DUSHANBE, November 18, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- On Thursday November 17, Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Khairulloyev met in Almaty, Kazakhstan with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov on the sidelines of the 61st meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the CIS Member Nations.

Faridoun Mahmadaliyev, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of Tajikistan, says the two discussed state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral military and technical cooperation between Tajikistan and Russia.

“Asked about the further fate of Russian pilot Vladimir Sadovnichiy, who was sentenced to 8 ½ years in Tajikistan on November 8, Khairulloyev said that the issue is under personal control of the president of Tajikistan,” Mahmadaliyev noted.

Meanwhile, Russian media outlets report today that Tajik defense minister allegedly told his Russian counterpart that Tajik President Emomali Rahmon ordered him to “solve the issue regarding the fate of the Russian pilot, who was recently convicted in Tajikistan, positively.”

Itar-Tass quoted Irina Kovalchuk, a spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, as saying that “The Russian minister urged his Tajik counterpart for practical steps to release the sentenced Russian pilot.” “General Khairulloyev, for his part, informed about the order of the Tajik president to settle this issue positively,” she added.

On the same day, Sherali Khairulloyev also held bilateral talks with his counterparts from Kazakhstan (Adilbek Jaksibekov), Ukraine (Mikhail Yezhel) and Azerbaijan (Safar Abiyev).

Further expansion of military and technical cooperation was the focus of Khairulloyev’s discussions with his Kazakh, Ukrainian an Azeri counterparts.

In the meantime, the 61st meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the CIS Member Nations that considered more than 20 issues related to priorities of partnership between defense ministries of the CIS member nations.

The meeting that brought together defense delegations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan also reviewed the results of this year’s works ad tasks for 2012.

The Council of Defense Ministers is a body of the Council of the Heads of States responsible for military policy of the states - participants of the CIS.  Its working office is a Staff, which coordinates military cooperation of the CIS member states, prepares and holds meetings of the Council of Defence Ministers, organizes the activities of groups of military observers and collective forces for peace keeping in the CIS.