MOSCOW -- Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin and Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambaev held a brief meeting before journalists at which Putin welcomed Atambaev's support for Kyrgyzstan's possible entry into the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia customs union.
The meeting on March 20 was held before journalists after a Eurasian Economic Community summit in the Russian capital, Moscow.
Kyrgyz presidential spokesman Kadyr Toktogulov told RFE/RL that the two leaders held what he characterized as fruitful private discussions earlier in the day.
For his part, Atambaev assured Putin that Kyrgyzstan considers Russia a close partner.
It's not clear whether the two men discussed Russia's military presence in Kyrgyzstan.