Atambayev

Russia's Inevitable Customs Union in Central Asia

Kyrgyzstan has officially applied to become the next member of the Russia-led Customs Union, an institution designed to entrench Russia's economic and political influence in its former Soviet territory. Although joining the union will harm the Kyrgyz economy in many respects, not joining could motivate Russia to use any of the several levers it has in Kyrgyzstan. Other Central Asian countries are watching Kyrgyzstan carefully, as its membership in the Customs Union likely will lead to their eventual membership.

Atambayev Invites Turkey to Decide on US Transit Center’s Future

By Aida Kasymalieva, Erica Marat

Although the newly-elected Kyrgyz President, Almazbek Atambayev, received significant Kremlin support in the run up to last year’s elections, Turkey was his first formal destination as the head of state. During a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Atambayev invited Turkey, along with Russia and “other states,” to participate in restructuring the US Transit Center at Manas after US and NATO troops leave in 2014.

After Winning Elections Atambayev Focuses On the US Transit Center

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By Erica Marat

Kyrgyzstan’s new president-elect Almazbek Atambayev has once again hinted that he wants the US Transit Center at Manas out of Kyrgyzstan by the time coalition forces leave Afghanistan. “In 2014 the United States will have to withdraw its military base from the ‘Manas’ international airport,” Atambayev said on November 1.