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Kyrgyz President Praises Russia Ties Ahead Of Planned Trip


Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov has praised what he called "allied ties" between Bishkek and Moscow, and expressed confidence that his planned trip to Russia will lead to the further strengthening of bilateral ties.

"The course to bring our ties with Russia to the highest level of allied ties and strategic partnership corresponds to Kyrgyzstan's national interests,” Japarov wrote in a commentary published in Slovo Kyrgyzstana (The Word Of Kyrgyzstan) state newspaper on February 19.

Last month, Japarov's office said the president would travel to Russia for his first official trip abroad since his election on January 10. It remains unclear when the visit will take place.

In his commentary, Japarov also said he would always oppose "any attempts of political manipulations" around the official status of the Russian language in the Central Asian nation.

"For many years, Kyrgyzstan lived and developed hand in hand with Russia, and the Russian language is not just an official language but also the language of interethnic communication,” the president wrote.

Kyrgyzstan has been in crisis since parliamentary elections in October 2020 led to protests that triggered the toppling of the government and the resignation of then-President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Japarov was among several prominent politicians freed from prison by protesters during the unrest. He had been serving a 10-year prison sentence for hostage taking during a protest against a mining operation in northeast Kyrgyzstan in October 2013. He has denied the charge.

The 52-year-old's landslide victory came in an election that international observers said "generally respected" fundamental freedoms even though the vote was not "fully fair."

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