DUSHANBE, September 2, 2011, Asia-Plus - Tajikistan and Russia have agreed to sign a government-to-government agreement on deployment of a Russian military base in Tajikistan for a 49-year period.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev remarked this today at a meeting with journalists following negotiations with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon. According to him, this agreement must take into account interests of both countries.

The agreement is expected to be signed during the first quarter of 2012. We will recall that Russia now has an agreement to use the base in Tajikistan without payment until 2014.

Medvedev also noted that a government-to-government agreement on supply of Russian oil products to Tajikistan would be prepared until the end of this year.

We will recall that Tajikistan was exempted from paying Russian tariffs on oil and gasoline exports from 1995-2010. When Russia cancelled Tajikistan''s tax exemption on May 1, 2010, Tajik Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov sent a letter to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin asking for the tax-free status to be restored. Afterward, working groups from the two sides held several rounds of negotiations on this subject. The Russian government has regulated the export duty on light oil since the beginning of this year. A sudden spike was reported in May, when export duty for Russian gasoline rose 44 percent as compared with April. Introduction of export duty on Russian light oil has led to considerable increase in gasoline prices in Tajikistan.

Russian president also noted that Russian was increasing investments in Tajikistan’s economy from year to year. “In 2010 alone, Russia invested more than 110 million U.S. dollars in Tajikistan’s economy,” Medvedev noted.

President Emomali Rahmon, for his part, high appraised the results of an official visit of President Dmitry Medvedev to Tajikistan. “We have greed to give a new impulse to work of the intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation,” Rahmon said.

He noted that they had also discussed bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and the Russian Federation in sectors like culture, education and security. Military and military-technical cooperation was also among major topics of the negotiations.

At the end of the briefing, Medvedev noted, “Tajikistan has always been and will remain strategic partner of Russia.”

Negotiations between the sides resulted in signing of four documents: a joint statement by the presidents; a program for trade and economic cooperation designed for 2011-2014; an agreement on border cooperation; and a protocol on cooperation between the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan and the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation.