Russia to provide military aid to Kyrgyzstan -- defense minister

BISHKEK, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has said that Russia will provide Kyrgyzstan with military-technical aid.

After arriving in the capital of the Central Asian republic on a working visit, Ivanov said funds for foreign military aid to a number of countries were allocated in the 2005 federal budget.

"Russia will provide millions of dollars in assistance to Kyrgyzstan, primarily to meet objectives in the fight against terrorism," Ivanov said.

The minister said Russia would provide the Kyrgyz army with helicopters that could conduct operations over mountains, along with firearms and Kamaz heavy trucks.

Ivanov said he intended to inspect Russia's airbase in Kant, adding that the 2005 budget had allocated $3.5 million for the base.

When asked if Russia intended to strengthen its military grouping in Kant, the minister said: "If necessary, we can do it in two hours."

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