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Russia To Double Troops At Kyrgyz Base

Kant air base 13 July 2005 -- Russia is planning to double the number of troops it has at the Kant air base in Kyrgyzstan.

The Russian RIA-Novosti news agency today cited General Vladimir Mikhailov as saying the increase in troops at the base would be carried out soon.

Russia's military originally announced it would boost its troop strength at Kant last year but set no time frame for the arrival of new forces. The military also announced at that time that more warplanes would be added at the base.

The base was set up within the framework of the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization, which groups Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

The United States is also using a base in Kyrgyzstan as part of the coalition fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, but newly elected Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has indicated he would like the United States to set a date for a withdrawal from that base.