Status of Russian Kant Air Base in Kyrgyzstan to be changed

 Status of Russian Kant Air Base in Kyrgyzstan to be changed

On March 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov will change the status of the Russian Kant Air Base in Kyrgyzstan during the negotiations in Bishkek. This was announced today by Daniyar Sydykov, the Head of the Foreign Policy Department of the President’s Office of the Kyrgyz Republic, at a press conference in Bishkek. "Currently, a protocol is being prepared to change the status of the Russian military base and the conditions of its deployment in Kyrgyzstan. I cannot disclose the details,  the negotiations are continuing on this issue," Daniyar Sydykov told reporters.

Recall that in Kyrgyzstan, there are several Russian military facilities. The largest is the air base in Kant. In 2012, all the facilities were merged into the joint military air base. It includes an airfield in Kant, naval base in Issyk-Kul, seismological center in the town of Mailuu-Suu and communications center in the village of Chaldybar.

Sydykov did not specify what exactly will be changed, whether the base will be expanded or its activity direction will be changed. However, according to him, there is no question on the agenda of the negotiations on the opening of the second CSTO military base controlled by Russia. Discussions about the Russian military base in the “southern capital” and the second largest city of Kyrgyzstan, Osh, have been raised at the highest level of both countries several times in previous years. But so far, there has been no concrete work in this direction. It is assumed that at the meeting, the heads of two states will discuss the military-industrial complex of Kyrgyzstan. Moscow intends to revive the military-industrial complex. “With regard to the military-industrial complex, we must, of course, load your enterprises,” Vladimir Putin said during the talks with Sooronbay Jeenbekov in Sochi in February.

In the Soviet period, the Kyrgyz military-industrial complex produced unique weapons. Enterprises remained, but they are in poor condition. According to the Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Abdyrakhman Mamataliev, "these enterprises have machines, equipment, and even qualified specialists, but the state of the enterprises is terrible." “To restore the work of these enterprises, we don’t have the financial resources. It was difficult to sell products. With all this in mind, we proposed Russia to create a joint military-industrial corporation,” Mamatiliyev told reporters on the eve of the Russian leader’s visit. He hopes that during the negotiations a decision will be made on the revival of the Kyrgyz military-industrial complex. "If the decision is made, it will be useful for Kyrgyzstan. First of all, it will create additional jobs, and second, it will help our Armed Forces to get back on its feet," Abdarakhman Mamatiliyev said.

"Mamataliev is right because the enterprises of the military-industrial complex and labor migration from Kyrgyzstan to Russia are interrelated. The fact is that during the Soviet times, most of the enterprises of the military-industrial complex of the USSR were located in the south of the republic, where raw materials were mined for them. After the collapse of the USSR, these enterprises were closed and people lost their jobs. Therefore, the high-class specialists left Kyrgyzstan, followed by those who once worked at these enterprises. It is clear that not everyone, but only those who were still able to work. The third wave was represented by their children, ” the director general of the East-West Strategy Analytical Center (Bishkek), Dmitry Orlov told Vestnik Kavkaza.

However, without expanding economic cooperation, it is impossible to solve the problems of the military-industrial complex. “If the strategic partnership aims only to strengthen security, such a construction will not last long. We also need deep economic cooperation, which — whether someone likes it or not — will ensure the future growth of the Kyrgyz economy,” the expert said. According to Orlov, in such a scenario, the effective economy of Kyrgyzstan ceases to be a strategic goal of this country only. It becomes Russia’s strategic goal as well. Therefore, it is planned to sign 30 agreements at the talks between the leaders of the two countries. According to official information, the presidents of the Russian Federation and Kyrgyzstan will discuss economic and military-technical cooperation, energy issues and infrastructure construction. This is also Russia’s possible participation in the construction of the Uzbekistan-China-Kyrgyzstan railway. Special attention will be paid to the agreements on the supply of vegetables, fruits and meat and dairy products from Kyrgyzstan to Russia. In addition, Moscow took a step towards Bishkek and announced a “migratory amnesty” for citizens of Kyrgyzstan. This decision was made in the framework of agreements between the countries. In the period up to April 22, citizens of Kyrgyzstan who have violated immigration laws and are living in Russia can freely leave the country and return without administrative liability. The Embassy of the Republic urged citizens to use the amnesty.