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CSTO Says Troops 'Could Be In Tajikistan In Three Days'

  • RFE/RL's Tajik Service

CSTO Secretary-General Nikolay Bordyuzha

CSTO Secretary-General Nikolay Bordyuzha

The head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) says its military forces could be at the Tajik-Afghan border within three days if a conflict broke out there.

Speaking at a press conference in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, late on March 13, Nikolai Bordyuzha said CSTO forces could repel any threat emanating from the Afghan side of the border.

Bordyuzha said Russia is not looking to create a "second front in Tajikistan, but [Russia] would never permit the security of a CSTO member to be in doubt."

Bordyuzha is one of several Russian officials who has regularly warned Central Asian states about the dangers of militant groups in Afghanistan.

The CSTO, comprised of Tajikistan, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, has been helping Tajikistan strengthen its defenses along the Afghan border.

The Defense Ministry announced earlier this week that it was conducting exercises along the Afghan border that involved 50,000 people, including soldiers, reservists, local police, and civilian support services.

With additional reporting by Interfax