Kyrgyzstan Ready To Consider Expansion Of Russia's Kant Airbase - Foreign Minister

Kyrgyzstan Ready to Consider Expansion of Russia's Kant Airbase - Foreign Minister

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th October, 2020) Kyrgyzstan is ready to consider the expansion of the Russian airbase Kant, if such a proposal comes from Moscow or the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), newly-appointed Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev told Sputnik.

"As for the Kant base, our firm position is to preserve this base. No one will revise previously signed agreements ... We will be ready to talk about its expansion if the Russian side or the CSTO countries initiate such an issue.

Of course, we will discuss this. First, let there be a proposal," Kazakbaev said.

The Russian airbase was established in Kant, located some 12 miles outside of Bishkek, in 2003 as part of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force and is involved in ensuring the security of the airspace of the states of CSTO. In late 2012, Kyrgyzstan agreed to lease the base to Russia for 15 years, with an option for an automatic extension for another five years, in exchange for Russia's reduction of the Kyrgyz debt.