Russia, Belarus uphold stability in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz authorities must stabilize the country's situation by themselves, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during his visit to Belarus on Tuesday.

Speaking to his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Martynov, Lavrov stressed normalization of the situation in Kyrgyzstan was needed to conduct a "transparent referendum," the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

"Minsk has no special attitude to Kyrgyzstan nor to its former president (Kurmanbek) Bakiyev," Martynov said. "Belarus invited him out of human and humanitarian motivation."

He added that Belarus, Russia and other member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) "are interested in sooner stabilization and legitimization of Kyrgyz new authorities."

The death toll from violence in southern Kyrgyzstan had risen to 214, with 2,137 others injured, the Kyrgyz Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The latest ethnic violence broke out in mid-June in the southern major city of Osh and later spread to Jalalabad.

Bakiyev, who was ousted amid riots in April, fled to Belarus. The Kyrgyz interim government scheduled a referendum on the new constitution on June 27 and parliamentary elections in October.

However, the two top diplomats did not touch upon the gas row between Moscow and Minsk during their meeting, said RIA Novosti.


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