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    Ousted Kyrgyz leader denies Russia, U.S. 'linked' to Kyrgyzstan coup

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    The ousted Kyrgyz president ruled out on Friday any involvement by Russia and the United States, who both have military bases in Kyrgyzstan, in the bloody coup d'etat in the ex-Soviet Central Asian state.

    The ousted Kyrgyz president ruled out on Friday any involvement by Russia and the United States, who both have military bases in Kyrgyzstan, in the bloody coup d'etat in the ex-Soviet Central Asian state.

    "I do not believe that Russia or the United States of America had a hand in these events," AFP news agency quoted Kurmanbek Bakiyev as saying on Friday. He declined to elaborate.

    His comments were at odds with previous remarks made in an interview with Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy on Thursday that he could not exclude the role of other countries in organizing popular protests that sparked the coup.

    Although the ousted Kyrgyz leader did not name any country that might have organized the events, he said "such a coordinated operation could not have been carried out without foreign help."

    Both Russia and the United States have vested interests in Kyrgyzstan. Russia has been angered by the presence of the U.S. military base in Manas, used by the United States for its operations in Afghanistan.

    In February, 2009 Kyrgyzstan ordered the base to be shut down, a step widely seen to be influenced by Moscow, which had just granted Kyrgyzstan a large financial aid package.

    However, Kyrgyzstan and the U.S. signed on June 22, 2009 an agreement to establish a transit center at Manas international airport, which allows the U.S. to continue sending troops and supplies to Afghanistan.

    Protests began in the northwestern Kyrgyz town of Talas on Tuesday and spread to other regions of the country including the capital, Bishkek, on Wednesday and Thursday. At least 76 people were killed and more than 1,500 injured in the unrest.

    Bakiyev, who fled the capital Bishkek amid the violent riots, has so far refused to resign although he no longer has any real power. Kyrgyzstan is now under the control of an interim government, formed by the opposition.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and other senior officials have dismissed talks of Russia's alleged role in the Kyrgyz coup.

    However, a telephone conversation between Putin and the opposition-nominated Kyrgyz Prime Minister Roza Otunbayeva on Thursday was a clear sign that Russia is not opposed to the provisional government in Kyrgyzstan.

    Senior White House adviser on Russia Michael McFaul has dismissed talks of Russia's participation in the events.

    "This is not some anti-American coup. That we know for sure and this [is] not a sponsored by the Russians coup," he told Reuters.

     

    MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti)

     

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