An ability to please Russia may determine whether the new leader of Kyrgyzstan’s interim government becomes the next president.
Ms. Otunbayeva has said that the US can continue using the base at Manas but a senior Russian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, made clear yesterday that the Kremlin expected her to close it. He said that Mr Bakiyev had broken a promise to expel the Americans, adding: “In Kyrgyzstan there should be only one base — Russian.”
If US officials thought, for one second, that there was a possibility of this base being permanent, they were severely deluded.
Of course, the fact that we had supported a tyrant in the form of Bakiyev to get the deal for the base in the first place didn't do anything to support the US's alleged reputation for standing on the side of human rights and human dignity here, and the people of this country understand that completely.