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Tajikistan Wants $250M for Russian Base, Report Says

201st Russian military base facility locations in Dushanbe, Qurghonteppa, and Kulob.

Tajikistan authorities want Moscow to pay $250 million a year to keep a Russian military base on their territory, a news report said Thursday.

Kommersant cited a Tajik source close to the negotiations process as saying Dushanbe wanted that amount of money in annual rent for the base. Under the current agreement, Russia renders Tajikistan military and technical assistance but does not pay for the base.

The 201st Russian military base has operated in Tajikistan since 2004 and is Russia's largest foreign base, with as many as 7,000 military personnel stationed there.

Representatives of the Defense Ministry told the business daily that they still hadn't received any Tajik proposal for the terms of extending the current agreement, which is set to expire in 2014, and would not confirm or deny any concrete numbers.

The commander of Russian Ground Forces, Colonel-General Vladimir Chirkin, said Dushanbe had made more than 20 demands that were unacceptable to Moscow, including cutting the rent period from 49 to 10 years, RIA-Novosti reported.

The new deal for the base was supposed to have been concluded in the first quarter of 2012, but negotiations were not completed on schedule.

Kyrgyz authorities on Wednesday told Moscow that they wanted to raise rent prices for three of Russia's bases on their territory and receive cash payments in lieu of the previous arrangement of training Kyrgyz military personnel.

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