Putin visits Kyrgyzstan to strengthen ties


BISHKEK: Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid an official visit to Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday as part of his three-nation tour of Central Asia.

Putin signed a number of military and technical cooperation agreements with his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambayev.

Speaking to journalists after talks with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev, Putin said “We agreed to actively strengthen bilateral, military and military-technical cooperation.”

Putin also said that Russia was ready to shut the Kant air base when ever the host country wants it to and when the timing is right.

“If Kyrgyzstan someday says that its armed forces have been developed to the extent that there is no need for the base any more, we will leave the place right away,” Putin said.

He added “We have confirmed a common understanding that the Russian military base’s presence is an important factor in ensuring stability and security in the Central Asian region.”

Atambayev stressed that they have succeeded in not only putting the relations between Kyrgyzstan and Russia back on track, but also elevating them to a strategic partnership.

He said “I want to thank you Vladimir Putin for the support and assistance that you provide to our country in this difficult period of transition. I can openly say that only thanks to the political will of the president of Russia the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund was established with the capital of $500 mln.”

He added that Kyrgyzstan also received a $200 mln worth technical assistance to solve the issues related to the country’s integration into EAEU.

“I am confident that before the end of the year with the help of the brotherly Russia, we will solve all the remaining issues regarding (Kyrgyzstan’s) full-fledged entry into the Eurasian Economic Union,” Atambayev said.

Putin recalled that special instruments were created to ease the integration of Kyrgyzstan in the EAEU and to help the country’s economy adjust to the rules of the economic bloc.