Two steps forward
A couple further notes on Kyrgyzstan.
Alec is also watching Kyrgyzstan over at Rabbit’s Eye View, and he tipped me on the news that newly resigned Former President Bakiyev has headed over to Belarus to take up his exile.
Lukashenko’s decision to offer Bakiyev sanctuary appears part of his on-going power struggle with Moscow. Belarus’s relations with its giant neighbour have deteriorated in recent months, with Lukashenko declaring that Minsk needs to move away from its dependence on Russia oil and gas. Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin, welcomed Bakiyev’s overthrow, after the ousted president reneged on an agreement to evict the Americans from their Manas military base near the Kyrgyz capital. Russia has already recognised the new regime.
Perhaps an exercise in “old unions never die.” There’s still rumblings about extraditing Bakiyev to account for charges put upon him in Kyrgyzstan, but I have my doubts about that ever actually happening. Either way, now I’m keen to see what the interim government will do, and whether it will actually conduct an inquiry into itself, which would be almost a delightful surprise.