Wednesday, July 11, 2012 -
Russia will have to pay higher rental tariffs on three of its military bases in Kyrgyzstan from 2014, the Kyrgyz defense minister said on Wednesday.
"An increase in lease fees is dictated by the inflation," the ITAR-TASS news agency reported Major General Taalaybek Omuraliyev as saying. "The prices for property and land are growing."
The Kremlin currently makes an annual payment in cash and kind of $460,000 for use of the barracks under an agreement signed in 2007. Part of that sum takes the form of Russian training of Kyrgyz military specialists.
Under the new agreement coming into force in 2014, Kyrgyzstan must use the cash Moscow pays on purchasing Russian military hardware.
The new arrangements will not affect the current contract of Kant airbase at the edge of the capital Bishkek.
"The Kant airbase is an exception. It operates in the interests of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), i.e. in the interests of Kyrgyzstan," said the Kyrgyz general.
News of the rental hike follows a recent announcement by Russia’s top brass that Kyrgyzstan’s neighbor Tajikistan is threatening to close a military garrison there unless the Kremlin agrees to new demands by the Tajik government.
Russia has expressed frustration over what it calls “stubbornness” on the part of Tajik officials.
Analysts perceive the new hard-line stance being taken up by the Central Asian states as an indication that Russia’s influence in the region is waning.