The upcoming relocating of Russian planes to Kant [Kyrgyzstan] and the creation of an air base under the Commonwealth of Independent States' Collective Security Treaty is important for Central Asian security, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov told Interfax on Wednesday.
"This will undoubtedly benefit Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, Russia and the U.S.," he said.
"One should not overly accentuate possible differences in the two super-powers' approaches to security. The main accent must be put on the tasks which Russia and the U.S. must tackle to neutralize threats to Central Asian security," he said.
"Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan are within the sphere of strategic interests of Russia and the United States. I cannot see any reasons for drawing a line between the presence of Russian and American armed forces in Kyrgyzstan. On the contrary, they will mutually supplement one another," Aitmatov said.
Interfax, April 24, 2003