Foreign Policy Blogs

Kyrgyzstan: Boucher Schmoozing

Kyrgyzstan's capital of Bishkek, which just last week hosted a Commonwealth of Independent States CIS summit, was the site of a meeting between US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and President Bakiyev and a following news conference. Boucher stated that the two sides discussed security and energy relations and issues. Specifically, the US sponsored Manas air base was discussed, with Boucher emphasizing its importance in stabilizing Afghanistan, providing security from terrorist and extremists in the region, and in its ability to support regional crisis, specifically its help in the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Kyrgyzstan. Boucher was less forthcoming regarding energy issues, but stressed that the US was there to help the nation prepare for energy shortages during the coming winter season.

A reporter also asked about Kyrgyzstan's relations with Russia, asserting that the nation was moving closer and closer to Moscow. Boucher gave this rather diplomatic answer:

“I don't think we criticize any relationships that you have. We’re not here for any competition or any games to play with other countries. Our interest is in the independence of Kyrgyzstan and the welfare of the people of Kyrgyzstan. We expect the government to have good relationships and to develop its relations as much as possible with neighbors like Russia. I guess north, south, east, west, Kyrgyzstan needs to have relations with China, Europe, India, with us far away. The more relations you have, the more choices you have, the more independence you have. That's our interest — ensuring the independence of Kyrgyzstan. So, we’re glad to see Kyrgyzstan take advantage of these opportunities, as long as they contribute to the independence and the prosperity of Kyrgyzstan.”

It sounds like Boucher may be running for President of Kyrgyzstan. Watch out Bakiyev!

 

Author

Patrick Frost
Patrick Frost

Patrick Frost recently graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science - International Relations. His MA thesis analyzed the capabilities and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Central Asia and beyond and explored how these affected U.S. interests and policy.

Areas of Focus:
Eurasia, American Foreign Policy, Ideology, SCO

Great Decisions Discussion group