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Putin: Russia, Kyrgyzstan to Strengthen Military Ties, Moscow May Close Its Base

Sputnik News

15:02 28.02.2017(updated 15:03 28.02.2017)

The Russian leader said Moscow and Bishkek agreed to step up military and technical cooperation and added that Russia is ready to close its military base in Kyrgyzstan should Biskek ask for it.

BISHKEK (Kyrgyzstan), (Sputnik) – Russia and Kyrgyzstan have agreed to strengthen military and technical cooperation to face terrorist and criminal threats, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday after talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart.

"We agreed to actively strengthen bilateral, military and military-technical cooperation. We confirmed a common understanding that the Russian military base's presence is an important factor in ensuring stability and security in the Central Asian region," Putin said.

He noted that talks with Almazbek Atambayev centered on threats facing the Central Asian region, including anti-terrorism, drug trafficking and cross-border organized crime.

"If Kyrgyzstan ever says that we have strengthened our armed forces so much that this base is not necessary, we will leave that same day," Putin said. "We have no need to deploy a military contingent, it is associated only with ensuring the security of Kyrgyzstan itself."

He echoed Atambayev's statement earlier that their high-level talks did not focus on the expansion of the existing Russian base in the Central Asian republic.

"If Kyrgyzstan finds it necessary to do so, then we will have discussions, but bear in mind that this is also an additional cost to us," Putin stressed.


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