Russian Defence Ministry: Russia not going to withdraw air base from Kyrgyzstan

Photo: Russian Defence Ministry: Russia not going to withdraw air base from Kyrgyzstan / Russia

No decision was made on the withdrawal of Russian air base from Kyrgyz Kant, the assistant secretary of defense for aviation, Colonel General Alexander Zelin told reporters on Thursday.

There is debate around military facilities in Kyrgyzstan, including Russian, about suitability of their presence in the republic, RIA Novosti reported.

"As commander in chief (of Air Force), I've received no decision on this issue, in any case, Main Command of Air Forces did not plan any changes in air component of our base in Kant," Zelin said at a briefing in Voronezh, where the conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Russian Air Force was held.

He said organisational and staff structure of the base will remain the same. "I think, everything on this base will be the same as we planned it," the general said.

He noted that recently fleet of combat vehicles, including motor vehicles was modernised at the air base.

"We recently changed this fleet, and received a good technique with a good resource for the tasks as intended, including for the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), he said.

Four Russian military facilities are now deployed in Kyrgyzstan: an air base in Kant, the base of underwater weapons testing in Karakol, the center of military communications in the Kara-Balta, radio-seismic laboratory in Maily-Suu. The air base at Kant is at the same time a structural unit of the CSTO.

Earlier this year, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, who was then on a visit to Moscow, told the media that the Russian Defense Ministry owes Kyrgyzstan about $15 million for the Russian military bases in the republic, and said that then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered at the talks within ten days to pay the debt. The Kremlin press service confirmed readiness to make a payment soon.

As a result, in early March, the Ministry of Defense of Kyrgyzstan announced that the Russian defence ministry repaid the debt of $15.5 million for the lease of areas in the country for military facilities.

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