The deputies of the Legislative assembly of the parliament of the republic of Kyrgyzstan gave their consent for the deployment of the NATO battle planes on the airbase Manas in the capital of the republic. It was a special session of the assembly, even the President of the republic Askar Akayev took part in it. This decision was the result of the agiotage, caused by the NATO countries regarding the airbases of this small mountainous republic.
The first country, which addressed to Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan), was France, asking the republic to render the airbases to it for deploying their pursuit planes. Then there was Canada, Italy, Britain, Korea. It has been recently informed, Australia put an eye on the Kyrgyz airbases too.
It stands the reason, they do not act alone, it is not an initiative of their own. The militaries of the mentioned countries are so in need of the airbases simply because of one common goal: to destroy the al-Qaeda camps, that are situated in Afghanistan. Colin Powell’s visit to Bishkek, that is to take place on December 11, is a good proof to this. As it became known from the sources of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Powell will have a meeting with the President of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akayev; the subject pertaining to the airbases in the republic will be raised at the discussion.
The thing became even more mysterious after Sergey Yastrzhembsky’s surprising visit to the republic (Yastrzhembsky takes the position of assistant president of Russia). He arrived in Bishkek on the way from the city of Dushanbe “for solving the problems of the informational cooperation between the two countries.” He even took Oleg Dobrodeyev along - the general director of the Russian Broadcasting Corporation. But the time of his visit (right before Colin Powell’s arrival) and several long meetings with the Secretary of the Security Council of the republic, Misir Ashirkulov make us think that the discussions did not touch upon the issues of the Russian television in Bishkek.
As it is known, Kyrgyzstan did not take part in the “Afghan operation of the retaliation” for long. First of all, this republic does not border on Afghanistan. Secondly, its small and not very good airbases can not even be compared to the powerful infrastructure of the Soviet Central Asian district, which is now owned by the republic of Uzbekistan, after the USSR collapsed. So, Kyrgyzstan simply got used to the idea they are going to participate in the deliveries of the humanitarian cargoes only. The neighbours will get the major dividend at that. And then the situation has changed drastically, all of a sudden.
The sources at the republic’s Ministry for Defense announced, the Americans had considerable difficulties with obstinate Islam Karimov - the President of the republic of Uzbekistan. In particular, the authorities of Uzbekistan did their best to put obstacles on the way for the French commandos to be deployed in Mazar-i-Sharif. Uzbekistan wanted to do the impossible: to preserve the friendship of the Muslim world and to earn a fortune with the help of the American army. As the press wrote, the sums were huge – billions of dollars. Then the West turned to Kyrgyzstan, which was more agreeable. The final link of this story was the urgent session of the Kyrgyz Legislative assembly with the participation of the president - which was simply extraordinary.
It turned out during the discussion that the negotiations pertaining to the full military help of Kyrgyzstan and the USA, as the leader of the anti-terrorist coalition, started quite a time ago. The decision that the republic will become a reserve base, has actually been already made. By the way, the parliament did not participate in the decision-making process on the score.
The deputies of the Legislative assembly of the republic were not really against that idea. No wonder. The projects connected with profitable contracts with the rich countries are not new in the parliament of the republic. Ten years of independence did not result in any kind of economics in the republic, even with the participation of those deputies. Moreover, the unreasonable, to put it mildly, laws, scared all investors away. The country is now on the edge of the economic disaster.
As the Kyrgyz politicians think, the military cooperation with NATO will bring the new capitals, grants, loans to the country. That is why the deputies were so glad to hear the news that each take-off of a foreign aircraft from a Kyrgyz airbase would cost $7 thousand. By the way, NATO raised a question like that back in 1993, but the republic was so gripped with the idea of independence and sovereignty, that they did not negotiate anything with the alliance.
The major airport of the country – Manas, which is situated in the capital of Bishkek, would be able to accept 30-40 battle planes and several cargo planes at once.
Well, what about Sergey Yastrzhembsky? In a short interview he clarified, it did not go about dispatching the NATO armed forces in Kyrgyzstan. Like he said, the republic would be used for temporal deployment of the “representatives of the anti-terrorist coalition, in which Russia is also included, together with its allies for the Collective Security Treaty.”
Yury Razgulayev PRAVDA.Ru Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov