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Tajikistan Wants 'Respect' From Russia

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon speaks on April 17.
DUSHANBE -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has called Russia his country's only strategic partner but said Moscow should "respect" Tajikistan.

Rahmon said that he had "a big file of requests by other countries who offer mountains of gold for having a military base in Tajikistan, but I haven't even looked at those offers."

Rahmon added that Tajikistan hosted a large number of Russian strategic facilities and considers Russia its "natural partner."

He urged Russian leaders not to allow themselves to be misled by what he described as "distorted" media reports about Tajikistan, saying that Russia should "respect Tajikistan in order to earn its respect."