Russia, U.S. could cooperate in Kyrgyzstan: president

19:31, October 22, 2010      

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Kyrgyzstan's authorities are trying to create an environment conducive to successful cooperation between Russia and the United States in the republic, including that on the Manas airport issue, Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva said Friday.

The authorities had in the past six months done everything they could to ensure that Russia and the U.S. "do not turn us into a football but look for joint projects," the Interfax quoted Otunbayeva as saying.

She cited the Manas airport as an example, saying the airport, which houses the U.S. Transit Center, could become one of the areas for such cooperation.

"I know that the 'resetting' of relations between Russia and America will help sort out this issue for everyone's benefit. For example, the United States pays us rent of 60 million (U.S. dollars). But at the same time, we together with Russia set up a joint venture, a center to be named Manas, which will be responsible for filling up American airplanes taking off from there with fuel," she said.

She said such a step would not only help secure an extra 50 million dollars for the republic's budget, but also contribute to the country's economic recovery.

In addition, Otunbayeva said she was confident that a ruling parliamentary coalition would honor the international agreements and allow the U.S. airbase to stay on Kyrgyz territory.

She also said other countries need to "understand that we cannot bow to pressure and cannot be neglected."

The transit center at the Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan, which is under a lease to the United States, plays an important role for the logistical support to the war in Afghanistan.Source: Xinhua


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