BISHKEK (TCA) — Bishkek and Moscow have not yet made a final decision concerning the establishment of another Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov said in an exclusive interview with Russia’s TASS news agency on May 14.
“We have considered this issue with Russia before I took office as president. But no final decision has been made so far,” the Kyrgyz president said.
Jeenbekov pointed out that the situation in Afghanistan and threats related to it required “joint measures to ensure security in the Central Asian region.” At the same time, he noted that Kyrgyzstan already hosted a Russian military base. “An aviation base of the Russian Armed Forces, located in the city of Kant, plays an important role in ensuring aviation security,” Kyrgyzstan’s president said. According to him, Kyrgyzstan’s “position on setting up another Russian military base in the country’s south is based on the need to form collective response forces to deal with threats coming from Afghanistan, such as terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking.”
Kyrgyzstan currently hosts a Russian air base in Kant, a town some 30 km east of the capital Bishkek. The base is a component of joint forces of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
CSTO members are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.