Russian air base in Kyrgyzstan to ensure security of CST member states

A Russian air base, located in Kyrgyzstan, which was agreed upon in Moscow Monday, will ensure security of the two countries and member states of the Collective Security Treaty (CST), Oleg Latypov, spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defence, has been quoted as saying.

According to the spokesman, the establishment of the base in the Kyrgyz town of Kant was triggered by a decision made by presidents of the CST's member countries /Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan/ at a summit in Dushanbe last year to strengthen the aviation contingent of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force in the Central Asian region. The decision was based on the analysis of the situation in the region and the experience of fighting terrorist groups in mountainous conditions, where air support is of paramount importance, the general underlined.

Preparations to sign the agreement had been in progress since last December, after the two heads of state had reached a compromise, the official said. Experts of the Russian and Kyrgyz Defence Ministries and other departments held four rounds of talks to ventilate "all the basic issues". And this May the Collective Security Council decided to include the Russian air base in Kant in the Collective Rapid Deployment Force.

According to the general, the staff will make up some hundreds of servicemen and over a hundred civilians.

Su-25 and Su-27 planes, tactical, military and transport aircraft will be located at the base. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan will supply the base with training planes. The issues of putting the force into action will be determined in accordance with joint plans of the Russian and the Kyrgyz parties, the spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defence pointed out.

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