He of the impressive eyebrows

by Nathan Hamm on 1/28/2005 · 2 comments

Another Nezavisimaya Gazeta interview via Ferghana.ru. This time it’s with Askar Akayev, the president whose power and authority are entirely contained within what very well may be the world’s most intense eyebrows.*

A lot of the interview is on questions of democracy, the opposition, and revolutions. I really don’t have much to say about Akayev’s comments except that I think he’s as over-optimistic as Karimov about the situation in his country and his prospects. I honestly don’t think he’s going anywhere, and he certainly does have good reason to assume he’s safe. However, because the Kyrgyz actually have freedoms to protect, Akayev needs to be much more careful than the rest of the presidents on his block about increasing his powers.

There is a mention that the residency requirement for parliamentary candidates was not changed when it’s been reported that it was dropped. In fact, Akayev’s answer to the question about the requirement is fairly interesting.

He does have some interesting things to say about Kyrgyzstan’s relationships with Russia and the United States.

The Russian AF base in Kant is quite enough for regional security. I’m often asked if it is a nuisance to have these two bases so close to each other. No, it is not even though the distance between them is only 30 kilometers. With different tasks and functions, they complement each other. The American base operates within the framework of the counter-terrorism operation in Afghanistan. The Russian base sees to security of the whole Central Asian region. There are no problems between them, not even on the political level.

Russia has always been and will always remain our major political ally and partner. “Russia is given us by the Lord and history,” I said it long ago. I always emphasize in my conversations with Bush and in my speeches in Washington that whoever wants proper relations with Kyrgyzstan must accept the fact that Kyrgyzstan has always had close relations with Russia. As a mathematician, however, I suggest “both… and” instead of “either… or”. This is what our foreign partners should bear in mind.

For more on the Russo-Kyrgyz reliationship, see Sergei Blagov’s latest at EurasiaNet.

*Legend has it that if you steal them, you get all his powers. It’s somewhere in Manas I think.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

Malachakla March 29, 2005 at 12:11 am

Hmm.. while we’re on the subject of his eyebrows…
Look here and at the last link in the link list for the link about Askar… lol

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