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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[25.07.2OO3] US and Russia Reported To Be Discussing Joint Use of Kyrgyz Airspace

A Russian air base is scheduled to open in October in the Kyrgyz town of Kant, some 20 kilometers east of Bishkek. Among the final details that have to be worked out by the Russian military in discussions now under way with U.S. officials is joint use of Kyrgyz airspace by the Russian base at Kant and the U.S.-led coalition air base on the western edge of Bishkek, akipress.org reported on 25 July, quoting a statement made by CIS Collective Security Council Secretary-General Nikolai Bordyuzha in Moscow the previous day. The Russian base, officially described as part of the Collective Security Organization's rapid reaction force for Central Asia, was originally scheduled to open in July. The delays have led to speculation in the Kyrgyz press that the United States is opposed to the Russian base. Kyrgyz military officials have insisted that the antiterrorism coalition base at Bishkek's Manas airport and the Russian facility have very different functions.
akipress.org / RFE/RL News Line, July 25, 2003

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