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Russia fears ‘difficulties’ in Kyrgyzstan after poll

Russia fears “difficulties” in Kyrgyzstan after five political parties won seats in elections for the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

In Russia’s first public reaction to the parliamentary polls in the former Soviet republic, Lavrov also said the elections had taken place without “serious destabilising factors” as he expressed his country’s readiness to work with the new government.

Following parliamentary polls on Suday, nationalists unexpectedly emerged as the strongest force, and two of the top three winning parties — Ata-Zhurt and Ar-Namys — have vowed to roll back recent constitutional changes and restore a presidential system.

“An abrupt shift to a parliamentary model can create difficulties,” Lavrov said.

Russia has repeatedly warned that Kyrgyzstan’s recent shift to a parliamentary model could spell disaster for the Central Asian nation that was shaken by inter-ethnic violence earlier this year.

“The elections have taken place. Now some difficult work to form a coalition in the parliament lies ahead,” Lavrov told reporters in televised remarks.

At least three parties are needed to form a coalition.

He added Russia would be happy if Kyrgyzstan manages to avoid difficulties in its state-building and said the Kremlin looked forward to working with the new government.

Ar-Namys party of former prime minister Felix Kulov is considered to be Kremlin’s favourite.

Kulov, who supports a return to a presidential model, was the only candidate who has been granted a one-on-one meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev ahead of the polls.

“If they manage to avoid complications, we will only be happy,” Lavrov said. “In this case as soon as the new Kyrgyz government is formed we will be ready to develop very close ties with it.”