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Meeting with President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev

February 24, 2012, Gorki, Moscow Region

Almazbek Atambayev arrived in Moscow at Dmitry Medvedev's invitation on his first working visit to Russia as President of Kyrgyzstan.

Issues connected to the settlement of outstanding debts were an important topic among the wide range of issues discussed, which included the current state and prospects of bilateral cooperation. The Russian party specifically confirmed its readiness to pay in the near future for its rental and use of infrastructure facilities in Kyrgyzstan (about $15 million).

The question of the repayment of Kyrgyzstan’s public debt to the Russian Federation, amounting to almost half a billion dollars ($493 million), is more complicated.

The Russian party expressed understanding with regards to the complexities its partners face in connection with Kyrgyzstan’s difficult financial and economic situation, and confirmed its readiness to help find different options to absolve this debt. In this way, the prospects for solving this problem largely depend on the position of Kyrgyzstan’s leadership.

* * *

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Atambayev, I wish you a warm welcome to Moscow, to the Moscow Region, to be more precise.

We have a working meeting scheduled today, continuing the contact we began in December after your official inauguration as President of Kyrgyzstan.

I hope to discuss with you today the entire agenda, from our economic ties to our relations within our alliances. We will also discuss regional security of course, given that the various developments currently unfolding in the Middle East (in Iran, Syria, and other countries) have a direct effect on the situation in our region. 

Russia sees it as absolutely essential to coordinate our efforts with our closest partners and allies to ensure greater stability than we have at present in our region – in Central Asia, in this particular case – and guarantee this stability should events take a negative turn.

It is a genuine pleasure to welcome you here. Let’s begin our work.

Russia sees it as absolutely essential to coordinate our efforts with our closest partners to ensure greater stability than we have at present in Central Asia, in this particular case – and guarantee this stability should events take a negative turn.

President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev: Thank you, Mr President. It is a great pleasure to see you too and talk with you.

I want to say that today is a big day for us because, with the help of the Russian leadership and the Moscow City Hall, we have just unveiled a monument to our legendary forebear – Manas the Generous. 

Let me say in this respect that we all remember that Manas came from Russia’s Altai Territory, in other words, he was a Russian, and we thus share common roots. Both countries’ national anthems were played at the unveiling ceremony. The Russian national anthem is the first anthem I knew, the one we sang in the past, during the Soviet years. Both anthems are equally close to my heart. My father fought here in Russia during the  Great Patriotic War. We share a common past.

I want to remind Moscow’s people that not only Manas came from Russia. In 1941, Moscow was defended by the Panfilov Division, which was established in Frunze, capital of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic. It was named after General Panfilov, military commissar of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Today, when you hear some politicians say things like Asians are needed only to sweep the streets clean, I feel saddened to think how these people have forgotten history…

Mr Putin spoke very eloquently and powerfully yesterday about Borodino. But did you know that Kutuzov was descended from Kutuz – descended from an Asian? And if it comes to that, Turgenev was a descendent of Turgan, and so on… In other words, we share common roots.

Dmitry Medvedev: We all have so much mixed blood flowing in our veins that you are right – it makes no sense to divide us. Yes, Manas is our ethnic forebear.

Almazbek Atambayev: I hope that we will raise a monument in the Altai too, in Manas’ native land. This will bind our peoples even closer together.

Dmitry Medvedev: Let’s do this!

Almazbek Atambayev: Over all these years, our peoples tried to build a united country. There was Siberia – the Kyrgyz khanate – more than 1,000 years ago, and then there was the Russian Empire, also a khanate in its way, and finally the Soviet Union. Now we are striving to build the common economic space in part simply because it is in our genes now, in the genes of the Kyrgyz, Russian, and all peoples here. Our common future lies in unity.

Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, I agree. Integration is the future, so let’s work on it together.


February 24, 2012, Gorki, Moscow Region