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    RUSSIAN AIR BASE IN KYRGYZSTAN TO BE FULLY EQUIPPED BY END OF YEAR

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    BISHKEK, February 20, 2004. (RIA Novosti Yulia Orlova) - The Russian air base in the Kyrgyz town of Kant will be ready for its full-fledged utilization by the end of the current year, Commander of the 5th Urals Anti-aircraft and Air forces unit of the Russian Army Yevgeny Yuryev disclosed on Friday.

    "At present the infrastructure of the military base is being increased and developed," he noted.

    According to Yuryev, before 2004 expires the contingent of the Russian army in the Kant military base will be increased by 2 or 3 times and will amount to 800 servicemen.

    According to RIA Novosti data, the Russian military base, which was opened in Kyrgyzstan in October of 2003 within the framework of the rapid deployment collective forces of the Collective Security treaty, host approximately 250 Russian soldiers and officers.

    Some 4 dozens of servicemen arrived to Kyrgyzstan with their families. 37 children live on the territory of the military settlement.

    The first apartment building for servicemen with families will be key-ready in a couple of months.

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