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Russia tightens hold on Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK -- As the U.S. prepares to close its sole military base in Central Asia in July, Russia is making sure the Americans won't be coming back.

     Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft inked a preliminary deal Feb. 19 with the Kyrgyz government to invest up to $1 billion for a stake of at least 51% in Manas International Airport, which is both Kyrgyzstan's main international gateway and home to the U.S. base used to support NATO operations in Afghanistan. The investment, Rosneft said, is "aimed at the creation of a large-scale international logistics hub," although the company is not experienced in that area.

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