President: Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan may be closed

Author: Interfax-Ukraine All articles by this author

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Feb. 25, 2012 11:20
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, shakes hands with Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev during a meeting in the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012
Photo by AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service
The Russian airbase in Kant, Kyrgyzstan, may be closed, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said.
"We might go another way as well," Atambayev said on Echo Moskvy radio on Saturday.

"This Russian base, which is located in Kyrgyzstan in Kant, is not even paying the lease payment and is not complying with its obligations. Do we need such a base?" he said.

Atambayev said he mentioned the debt amounting to about $15 million, which Russia owes for leasing the base, at his negotiations with President Dmitry Medvedev.

It turned out that Russia had not paid for leasing the base in Kant for four years without the president knowing about this, Atambayev said. "Medvedev was shocked to learn this. He ordered that the Russian defense minister pay all debts for the Kant airbase within ten days," Atambayev said.

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