BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov has appointed the Central Asian nation's ambassador to Russia two days before his first official trip as the country’s leader to Moscow.
The presidential press service said on February 22 that Japarov signed a decree appointing lawmaker Gulnara-Klara Samat to the post of Kyrgyz Ambassador to the Russian Federation.
Japarov will travel to Moscow for a two-day official visit on February 24-25, where he will hold talks with top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and the speakers of the both chambers of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko and Vyacheslav Volodin.
On February 22, Japarov’s spokeswoman, Galina Baiterek, told RFE/RL that Japarov also held telephone talks with Chinese leader Xi Jingpin, with whom he discussed bilateral economic ties and joint efforts against coronavirus spread.
According to Baiterek, President Xi invited Japarov to visit Beijing.
Kyrgyzstan has been in crisis since parliamentary elections in October 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 steadfastly 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."