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Putin In Dushanbe For Talks On Fate Of Base

Russian servicemen during a military exercise at Russia's 201st military base in Tajikistan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Dushanbe for talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.

The two leaders are due today to discuss bilateral relations, including trade and energy cooperation.

However, analysts expect the fate of Russia's 201st military base in Tajikistan to dominate talks.

Russia's lease on the base expires in 2014.

Up till now, Russia has paid no fee to use the facility and wants reportedly to extend that deal for another 49 years.

The Tajik government, however, has reportedly demanded Russia pay $250 million a year to use the facility.

The 201st military base is Russia's largest foreign installation with some 7,000 soldiers stationed there.

With reporting by RFE/RL Tajik Service and ITAR-TASS