Support The Moscow Times!

Kyrgyz President Wants Foreign Military Bases Out

Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev Kremlin Press Service

Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev said he believes it is necessary to close American and Russian military bases so that Kyrgyzstan can ''rely on its own strength,'' the RBC news website reported Thursday.

"I believe we did the absolutely right thing when we evicted the American "Ganci" air base, whether people like it or not," the president said, speaking at an annual press conference. 

"But the main thing is that Kyrgyzstan should rely on its own strength in the future. This also applies to the Russian base."

He explained that the previous agreement on the Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan was signed by former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, and implied an extension of the lease for another 49 years, then 25. According to him, the term had been reduced to 15 years. 

"We will always be a strategic partner to Russia and Belarus, but our hopes must rest only on our own armed forces. Not on bases of Russia, America or any other country," the president said. "I have reached an understanding in this matter with Russian President Vladimir Putin and I am grateful to him for that," he added.  

The United States operated a logistics base at Manas airport (Ganci air base) from 2001 to 2014. Russia maintains its own air base near the village of Kant in the suburbs of the capital Bishkek. The Russian base hosts Su-25 ground attack aircraft and Mi-8 transport helicopters. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more