Defense Minister: Russia to open airbase in Kyrgyzstan this summer

Russia plans to open an airbase in Kyrgyzstan this summer, according to Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov. The minister made this announcement yesterday to journalists in St. Petersburg. He said that the two countries had already reached an agreement on this and that they were currently negotiating over technical issues. The minister suggested that the base would open in one or two months.

The military base in Kyrgyzstan is being set up in line with the Collective Security Treaty. In addition to 16 Russian planes, the base will host 5 planes and 2 helicopters from the Kyrgyzstan air force. Since the US began military action in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan's Manas aerodrome has served as a temporary base for 200 US warplanes and about 2000 military personnel.

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