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Tajik Pact On Russian Military Presence Clears Hurdle

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik parliament's lower chamber has ratified an agreement allowing Russian troops to stay in the country until 2042.

Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Hairulloev told lawmakers on October 1 the ratification of the document is important to preserve stability and security in Tajikistan and other Central Asian states. It now goes to the upper house for approval.

The agreement was signed in October 2012 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmon, in Dushanbe. The accord prolongs a deal signed in 1993, which was due to expire in 2014.

About 7,000 troops from Russia's 201st Motorized Division use three facilities in Tajikistan: near Dushanbe and in the southern cities of Kulob and Qurghon-Teppa.

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