“We are concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, where tension is growing and clashes are ongoing,” Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to Russia Alikbek Jekshenkulov said in an interview with TASS.
Defense and security agencies of Kyrgyzstan and Russia step up cooperation in fight against international terrorism, religious extremism, illicit drug trafficking, he said.
The Russian air base in Kant, Ambassador Jekshenkulov went on saying, as aviation component of the collective rapid deployment forces in Central Asia of the Collective Security Treaty Organization is an important factor for stability in the whole Central Asia. “Primarily we, Kyrgyzstanis, are interested in deployment of the air base on our territory and we are grateful to Russia, our CSTO ally, for making a significant contribution into defense security of Kyrgyzstan and the region on the whole,” Ambassador Jekshenkulov stated.
“For this reason we support the suggestion to strengthen and expand the united Russian air base in Kant. As for opening of another Russian military base in the south of Kyrgyzstan, all know what a complex region Ferghana Valley is, which includes the south of our country as well. There are several critical socio-economic and demographic issues in the region, including unemployment, access to education and health care, irrigation and drinking water supply, unbalance of population density, unresolved border issues and many other. At present, challenges mainly emanate from Afghanistan, which is just around 260 km away from our southern borders. Reports are received concerning relocation of IS militants to the northern provinces of Afghanistan from Syria and Iraq. The threat of their penetration into neighboring Tajikistan and then to us is growing, unfortunately,” Ambassador Jekshenkulov stated.
“All these issues of opening or not opening of another Russian base are under direct control of leadership of our country, respective defense and security agencies,” he stated.
“I think this issue may be discussed at the meeting of two Presidents in March 2019,” the Ambassador said.
World media monitoring