS, es­pecially Ukraine and Georgia. The Military News Agency has reported that the Feodosia production association "Morye" delivered 20 combat patrol boats to Turkmenistan in 2001. This refers to the delivery of ten 40-tonne Grif patrol boats fitted with 12.7 mm machine guns, and ten 8-tonne Kalkan patrol boats. The princi­ple agreement on this deal was reached in May 2001 during President Niyazov's visit to Ukraine.28

Turkmenistan's military-technical cooperation with Georgia has developed within the context of eliminating Georgia's debt for natural gas de­liveries. As payment towards the debt, Turk­menistan had planned to have all 46 of its Su-25 combat aircraft repaired in Georgia. The cost of repairing each fighter amounts to about $1 mil­lion.

In 2001 the company Tbilaviastroi repaired and delivered to Turkmenistan 22 Su-25 fighters.29 The government of Turkmenistan also planned to place an order with Tbilisi aircraft makers to build two new two-seat aircraft, designed at Tbilaviastroi, at a cost of about $20 million.30

Turkmenistan has also pursued military-techni­cal cooperation with the United States. Turk­menistan's Armed Forces and the US Central Command have signed a military cooperation plan. In 2001, Turkmenistan's border guards re­ceived a Point Jackson patrol boat. The boat's crew underwent special training in Florida, then took delivery of the boat at the Turkish port of Izmir at the end of April and sailed it to the Caspian under Turkmenistan's flag. The patrol boat was attached to the Separate Division of Border Patrol Boats of Turkmenistan's Border Service in the Caspian port of Turkmenbashi, and will serve to defend the country's marine boundaries.31

Conclusions:

1. Russia's military-political relations with Kyr­gyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are char­acterized by a number of factors, among which the following may be highlighted:

  • Tension of military-political relations in Central Asia characterized by the existence of unsettled conflicts

  • International terrorism and narcotraffic, which have built their own infrastructure in the region and have launched armed provocations of vari­ous scales

  • The dramatic change in the military situation in Afghanistan

  • The persistent advance of the United States and NATO in the region under the guise of conducting the anti-terrorist operation in Af­ghanistan

  • Waning Russian military and political influ­ence in the region and a decrease in the Russian military presence

  • The emergence of signs that alliances and axes are being cobbled together in the region, which in the distant future could turn into blocs

  • The growing crisis in the integration process of the CIS, which threatens to destroy certain currently establishing integrated and coordinating structures

2. Russia most successfully develops military-po­litical cooperation with the member countries of the CST - Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The main elements of this cooperation are coinciding or similar national interests, the common nature of military threats, the objective existence of a common geostrategic space, and remaining eco­nomic, cultural, ethnic and other ties.

3. The development of Russia's military-techni­cal cooperation with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan is conditioned by the fact that the armies of these countries are completely outfit­ted with weapons and military hardware of So­viet make. The military-industrial complexes of these countries are not capable of producing weapons and hardware to arm their own mili­tary, so cooperation with Russia is a vital neces­sity. At the same time, the lack of financial re­sources prevents the establishment of full-scale military-technical cooperation, and the rearming of these countries' armed forces or moderniza­tion of their weapons and hardware.

4. The further development of Russia's military-political relations with countries in the region will probably depend on their participation in certain regional groupings. Also, a key factor in­fluencing these relations will be the continued military presence of the United States and other NATO countries in the region.


1 Orolbayev E.E., "Kyrgyzstan: civilian control of the armed forces," in Parliamentary Control over the Military Sphere in the Newly Independent States. M., 1998. P. 123.

2 Orolbayev E.E., "Kyrgyzstan: civilian control of the armed forces," in Parliamentary Control over the Military Sphere in the Newly Independent States. M., 1998. P. 208.

3 Chief Department of International Military Coopera­tion at the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation (1951 - 2001). M.

4 Kommersant, 04.10.2001.

5 http://www.lenta.ru/world/1999/09/20/kyrgyzstan.

6 http://vb.kyrnet.kg/2001/02/23/07.htm.

7 Interfax Military News Agency, 23.04.2002.

8 http://www.e-journal.ru/p_bzarub-st8-13.html.

9 Khronika tadjiksko-rossiiskikh otnoshenii (1992-1998). M., 1999. P. 3.

10 See: Diplomatichesky vestnik. 1993. No. 6, p. 11.

11 Diplomatichesky vestnik. 1993. No. 6, p. 212.

12 Saburov A., Saidov Z., "Tadjikistan: vneshnaya politika i novaya informatsia (1993-1995)." Dushanbe, 1997. P. 8.

13 Terentyev V.N., "Tvortsy mira," Voin Sodruzhestva. 1998. No. 4, p. 24.

14 Krasnaya zvezda. 27.05.1998.

15 Mumyinzoda N.D., "Stanovleniye i razvitiye voy­enno-politicheskogo sotrudnichestva mezhdu Respub­likoi Tadjikistan i Rossiiskoi Federatsiei v 90-ye gody XX veka." Avtoreferat. M., 2001. P. 20.

16 Chief Department of International Military Cooperation at the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation (1951 - 2001). M., 2001. p. 209.

17 http://www.bishkekchamber.kg/BC_news/2001-03/Region/Tadjik_010309_1.htm.

18 http://www.mfit.ru/defensive/obzor/ob16-11-01-5.html.

19 http://tajikistan.tajnet.com/news/an09112000.htm.

20 http://t.vpk.ru/forecasts/events/2_1__2.htm.

21 http://www.azg.am/_RU/20020112/2002011202.shtml

22 http://bdg.press.net.by/1998/98_04_23.461/voin.htm.

23 Panico C.J., Turkmenistan Unaffected by Winds of Democratic Change, RFE/RL Research Report. 1993. Vol. 2. ? 4. p. 10.

24 JPRS-UMA-93-031. 25 August 1993. P. 3.

25 Nezavisimaya gazeta, 24.12.1999.

26 Parlamentskaya gazeta, 04.09.1999, p. 5

27 Interfax, 14.06.2001.

28 Military News Agency, 07.06.2001.

29 Interfax-AVN, 23.04.2002.

30 http://www.turkmenistan.ru/index.cfm?d=884&op=viw

31 http://www.turkmenistan.ru/index.cfm?d=800&op=viw.



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