Atambayev: Russian Troops Should Leave Kyrgyzstan. But No Rush.
Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev has said that Russia needs to leave its air base that it operates in his country. The demand was vague, and Atambayev has made it several times in the past, but it nevertheless raised alarm in Moscow.
Atambayev made the comments during a four-hour press conference on December 1. "In the future, Kyrgyzstan should rely only on its own forces. This has to do with the Russian base. Everyone criticizes me -- Atambayev kicked out the American base and left the Russian one. Keep in mind that there was an agreement on the Russian base, signed on our side by [former president Kurmanbek] Bakiyev, under which ... the military base was supposed to stay for 49 years and then be extended for 25 more. We left it only for 15 years."
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