Russia-led security bloc starts three military exercises in Tajikistan today
The Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plans to hold three military exercises in Tajikistan this month due to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.
Three large-scale military drills are being conducted in Harbmaidon and Momirak training fields in Khatlon province close to the Tajik-Afghan border from October 18-23, according to the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan (MoD).
A source at a MoD says the military exercises will involve more than 4,000 military personnel and 800 pieces of military hardware of the CSTO member nations.
The military exercise dubbed Poisk 2021 (Search 2021) is being conducted for reconnaissance troops of the CSTO member nations, the military exercise dubbed Eshelon 2021 (Echelon 2021) will be conducted for logistics units and the military exercise dubbed Vzaimodeystviye 2021 (Interaction 2021) will be conducted for the collective rapid reaction forces.
Servicemen participating in the Vzaimodeystviye 2021 exercise will practice missions to localize a border conflict in the Central Asian regions, the source said.
CSTO members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
In August, Russia completed joint military exercises with Tajik and Uzbek troops near the border with Afghanistan, which followed smaller Russian-Uzbek maneuvers along the Uzbek-Afghan border.
Recall, CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas announced last month that "The cooperative measures have been elaborated to ensure security in Tajikistan in case of an escalation of the border conflict. For the same purpose, a series of large-scale exercises of the CSTO’s collective forces will take place… The drills will all be held according to a single plan."
According to him, the CSTO closely monitors the situation on the Tajik-Afghan border. "The main goal of the organization is to ensure the security of the CSTO’s member states. That’s the reason why we still give priority to political and diplomatic means. The CSTO’s presidents have agreed to make further efforts to build cooperation in countering the challenges and threats from the territory of Afghanistan," the Secretary General added.
It was agreed to accelerate the adoption of the intergovernmental program proposed by Tajikistan within the framework of the CSTO to strengthen the Tajik-Afghan border. "As you know, Tajikistan has got the longest border with Afghanistan - 1,344 km, which passes in a hard-to-reach mountainous area," he concluded.