18 Oct 2017 12:00

Nazarbayev not involved in attempts to isolate Kyrgyzstan from Russia - Atambayev

BISHKEK. Oct 18 (Interfax) - Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has admitted he was wrong about Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and accused Kazakh tycoons of an anti-Bishkek policy.

"Perhaps, I was wrong when I spoke emotionally about the president of Kazakhstan. He is as trusting a person as I am," Atambayev said while awarding presidential scholarships on Wednesday.

In his opinion, the ongoing situation on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border aims to isolate Kyrgyzstan from Russia.

"Kyrgyzstan is actually being isolated from Russia. I think the Kazakh president is not even aware of that. Much like any president, he trusts his entourage, but this entourage is made up of tycoons who think of their own future, rather than Kazakhstan and Nazarbayev," Atambayev said.

The presidential election held in Kyrgyzstan on October 15 "vividly demonstrated that tycoons of Kazakhstan, human rights activists [in Kyrgyzstan], and agents of influence sponsored from the United States pooled efforts to promote their candidate," he said.

"Mike McFaul, who used to be the U.S. ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Russia a few years ago, said it was bad that we [Kyrgyzstan] elected Jeenbekov, he said it was bad for democracy. Would it be better if we had voted for proteges of the tycoons and the U.S. Department of State? The United States does not care about democracy in Kyrgyzstan and our region," Atambayev said.

"It is easy to lose independence; it may be taken away for money," he said. "I saw a man being forced upon Kyrgyzstan in the recent presidential election. He would not have worked for the benefit of the republic but was a very charismatic sweet-talker with beautiful eyes, for which many people fell. [...] But Satan always poses as a wonderful person," Atambayev said.

"We should live in peace with our neighbors, but we should protect our independence as well. Presidents come and go, but peoples stay," he said.