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Kyrgyz Security Chief Says Bishkek Not Considering Another Russian Military Base

Kyrgyz Security Council Secretary Damir Sagynbaev (file photo)
Kyrgyz Security Council Secretary Damir Sagynbaev (file photo)

Kyrgyzstan's top security official says Bishkek is not looking into the possibility of having a second Russian military base on its territory.

Russia's air base at Kant, in northern Kyrgyzstan, was opened in 2003 under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.

Talking to journalists in Bishkek on February 7, Security Council Secretary Damir Sagynbaev said that the issue was not being considered either by his council nor by the president's office.

Sagynbaev added, however, that the issue might be under consideration at some point in the future.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on February 4 said during a visit to Kyrgyzstan that Moscow was open to discussing the idea of opening a second military base in the Central Asian country if Bishkek was interested.

Earlier on February 1, Kyrgyz Ambassador to Russia Alikbek Jekshenkulov told the TASS news agency that his country did not rule out opening a second Russian military base in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Reports and rumors about the possibility that Russia could open a second military base have been circulating in Kyrgyzstan and Russia for months.

Based on reporting by Interfax, TASS, and RIA Novosti