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U.S. Military Halts Refueling Flights From Kyrgyzstan's Manas Facility

U.S. soldiers stand in front of a military planes at Manas in April.
The U.S. military has stopped refueling tanker aircraft at Kyrgyzstan's Manas air base as officials from both sides renegotiate a fuel contract, the Pentagon says.

The facility is a key transit and refueling base to support U.S. and NATO operations in nearby Afghanistan.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to identify the new refueling location for security reasons.

Asked if Kyrgyzstan's interim government wanted a higher price for fuel, Whitman responded according to Reuters, "It's sufficient to say they're not proposing reducing the cost of fuel."

Leaders of Kyrgyzstan's interim government allege that relatives of deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiev chased from power in early April embezzled millions of dollars from U.S. fuel contracts.

"By not having the KC-135s refuel there...that's a significant way of conserving the fuel that you have there right now," he said, according to Reuters. "In the meantime we continue to be able to provide all the necessary logistical support to Afghanistan."

compiled from Reuters and agency reports