Mig-29 jets of the Russian air force during the aviation show Russian Air Force jet at the air base in Kant, outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 27 October 2013
CHOLPON-ATA (Kyrgyzstan), July 27. /TASS/. Kyrgyzstan’s permission to open a Russian air base in Kant was caused by the situation at that time. Having the air base now is a current issue, the republic’s President Almazbek Atambayev said during a meeting with heads of local media on Monday.
The president said that military facility appeared in the territory of the republic at the request from Kyrgyzstan.
“Today, we have a long-term agreement [on the Russian base], but sooner or later we must protect ourselves without relying on bases of fraternal, friendly countries,” he said. Opening of the Russian base was “caused by the threats the republic cannot resist even now, thus the decision to open the base was correct and remains of current importance.”
The base of the Russian Air Force was opened in October, 2003. It is an aviation component of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The base is for resisting outer threats to the Organisation’s member countries.
While answering a question from TASS, the president said Kyrgyzstan would soon open its customs borders with member-countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
The republic’s Minister of Economics Oleg Pankratov said parliaments and presidents of all member-countries had approved the agreement on Kyrgyzstan’s joining the EAEU.
“The only outstanding signature is of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev,” he said.
Back in 2011, Kyrgyzstan decided to join the organization, which at that time was called the Customs Union. In December 2014, member countries signed an agreement on the republic’s joining the Union. The document will come into force as it is ratified by all the parliaments and inked by all the presidents. Besides Kyrgyzstan, EAEU unites Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.