Skip to main content

Kyrgyzstan: Who Got Bakiyev to Run?

http://www.oilandglory.com/

Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the ousted president of Kyrgyzstan, is on the run. But where? And what role did foreign leaders truly play in his decision to flee in what was depicted as a heroic effort to prevent civil war?


We already know that one possible destination is Belarus, where President Alexander Lukashenko says
betrayal is loathsome, and that Bakiyev is welcome to a respectful reception in Minsk. I am told that two other options are Latvia, whose businessmen Bakiyev permitted lucrative control of Bishkek banks in partnership with his son, Maksim; and Turkey, which simply likes to be in the regional political mix.

Bakiyev’s embarrassing search for sanctuary validates
a suggestion a couple of weeks ago by former Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev, whom Bakiyev helped to oust five years ago. I last saw Akayev standing without bodyguards shaking hands in the audience of an opera in Moscow, where he had found refuge, but he said that Bakiyev had irritated so many people that he would find no safe home anywhere in the immediate region.

Moscow gave credit for Bakiyev’s departure to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who spoke with Bakiyev by phone last Wednesday. In an alternate version, Kazakhstan’s minister for foreign affairs, Kanat Saudabayev, last week
circulated a statement asserting that Bakiyev’s departure was the joint work of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and U.S. President Barack Obama.

I’ve been told by a U.S. official briefed on what happened that Nazarbayev collared Obama at a diplomatic reception at the Washington Convention Center during last week’s nuclear summit. The discussion turned to Kyrgyzstan, and Nazarbayev said, “Let’s get Dmitry in on this.” Nazarbayev proceeded to describe how he and Medvedev had decided together that Bakiyev's continued presence in Kyrgyzstan could lead to further violence, and that he -- Nazarbayev -- telephoned Bakiyev to say so. Nazarbayev suggested that he had offered Bakiyev a welcome in Kazakhstan. “Obama said, ‘Go for it,’” this official said.

The description is
reminiscent of the role played by then-U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt in the 1986 flight of Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos aboard U.S. aircraft to sanctuary in Hawaii. In the midst of a popular revolt known as “people’s power,” Laxalt precipitated Marcos’s agreement to board a U.S. helicopter at Malacanang Palace with a phone call in which he is said to have advised the U.S. ally, “Cut and cut cleanly.”

A couple of observations: One notes that there is considerable evidence for a Putin voice, as
Andrew Kramer writes in today’s New York Times, since he caught all the region’s leaders flat-footed by immediately granting recognition to the new Kyrgyz government while Washington was still figuring out whether Roza Otunbayeva – the former ambassador to the U.S. – deserved its support. One imagines that, while the Obama-Medvedev-Nazarbayev exchange did occur, Putin’s voice was importantly in the mix as well.

Whatever the case, last Thursday, Bakiyev
boarded a turbo prop plane for Kazakhstan. One wonders whether he understood at the time that the Kazakh sanctuary was only temporary, in the same way that Marcos apparently was led to believe that he was traveling not to Hawaii, but to his native province of Ilocos Norte, where he planned to mount a rear-guard action.

There are critics who believe that Nazarbayev acted slowly and, as chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, could have done more. Sam Patten, who runs the former Soviet Union program at
Freedom House, a New York-based group that backs democracy groups abroad, says Nazarbayev could have dispatched OSCE monitors, and instead left it to others such as Putin to take the early diplomatic lead. “The machinery of OSCE could have helped in many other ways, but one very much gets the sense he chose not to use it in his own backyard,” Patten said in an email exchange.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Pakistani firm whose chemicals were used to kill US troops seeks subsidy for Indiana plant

By Jennifer Griffin, Justin Fishel
Published March 22, 2013


A Pakistani fertilizer maker whose chemicals have been used in 80 percent of the roadside bombs that have killed and maimed American troops in Afghanistan is now seeking U.S. taxpayer subsidies in order to open a factory in Indiana. 
The request appears to be on hold pending further review, but the situation has stirred outrage in Congress, where some accuse the Pakistani government of halting efforts to clamp down on the bomb-making. 
For the past seven years, the U.S. government has known that the raw material calcium ammonium nitrate, or CAN, is making its way across the border into Afghanistan where the Taliban use it to fuel their most deadly weapons, namely the improvised explosive device. IEDs have long been the number one killer of U.S. and coalition troops. 
The material largely comes from Pakistani fertilizer maker the Fatima Group. But the Pakistani government has stymied attempts by the Pentagon to stop the flow of the…

Menon meets Karzai, discusses security of Indians

Kabul/New Delhi/Washington, March 5 (IANS) India Friday said that the Feb 26 terror attack in Kabul will not deter it from helping rebuild Afghanistan as National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon met Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to review the security of around 4,000 Indians working in that country.

Menon, who arrived here Friday morning on a two-day visit, discussed with Karzai some proposals to bolster security of Indians engaged in a wide array of reconstruction activities, ranging from building roads, bridges and power stations to social sector projects.

The Indian government is contemplating a slew of steps to secure Indians in Afghanistan, including setting up protected venues where the Indians working on various reconstruction projects will be based. Deploying dedicated security personnel at places where Indians work is also being considered.

Menon also met his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta and enquired about the progress in the probe into the Kabul attack in…

Revathi from Karnataka got selected in Civil Services

Miss. Revathi from Karnataka got selected in the civil services became IAS. Above is the picture of her house. She is the role model for everyone. Let's congratulate her.