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Russian and Kyrgyz foreign ministers to meet


Russian and Kyrgyz foreign ministers to meet

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with his Kyrgyz counterpart, Ruslan Kazakbayev, today in Moscow.

Following weeks of political unrest earlier this month after an allegedly fraudulent election, Kyrgyzstan has somewhat stablised after the victor’s resignation last week. Since, populist nationalist Sadyr Japarov has assumed the presidency and has made it clear that Kyrgyz foreign policy will remain aligned with the Kremlin’s.

Expect Moscow to deepen its ties with the new administration in Bishkek as part of a greater effort to extend its influence in Central Asia, countering Chinese and Turkish influence. Russia’s objective will likely be to empower regional economic growth in order to combat the persistent instability which Moscow finds itself surrounded by. To this end, Russia and Kyrgyzstan signed $6 billion worth of trade and investment deals last year. This is in addition to the Kremlin providing pandemic relief and developmental aid throughout 2020. Bishkek will look to keep Moscow happy, as its government’s capacity to function is largely dependent on Russian backing. As it falls evermore under the Kremlin’s wing, Russia’s desire to keep a favorable government in Bishkek may bring the erasure of Kyrgyzstan’s status as Central Asia’s sole remotely democratic nation.

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Photo: REUTERS/Luc Gnago

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