Lavrov to hold talks with Kyrgyz leadership in Bishkek

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BISHKEK, February 4. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with the leadership of Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on Monday ahead of a state visit of President Vladimir Putin to that country.

The agenda includes such issues as interaction between the two countries in integration associations, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Lavrov will be received by the President of the Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov and will hold talks with Foreign Minister Chingiz Aydarbekov.

Kyrgyzstan will be the first point of the Russian Foregn Minister’s Central Asian tour, he will also visit Tajikistan on February 5 and Turkmenistan on February 6.

Allied relations

Moscow sees Kyrgyzstan as its “strategic partner and ally in Central Asia,” while regular contacts of foreign ministers help to improve interaction and play a significant role in strengthening relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

During the visit of Sergey Lavrov to Bishkek, “particular attention will be paid to the preparation of the state visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kyrgyzstan at the end of March,” the ministry said.

Earlier ambassador of the republic to the Russian Federation, Alikbek Jekshenkulov told TASS that the dates, agenda and events of the visit are now being discussed. The diplomat said that a large package of bilateral documents is now being worked out. It concerns such areas as military cooperation, economy, migration, law enforcement, as well as in the areas of interregional cooperation and foreign policy interaction.

The foreign ministers will in particular discuss the development of closer coordination in the CIS, the UN and the OSCE.

Security dialogue

According to Jekshenkulov, it is important for Kyrgyzstan to discuss with the Russian side, as the main ally, the deepening of military-political cooperation and security issues in Central Asia, including countering threats arising from Afghanistan and “sleeper cells” of terrorist groups in the region.

Kyrgyzstan would like to work out joint actions with the Russian Federation to combat terrorism in the Fergana Valley, the ambassador stressed.

In addition, Bishkek does not exclude the opening of a second Russian military base – in the south of Kyrgyzstan (the first one, the Kant air base, operates in the north of the country – TASS).

Economy and energy

The recent years saw an intensive development of bilateral trade. In 2017, the volume of mutual trade amounted to $1.6 billion, showing a growth of 31% compared with 2016, and for the period from January to November last year it reached $1.74 billion. The intergovernmental commission will hold its regular meeting on March 1 in Bishkek.

According to the ambassador, Kyrgyzstan is interested in Russian investments, in the coming of the Russian businesses to its soil, “not only big companies and large corporations, but medium and small businesses.”

Especially the return of Russian energy companies to the republic is important, the diplomat said.

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