News Briefs – March 1, 2017

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Putin says Russia could close military base in Kyrgyzstan

President Vladimir Putin says Russia will close its military base in Kyrgyzstan if the government of the Central Asian nation asks it to.
Putin was speaking Feb. 28 in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, as part of a Central Asian tour. The Kyrgyz president said in December that the base should close when the lease runs out at the end of this year.
Putin said on Tuesday at a joint press conference with his Kyrgyz counterpart that the only reason for stationing Russian troops there is “ensuring security in Kyrgyzstan itself.” He said the Russian military “will leave on the same day” that Kyrgyzstan requests it.
Kyrgyzstan borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The U.S. operated an air base there chiefly for its military operations in Afghanistan until it was handed to the Kyrgyz military in 2014 at Kyrgyzstan’s request. AP
 

Navy is considering how to dispose of first nuclear carrier

The U.S. Navy is still deciding on how it will dispose of its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
The Daily Press in Newport News, Va., reports that nuclear-powered warships are typically recycled at a naval shipyard in Washington State. But there is currently limited space and manpower at that facility.
The Navy is considering using commercial firms to dismantle parts of the ship or all of the USS Enterprise.
A big question is whether disposal of its reactor and nuclear space would be handled by the Navy or a private company. The nuclear section would eventually be disposed of at a Department of Energy site.
The ship may also be placed in storage for a number of years. The recently decommissioned ship is sitting in dry dock in Newport News. AP