President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
Comrade officers, dear friends,
We have gathered here to celebrate, in an impressive setting, the very significant 20th anniversary of establishing a consolidated Russian airbase in the city of Kant, the Kyrgyz Republic. This is a milestone for cooperation with our Kyrgyz friends in defence and for strengthening overall regional security.
I would like to recall that this Russian airbase was established in Kyrgyzstan following a proposal by the Kyrgyz leadership during a complicated period when international terrorists attacked the republic from Afghanistan. The deployment of our military contingent became a decisive factor in countering and fighting this threat that emanated from another country.
Over the past 20 years, the airbase has played and continues to play a key role in ensuring the security of Kyrgyzstan and providing air support for the Rapid Deployment Forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in the Central Asian region.
Russian service personnel stationed in Kyrgyzstan are serving honourably; they are successfully accomplishing their diverse objectives and helping Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies fight extremism, terrorism, illegal drug trafficking and organised crime.
The airbase operates under CSTO’s primary objectives. For example, its aircrews were involved in the organisation’s special mission to reinstate law and order in Kazakhstan in January 2022.
I would also like to point out that today service personnel from Kant Airbase are taking part in the CSTO collective force exercise, Indestructible Brotherhood-2023 being held in Kyrgyzstan and, together with units from other member states of the organisation, are training to work as a team in peacekeeping operations. I would like to emphasise that the service personnel at Kant Airbase work professionally, with full dedication, showing bravery and heroism. It is no coincidence that many of them have been honoured with Russian state awards, including the Order of Courage.
And of course, I would like to thank our Kyrgyz friends for their assistance in the operation of the airbase in the Republic and for their kind attitude towards our service personnel and their families. We certainly value this.
For my part, I would like to assure you that Russian leadership will continue to pay close attention to providing the airbase with the most advanced weapons, modern equipment and facilities. We will do everything necessary to resolve any domestic or social concerns of these service members.
Speaking directly to the command of the Kant Airbase, to all its personnel, I would like to emphasise once again: we highly appreciate the fact that you are performing difficult service abroad, far from your homeland. We understand that this is associated with certain difficulties, but it also imposes a special responsibility on you; it requires constant vigilance, composure, tact and friendly attitude towards the host country’s people. I know you will not let us down. I count on you.
I know that while you are at this leading outpost, performing your daily military duty, you will be faithful to your oath and to the Fatherland.
And of course, I expect that military and defence industry cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, our allied relations, symbolised by the presence of the Russian military force in Kant, will continue to strengthen and expand to ensure the security of our two countries.
Thank you for your attention.
President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov: Mr President, dear friends!
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today at this official event marking the 20th anniversary of opening this airbase in the city of Kant and to congratulate all of you on this landmark event in Kyrgyz-Russian relations.
In 2003, in an effort to strengthen the security of the Central Asian region, our two countries decided to establish a military airbase at the airfield in Kant. The base later became part of the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces in the Central Asian collective security region.
This made it possible to expand the Collective Security Treaty Organisation’s collective forces and to further organise a collective security system that can meet today’s threats.
Mr President, we can say confidently that the opening of the Kant Airbase was an essential and timely measure.
Against the backdrop of turbulent geopolitical reality when the global and regional situation is developing rapidly and rather unpredictably, and when additional factors that impact the security of the Central Asian region’s countries are emerging, the issue of ensuring regional security is a high-priority objective.
As a component of the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian collective security region, this Russian airbase successfully accomplishes its objectives and serves to deter terrorist and extremist threats in the region.
On the whole, the opening of the airbase served as a good foundation for expanding military and military-technical cooperation, including the creation of a substantial regulatory legal framework and establishing stable mechanisms for military interaction.
Today, we have provided for the uninterrupted operation of this consolidated Russian military base, including the aviation component. In the past 20 years, we have put considerable joint efforts into expanding the infrastructure, beefing up the combat component and creating favourable social conditions for the everyday life of its personnel.
Mr President, and everyone here,
Since its establishment, the Kant Airbase and the Russian military personnel have traditionally taken part in international military exercises held both in the Kyrgyz Republic and in neighbouring countries.
This year, the Russian side supported Kyrgyzstan’s initiative to include warships from the Russian Navy test base in Karakol in the joint CSTO peacekeeping exercise, Indestructible Brotherhood-2023, and to conduct several sessions of the exercise in the waters of Lake Issyk-Kul. This is yet further evidence of the high level of mutual understanding achieved between our armed forces.
Yesterday, our parliament ratified the agreement on establishing a united regional air defence system of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation, which was signed in Moscow.
I am convinced that once established, the regional air defence system will be an effective means of protecting our common airspace from threats and will contribute to strengthening mutual relations in the military sphere.
In this context, I would like to note our interest in continuing cooperation in this important area by upgrading military equipment and infrastructure, training military personnel and exchanging experience.
Mr President, everyone!
Today we can say with full confidence that Russia’s Kant Airbase is a reliable guarantor of security and stability in the Central Asian region.
I sincerely congratulate the personnel of the Kant Airbase on its 20th anniversary. I wish you good health, peaceful skies, prosperity and further success in the noble cause of serving the Fatherland.
Thank you for your attention.