Russia Wants to Help US on Afghanistan: Medvedev

But fate of US air base in Kyrgyzstan remains unknown
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2009 3:24 PM CST
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, center, followed by Uzbek President Islam Karimov, background left, and Belarus President Alexander Lukahenko meet today in Moscow.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today offered “full-fledged” cooperation with the US in the fight against terrorism, the AP reports, one day after Kyrgyzstan said it would close a base crucial to American-led operations in Afghanistan. It was unclear if Russia might propose concessions in return for continued access to the Manas air base or if Medvedev was merely trying to soothe Washington.

Medvedev also warned that the fight against terrorism was a political as well as military struggle: “It’s not the number of bases that matters. The fight against terrorism is not limited to building up military forces. It is necessary to form a full-fledged political system, keeping in mind cultural and historic traditions. Democracy cannot be forced upon a country. It must grow from within,” he said.