Russia has no plans to interfere in Kyrgyz political crisis

Protests against the outcome of the latest parliamentary polls continue in Kyrgyzstan

Protests against the outcome of the latest parliamentary polls continue in Kyrgyzstan and demonstrators have seized the majority of government buildings. However, on October 7, it became clear that the opposition was split: two coordination councils were set up and two candidates are fighting for the prime minister’s seat. Their supporters staged a 3,000-strong rally outside the House of Government and nearly started clashes. Bishkek residents told Izvestia that looting has occurred in the city at night and volunteers have tried to stop them. The crisis in Kyrgyzstan is still far from over, experts say.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow was concerned about the ongoing unrest in Kyrgyzstan but hoped that the problem would be resolved peacefully. Russia sees no grounds for interfering in Kyrgyzstan’s political situation and so far it has received no requests for military assistance to quash the upheaval in Bishkek, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Kostantin Kosachev told the newspaper.

"I don’t see any grounds for such a request from President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, I deem the events to be Kyrgyzstan’s domestic affairs and that the country should deal with the situation itself," the senator stressed. He also noted that there were no reasons to say that the Central Asian republic could alienate itself from Russia amid the protests. Kyrgyzstan understands that Russia is an important trade and economic partner and Bishkek’s participation in the Eurasian Economic Union has certain advantages that no one wants to lose. "That’s why I see no threat to our bilateral relations, if a third party does not hinder them, of course. However, unfortunately, we are observing such attempts now," the politician noted.

Even in case of pressure against President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, he is unlikely to request Russia’s assistance, said senior research fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) Azhdar Kurtov. According to the expert, Jeenbekov does not have any legal basis for this. Bilaterally, Russia and Kyrgyzstan don’t have documents that would compel Russia to interfere.

Although this procedure is stipulated by the Charter of the post-Soviet security alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, first a request should be filed and second, all member-states should endorse the move. "In the current situation, it’s unlikely that some countries will back this step, for example Belarus, which some time ago hosted fugitive [Kyrgyz] president Kurmanbek Bakiyev," the expert stressed.

Jeenbekov Bishkek Kyrgyzstan