Members of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) started joint military exercises in Lyaur Garrison, 30 kilometres away from Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe, according to a report by Russian news agency RIA Novosti on April 21. The exercises, titled “Search-2016”, simulate a scenario, where terrorist forces from Afghanistan break through the Afghan-Tajik border.
The exercises are part of CSTO Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha’s visit to Tajikistan and follow Tajikistan’s own exercises, which were conducted in March. The CSTO ranks high the issue of patrolling the 1,350km-long Tajik-Afghan border and Moscow is often seen exaggerating the issue as it has been trying to expand military cooperation with Tajikistan. Russia has already provided Tajikistan with military training and assistance worth around RUB70bn (€934.1mn) to address the threats stemming from its permeable border.
Apart from seeking CSTO’s support, Tajik authorities have also discussed military cooperation with China.
Authorities of neighbouring Turkmenistan have also conducted large scale military exercises on Turkmenistan's border with Afghanistan.
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