DUSHANBE, October 8, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- Tajik experts have been divided over their assessments of the results of recent official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tajikistan.

Tajik political scientist and independent expert Rustam Haidarov says the official visit of President Putin to Tajikistan and cooperation documents signed here could be assessed as the first steps towards the implementation of the project for establishment of the Eurasian Union.

According to him, the overall situation in Central Asia remains volatile and its geopolitical landscape is far from being settled.  “There are especially dangerous areas of risk in the region and they may become active after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014,” the expert said.

“In this connection, further presence of the Russian forces in Central Asia’s countries should minimize the military-and-political risks both for Central Asia’s countries and Russia itself,” said Haidarov.  “Therefore, signing of a document on further presence of Russia’s military base in Tajikistan is strategically necessary choice of the Tajik authorities that has been dictated by modern geopolitical realities of our region.”

He noted that Tajikistan would not be able to address “threats of transnational terrorism and religious extremism emanating from southern border on its own.”  “NATO forces have failed to neutralize actions of terrorist groups, in particular Al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan, and therefore, Tajikistan and our allies, Russia in particular, have to take care of providing security in Tajikistan and in the region as a whole.”

Haidarov notes that cooperation documents signed in Dushanbe during Putin’s visit have clarified Tajikistan-Russia relationships and determined priorities of military-political and economic cooperation between the two countries for the coming decade.

Meanwhile, another Tajik political scientist Nourali Davlat noted that the Kremlin had achieved its purpose.  The signed document fixes the conditions of the Russian military base’s presence in Tajikistan up to 30 years, to be precise until 2042.  “The Russian military base will stay here free of charge and the Kremlin has not reviewed its previous conditions,” the expert said.

“We have just received hazy promises like the extension of the period for registration for Tajik nationals on their arrival in Russia from seven to fifteen days and the tax-free delivery of Russian oil products to Tajikistan.  But is unknown for what period these preferences are given.  I do not think that for 30 or 49 years,” Davlat said.