Russian base in Kyrgyzstan meets interests of all CSTO members

BISHKEK. April 5. KAZINFORM  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Russian military base in the Kyrgyz town of Kant has no secret purpose and meets the interests of all the members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization /CSTO/.

Lavrov said so after talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart Ruslan Kazakbayev on Thursday, Itar-Tass reports.

"The Russian base in Kyrgyzstan is not a favor to someone. It is there in the interests of Kyrgyzstan in the first place, in the interests of calm in the Central Asia region. It has no secret objectives and meets the interests of all the CSTO member-states, not only Russia," Lavrov said.

The Russian air base in Kant, 25 kilometers east of Bishkek, has been an Air Force component of the CSTO rapid deployment force. The agreement on the Russian base in Kant for 15 years was signed in September 2003. In 2009, Moscow suggested pooling its military facilities and creating a unified Russian base in southern Kyrgyzstan for 49 years with the possibility to prolong its military presence for another 25 years, but the talks were suspended.

In July 2010, the Kyrgyz authorities stated they were ready to resume the talks over creating a unified Russian base.

According to Bishkek, the Kant base makes its contribution to stability and calm in the republic and the region at large.

The Kyrgyz foreign minister said Russia has a reliable partner and ally in the person of Kyrgyzstan. It is resolved to move on together with its strategic partner and provide comprehensive support.

"Russian-Kyrgyz talks have passed in an atmosphere of complete mutual understanding, openness and trust, which characterized the relations of our countries," he said.

The parties agreed to take Russian-Kyrgyz trade relations to a new high level.

The next meeting of the Russian-Kyrgyz trade and economic commission will take place later this month.

During the talks, the parties discussed the issue of Kyrgyz labor migrants.

"We talked about the opening of additional consulates in Russians regions, easing the procedure of registration, obtaining work permits and Russian citizenship," he said.

At the meeting, the Russian and Kyrgyz ministers signed several documents, including the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, a program of cooperation between the foreign ministries of the two countries, and a joint statement by the foreign ministers.

Kazakbayev said Lavrov's visit, timed with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, is viewed as "the evidence of dynamic development of bilateral relations."

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