Russian media reports say Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of the defense ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, on August 24 that Russia is raising the combat potential of its military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and other response forces amid the developments in Afghanistan. 

"On our part, we are raising the combat readiness of the Russian military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and also other forces of response to potential crisis situations," Shoigu was cited as saying by TASS

The Russian defense minister reportedly pointed out that the situation in Afghanistan where international terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State (IS) terror group and Al-Qaeda are stepping up their activity “remains a serious challenge to security in Central Asia."

"Amid the continued armed stand-off, the social and economic situation in the country is deteriorating, there is the process of imposing the ideology of religious radicalism and drug trafficking and cross-border crime are rampant," Shoigu said.

Moscow welcomes any international initiatives on the Afghan settlement and is taking measures to ensure security in the Central Asian region, he said.

In June, Moscow hosted the first meeting of the defense chiefs from Central Asian countries and Russia, which discussed the situation on Afghan track and the ways of stabilizing it, Shoigu recalled.

"We believe that such meetings will also be necessary on the SCO platform, in particular, to strengthen coordination between our defense, security and law-enforcement agencies, especially considering that Afghanistan is a SCO observer state," the Russian defense minister said.

The Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan is subordinate to the Central Military District.  It is Russia's largest non-naval military facility outside the country.

It was officially opened in Tajikistan in 2004 under a previous agreement, which was signed in 1993, and hosts Russia’s largest military contingent deployed abroad.

A total of some 7,000 Russian troops are now stationed at two military facilities collectively known as the 201st military base - in Dushanbe and Bokhtar (formerly Qurghon Teppa), some 100 kilometers from Dushanbe.

The Kant Air Base near the Kyrgyz city of Kant is now host to the Russian Air Force's 5th Air and Air Defense Forces Army's 999th Air Base positioned in Kyrgyzstan.  The Kant airbase is also a structural subdivision of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). 

In February 2012, the then Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev called for the Kant base to be closed, saying neither Russia nor Kyrgyzstan needs it.  In May, Colonel-General Alexander Zelin of the Russian Air Force declared his country had no plan to withdraw from the town of Kant, adding that the base’s organizational and personnel structure will remain as is.  Later in August, Russia obtained a prolongation period from Kyrgyzstan, allowing Russian military sites to remain for 15 more years after the expiration of the current contract in 2017.