Bishkek, Feb. 4, 2019. /Kabar/. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov commented on the possibility of opening a second military base in Kyrgyzstan. He announced this today at a meeting with students and faculty of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in Bishkek, where he was asked this question.
He said that this initiative has not yet been discussed by the parties, and it is too early to give comments on it.
“This is not our initiative, we have heard of it for the first time. We will be ready to discuss with our Kyrgyz friends the ideas that they form for security purposes,” Lavrov explained.
On December 18, at the final press conference of President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, the Russian agency Interfax addressed a question on rumors about the opening of the second Russian air base in southern Kyrgyzstan. The answer of the head of state was brief, that today such steps are not necessary.
However, current Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the Russian Federation Alikbek Dzhekshenkulov, in his interview with the Russian agency TASS, which was published on Friday, February 1, said that all these issues of “opening or not opening another Russian base are under the direct control of the leadership of Kyrgyzstan and the relevant security agency and departments”.
He also suggested that this topic could be one of the agendas of the bilateral dialogue in the framework of the state visit to the Kyrgyz Republic by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March of this year. Below is a complete commentary of Dzhekshenkulov:
“As for the opening of another Russian military base in the south of Kyrgyzstan, everyone knows about the complex situation in the Fergana Valley, of which the south of our country is a part. There are a number of acute issues of socio-economic and demographic nature in the region, such as unemployment, issues of accessibility of education and medical care, irrigation and drinking water supply, uneven population density, unresolved border issues and others. Today, the challenges mainly come from the territory of Afghanistan, which is only about 260 km away from the southern border. There are data on the redeployment of ISIS militants, a banned organization in the CSTO countries, to the territory of the northern provinces of Afghanistan from the Syrian-Iraqi zone. The probability of their breakthrough into neighboring Tajikistan and further onto our territory, to our regret, is growing.
All these issues of opening or not opening (another Russian base – TASS) are under the direct control of the leadership of our country and the relevant security agencies and departments.
In this regard, the issue of the need to open the second military base in the south of Kyrgyzstan is under the supervision of the top leadership of the two states. So, I think this issue can be discussed at the March meeting of the presidents of the two countries.”