Representatives of Tajikistan and Russia as well as the acting Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Valery Semerikov have signed a protocol on cooperation between Tajikistan and Russia in the sphere of defense industry. 

A meeting of senior representatives of the Russian military industrial commission board and relevant ministries and agencies of Tajikistan took place here on April 20.  The CSTO acting secretary-general also attended the meeting.   

Co-chaired by Shavkat Bobozoda, the Minister of Industry and New Technologies of Tajikistan and Oleg Bochkaryov, the Deputy Chairman of the Military Industrial Commission Board, the meeting reportedly discussed the further expansion of the defense industry cooperation between Tajikistan and the Russian Federation.    

The meeting resulted in signing of the protocol providing for formation of cooperative and integrative ties between enterprises and organizations of the defense industries of Russia and Tajikistan in the framework of further expansion of military and economic cooperation in the CSTO format, the CSTO Secretariat said. 

The Military-Industrial Commission of the Russian Federation (Russian acronym VPK)) was established by a presidential decree in March 2006.  According to the decree, it is a permanently functioning body with vast responsibilities for supervising the distribution and implementation of the "State defense order".  The commission answers directly to the President of Russia.  It coordinates between the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and the defense industry.  Until then, the defense industry was supervised by Russia's Ministry of Industry and Energy, as well as by the previous government consultative body with a similar name.

The regional security organization was initially formed in 1992 for a five-year period by the members of the CIS Collective Security Treaty (CST) -- Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, which were joined by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Belarus the following year.  A 1994 treaty reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force, and prevented signatories from joining any “other military alliances or other groups of states” directed against members states.  The CST was then extended for another five-year term in April 1999, and was signed by the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.  In October 2002, the group was renamed as the CSTO.  Uzbekistan that suspended its membership in 1999 returned to the CSTO again in 2006 after it came under international criticism for its brutal crackdown of antigovernment demonstrations in the eastern city of Andijon in May 2005.  On June 28, 2012, Uzbekistan announced that it has suspended its membership of the CSTO, saying the organization ignores Uzbekistan and does not consider its views.  The CSTO is currently an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.