Kyrgyz president and unconfirmed PM meet Kremlin official

FILE PHOTO – Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbai Jeenbekov speaks after a vote at a parliamentary elections in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan October 4, 2020. Sultan Dosaliev/Kyrgyz Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS/File Picture

BISHKEK (Reuters) – Kyrgyzstan’s president and the man awaiting confirmation as prime minister have held talks with a senior official from key ally Russia following unrest over a contested election in the Central Asian state.

President Sooronbai Jeenbekov’s office gave no further details of the talks with Dmitry Kozak, deputy head of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin administration, but said he had visited Kyrgyzstan on Monday.

Sadyr Zhaparov, a nationalist politician who has been named prime minister by parliament but has not yet been confirmed in office by Jeenbekov, also attended the meeting, it said.

Kyrgyzstan hosts a Russian military airbase and has close economic ties with Moscow, which dominated the former Soviet republic of 6.5 million for decades.

Moscow described the situation in Kyrgyzstan as a mess and chaos after street protests broke out over a parliamentary election on Oct. 4 which handed victory to two establishment parties, one of them closely allied with Jeenbekov.

Jeenbekov has halted the protests and clashes by declaring a state of emergency and deploying troops in the capital, Bishkek. But the government has been toppled and the president said last week he was ready to resign once a new prime minister was named.

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted last week to name Zhaparov as prime minister after he was freed from prison by supporters during the unrest, but he cannot take office until Jeenbekov has confirmed his appointment.

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