Bakiyev blames Russia for overthrow

Deposed Kyrgyz president says decision to keep US air base open angered Moscow.

    Roza Otunbayeva, Kyrgyzstan's interim leader, has said the US base agreement will be preserved [AFP]

    The ousted president said on Friday that he did not believe he would ever return to his country as the head of state.

    "I do not expect to return to Kyrgyzstan as president ... [and] I am not going to form a government-in-exile," Bakiyev said.

    He admitted that he had signed a hand-written resignation letter but said he had been "under pressure" and the Kyrgyz parliament had yet to decide whether to accept it.

    Russian influence

    Bakiyev did not indicate from where the pressure had come, however his sudden departure came a day after he had held telephone talks with Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister.

    in depth


      Profile: Roza Otunbayeva
      Interview: Kurmanbek Bakiyev
      People&Power: Revolution gone wrong


      Inside Story
      Russia's growing influence
      Behind Kyrgyzstan's unrest


      Ousted Kyrgyz leader seeks UN help
      Kyrgyzstan mourns victims of unrest
      Kyrgyz citizens look for land
      Bakiyev calls for protest probe

    Roots of Kyrgyz uprising persist


    Interview: Roza Otunbayeva

    Commenting on their conversation, Bakiyev said: "Putin said he could not reproach me for using arms but if a civil war broke out it would be my responsibility entirely."

    Moscow has long been a powerbroker in the ex-Soviet state and Bakiyev said Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, and Putin were unhappy at his decision to allow the US military to continue using the Manas air base.

    "They told me 'this annoys us'," Bakiyev said.

    "I asked 'why does this annoy you. There is is no threat to your strategic position'."

    Russia and the US both operate military bases in Kyrgyzstan, and the unrest has already disrupted operations at the US base.

    Roza Otunbayeva, Kyrgyzstan's self-declared interim leader, has said the base agreement will be preserved, although she has said there are some outstanding questions.

    Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said on Thursday that the US saw no problems with the Manas base deal and that the new Kyrgyz leadership had given assurances to Washington regarding future use of the air base.

    Since taking power, the interim government has struggled to impose its authority, with ethnic unrest erupting outside the capital, Bishkek.

    Parliamentary elections are set for for October 10, with the potential for presidential polls on the same date.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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