Russian military base must ‘leave’ Kyrgyzstan after agreement expires: Atambayev

Russia will remain Kyrgyzstan’s strategic partner, but the republic must rely on its own power when it comes to the military, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev told a year-end press conference today, reports.

“I think we did absolutely right with the Hansi base (the US air base at the international airport of Kyrgyzstan’s capital that was withdrawn by Atambayev’s decision),” the Kyrgyz President noted. “Five years have passed, and time has shown that it was the right decision.”

Kyrgyzstan must rely only on its own power in the future, he said, adding that the decision concerns the Russian base, as well.

Atambayev also noted that after the expiry of the agreement, the Russian base “will have to leave” the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

He added that the Russian authorities have responded with understanding.

“Someone may dislike this, but I managed to convey the idea to the Russian President and he understood me,” Atambayev said.

The joint Russian military base is stationed on Kazakhstan’s territory. Under bilateral Kyrgyz-Russian agreements, the countries operate four military facilities. In 2009, the term of the agreement was extended for 49 years with the possibility of automatic extension for another 25-year periods.

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