Afghan-Tajik border control transferred from Russia

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Map of Tajikistan showing Afghan border

Tajikistan will now protect their border unaided by Russia, as Pyandzh unit border guards leave the area. The guards continued to protect part of the Tajik-Afghan border until September 1, having begun in a 1993 intergovernmental agreement.

Russian Border Service deputy Lt. Gen. Viktor Trufanov told Interfax newswire: "The last sector of the Afghan-Tajik border under the control of the Pyandzh unit of Russian border guards was transferred to our Tajik colleagues on September 1 in conformity with the intergovernmental agreement."

This week, expert Russian border guard officers and tacticians have met with the Tajik State Border Committee, in order to assist in the turnover, according to chief of the border command Major-General Nikolai Kasharin.

Since Russia took over border control duties in 1993, China View reports that 40,000 Tajik citizens have been trained by the guards, in anticipation of the handover.

Tajikistan is a prime route for illegal drugs from Afghanistan, which is the world's top opium producer. Drug interdiction and stopping the transport of arms are both high on the list of border guard priorities.