Kyrgyzstan needs second-hand weapons

Agency WPS
October 22, 2004, Friday


SOURCE: Kommersant, October 20, 2004, p. 11

by Dmitry Glumskov, Konstantin Lantratov

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer held negotiations with
President Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan and the speakers of both houses
of the parliament in Bishkek on October 19. (…)

Mr. Scheffer stated that NATO intends to intensify cooperation with
Kyrgyzstan. He stated at a meeting with the president of Kyrgyzstan:
“We’ll have to solve common tasks in combating international
terrorism and countering other challenges.” Mr. Scheffer said that
NATO intends to strengthen its influence in Western districts of
Afghanistan, and needs transport and telecommunication support in
Central-Asian republics. NATO intends to sign a transit agreement
with these republics. Kyrgyzstan let the US and European nations use
its airdromes for transit of military and humanitarian cargo to
Afghanistan in 2001. experts state that this decision brought in
around $250 million to the republican budget in 2002.

Askar Akayev promised that Kyrgyzstan will join NATO’s programs at a
higher level, which includes analysis and planning.

Mr. Akayev said that the main effort will be aimed at strengthening
the border and intensifying control. The president of Kyrgyzstan
said: “The center of Alpine rescue-workers, which we want to
transform into a center for training peacekeepers, is the main unit
in this program.”

Kyrgyzstan asked NATO to pass over weapons, which new members of the
alliance will write off as a result of modernization of their armies,
to the republic. This request was announced by Altai Borubayev,
speaker of the house of representatives of the parliament of
Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Borubayev noted that new members of the alliance
rearm their armies according to NATO’s standards, and have a lot of
weapons and military hardware, which could become a substantial
contribution to the combat against terrorism. Mr. Scheffer did not
comment on this proposal but did not rule out that NATO will discuss
this issue later.

It should be noted that Russia is the major supplier of weapons to
Kyrgyzstan. However, Bishkek also receives weapons from the US,
China, Turkey, France and India. At the same time, Bishkek exports
Soviet weapons. In particular, Kyrgyzstan supplied armored personnel
carriers, infantry weapons and ammunition to Afghanistan in October
2001. In addition, Kyrgyzstan was involved in supplying obsolete
weapons to conflict zones. In particular, Kyrgyzstan was rumored to
send weapons to Armenia during an armed conflict in Nagorny Karabakh.
In addition, experts of the UN Security Council stated in November
2001 that Kyrgyzstan violated UN sanctions and supplied aircraft
spare parts to Liberia. It’s not ruled out that if NATO considers the
prospects of supplying obsolete weapons to Kyrgyzstan it will demand
additional guarantees that Bishkek will not re-export them to other countries.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress