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BISHKEK, February 26 (Itar-Tass) — Many fundamental were settled during the working visit of President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev to Russia on February 23 to 25, the president said on Saturday, commenting on the results of the trip.
“I made sure that the Russian president orders the RF defence minister to pay our Defence Ministry 15 million US dollars within 10 days,” Atambayev said, referring to the payment by Russia of rent for the use of the Kant military base, which is the air component of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). According to earlier reports, Moscow confirmed readiness to pay some 15 million dollars’ rent for the use of infrastructure facilities in Kyrgyzstan.
“I think that this money will be useful now for the Kyrgyz Defence Ministry, when it is necessary to strengthen the defence capacity of the state,” the Kyrgyz leader is certain.
However, he called the main positive result of his visit to Moscow the “agreement in principle” on many issues, including the payment by Kyrgyzstan of its external debt to Russia. According to official data, the debt amounts to 493 million dollars. The Kyrgyz side is ready to pay part of this sum by transferring the shares of its military-industrial complex enterprise Dastan. “The issue of the transfer of shares is currently being decided, but on the conditions on which I had insisted,” Atambaev said. “There was agreement on the transfer of 48 percent of the shares. So we will transfer 48 percent.” However, if Russia expresses a desire to acquire a 75 percent stake in the company, then, according to the Kyrgyz president, “it will be the second stage, but at extra charge.”
According to information from the participants in Atambayev’s recent talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, the Russian side “expressed understanding of the difficulties faced by the partners in connection with the severe financial and economic situation in Kyrgyzstan, and reaffirmed its readiness to look for different options to settle this debt.” “Prospects for the settlement of this problem thus largely depend on the position of the Kyrgyz leadership,” the source said.