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Russia to double number of warplanes at Central Asian airbase

Published time: October 26, 2013 19:18
AFP Photo / Vyacheslav Oseledko

AFP Photo / Vyacheslav Oseledko

The number of Russian planes at the Kant airbase in Kyrgyzstan will expand twofold by the end of the year, a senior air force commander said.

The number of “war planes will double,” Viktor Sevostyanov, head the Second Air Force and Air Defense Command, said after arriving in Kant for the celebrations of the base's 10-year anniversary.

“The expansion of the base will take place by December,” he stressed, adding that more pilots will also be sent to Kyrgyzstan.

Kant, which is Russia’s only military base in Central Asia, currently hosts 10 Sukhoi fighters, two Mi-8 helicopters and about a dozen other transport and training airplanes.

“Though being pretty young,” the Kyrgyzstan base is fully capable of coping with the tasks, which are set before it, Sevostyanov said.

AFP Photo / Vyacheslav Oseledko

The Kant base is seen as a vital tool to increase Russian influence in the region after the US lease at its Manas base expires in July 2014.

Despite previous disagreements, Moscow and Bishkek signed a deal in September, which prolonged Russian stay at Kant until 2032. The Kremlin agreed to write off nearly half a billion dollars in Kyrgyzstan’s debt in exchange for the contract.  

The airbase, situated 20 kilometers from the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, has a contingent of 250 Russian officers and 150 soldiers.

After the NATO troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, it’ll become part of a collective air force, created in the under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), an intergovernmental military alliance of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Meanwhile, the US is planning to pull its flight operations from Manas and use an alternative airbase in Romania as a transit point for troops departing from Afghanistan.

Comments (13)

 

cra 05.07.2014 18:08

Graeme Briggs-white 26.10.2013 23:03

It would be good if there was more cooperation and less competitiveness world wide. The self interests of Governments, banks and corporations still reign supreme. The every day man and woman need to find a way to radicalise and take back control.

  


Ha tred begets hatred.

US VP Biden said that "US enemies are those who compete with us for natural resuorces".That includes virtually every other country in the world.These are US enemies. We spy on them,spy on the US lest there may be "enemies", and choose "allies" who do our bidding.Forget internatl law.

 

Ирена Славиша 14.02.2014 17:18

Russia Must be ready do defend its intereses in theWorld,especialy its teritory and their allies teritory.NATO is very close ,so that Russia and their allies must have the weapons to burn their grasping hands!

 

BNTO 30.10.2013 16:35

Russia is preparing for the takeover of the ukraine...can not wait for that!

View all comments (13)
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