Medvedev pledges support to new Kyrgyz president

The Russian leader said he hopes that Roza Otunbaeva manages to overcome the many difficulties her country faces. The interim Kyrgyz leader has been elected temporary president after a nationwide referendum.

“I expect that, under your leadership, Kyrgyzstan will be able to be successful and overcome the period of transition and difficulties, to bring the nation together and walk away from various troubles,” Medvedev told Otunbaeva during an international summit in Astana.

Medvedev pledged Russia’s full support for its Central Asian neighbor, saying the implementation of the state reform, which was approved by the Kyrgyz people last week, will affect the whole region.

“We care for everything in your country – it’s not some events happening far away from Russia. These events are happening to a nation close to us, to people we used to live with in the same country,” the Russian leader said.

Otunbaeva thanked Medvedev, saying Moscow’s help was important during the most difficult time since the recent revolution, in which the previous Kyrgyz leader was overthrown by mass protests. The turbulence resulted in several surges of violence, which resulted in hundreds of people killed and around a hundred thousand fleeing the country.

She said now the authorities are better prepared to put under control any possible unrest in the country.

“We have a period of relative calm now, but we are prepared to further outbreaks of civil unrest,” Otunbaeva said.

The Kyrgyz temporary government headed by Otunbaeva organized a nationwide referendum on June 27. Citizens approved the proposed change of the form of government from a presidential republic to a parliamentary republic. They also agreed to have Otunbaeva as temporary president until a proper election is held, which is expected to be later next year.