BISHKEK, April 27. A summit of the Inter-State Council of the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) today began in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.
The EEC, which brings together state officials from Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, is meeting to discuss several bilateral issues including economic integration. It is expected that Armenia will have a status of the observer for the EEC at the summit.
Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Russian troops based in Tajikistan that he plans to boost Russia's military presence in Tajikistan as dangers still looms across the border in Afghanistan.
Russia has a total of 19,000 troops in Tajikistan, with 11,000 of them patrolling the country's tense southern border with Afghanistan -- a frontier through which large amounts of Afghan drugs pass every month.
Kyrgyz foreign minister, Askar Aitmatov, and defense minister, Esen Topoev, also attending meetings with their counterparts. The Council of Foreign Ministers and the Council of Defense Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty member states will hold a joint meeting in Dushanbe late today. The joint meeting will examine a package of documents on the main bodies of a future military-political union, Collective Security Treaty Organization.
On Monday, President Akayev will attend a session of the Collective Security Treaty, which groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.