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Russia Doubling Size Of Kyrgyz Air Base

11 February 2005 -- The head of the Russian Air Force says Russia will send more military equipment and weaponry to a base it uses in Kyrgyzstan.

General Vladimir Mikhailov told the ITAR-TASS news agency that the runway will be extended to accommodate all type of aircraft at the Kant air base, about 20 kilometers east of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

ITAR-TASS says the base now has about 500 officers and servicemen, 20 Sukhoi jet fighters and fighter-bombers.

Russia opened the Kant base in October 2003 -- its first new military base on foreign soil since the Soviet collapse.