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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Recently, you have had a whole series of important events, including the referendum. As a result of the referendum, you have identified priorities for your nation’s development for the upcoming years, which is very important. We have been following these events very carefully, because we are not indifferent to the fate of the Kyrgyz state and the fate of its people. A great deal depends on how well the results of the referendum will be implemented into everyday life and into the political system development.
I would also like to congratulate you on gaining a new set of presidential powers that are imperative for governing the state during this difficult transition period. I expect that under your government, Kyrgyzstan will be able to achieve results and overcome this period of stagnation and difficulties; this will help to unify the nation and move past the succession of unfortunate events you have dealt with. In this regard, you can always count on the position of the Russian people and the Russian government. I have told you many times that we do not regard the things happening in your nation as distant events, somewhere outside of Russia; these are events occurring in a nearby state that, not so long ago, was united with us as one nation. Naturally, this has a direct impact on the situation in Central Asia, and we in Russia are an integral part of this region. That is precisely why we count on being able to work with you to formulate the right objectives for developing Russian-Kyrgyz relations in the near future and for the long term. In this regard, I would like to wish you success.
President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva: Thank you very much, Mr Medvedev. During this recent period of time, I have always felt Russia’s support. We have passed through a difficult phase in our history of post-Soviet development. Following our brief meeting on May 9, I felt hope and support. I returned home in high spirits and told my colleagues what you had said, and how. And when you called on June 12, everyone was sitting in my office – we had a tough situation to deal with. In other words, we have always stayed in touch. Your representatives, the people you sent, monitored the situation very carefully and reported back to you.
Today, things are relatively calm, but we are nonetheless prepared for any possible outbursts. It is too early to say that everything has settled and that we can finally begin recovery. I will tell you about it. Nevertheless, we have a task in front of us: currently, 110 thousand of my compatriots have crossed the border and then returned, over the course of ten days, or almost two weeks. We are very grateful to the government of Uzbekistan and [Uzbek President] Islam Karimov for their balanced position. He took a big, brave step: he saved these people’s lives. Now, these people have returned, and we must provide them with shelter before winter sets in. This, clearly, is an important challenge. The situation is complicated and tense.
The city of Osh is our ancient city on the Great Silk Road, but two communities have had a serious falling out involving bloodshed. Now, we face the challenge of reconciliation.
Dmitry Medvedev: That is most important, because painful events always remain in people’s memories for years, sometimes for decades. The most important thing now is to send the right kind of message to all citizens of Kyrgyzstan, that regardless of national identity, ethnicity, or faith, all citizens receive equal respect and all are under the protection of the law. In this regard, if you can resolve this problem, I am certain that development in other areas will be much better and faster.
I’d like to emphasise again that in this sense, you can rely on our support.
Roza Otunbayeva: Thank you.