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Russia sends armoured vehicles, military equipment to Tajikistan

Published : Sunday, 12 September, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 522

MOSCOW, Sept 11:  Russia sent Tajikistan 12 armoured vehicles and an array of military equipment, its defence ministry said on Saturday, as Moscow looks to shore up its Central Asian ally that neighbours Afghanistan.
Moscow has held military exercises in Tajikistan and expanded hardware at its military base there, its biggest in a foreign country, since the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban's lightning takeover.
Russia is worried about the potential for fallout in the wider region and the possibility of Islamist militants infiltrating Central Asia, which Moscow sees as its southern defensive buffer.
"Against the backdrop of growing instability near Tajikistan's southern border, we are working together to ensure the security of our states," said Major General Yevgeny Tsindyaikin in a defence ministry statement.
The transfer of hardware, which also includes close combat equipment and protective gear, will modernise and significantly enhance Tajikistan's military capabilities, the ministry said.
Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan stretches for 1,344 km (835 miles), and much of it is mountainous and hard to police.
Meanwhile, Russia said Friday it summoned the US ambassador in Moscow over interference of US tech giants in parliamentary polls due later this month. Moscow has ramped up control of the internet and is taking legal action against foreign tech companies for not deleting content banned by authorities.
The foreign ministry said Ambassador John Sullivan was presented with "irrefutable proof" of US tech giants violating Russian laws in connection with the September 17-19 elections to the lower house State Duma.
It said deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov expressed the "categorical inadmissibility of interference in the domestic affairs of our country" during the meeting.
A US State Department spokeswoman, Jalina Porter, said the meeting covered a "range of bilateral matters" in support of US President Joe Biden's "desire for a stable and predictable relationship with Russia".    -REUTERS, AFP

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