Putin in Kyrgyzstan: Strengthening the Alliance

Never before has the visit of a Russian head of state been accompanied by such a large flow of fantasies and false assumptions, as the latest state visit of Vladimir Putin to Kyrgyzstan. The artificially-created intrigue was fuelled, of course, by the information activity conducted by former President Atambaev and, especially, by the sudden trip of President Sooronbay Jeenbekov to Sochi literally a week after the visit to Kyrgyzstan of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Russia and Kyrgyzstan are pursuing an intense, comprehensive strategic alliance, which will be applied to a wide range of relationships. As President Jeenbekov said, Russia and Kyrgyzstan have reached a qualitatively new level of strategic cooperation. Vladimir Putin added, that "Kyrgyzstan is a reliable ally of Russia." According to the two Presidents,  an extensive “foreign policy, trade and economic, military and political” partnership between the two countries has begun.

The Russian delegation which arrived in Kyrgyzstan consisted of several groups. One consisted of over 70 rectors and other heads of educational institutions from different regions of Russia, who arrived at a Russo-Kyrgyz rectors' forum, while over 200 executives and corporate representatives from 18 regions attended the 8th interregional conference. An exhibition of Russian art was opened at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bishkek.

At least 18 official documents were signed by national delegations; in addition to these, dozens of agreements, memoranda and protocols were  inked by regional officials and educational institutions, as well as concerning cultural exchanges and business deals.

Among the deals that were agreed to, the most important, of course, was the Joint Statement of the two Presidents, which presented a comprehensive assessment of the current situation in the world and the region, and went on to declare the will of Russia and Kyrgyzstan to cement bi-lateral cooperation within the framework of the CSTO, EAEU, CIS, as well as the UN and the OSCE. The design of the Russia-Central Asia dialogue means a long-awaited multilateral partnership community. The statement also clearly outlines almost every issue concerning bilateral trade, as well as economic, cultural, humanitarian and scientific and technological cooperation.

It is difficult to overestimate the practical importance of the amendments to the agreement concerning the Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan, especially those pertaining to the ever-worsening situation affecting Muslim countries from the Maghreb to Afghanistan. Unfortunately, Afghanistan remains a hotbed of terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking.

In this regard, the agreement to provide Kyrgyzstan with much-needed additional Russian weaponry and military equipment could not have come at a better time.

Special attention was paid to educational issues. President Jeenbekov quite rightly stressed that it is necessary to strengthen the countries’ mutual educational systems, including, first of all, engineering. Five of Russia’s religious schools, as part of the deals that were signed, will receive Kyrgyz students.

A $6 billion preliminary agreement on economic cooperation was also reached.

Immediately ahead of the visit, migrants from Kyrgyzstan living in Russia were offered amnesty.

Special attention was paid to the problems affecting the EAEU. First, both sides stressed the importance and the lack of an alternative to this organization. Second, the timeliness and usefulness of Kyrgyzstan’s entrance to the EAEU was noted. Third, the parties indicated the need to further improve the activities of the EAEU.

All of the expectations of the Kyrgyz people were met during the state visit, save one: that the participants of the conferences work tirelessly to meet its objectives.
The EAEU: A Core Element of the Greater Eurasian Partnership
Viktor Shakhmatov
The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) is working to ensure the integration of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) into the global economic architecture through the development of open, mutually beneficial and transparent relations with all partners in the East and the West, which makes the EAEU a core element of the Greater Eurasian Partnership,
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