Russian media reports say that speaking after an online conference with his CSTO counterparts, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday that the issue of border problems between two CSTO member states, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, was also discussed at the conference.

According to him, Russia is ready to provide mediator services to the two countries.  Lavrov reportedly called on Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to avoid using force in solving the border-related problems.

It is to be noted that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have not yet resolved the border delineation problem.

Many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan meet.

The border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been the scene of unrest repeatedly since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.  The countries share 971 kilometers of border – of which only 504 kilometers has reportedly been properly delineated.

Last year alone, there were at least fourteen cases of violence, in which six Tajik nationals and one Kyrgyz citizen were killed and more than 60 other people were injured.

The latest incident along the Tajik-Kyrgyz border took place on May 24, when border guards opened fire.  As usual, Dushanbe and Bishkek blamed each other for the incident.