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Russia, Kyrgyzstan draft agreement on common regional air defense

November 11, 2014, 14:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Kyrgyz counterpart agreed on guidelines for building up joint efforts to resist challenges and threats in the region of Central Asia
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A Russian S-400 air defense system seen during miliotary drills (archive)

A Russian S-400 air defense system seen during miliotary drills (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. The defense ministries of Russia and Kyrgyzstan are drafting an agreement on creating a common regional air defense system, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press-office said after talks between Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Kyrgyz counterpart Abibilla Kudaiberyiev.

“For the purpose of jointly maintaining the security of Kyrgyzstan’s air space the defense ministers made a decision to prepare for signing an agreement on the creation of a common regional air defense system of Russia and Kyrgyzstan,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. “Guidelines have been identified for building up joint efforts to resist challenges and threats in the region of Central Asia,” the press-office said, adding that in view of the current events in Afghanistan Shoigu and Kudaiberdyiev considered ways of enhancing the combat capabilities of the Kyrgyz armed forces and the Russian air base at Kant.

Russian military bases in Kyrgyzstan

Russia has three military facilities in Kyrgyzstan, which should become a part of the united Russian military base under the bilateral agreement to become effective from 2017. These are the Kant air base 45 kilometers from Bishkek, which is guarded by a Russian paratrooper battalion; a Navy space communication center, Marevo, in Chui Region; and the torpedo test center on Lake Issyk-Kul. Kant is a CSTO base, not a Russian military base and operates in the country on special terms.

However, experts say that Russia needs a full-blown military base in Kyrgyzstan in order to secure its national interests there. This issue has been discussed for several years now since 2009 when the presidents of the two countries signed the relevant memorandum. It has not been implemented yet and the Russian base is still a matter of future.

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