BISHKEK, March 2 (Itar-Tass) — President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev accused “some Russian minister” of plotting an information attack on himself.
“I know that one of Russian television channels is preparing a program on the topic: Kyrgyzstan and Russia – fiends or not,” Atambayev told journalists on Friday. “But no real friend will betray his friend and will share the last slice of bread with him.”
“Some Russian ministers, including the minister of defence, are seeking to organize an information attack on me,” he said and added that it is the red tape in both countries that hamper normal development of bilateral relations.
The Kyrgyz president paid a visit to Moscow from February 23 to February 25. During the visit he voiced doubt over the expediency of the stay of a Russian air base in the Kyrgyz city of Kant, although the base is a component of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In his words, the Russian base has a debt of 15 million U.S. dollars for the lease of the infrastructure and land. Later, it turned out that Russia owed the money for other military facilities in Kyrgyzstan, but not the air base in Kant.
“I spokes about the military base because we consider such Russian facilities as a single complex,” Atambayev made it clear. However he did not rule out that “it might be fixed legally” further on. Earlier Russia spoke about setting up a unified military base in Kyrgyzstan that would embrace each of its four military facilities.
At the same time, Atambayev admitted that his country owed Russia much more than 15 million U.S. dollars but stressed that the republic is fulfilling all its financial liabilities in due time and volume. He voiced regret that Russia is not keeping its promises under agreements of the Kant base. Thus, he noted, no training of Kyrgyz pilots is taking place at the air base. Moreover, it has not yet handed over four trainer planes to the Kyrgyz side. “But I think our strategic relations with Russia must not be limited to the air base only,” he stressed.