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Putin Schedules Trip To Tajikistan

Vladimir Putin (right) meets with Emomali Rahmon in Moscow in May
Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to Dushanbe on October 5, which coincides with the 60th birthday of his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmon.

Putin's official website said the presidents will discuss a wide range of issues, including trade, culture and security.

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov visited Dushanbe last week.

Shuvalov said the two countries will "very soon" sign an agreement extending Russia's military presence in Tajikistan.

Shuvalov said the final decision will be taken by the two presidents.

Under the current 10-year lease signed in 2004, Russia gets exclusive use of three military bases and joint use of an air base free of charge.

Media reports said the two sides have had disagreements over the fee Russia pays to keep its troops in Tajikistan.

With reporting by AsiaPlus