Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has sent to parliament for ratification an agreement to extend the stay of some 7,000 Russian troops in Tajikistan.
The deal would prolong the stationing of Russia's 201st Division in the country by nearly 40 years. In exchange, Russia agrees to supply Tajikistan with some 1 million tons of duty-free petroleum products.
Russia's 201st Division has been stationed in Tajikistan since the 1940s, remaining there after the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. as a bulwark against insecurity in Afghanistan.
Russia's government has been highlighting the need for the division to remain in Tajikistan as foreign forces in Afghanistan start their drawdown next year.
With reporting by Interfax