Putin-Atambaev Meeting Lasts Just 10 Minutes
March 21, 2012
by RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service
A Moscow meeting between Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin and Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambaev lasted just 10 minutes.
At the meeting on March 20, held before journalists after a Eurasian Economic Community summit in the Russian capital, Putin welcomed Atambaev's support for Kyrgyzstan potentially joining a customs union involving Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.
For his part, Atambaev assured Putin that Kyrgyzstan considers Russia a close partner, adding that someone "who wants to reestablish the Soviet Union has no brains, but one who does not feel sorrow regarding the Soviet Union’s collapse, does not have a heart."
The two leaders apparently did not meet in private, and no mention was made of recent calls by the Kyrgyz president for the closure of Russian and U.S. military bases on Kyrgyz territory.
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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