Bakiyev Set to stay in Belarus
Deposed Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has announced that he will not return to the Central Asian country and will rather make himself useful in Belarus.
Speaking in an interview with Russia`s RIA Novosti news agency in Minsk, Mr. Bakiyev expressed gratitude to Alyaksandr Lukashenka for offering him refuge in Belarus. "I want not just to live here but will try to be useful to the Belarusian country, the Belarusian president, the Belarusian people," he was quoted as saying.
The 60-year-old, who has been in exile in Belarus after being overthrown in a violent uprising in April, said that he did not know what job he would take in Belarus. He said that over his five-year rule he had gained a massive experience of managerial work that no education could match.
Mr. Bakiyev, who is wanted by Kyrgyzstan`s interim government on charges related to gunfire on a crowd of protesters that left more than 80 people dead, said that he would not go back to the country in order not to aggravate tensions amid continuing clashes between his supporters and backers of the interim government.
He dismissed as "baseless" the accusations of sanctioning the bloody crackdown on protesters and suggested that the interim authorities should take the blame for the deadly violence. "If there`s a normal investigation, a normal international trial, the entire blame would be put on them. I am absolutely certain of this," he was quoted as saying.
Mr. Bakiyev denied any link to the unrest that has flared in parts of the country since his departure. "I have neither direct nor indirect involvement with what is going on in Kyrgyzstan," he said.
The ousted Kyrgyz leader said that he did not recognize the country`s interim government, describing its decisions as illegal, and attacked international organizations for failure to condemn the uprising.
"If this precedent does not get a normal international legal assessment, this may happen in any other country on the territory of the CIS," he warned.
Kyrgyzstan`s interim authorities have urged Minsk to extradite Mr. Bakiyev.
However, Alyaksandr Lukashenka has offered support to the ousted president throughout the crisis and said earlier this month that he would not surrender him to Bishkek. "I want to immediately declare officially: such an appeal would be hopeless and humiliating for the interim government [in Kyrgyzstan]," he said. "The president of Kyrgyzstan is under the protection of the Belarusian state and its president."