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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[27.06.23] Agreement on Russian Air Base in Kyrgyzstan Finalized

An agreement on a Russian air base of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Kant, Kyrgyzstan, will be signed in July and the base itself will be opened in the fall, probably in October, Kyrgyz Defense Minister Esen Topoyev told Interfax on Friday, commenting on his working visit to Moscow.
"The agreement will most likely be signed at the end of July due to internal procedures both in Kyrgyzstan and Russia," he said.
"Meanwhile, the sides have agreed upon virtually all provisions and are ready for signing already," he said.
Kant is expected to house 12 warplanes - Su-25 ground attack aircraft and Su-27 air superiority fighters - and a logistics unit.
The organization of the Collective Security Treaty comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia.
Topoyev said that the draft agreement on the air base is now being coordinated with respective committees of the Kyrgyz parliament, after which it will be submitted for signing.
Under instructions from the presidents of the two countries, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov will sign it for Russia and Topoyev for the Kyrgyz side.
The minister said that after the agreement is concluded the schedule for transferring personnel, weaponry and military hardware to Kant will be approved. The operation should be completed by October, when the opening of the base will be announced.
However, the exact amount of flight personnel and material have not been decided because they depend on the parameters of the 2004 budget and financing, Topoyev said. Russia will cover 80-90% of expenses related to the base's maintenance.
"The planned agreement should also define the legal status of the Russian military and civilian personnel," he said. It is expected they will be given the status of embassy technical personnel, he said.
Eurasianet, June 27, 2003

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