No anti-Russian sentiment in Kyrgyzstan - Kyrgyz deputy PM
BISHKEK, April 22 (RIA Novosti) - Reports of anti-Russian sentiment were created intentionally to destabilize the situation in the country, Kyrgyz interim Deputy Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev said on Thursday.
Atambayev said "many forces benefit from the ongoing chaos and unstable situation in the country," including the supporters of deposed president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
"I warn those still wanting to back Kurmanbek Bakiyev within the country that they are being tabbed. The toughest measures will be applied to them," Atambayev said.
On Monday, suburbs north of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, bore the brunt of violence, with rioters burning buildings, throwing rocks at villagers' houses and pillaging private property. Five people were killed and at least 30 injured. The rioters chanted anti-Russian slogans.
Russia's envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Anvar Azimov, said Russia was concerned by reports that Russian citizens and ethnic Russians living in Kyrgyzstan were losing their homes and businesses in racially-motivated attacks.
Azimov called for the interim Kyrgyz government "to use all possible means to prevent interethnic aggravation."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also pushed for the settlement of Russian-Kyrgyz interethnic tensions. He held on Thursday a telephone conversation with Kyrgyz interim Prime Minister Roza Otunbayeva to discuss the issue.
During the talks, Lavrov discussed the security measures that should be applied to Russian nationals in Kyrgyzstan.
"There are two issues that are the subject of special concern for Russian authorities: turning the situation in Kyrgyzstan into a legal course and the recognition of the interim government's legitimacy, as well as the protection of Russian citizens from looters," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's press secretary, Natalia Timakova, said.
Medvedev on Tuesday ordered the Defense Ministry to ensure the security of Russian nationals in Kyrgyzstan and step up the protection of Russian installations against possible attacks by looters.
The government in Kyrgyzstan was taken over on April 7, after a series of violent riots began which threatened to turn into a civil war. Bakiyev was toppled and left Kyrgyzstan on April 15.
The ousted president is presently in Minsk, where he was invited by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Earlier on Wednesday, the Belarus leader said Bakiyev should participate in Kyrgyz presidential elections.
The interim government has pledged to hold honest presidential and parliamentary elections in the next six months.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|