Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has ratified a decree to create a joint anti-aircraft defense system with Russia, boosting the military alliance between the two post-Soviet republics.
As part of the agreement reached between Moscow and Astana in January 2013 and signed by Nazarbayev on Monday, Russia will provide Kazakhstan with five divisions of the advanced S-300PS anti-aircraft missile systems for free.
The joint Russia-Kazakhstan command will be headed by an officer who will be appointed by the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan after being nominated by the defense ministers of the two countries.
The command will be headquartered in the former Kazakh capital of Almaty.
The agreement with Kazakhstan will last five years with the possibility of being renewed automatically.
Beyond Kazakhstan, Russia already has a unified missile defense system with Belarus, while Armenia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are expected to follow suit.