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U.S. servicemen at the Manas air base (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
July 21, 2006 -- The United States will pay $20 million to Kyrgyzstan in annual rent of a military base near capital Bishkek under a new deal reached last week.
Kyrgyz Security Council Secretary, Miroslav Niyazov, said the eightfold increase in rent is part of an overall U.S. aid and compensation package for Kyrgyzstan that will over the next year amount to $150 million.
Disclosing the details of the agreement for the first time, Niyazov said the United States will also provide Kyrgyzstan with three Russian-made Mi-8 helicopters.
The agreement resolves a long-running dispute between Bishkek and Washington over the level of rent that the United States should pay for continuing to use the Manas Air Base, set up in 2001 to support operations in Afghanistan.
Niyazov said Kyrgyz authorities were unhappy with the previous annual rent of $ 2.5 million and had wanted $200 million.