Russia Turns Down Kyrgyzstan's Plea for Military Support
Russia has no plans yet to intervene in southern Kyrgyzstan as it is an “internal conflict,” a spokeswoman for President Dmitry Medvedev said.Instead, a meeting of the security council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will be held on Monday, June 14, to formulate a response, Natalia Timakova said at a press conference in Moscow on June 12.“This is an internal conflict and Russia does not see conditions for participating in its settlement,” she said.On June 12, the head of the Kyrgyz interim government, Roza Otunbayeva, described the situation in Osh as “out of control” and made an appeal to Russia to send troops to help restore order. However, Russia is not prepared to offer immediate military assistance as any decision to do so “may only be taken in accordance with the UN Charter and after consultations with all members of [the CSTO],” Timakova insisted.Paul Quinn-Judge, the Central Asia project director for the International Crisis Group, said Moscow’s response to Otunbayeva’s request is evidence of “confusion and concern” over how to proceed. “There is considerable doubt in Moscow about committing [to Kyrgyzstan] if they would be the only force involved,” he said. Separately, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, held a telephone conversation on June 12, Russian news agencies report.Quinn-Judge added it is likely Medvedev was sounding out Karmiov’s position on the possible deployment of Russian troops to southern Kyrgyzstan.According to Kyrgyz media outlets, 75 people have died in the inter-ethnic clashes, almost 1,000 have been injured, and up to 6,000 people – mostly women and children – have fled Osh seeking refuge in Uzbekistan.