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Kyrgyz, Russian Leaders Continue Talks

5 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev had another round of talks today in Moscow.

Today's talks focused on increasing bilateral ties, especially in the economic sector.

Putin, who welcomed Bakiev at his residence outside Moscow on 4 September, says that Russia considers Kyrgyzstan a strategic partner and an ally.

During today's talks, the Russian and Kyrgyz finance ministers signed an agreement on settling Kyrgyz debt from Russian loans granted in 2002.

Putin and Bakiev said they also agreed to boost cooperation in investment, electricity generation, natural gas, and mining.

Bakiev's visit to the Russian capital his first working trip abroad since being inaugurated last month.