Russian weapons will arrive in Kyrgyzstan already this year, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and President of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev agreed.
Previously, the parties agreed that the Russian military hardware would be delivered to Kyrgyzstan only next year. However, this will happen during the last quarter of the current year.
There has been no information released about what kind of deliveries it goes about exactly. Reportedly, Russia will ship small arms, combat vehicles, helicopters, field and stationary hospitals, motorcycles, portable mortars and satellite communications equipment. Apart from this, it was planned to expand the training of Kyrgyz servicemen in Russian military universities.
Last November, it was reported that Moscow promised to allocate more than one billion dollars to Bishkek for rearmament purposes within the scope of military support. At present, there is a Russian army base operating on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.
It should be noted that reports about the supplies of Russian weapons to the Kyrgyz Republic appeared almost immediately after the decision of Bishkek to close the U.S. Manas transit base. Is it an accidental coincidence?
Russia to Start Sending Weapons to Kyrgyzstan This Year
Russia’s defense minister has said Moscow would begin sending weapons and other military equipment to Kyrgyzstan this year, not in 2014, as previously announced.
Supplies as part of a bilateral armed forces assistance program will start in “the fourth quarter of 2013,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with the head of the Central Asian state.
Igor Korotchenko, head of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Global Arms Trade, previously told that Russia’s decision to supply arms to Kyrgyzstan was based in part on a desire to curb the spread of Islamic extremism in the post-Soviet region.
He also said arms supplies would most likely include tanks, armored vehicles and personnel carriers, as well as rocket launchers, artillery, small arms, and surveillance and communication systems.
In November, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper wrote that Moscow had pledged to provide $1.1 billion worth of military assistance to Kyrgyzstan.