Russian military forces in Kyrgyzstan provide Kyrgyzstan’s security, the Russian president Vladimir Putin stated at the press conference after meeting with Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambaev in Bishkek on February 28.
Putin stated, “We have no necessity to dislocate the Russian military forces in Kyrgyzstan. It is related only to one thing – providing security of Kyrgyzstan”.
Replying reporters’ questions about the Russian military base in Kant, Putin said, “I remind that the base was formed by request of Kyrgyzstan’s government in 1999-2000 years when Kyrgyzstan encountered the attack of international terrorists who trespassed the Afghanistan border. If Kyrgyzstan will tell one day that it has strengthened its armed forces to the extent that it does not need the base, we will leave the same day.
Russia started supplying the Central Asian countries with weapon and military equipment in order to preserve its military presence in Central Asia. In particular, Russia plans to sell Kyrgyzstan weapons costing 1.1 billion USD. Russia claims that by this it helps Kyrgyzstan to modernize and re-arm its army so that it could independently resist the IS threats expected from Afghanistan.
However, the army of Kyrgyzstan is not able to defend from external threats even after reinforcing its military power for several times by using the equipment bought from Russia. For, Russia will never provide the Kyrgyz army with modern equipment and weapons. On the contrary, Russia will add a huge amount to Kyrgyzstan’s debts by selling it old and overage equipment or out of date equipment in stand by storage for triple price. For example, the BTR-70M that Russia supplies to Kyrgyzstan in tens, was developed in early 2000s and now does not meet military standards.
Regarding the threat from Afghanistan that the Russian government foments in panic – the threat is not real. Even if Islamic forces in Afghanistan will do anything to us then it will be only because of the Russian military presence in Kyrgyzstan or because Kyrgyzstan affords many opportunities to Russia for its military activities in the region.