Russia will “develop” its military installations in Central Asian ally Kyrgyzstan, the Kremlin said Monday, following talks between the two countries’ leaders in Moscow.
“The heads of state emphasized the importance of strengthening the Kyrgyz Republic’s armed forces and developing Russian military facilities on its territory,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
Kyrgyzstan, a majority-Muslim country of nearly seven million people, hosts a Russian military base made up of an airfield, a naval installation on Lake Issyk-Kul and several other sites.
President Sadyr Japarov met Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, on the eve of Victory Day, a Soviet war anniversary to be marked by an army parade through Red Square.
Japarov will be one of several foreign leaders to attend the parade this year.
Russia and Kyrgyzstan, an ex-Soviet republic, are linked through a Moscow-led military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
According to the statement released by the Kremlin, the two countries also expect to “deepen military and technical cooperation” as well as their economic and cultural relations in order to “reach a new level of integration.”
The leaders agreed to boost military ties as Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine stretches into its second year and the West is mulling new sanctions against Moscow.