Why do the people of Kyrgyzstan love Russia? Why does the West believe that Kyrgyzstan is an island of democracy in Central Asia? How is the spiral of history going to turn? Is it turning towards the new USSR or the revival of the Russian Empire? Pravda.Ru talked about it to Raimkul Attakurov, Chairman of the Coordinating Council of the Kyrgyz Diaspora in Moscow, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Fund for the Cultural Development of Peoples "Nomad", Raimkul Attakurov.
"Many in Kyrgyzstan discuss a possibility of joining Russia. Do you think that the re-incorporation of Kyrgyzstan into Russia could give rise to the new USSR? Can it kick off the creation of the new USSR or start a new integration of countries with Russia?"
"Historical development goes in spiral turns. The previous important point on this spiral was the collapse of the USSR. Now the next turn of the spiral cycle begins in a slightly different format, and it is international strategic objectivity that causes this to happen. Our nations need to take the current state of affairs both in the world and in our post-Soviet space into account - we need to have a closer look at what is happening in Belarus.
"Let's hope that this is not going to tear Belarus apart, that the nation will not fall into dependence on Western forces. Let's also hope that the crisis in Belarus will be settled in a positive perspective so that it does not affect the development of the Eurasian Economic Union."
"There were several similar revolutions in Kyrgyzstan. Surprisingly, the West did not interfere too much in any of them. On the contrary, they admit in the West that Kyrgyzstan is a democracy that has fair and transparent elections. How do you explain this?"
"After the collapse of the Union, Kyrgyzstan was called an island of democracy in Central Asia. Apparently, we inherited it from our historical ancestors, back from the times of the Kyrgyz Kaganate from Altai to Europe. Indeed, Kyrgyzstan had seen important political changes, including last year or the year before last.
"I think that those changes could only contribute to the development of our country along the path of democratization. Naturally, each country develops in one way or another. We would not like other countries to experience what we had to experience. However, this is going to happen inevitably. Yet, it is better to take account of negative experience in our development and the entire historical process."
"You are an expert of the Russian presidential commission for interethnic relations. What does this body do?"
"It has representatives of almost all national, diaspora public organizations that legally operate on the territory of the Russian Federation. Naturally, we discuss all issues that are relevant at a certain time, including issues related to COVID-19."
"How many citizens of Kyrgyzstan are there in Russia now? How many Kyrgyz nationals left for their homeland during coronavirus-related restrictions?"
"About one million. During this time, more than 20,000 people left Russia by charter flights and bus routes with the help of our embassy."
"Do you think they are going to return to the Russian Federation?"
"I think that some of them will, and when life goes back to normal, many new people will come to Russia."
"One can hardly say that the coronavirus causes significant losses at this point. Why do you think everything went so smoothly, without large losses?"
"We have public organizations of regional, professional, age, gender type. There are, for example, women's public organizations not only in Russia, but they also have branches in the republic. They coordinated work with fellow countrymen to counter the spread of the coronavirus infection.
"We even know where infected individuals live. Organisations help those people. They provide assistance with insurance, food, permission, rent and further employment. We cooperate closely with the embassy. Of course, those who have settled well and firmly in Russia, they do not want to leave."
"What stance does Kyrgyzstan share as far as membership in the Eurasian Union is concerned? How do you assess possibilities for further integration?"
"Many countries wish to join the Eurasian Economic Union today - even those that are far from this group, for example, India and Pakistan. We gradually advocate integration and strengthening of our common cooperation in the format of the Eurasian Economic Union.
Naturally, each country has its own approaches, opinions and positions. I think this is a completely reasonable and objective process, but we must not repeat the mistakes of the past, when everyone agrees to everything at once - this mat at times lead to disastrous consequences. I think that the future of the Eurasian Economic Union is good and promising.
"The Kyrgyz do not say much, but they do a lot for this integration. Unlike many other countries, Kyrgyzstan has no claims to the Russian Federation. Other countries see integration as a move to obtain more privileges and receive financial help. There is no nationalism there."
"Indeed, Kyrgyzstan is the only country of the former USSR where Russian has the status of a state, constitutional language. It is the people of Kyrgyzstan who support this idea. Of course, the presence of Kyrgyzstan in the Eurasian Economic Union shows a positive effect in many directions."
"This, in particular, makes it easier for migrant workers to find a job in Russia. They don't need a patent for that, they do not have to pass exams, so they have no other problems. After all, the population of Kyrgyzstan communicate mostly in Russian.
Our diaspora community works very amicably and actively. We are in close cooperation with:
We also carry out the work that, to some extent, contributes to the education of young people, our labor migrants who come to Russia.
Russia and Kyrgyzstan have been together for many centuries. We share common history and, hopefully, we share a future. Now many people in Kyrgyzstan want to turn to the Russian Federation in order to become part of Russia as one of its republics. Of course, this cannot be done immediately and quickly. Yet, in my opinion, this is a path that we should follow.