Russia to hold joint drills with allies in Central Asia

The Russian military says it will conduct joint military maneuvers with its ex-Soviet allies in Central Asia in response to regional threats.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at Friday's meeting with the top military brass that the war in Afghanistan has posed a threat to the region's stability.

He said that as part of efforts to prepare for potential threats, Russia staged joint maneuvers with Tajikistan earlier this year. The drills in July involved launches of the Iskander-M missiles, one of the most advanced weapons in Russian military arsenals.

Shoigu said that Russia will hold joint war games later this year with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Russia has military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.