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Russia's position on the events in Kyrgyzstan (April-June 2010). OSW Commentary No. 38, 2010-07-27

Górecki, Wojciech (2010) Russia's position on the events in Kyrgyzstan (April-June 2010). OSW Commentary No. 38, 2010-07-27. [Policy Paper]

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    Abstract

    Russia was the first state in the world to de facto recognise the regime change in Kyrgyzstan that took place on 7 April 2010. This recognition, along with a previous campaign by the Russian media against the then President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has given rise to suspicion that the events of April were provoked by Russia. However, it seems no more than reasonable to say that Russia provided some inspiration and lobbying in that direction. Russia offered support to the new Kyrgyz government almost immediately, albeit conditionally. Russia’s relations with Roza Otunbayeva’s government have been changing in nature; they are currently much cooler than they had been immediately after the coup. There are many indications that this change was a reaction to the extension of the lease agreement for the American military base in the Manas airport. At the same time, Moscow remains in contact with the political rivals to the current regime, which suggests that the Kremlin is preparing for different developments, and does not regard the current crisis as having been fully resolved. Despite the interim government’s plea for help, Russia refused to undertake military intervention in southern Kyrgyzstan, which plunged into ethnic unrest in June. This shows that Russia is wary of being dragged into a long-standing and bloody conflict in the region, which could entail considerable expenses and jeopardise Russia’s authority. It should be expected that after the October parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan, Russia will return to its plans to establish a second military base in this country (in addition to the Kant base) to reinforce its dominant position in the region. This is the first time that Russia has had a real chance to play a stabilising role in the CIS area. How Russia copes with this challenge may decide its position in post-Soviet Central Asia – and in a wider context, its relations with NATO, the USA and China.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2014 14:51
    Number of Pages: 7
    Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:51
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/58295

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