The Russian air base in Kant (Kirghizia) will start fully operating by the end of 2003, said Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov.
In the near future it is planned to sign an appropriate agreement with Kirghizia, said the Russian Defence Minister at the news conference in the Kazakh town of Shchuchinsk after the end of the session of the Council of the CIS Defence Ministers.
As Sergei Ivanov pointed out, construction and auxiliary work is already going on in Kant. According to him, the air base will be fully ready at the end of the year when all the necessary conditions will be created for the servicemen.
Both countries, said Sergei Ivanov, "are already looking into the future and are planning to work in a full amount in the common radar field jointly with Kazakhstan and other member-countries of the Collective Security Treaty (Armenia. Byelorussia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia and Tajikistan)" and to ensure the activity of the rapid deployment forcers.
Defence Minister of Kirghizia Esen Topoyev added that the base in Kant is being built in accordance with the decision of the Treaty member-countries'leaders, which was adopted at the latest summit in Dyushambe.