Kyrgyzstan new president’s visit to Russia signals foreign-policy vector

BISHKEK (TCA) — The newly inaugurated President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov will make his first foreign visit to Russia today, November 29, at the invitation of the Russian side. He will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Aizada Subakojoeva, head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Kyrgyz Presidential Administration, told a briefing on November 28.

“This means that our foreign policy aimed at the development of allied relations and strategic partnership with Russia will only be deepening and strengthening,” Subakojoeva said.

She also said that on November 30, Jeenbekov will travel to Minsk, Belarus, where he will take part in a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Jeenbekov has called Russia Kyrgyzstan’s “main strategic partner” but signaled that he will seek to balance ties with Moscow, China, and the European Union during his six-year term, RFE/RL reported.

“We intend to deepen our allied relations with Russia, our main strategic partner, and China remains our important strategic and trade partner,” Jeenbekov told Russian state news agency TASS in an interview three days after his inauguration on November 24.

Bishkek is eager to strengthen “neighborly” relations with other former Soviet republics in Central Asia “based on the principle of mutual respect and noninterference into each other’s internal affairs,” Jeenbekov said.

Jeenbekov also said that Kyrgyzstan will keep on “increasing multilevel cooperation with all strategic and traditional partners” under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Union — regional groupings that are dominated by larger countries including Russia, Kazakhstan, and China.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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