Kyrgyzstan May Host Second Russian Military Base, Tass Reports

(Bloomberg) -- Kyrgyzstan may agree to host a second Russian military base in the republic to help combat the threat of infiltration by fighters from Islamic State fighters, the central Asian country’s ambassador to Russia said in an interview with state news agency Tass.

ISIS fighters are relocating from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan and there is an “increasing” risk that they will later enter Tajikistan and then Kyrgyzstan, Alikbek Jekshenkulov told Tass in Moscow.

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Sooronbay Jeenbekov may discuss opening a second military base in the southern part of the country during their meeting in March, the envoy said.

Russia restored its Soviet-era airbase at Kant near Bishkek in 2003. The base is leased to Russia at least till 2058. In 2014, Kyrgyz authorities closed a U.S. airbase in Manas, which had been used as transit point for North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces going to Afghanistan.

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