Kremlin dismayed after US retains Kyrgyz air base

Bakiyev

Bakiyev

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The recent decision by the Kyrgyz government to halt the eviction of US forces from the Manas air base has been hailed as a foreign policy success for the US government, and a rare defeat for Russia’s resurgence. Russian foreign ministry officials admitted earlier this week that the Kyrgyz reversal was a setback for Moscow’s plans and hinted that the Kremlin had been deceived by the government of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. As intelNews reported last February, Kyrgyzstan had announced that it would expel US forces from Manas, which experts have described as the “primary logistics hub” for the US military’s operations in Afghanistan. The decision of the Kyrgyz government came soon after it received an unprecedented $2.2 billion in Russian loans and aid. But President Bakiyev changed his mind after the US government agreed to “triple its rent for Manas”, and –it appears— cease its criticism of Kyrgyzstan’s rapidly deteriorating human rights record. Read more of this post

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US uses Kyrgyz base to spy, say Russians

Rossiya TV

Rossiya TV

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Just as US officials entered one last round of negotiations to avert the scheduled evacuation of the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, Russian television has accused the US Pentagon of secretly using the base to spy on Moscow and Beijing. Government-owned Telekanal Rossiya aired during primetime last Sunday a documentary titled “Base”, which alleged that signals intelligence (SIGINT) is the Pentagon’s primary operational focus at Manas. Footage aired in the documentary showed several windowless buildings located around the perimeter of the Manas Air Base, said to contain components of a “multi-channel, multi-functional system of radio-electronic surveillance […] which controls entire Central Asia, parts of China and Siberia”. Read more of this post