Russia to optimize military presence in Central Asia

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The Russian Defence Ministry is discussing ways to optimize the operations of its military contingent in Central Asian nations over the next five years, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday.

The Russian army operates military bases in the former Soviet Republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

“The presence of the Russian Armed Forces in the Central Asian Republics is essential for strengthening regional stability, countering terrorism, preventing drug trafficking and arms smuggling,” Shoigu said at a session of the Russian Defence Ministry.

He added that the ministry had prepared specific proposals for optimizing the composition and functioning of its troops in the region.

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