Dirty Tricks

AFP is reporting that the Kremlin is feeling pretty angry about getting scammed out of $2 billion to have have Kyrgyzstan close the Manas airbase to U.S. access.

“The news about the preservation of the base was an extremely unpleasant surprise for us. We did not anticipate such a dirty trick,” the foreign ministry source told Kommersant.

The source said that Russia would give a “corresponding response” and dismissed the base’s new description as a “transit centre”, saying that Manas would essentially remain a US military base.

“Renaming the base a centre is a cosmetic alteration. The real nature of the US military presence in Central Asia has not changed, which goes against the interests of Russia and our agreements with the Kyrgyz government.”

The comments were much harsher than Russia’s official reaction, which said Kyrgyzstan had the “sovereign right” to make such a decision.