Russia to consider military aid for Kyrgyzstan

Monday, June 14, 2010

MOSCOW/BISHKEK - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will consider military aid for Kyrgyzstan, after rejecting an initial request on the weekend, Russia’s Echo Moskwy radio reported Monday.

The members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, a military alliance of seven former Soviet republics of which Kyrgyzstan is a member, plans to meet in Moscow to discuss options to restore peace in the Central Asian state.

Medvedev said the ethnic clashes needed to be stopped as soon as possible and order restored, the Interfax news agency reported.

On Saturday, Medvedev rejected a plea from interim Kyrgyz President Rosa Otunbayeva for military intervention to quell the rioting and looting.

The violence in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh abated by Monday morning, media reports said, while new clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz mobs erupted in the city of Jalalabad.

Officials put the death toll at 114, with more than 1,500 injured and tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks fleeing their homes. The fresh unrest follows the overthrow of president Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April.

Kyrgyzstan is host to both Russian forces and a US airbase.

Russia Sunday deployed hundreds more soldiers to protect its Kyrgyz military base in Kant, where three Ilyushin Il-96 military planes carrying a battalion of Russian paratroopers and ammunition had landed.

The Kyrgyz military is considered to be chronically under-financed and weak.

The interim government said it believed Bakiyev’s family clan was behind the unrest, stoking ethnic tension with targeted murders perpetrated by provocateurs.

The Uzbek minority said more than 500 people had been killed.

According to the Red Cross, many bodies had been buried without prior identification.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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