Kyrgyzstan may decide on new Russian base in August
ASTANA (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan may make a decision on setting up a new Russian military facility on its territory in early August, its ambassador to Kazakhstan said on Tuesday.
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said this week that the new training centre could prepare crack forces tasked with stemming the rising tide of insurgency spilling over from nearby Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, Kyrgyzstan's ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhanysh Rustembekov said a decision on the new base could be announced at a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (ODKB), a Russian-dominated security bloc which includes Kyrgyzstan.
"We are hosting an informal ODKB summit on August 1-2, maybe we will make a decision there," Rustembekov told reporters.
Asked if the former Soviet republic was likely to accept Russia's offer, he said:
"Why not? Russia is our strategic partner."
Kyrgyzstan, a small impoverished nation, has become the object of growing Russian-U.S. rivalry. It is important due to its proximity to Afghanistan and both Moscow and Washington now operate military bases on its mountainous territory.
Kyrgyzstan's parliament last February approved the closure of a U.S. air base at Manas after securing pledges of $2 billion in aid and credit from Russia.
But Kyrgyzstan later relented after the United States agreed to pay $180 million to keep it open. The U.S. base is a key refuelling point for U.S. aircraft in NATO operations against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Malaysia Airlines plane missing at sea off Vietnam, presumed crashed
- Hollywood blockbuster 'Noah' faces ban in Arab world
- IndiGo plane evacuated after rear wheel catches fire in Nepal
- CORRECTED-UPDATE 4-Malaysia Airlines plane crashes in South China Sea with 239 people aboard - report
- WRAPUP 5-Malaysia Airlines plane missing at sea off Vietnam, presumed crashed
PLANE GOES MISSING
A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew went missing over the South China Sea on Saturday, presumed crashed, as ships and planes from countries closest to its flight path scoured a large search area for any wreckage. Full Article
"Everything is fine", Pistorius told guard after shooting girlfriend. Full Article