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Kyrgyz, Russian Officials Settle Debt For Base

Russian fighters train near the Kant air base in Kyrgyzstan.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Taalaybek Omuraliev, have settled the issue of Russia's debt for use of a military base in Kyrgyzstan.

Russian Defense Ministry press secretary Colonel Irina Kovalchuk said a protocol on compensation was signed that "completes the work on resolving the problem of the [outstanding debt for rent [of the base]."

Serdyukov and Omuraliev met on the sidelines of a meeting of defense officials from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev visited Moscow in February and complained that Russia had been using the Kant base but had not paid rent for four years.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Defense Ministry to settle the issue quickly but Atambaev's comments strained relations between Moscow and Bishkek.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax