Russia can close base in Kyrgyzstan, if Bishkek requests: Putin
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 28
By Elena Kosolapova – Trend:
Russia is ready to close its military base in Kyrgyzstan, or strengthen it if a corresponding request is received from the Central Asian country, RIA Novosti quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying.
“If some day Kyrgyzstan says it has strengthened its armed forces and does not need such a base any more, we will leave the same day,” Putin said at a meeting with his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambayev in Bishkek Feb. 28.
He noted that Russia does not need troops in Kyrgyzstan.
The Russian base is required to ensure the security of Kyrgyzstan, he said.
According to Putin, the issue of expansion of Russian military contingent in Kyrgyzstan is not on the agenda.
“However, Russia could discuss this issue if Kyrgyzstan is interested. But this will entail additional costs,” Putin said.
Putin reminded that Russia’s military base in Kyrgyzstan was created in 1999-2000 on the request of Kyrgyz leadership in order to protect the country from terrorist threats coming from Afghanistan.
Russia’s military base in Kyrgyzstan consists of four facilities: an air base of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Kant, a naval base at the Issyk-Kul Lake, a communication center in the village of Chaldovar, and an autonomous seismology point in the city of Mailu-Suu.