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Tajikistan: Russia, Other CIS Countries To Set Up Joint Military Command

Dushanbe, 28 April 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The leaders of Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, and Armenia ended a meeting in Dushanbe today by agreeing to establish a joint military command for a regional rapid reaction force. The six countries are members of the Collective Security Treaty (CST).

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the joint military command will help the countries cooperate more effectively in fighting drug trafficking and terrorism in the region.

Putin also said Russia will offer the other five countries in the CST Russian arms and military equipment at the prices and on the terms at which the Russian military buys them.

The summit also named Nikolai Bordiuzha, the former head of the Russian Security Council, as secretary-general of the CST.

Putin turned over his duties as Collective Security Council chairman to Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov, who will serve as chairman until next year.

The CST was established in 1992 to strengthen cooperation on shared security threats such as terrorism and organized crime.