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Thread: Kyrgyzstan agrees to Russian base

  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    02 Aug 03
    San Diego

    Kyrgyzstan agrees to Russian base

    Kyrgyzstan agrees to Russian base

    Kyrgyzstan has agreed to allow Russia to open a military base in the country.
    The base in Kant will be just 30 kilometres (20miles) from a US military camp, which was set up on a temporary basis to help America's war on terror in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

    The Russian air force base will house a new rapid reaction force.

    Its task will be to repel terrorist threats from Central Asia.

    Speaking in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said the base would offer greater security to Kyrgyzstan.

    Russian tentacles

    He also said it was important for Russia, too, and for other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States who had signed up to a Common Security Pact.

    It is also a symbol of Russia's determination to maintain its influence in Central Asia.

    That influence seemed to wane after 11 September when the US - with Mr Putin's blessing - opened its own military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - to aid the war in Afghanistan against the Taleban.

    The idea of American troops on Russia's southern doorstep caused deep concern amongst many in the Russian military.

    Opening a Russian base now in Kyrgyzstan - so near to a US army operation - will go some way to allay those fears.

  2. #2
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    20 Aug 03
    I don't blame the Russians. Its all about Oil and the instability with the resurgent Islamic forces which even the still USSR minded govts in the CAS fear.

    Further, it is not the US which is in Afghanistan and now in Iraw, it also the Chinese [Shanghai Five] which worries Russia.

    Therefore, this is an area to watch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    10 Sep 03
    Western Mass
    I wonder how long it will be before there is another "Great Game" in Central Asia. I cant imagine that Russia will allow Americas encroachment into previously held Soviet territories to last much longer. I am surprised that we have been allowed to get this close for the past 14 years even taking into consideration the economic ills of the the former Union nations.
    "Now we shall have ourselves a pell mell battle!" ......The Immortal Memory, Admiral Nelson

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor
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    26 Aug 03
    The Russians can't do anything about it. They can't threaten military force and they can't pay off the Government, because we have more money.

  5. #5
    Officer of Engineers
    Location, location, location.

    The US is over 3000 miles away. Russia is right next door. No amount of money in the world can open the trade routes if Russia is determined to close the borders.

  6. #6
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    20 Aug 03
    While there is no doubt that location is an important factor and so is money, the collapse of the USSR was not because of any dissentions within the system. While it is difficult to convince a western audience that the Russians never felt that they were under an evil empire, and, were instead quite contended [inspite of interesting stories of dissensions in the Readers Digest]. The Communists still are a popular force in Russia. They are the second largest party and may well win the next election as per the BBC. The collapse was due to the economic bankruptcy.

    The Russians have faced many wars and the Second World War [or the Great Patriotic War] was traumatic to them since large parts of the USSR was devastated, laid barren and attacked twice over! All this has given them a paranoia leading to an induced patriotism. Had it been otherwise, they would have risen against Stalin when the Germans were knocking at the gates of Leningrad. Therefore, even if the US has the money, they will defend their homeland rather well. However, if the US should ensure through other means that the Russian economy becomes worse than Pakistan's, then the outcome would be most interesting.

    This is but an abstract first off the cuff thought which may not stand the test of deep scrutiny.

  7. #7
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    02 Aug 03
    San Diego
    Russia opens Kyrgyzstan base

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is to open Russia's first new foreign military base since the collapse of the Soviet Union on Thursday.

    The move marks a change in policy after a decade of military cutbacks.

    The base, in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, is just 30 kilometres (19 miles) from an airfield that United States aircraft have been using since December 2001.

    On a dry, dusty plain here in the very heart of Central Asia, Russian fighter jets and helicopters are lined up ready for President Putin to declare Russia's newest air base open.

    The snowcapped Tienshan mountains rise to the south; beyond them is China.

    Afghanistan and Pakistan are a short flight away.

    Russia has chosen this highly strategic location for its first new foreign military base, reversing a decade of closures in places like Cuba and Vietnam.

    Side by side

    Kyrgyzstan was the frontier of the Soviet Union and many are welcoming the Russians back.

    Russia says it wants to preserve stability in the region against threats like extremist Islamic groups.

    But many believe it also wants to counter the growing influence of the United States.

    Less than five minutes flying time from the Russian base is Manas airfield, which American aircraft have been using to support operations in Afghanistan since shortly after the 11 September, 2001, attacks.

    So in Central Asia, Russia and America will have bases almost side-by-side, but the Russian Defence Ministry has insisted that the US should only stay in the area until the situation in Afghanistan stabilises.

    The Americans say they have had no direct talks with the Russians about their new base and will leave issues like air traffic control up to the Kyrgyz authorities.
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    29 Aug 03
    I've seen the American base there, nothing to worry about.

    The Russians can't do anything about it. They can't threaten military force and they can't pay off the Government, because we have more money.

    That American base is certainly a sign of increasing presence of the US in Central Asia.
    The Kyrgyz army, however, can retake control of that base any time, if it starts presenting more and more danger to the region and attracting terrorists.
    And the Kyrgyz government is more attached to the Russians than the Americans. Especially if the Russian base actually protects Kyrgystan, while the American base protects US interests in the area.

    it also the Chinese [Shanghai Five] which worries Russia.
    Russia is in the Shanghai Five.

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