Russia, Kyrgyzstan sign military memorandum during CSTO summit
|Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Kyrgyz counterpart Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed on 1 August a memorandum on Russian military presence in Kyrgyzstan. |
Kyrgyzstan already hosts a Russian airbase in Kant and four other Russian military facilities. The airbase in Kant, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside the capital, Bishkek, was opened in 2003.
Some 250 Russian officers and 150 enlisted personnel from Russia's 5th Air Army are deployed at the base, as well as Su-25 Frogfoot strike aircraft and Mi-8 transport helicopters.
In line with the memorandum, the republic will also host an additional Russian military contingent the size of up to a battalion and a training center for both countries' servicemen, RIA Novosti reported.
The memorandum noted "the expediency of working out and signing by 1 November 2009 of a Russian-Kyrgyz agreement on the status and terms of stay of a united Russian military base on the territory of the Kyrgyz republic."
The agreement will be valid for 49 years and could be automatically extended for 25-year periods.
Medvedev arrived in Kyrgyzstan on 31 July for an informal regional security treaty organization summit. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit took place on 1-2 August at Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul resort.
The CSTO security bloc comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Belarus is expected to join a CSTO agreement (signed on 14 June) on the creation of a joint rapid reaction force.
Russia earlier offered to deploy a battalion-sized unit as part of the CSTO rapid reaction force in Kyrgyzstan's southern Batken region.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists on 1 August that the training center, to be hosted by Kyrgyzstan, will be open for all CSTO members.
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