Expert: U.S. military base in Central Asia hinders regional cooperation

Photo: Expert: U.S. military base in Central Asia hinders regional cooperation / Politics

Azerbaijan, Baku, Apr. 1 / corr Trend V.Zhavoronkova /

U.S. military bases in the Central Asia hinder cooperation among regional and neighboring countries, Central Asian expert Alexander Knyazev said.

"The U.S. military presence in the region develops tensions hindering constructive cooperation within the region and with neighboring countries," Knyazev told Trend via e-mail.

U.S. interests direction in the region carry an informational and political character, forcing both Russia and China take counter measures to eliminate the crisis and accelerate socioeconomic development, investing in new technologies in Central Asia.

"The socioeconomic situation of any country depends on whose military bases are located in the region," Knyazev said. "One can hardly expect the sincere and active participation of China or Russia in Kyrgyzstan's economy while the country accommodates a U.S. military base."

Presently, the U.S. Transit Deliveries Center has reestablished a NATO air base in Kyrgyzstan, which is located at the Manas international airport.

Furthermore, the U.S. embassy released a statement March 8, announcing the allocation of $5.5 million after a Kyrgyz governmental appeal to construct an anti-terror training center in Batkene. The base will belong to Kyrgyzstan and be used to train officers and soldiers.

Kyrgyzstan's foreign policy could hardly be interpreted as sound given the country's national interests and common sense, Knyazev said.

"Russia and China will not necessarily make a swift or a public reply because Kyrgyzstan is in the bottom of the foreign policy priority hierarchy of both these countries," the expert said.

Bishkek adheres to multi-vector foreign policy principles and cooperates with both Moscow and Washington, deploying their military bases on their territories. Along with U.S. base, Kazakhstan also accommodates the Russian Kant air base.

Bishkek's multi-vector policy manifests itself in the presence of a U.S. military base on the country's territory whereas Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Russia intends to create a unified military base in Kyrgyzstan, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordiuzha said in a news conference March 29.

According to the secretary general, a draft agreement on a unified Russian base is ready and in the process of coordination. The oossibility of creating a CSTO training center is also under consideration, although its possible location has yet to be determined, Bordiuzha said.

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