Kyrgyz Ambassador to US says Russia influenced base closure
Kyrgyzstan's Ambassador to Washington Zamira Sydykova told Associated Press that her government's decision to order the United States to vacate a key air base was influenced by Russian economic aid as her government struggled with high debt, reported 24.kg.
Zamira Sydykova also said that the United States has not responded to Kygyzstan's offer to negotiate a new deal for U.S. military operations in the country. But Russian and Kyrgyz officials have previously denied a connection between the aid and the move to expel the U.S. military from the air base, an important asset for U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
In response to a question at a speaking event, Sydykova said the Russian aid had played a role in her government's decision on the base. She said that Russia was playing a bigger role in Kyrgyzstan's economic development and the two countries were making more "mutual decisions."
Despite that Kyrgyzstan has drawn a final decision about the base close and notified the U.S. government about it, the State Department said the United States is continuing discussions with Kyrgyzstan about the base decision.