SOCHI, September 23 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and Kyrgyzstan plan to enhance military-technical cooperation ahead of the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force from Afghanistan, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s international military cooperation department, Sergei Koshelev said after a joint meeting of CSTO foreign affairs and defense ministers on Monday.
Despite efforts taken by the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other leading international agencies the situation in the Central Asian region remains unstable and develops under the influence of multiple challenges and threats.
The pullout of NATO’s forces from Afghanistan may aggravate the conflict inside that country, which will provoke the tide of refugees and expansion of Islamic extremist activity, Koshelev said adding that “in this respect we are taking preventive steps to create and develop effective security mechanisms.”
He recalled that an agreement on the status and terms of deployment of the Russian military base on the territory of Kyrgyzstan had already entered into force. “We have made a significant step towards our long-term military cooperation,” he said. “This base together with Kyrgyzstan’s armed forces ensures security in the region and serves as a guarantor of stability.”
“We plan to supply arms and military hardware to Kyrgyzstan in order to strengthen combat potential of the Kyrgyz armed forces. The supplies will start already at the end of 2013,” he said adding that the two countries paid special attention to joint military drills like a field training exercise of the Kyrgyz Air Force that took place last June and engaged jets and helicopters from the Russian air base in Kant.
Moreover, Russia had been taking an active part in Kyrgyzstan’s personnel training, Koshelev said adding that the main task was “to ensure adequate response and effectively counteract existing and potential challenges and threats.”