Ayni airfield not leased to Russia, says Tajik defense ministry

08/10/2015 14:48
Avaz Yuldoshev
Views: 11128

DUSHANBE, October 8, 2015, Asia-Plus -- Tajikistan has not leased the Ayni airfield to Russia, an official source at Tajikistan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) told Asia-Plus in an interview.

“The airfield belongs to the Tajik Defense Ministry and Russia’s plan to deploy its attack helicopters at the Ayni airfield does not mean that it is leased to Russia,” the source said.

According to him, Russia may use the airfield under bilateral agreements within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) but it remains under jurisdiction of the Tajik Defense Ministry.

We will recall that Interfax news agency on October 7 quoted the Russian defense ministry as saying that Russia has deployed Mi-24P attack helicopters to reinforce its military base in Tajikistan.

Russia's Defense Ministry will reinforce its base in Tajikistan with attack and military transport helicopters, Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin, a spokesman for Russia's Central Military District, told journalists on Wednesday.

According to him, the created aerial grouping will be based at the Ayni airfield in Hisor district, 30 kilometers of Dushanbe. The grouping now includes Mi-24P attack and Mi-8MTV transport and combat helicopters.

We will recall that the renovated Ayni airfield belonging to the Tajik Ministry of Defense was officially opened on September 3, 2010.

India contributed 70 million USD toward the renovation and sent specialists to help with the work.  The airfield, located some 20 kilometers west of Dushanbe, now has state-of-the-art navigational and defense technology.  Its runway was also extended to 3,200 meters so that all types of aircraft can land there.

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