If Taliban troops try to break-through into the Tajik territory, the Tajik Armed Forces will destroy them, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Popov, the Chief of the operative group of the Russian Defence Ministry in Tajikistan, stated in Dushanbe. The establishment of the aforementioned group relates to the grave situation in Central Asia after terror attacks in the United States. The General stated that Russia would not participate in the US operation in Afghanistan. Popov also stressed that the Russian participation in the US anti-terrorist operation was defined in the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 25. In particular, Russia jointly with Tajikistan will render help to the crews of US aircraft in case of distress on the Tajik territory. In this connection, several meetings on certain technical issues were held in Moscow and Dushanbe with the Pentagon representatives, the General noted. Quoting him, at present, there is no need to increase the number of Russian tactical company groups organic to the 201st division, on the Tajik-Afghan border. He also expressed his appreciation of the division's combat readiness. Speaking about Afghan refugees, the General stated that at the moment there was no danger of mass trespassing of Tajik borders by Afghans.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea