Expert Korganbaev comments on Bishkek’s plans to purchase military equipment and weapons

According to the interlocutor of the editorial staff, Russia, not Turkey, is the more perspective supplier.

Recently, Kyrgyzstan has purchased 40 armoured military vehicles from the United Arab Emirates to strengthen the Border Guard Service. The leadership of the Republic also informed about the purchase of Turkish-made Bayraktar combat aerial vehicles and Russian-made Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles.

Speaking at the handover ceremony of armoured vehicles on October 21, President Sadyr Japarov said an inventory of military equipment of the Armed Forces of Kyrgyzstan would be completed by the spring of 2022, and out-of-service equipment would be replaced. requested that the well-known Kyrgyz expert Mederbek Korganbaev comment on the authorities’ plans to re-equip the law enforcement agencies.

How do you assess the actions taken by official Bishkek to strengthen border management and defence capabilities of the country? Will the purchase of armoured vehicles and drones address the border security issues of Kyrgyzstan?

We must admit that the purchase of armoured vehicles and drones through its own resources is commendable. Modern armed conflicts are not without light armoured vehicles. These also include armoured medical vehicles. This kind of weaponized vehicles with machine guns is effective and highly manoeuvrable. However, any equipment has its own margin of safety and limits of the use.

In my opinion, 40 armoured vehicles cannot ensure fully the inviolability of our borders; they are unable to confront army vehicles. To enhance the military capabilities of its border troops, Kyrgyzstan needs, first of all, to set up armoured, machine-gun artillery and helicopter regiments, mobile electronic warfare and communications stations and air defence forces.

Probably, the terrain features, where the vehicles will be used, play its role.

When providing military logistics support to the border troops and army regiments, the geography, military-political contacts, climate conditions and terrain features of the Republic need to be taken into account. Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country, and Russian weapons can be more effective here. I’m talking about BMP-3, BTR-82, small arms, helicopters and artillery. All of the above Russian military equipment is exported all over the world and has undergone combat testing in the North Caucasus, Syria and Africa. By the way, the Americans bought Russian helicopters for the Iraqi and Afghan armies.

Does joint participation in the CSTO speak in favour of purchasing weapons from Russia?

Kyrgyzstan is a CSTO member and a strategic partner of Russia. Official Bishkek is well placed within the CSTO and the strategic alliance with the Russian Federation to purchase Russian-made military equipment and weapons at a discounted price. These weapons and ammunition can be delivered from Russia to Kyrgyzstan by rail and by air.

If the Republic is determined to establish the combat-ready border troops and army, it needs to take comprehensive efforts for rearmament and equipment and use allied relations within the CSTO to do this. Buying weapons and equipment in the Emirates and Turkey, paying for delivery, and then creating infrastructure in Kyrgyzstan to service these weapons require colossal funding. Before starting to supply weapons to Kyrgyzstan, Turkey may impose political conditions to our authorities, such as the extradition of Gulen’s supporters and the termination of the activities of educational institutions of the Sapat network in Kyrgyzstan. Therefore, military-technical cooperation with the CSTO member states – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is advantageous for Bishkek from the economic and geopolitical points of view. Through the effective work of the Government and the political will of the leadership of the Republic, official Bishkek has a chance to receive weapons from Moscow at discounted prices and free of charge, as it was during the presidency of Atambayev.

Is the situation in Afghanistan linked to the decision to purchase weapons?

Today, Tajikistan is deriving maximum benefit from the current situation in Afghanistan, receiving military assistance from different countries and building up its military potential. It is also important for Kyrgyzstan to take advantage of the current situation in Central Asia and strengthen its defence potential. Kyrgyzstan has every opportunity to produce drones by itself. This is a better option than buying drones overseas for millions of dollars.

Do you think the Republic is capable of building up its own productive capacity to produce UAVs?

Certainly. An UAV factory, located in the south of Kyrgyzstan, say in Osh Region, will be able to meet the needs of the Border Guard Service, the armed forces, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is in the southern part of our country that border conflicts are taking place, and the location of a UAV factory in the south will allow the Border Service, military units and law enforcement agencies to address promptly the issues of repair, modernization and logistics of drones. From a security point of view, the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan are the Achilles’ heel. The security forces, army units and border guards serving on the border with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan need to be reinforced. As I said earlier, drones and armoured vehicles are just elements of defence; consistent efforts for rearmament and logistics are required.

What other countries, besides the CSTO member states, can help Kyrgyzstan with weapons and military equipment?

China. Beijing needs stability in Central Asia, and the Chinese are ready to spend money on military-technical cooperation with Kyrgyzstan. I believe that the Chinese, like the Russians, are ready to help Bishkek, but only if the Republic pursues a sound foreign policy, provoking no clashes with neighbours.

27 окт 2021, 08:07
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