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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin-Akayev Treaty

MOSCOW -- Sealing a close relationship, President Vladimir Putin and Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akayev signed a 10-year economic treaty Thursday underlining a shared interest in Russian influence in Central Asia.

"A strong and flourishing Russia will be the guarantee of peace and stability in post-Soviet territory," Akayev was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass.

He called his visit to Moscow and the treaty "a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the strategic partnership."

The treaty calls for increased cooperation in the fields of fuel and energy, machine-building and light industry, as well as military-technical cooperation.

Putin said, "We have established pragmatic relations in defense of the interests of our states," Itar-Tass reported.

Underlying the upbeat tone was mutual interest: Kyrgyzstan wants Russia's help in boosting its economy and fighting insurgencies. Moscow, meanwhile, seeks to regain regional clout lost since the Soviet collapse, which gave independence to Kyrgyzstan.