The Minister’s meetings
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Ruslan Kazakbayev, Moscow, October 23, 2020
Ladies and gentlemen, we have held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Ruslan Kazakbayev. We appreciate the fact that, after resuming office that he held eight years ago, Mr Kazakbayev has chosen the Russian Federation as the venue of his first foreign visit. This further attests to the strategic nature of our bilateral relations.
Today’s meeting confirms the fact that our countries are allies and privileged strategic partners, and my colleague has made this clear. Our relations will continue to hinge on mutual trust, respect and consideration for each other’s interests.
Today, we have once again reaffirmed the fact that Russia closely followed developments in friendly Kyrgyzstan after the results of the October 4 parliamentary elections were announced.
Today, we have noted that, according to our estimates, the domestic political situation is being legitimised once again, and that the critical situation has been mostly overcome.
We were informed in detail about the timeframe of parliamentary and presidential elections, which is now being coordinated, as well as the constitutional reform. We hope that all these processes will be implemented based on domestic national accord and the Kyrgyz people’s harmony, so as to determine the direction of the Republic’s long-term development. Russia will continue to assist our Kyrgyz friends in their efforts.
Today, we have discussed all aspects of our bilateral cooperation. We have reaffirmed our readiness to help maintain political dialogue, to deepen and strengthen our bilateral trade and economic cooperation, and to expand inter-regional cooperation. The co-chairs of the intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation between our countries are planning to meet before the month is out.
Of course, the pandemic has affected the schedule of international events. Among other things, we had to postpone many events during the Cross Year of the Russian Federation and the Kyrgyz Republic. We reaffirmed the need to continue carrying out the programme of the Cross Year after health-related restrictions are lifted, and after the epidemiological situation returns to normal. Quite possibly, some events will be held in 2021.
Traditionally, we maintain high-level foreign policy cooperation. We believe that the plan of cooperation between the foreign ministries of Russia and Kyrgyzstan, valid until the end of next year, allows us to actively promote coordination and mutual support at multilateral venues.
We voice coinciding positions at the UN, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Today, we have discussed in great detail specific issues due to be raised at the upcoming sessions of the above-mentioned multilateral organisations.
We spoke about the need to consolidate integration processes within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. We share a vision of the positive prospects for further unlocking the potential of Eurasian integration, so as to make the economies of this union’s member countries more competitive and to improve the well-being of our citizens.
We agreed to help expand the Eurasian Economic Union’s international ties.
We praised the meetings of ministers of foreign affairs in the regular Central Asia-Russia format. This format is quite useful for deepening multilateral cooperation, as confirmed by the Joint Statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asian Five and the Russian Federation, passed on October 15, 2020.
On the whole, the talks were quite constructive and timely. I hope that we will continue our cooperation, as the situation in Kyrgyzstan continues to stabilise. We will try and assist this process in every way.
Question: Russia has suspended financial assistance to Kyrgyzstan in light of the latest events. The national situation has now been stabilised, and the state power system has been legitimised. When does Russia plan to resume financial assistance to Kyrgyzstan? I am referring to the $100 million from the Eurasian Fund for Stabilisation and Development.
Sergey Lavrov: No one has cancelled the Eurasian Fund for Stabilisation and Development’s decision to allocate a $100 million soft loan to the Kyrgyz Republic. Of course, it is necessary to negotiate specific deadlines for implementing this decision with the Fund, and our Kyrgyz friends are quite aware of this.
Today, we have reaffirmed the agreements that were coordinated with the previous Government of Kyrgyzstan, including explanations that the main question involves determining the deadlines for providing the loan promised by the Eurasian Fund for Stabilisation and Development.
Question: Does Russia plan to increase the number of regular flights between both countries?
Sergey Lavrov: Yes, we do, depending on the sanitary-epidemiological situation. The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsya) and other specialised Russian agencies that monitor the spread of the coronavirus infection and are responsible for countering the pandemic continue to address this matter.
Question: Are you studying the possibility of holding top-level and high-level meetings in the near future?
Sergey Lavrov: As far as I understand, our Kyrgyz friends should first decide what processes should be completed, namely, the order of priority of elections and the constitutional reform. We have discussed this today. I hope that the situation will be clarified in the near future.