Preventing terrorist infiltration from abroad and closing the drug channels from Afghanistan will be the tasks of the Russian air force base in Kant, President Putin said at the opening ceremony.
"This base will allow us to use combat aircraft in regions where complicated mountain terrain does not always allow the land forces to block the routes of international bandit groups and drug couriers," he said. "While creating this aviation shield, we intend to strengthen regional security where stability is a major factor influencing the development of the international situation." The opening of the Kant air force base will offer additional opportunities for an adequate and prompt reaction to possible threats and assign to the Collective Rapid Deployment Force a fundamentally new military-political significance, Putin pointed out.
In the opinion of the Russian president, the opening of the Kant base was a signal event in the progressive development of Russo-Kyrgyz relations, which is extremely important also for the strengthening of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and redoubling joint efforts in the fight against international terrorism.
"The military-political situation in Central Asia is stable, as a whole," said Putin. At the same time, we "must not turn a blind eye to the possibility of terrorist raids from abroad."
According to the Russian head of state, the opening of the air base is "a necessary and timely measure to help find an efficient solution to national and collective tasks facing Russia and Kyrgyzstan's allies on the collective security treaty organisation." The deployment of the air base in Kyrgyzstan was initiated by President Askar Akayev. Vladimir Putin thanked him for prompt preparation and co-ordination of the relevant documents.
The Russian leader particularly thanked Kant residents for their "warm welcome and comprehensive assistance in the organisation of the air base." Vladimir Putin urged Russian servicemen to appreciate such an attitude.
After the incident with the shootdown of the Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Russia will supply an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria