Rossiyskaya Gazeta – Nedelya (Moscow): “A Call to the Kremlin”


The leaders of the republic look forward to strengthening relations with a Russia headed by Vladimir Putin.

Head of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev congratulated the winner of the Russian presidential election, expressing hope for closer cooperation.

The political leadership of the republic called Vladimir Putin’s election victory “convincing.” Most of Kyrgyzstan’s citizens connect Russia’s success and achievements, stability and well-being with his name, Atambayev said. The president of the republic personally assured Putin of this by calling Moscow as soon as the results were announced by the Central Election Commission.

“As a statesman of the new format you were the source of considerable transformations in the country at the turn of the century,” Atambayev stressed during his telephone conversation with Putin. “I would like to emphasise again that it was you who preserved Russia and Russian statehood during those difficult times. It is because of you that the standard of living in Russia has improved significantly and society has started becoming more democratic.”

During the conversation, the two sides noted the importance of further developing the strategic partnership between the two countries for the benefit of both their peoples. According to official sources, Vladimir Putin “confirmed the readiness of the Russian side to intensify cooperation with Kyrgyzstan.” This was taken in the republic as a sign of confidence in Atambayev, whose previous statements gave many people reason to worry.

It should be noted that last week the President of Kyrgyzstan issued a number of sharp statements directed against Russian officials, accusing them of failing to inform the Russian government about the real state of affairs. Moscow’s response was to abstain from looking for enemies and to focus on the social and economic problems inside the republic.

“Atambayev has tried to raise interest in Russian-Kyrgyz relations at all costs,” political analyst Nurdin Mursaliev said, commenting on the Kyrgyz president’s statements. “Russia has been showing that it prefers Kazakhstan and even Tajikistan in its geopolitical strategy.”

Other experts believe that Atambayev is extremely interested in the support of Kyrgyzstan’s strategic partner Russia. In many ways this is connected with the current social and political situation in Kyrgyzstan. Several municipalities held elections last weekend, with the voting taking on distinctly political overtones in the south of the republic.

Melis Myrzakmatov, the mayor of Osh, accused one of the ruling coalition parties of the partisan use of government resources. The opposition, by the way, sided with the mayor, trying to contest Atambayev’s right to be considered Russia’s friend. The Ata-Zhurt and Butun Kyrgyzstan parties held a rally in Osh which attracted several thousand protesters and declared that they remain committed to improving relations with the Kremlin and that Kyrgyzstan should follow the alliance arrangements concerning the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Municipal elections in Kyrgystan were held by party lists. The ruling coalition meant to prop up their position locally. However, the opposition grabbed the republic’s second largest city of Osh. The elections in the north of the country were also troubled. There were mass protests in several towns against the election results while in the city of Karakol, the administrative capital of the Issyk-Kul Region, protesters broke into the city hall and attacked the police. Law enforcement officers dispersed the demonstrators, but the discontented began to gather again. The police, however, say the overall situation in the Issyk-Kul Region is generally calm.

Almazbek Atambayev: I deeply appreciate the open and trusting relationship with Vladimir Putin, which significantly strengthens the strategic partnership between Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

 Daniyar Karimov