News / Europe

Russia Boosts Military, Economic Ties With Kyrgyzstan

Kokab Farshori
The U.S. Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan is packing up for closure after more than 12 years of flying troops and cargo in and out of Afghanistan, as Moscow boosts its military clout in the strategic region. Against the backdrop of the Russian actions in Ukraine, experts say Russia’s increasing economic and military influence in the impoverished former Soviet state can be a big strategic gain for Moscow.

Russian-Kyrgyz economic and defense relations are strengthening at a steady pace. Last month, Russia announced that Kyrgyzstan would receive modern Russian weaponry.

Kyrgyzstan is a mainly Muslim country with volatile politics. Leonid Bondarets, a defense analyst based in the Kyrgyz capital city, Bishkek, said good relations between Moscow and Bishkek may mean fewer worries for Moscow about religious extremism. He said when Russia has a friendly government next door, it will not have to worry about seeing the extremism being exported to its territory.

Modernizing the military

Russia is helping Kyrgyzstan modernize its armed forces and last year gave Bishkek a $1.2 billion military package. Russia also operates four military installations in Kyrgyzstan. They include the Kant Air Base near Bishkek and a naval test site in the Tien Shan mountains.

Bondarets, however, said Russia’s close military ties with Kyrgyzstan should not be seen as an attempt to bring the former Soviet state under the umbrella of the Russian security forces. He said the former Soviet states will have to maintain their independence and be responsible for their own security.

Bondarets said Russia is not the Soviet Union anymore in a military sense. That won’t happen anytime soon. He said, therefore, it is in Russia's interests that the Central Asian states take care of their own security.

Russia also provides substantial economic assistance to Kyrgyzstan by helping build its infrastructure. Alisher Yusupov is an expert on economic affairs based in Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan. He said Russia is helping the country build hydropower stations, assisting it with gas supplies and helping develop its transportation and banking sectors.

Geopolitical maneuvering

Yusupov said Kyrgyzstan accepts Russia as a large economic, military and political partner. This also plays to Russia’s own geopolitical interest in the region, because Kyrgyzstan has a unique location. It is right in the center of Central Asia and it neighbors China.

As Kyrgyzstan seeks closer ties with Russia, the national parliament last year gave Washington until this coming July to close its base at Manas. Yusupov is among the regional experts who say Bishkek will look to fill a revenue gap after the Americans leave.

He said Kyrgyzstan annually earned $140 million from air base lease, taxes and other payments. Now as the U.S. leaves the base, Bishkek may be looking to receive similar compensation from Russia.

And, experts say, it's likely that Moscow may consider it for the sake of its national interests.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sergey from: NY
March 08, 2014 9:04 PM
It's true about oil, however we should remember that all these countries got scared of revolutions after Kaddafi, and SCO now have in their agreement "help" for such cases.


by: MikeBarnett from: USA
March 08, 2014 1:14 PM
Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan form the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO. They agreed to watch Afghanistan after the US and NATO leave in 2014. They have conducted joint police and military exercises to prepare. Russia fights muslim rebels in the Caucasus; China fights them in Xinjiang; and the Taliban wants a central Asian caliphate including all 7 "stans." Russia and China build infrastructure such as roads, railroads, and airports for better logistics than the costly nightmare the US and NATO have endured. They improve economies to gain better stability for the present and the future.

Russia and China fight the same islamic insurgents that the US and NATO have fought for nearly 13 years. The US and future NATO countries were military allies of Russia and China in WWII. The West did not adopt the dictatorial political systems of Russia and China during or after that war, and the West need not adopt the the East's political systems in the current conflict. However, the West could use the increase in manpower, the strategic locations of the SCO, the oil and gas of Russia, and the industrial production of China in the continuing conflict against islamic insurgents.

After bin Laden's death, al Zawahiri has moved al Qaeda within striking distance of the oil and gas of north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East. He threatens the oil and gas that western mechanized economies and mechanized militaries need. Also, western economies develop, purchase, and support their militaries. His attacks raise the terror premium that increases revenues to Arab oil states, raises Arab donations for al Qaeda, damages the West's economies and militaries, and lets the West pay for both sides in the war. This is another major reason that the West needs the world's biggest oil and gas station in Russian Siberia on the side of the West in its current and continuing conflict.


by: MikeBarnett from: USA
March 08, 2014 11:49 AM
Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO. They agreed to watch Afghanistan after the US and NATO leave in December. They have held joint police and military exercises to prepare. Russia fights islamic rebels in the southern Caucasus; China fights them in Xinjiang; and the Taliban wants a central Asian caliphate that would include all 7 "stans." These countries live in the region and won't have the expensive logistics that the US and NATO have had with many supply columns going through the Taliban dominated tribal areas of western Pakistan. China has built roads, railroads, and airports in central Asia for logistical support and for economic development that reduces extremism.

Russia and China are de facto military allies of the US and NATO as they were in WWII. The US and future NATO countries did not adopt the dictatorial political systems of Russia and China in WWII, and the West need not adopt their allies' systems in the current world war. The West needs the East's manpower, the oil and gas of Russian Siberia, and the industrial production of China. The US and NATO have been losing the war for 13 years. They need new allies and better strategies and tactics.


by: Haron from: Afghanistan
March 08, 2014 1:54 AM
this is call a best and real friendship who spent billions of billion Dollar or Rouble for a real develop and civilized country for 200 years. I am sure it could keep the changes for 200 years in Kyrgyzstan if infrastructure could be a big point for Russia.
When I hear or read such news's it is really amazing for me.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid