Kyrgyz leader asks for Putin’s help in border dispute

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Kyrgyz president Sadyr Japarov has asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to help resolve a border dispute with Tajikistan, a month after clashes between the Central Asian countries, state-media reported Monday citing a senior security official.

“Our president appealed to Putin and asked for Russia’s help,” the national security committee’s deputy chairman Marat Imankulov said on state-run radio, explaining “it is difficult for both parties to come to an agreement.”

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Parts of the 970-kilometer (600-mile) border between the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been contested since the end of the Soviet Union, leading to regular clashes.

Fighting last month in the southern Kyrgyz region of Batken, bordering Tajikistan, left around a hundred dead according to authorities from both sides.

“This problem broke out because issues of delimitation and demarcation were not settled at the time” of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Imankulov said.

“Russia is the successor to the USSR, so archive documents and maps are in Moscow,” he added.

Both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are members of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, a regional military alliance.

Putin, Japarov and their Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon met on the sidelines of a regional summit in Astana on October 13.

At the time Putin said Russia “did not pretend to play the role of mediator” but would “look at documents and maps” to “look for a solution.”

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