MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The international committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, recommended on Monday that the house approve an intergovernmental agreement with Kyrgyzstan on settling the Central Asian nation’s debt to Russia.
The agreement, signed when a Russian delegation led by President Vladimir Putin visited Kyrgyzstan on August 15, 2012, revises the terms of repayment and servicing of two of Bishkek’s debt liabilities.
Under the new agreement, a debt of $188.9 million agreed in 2005 for the settlement of loans granted earlier will be written off in a lump sum and in full, with no interest charged on the remaining debt.
In addition, a government loan worth $300 million granted to Kyrgyzstan in line with a 2009 deal will be written off in equal amounts over 10 years, starting from 2016.
The accompanying documents say that once the deal is ratified, Russian-Kyrgyz cooperation in the financial sphere will be taken to a new level unburdened by debt-related problems, and prerequisites for the promotion of Russian interests in the military and energy spheres will be created.
Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, ratified an agreement with Kyrgyzstan on Friday extending the presence of a Russian military base there.
The deal, signed in September last year, allows Russian military facilities to stay there until at least 2032, with possible five-year extensions afterwards.
Kyrgyzstan hosts a Russian airbase in Kant, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside the capital Bishkek, a naval communications center in the village of Chaldovar in the Chui region, a naval testing site near the city of Karakol, 380 km (240 miles) from Bishkek, and a radioseismic laboratory in Mailuu-Sai, which is part of the unified automated system designed to detect the testing and use of nuclear weapons around the world, as well as earthquakes.
The Kant airbase serves the interests of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a regional security body headquartered in Moscow and made up of former Soviet Union countries.
The base was established in October 2003, and currently hosts about 700 servicemen, as well as several Su-25 Frogfoot attack aircraft and Su-27 Flanker fighters, two Mi-8 combat transport helicopters, and four L-39 combat trainers.