When hostilities broke out along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border at the end of April, many countries and organizations were quick to call for an end to the fighting and a peaceful resolution to the long-running border conflict, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on May 10.

No one wanted to openly side with either Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan, let alone comment on the violence that left more than 50 people dead.

But in the days following an agreement between Kyrgyz and Tajik officials that halted the fighting, there have been hints of the positions of some leaders through their statements and actions.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon was fortunate to have accepted an invitation months ago to make an official visit to Moscow for the May 9 Victory Day celebrations.  Rahmon was the only head of state to attend the Moscow ceremonies but the trip allowed him an opportunity to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 8 and again the next day during the parade on Red Square.

Reports on the meetings of the two presidents did not mention any discussion of the April 28-30 fighting on the border, though Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said days earlier it would be on the agenda, and Putin had offered on April 30 to act as a mediator in the conflict.

Putin's comments were interesting, as they seemed to indirectly address the problem between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, according to RFE/RL.

The topic of Russia's bases in Tajikistan, where Russia's 201st Division has been stationed since shortly after the end of World War II, is a perennial whenever Putin and Rahmon meet and with U.S. and other foreign forces withdrawing from Afghanistan. Putin said Russia would "work on strengthening [the bases] and on strengthening the armed forces of Tajikistan."

The part about strengthening Tajikistan's military was certainly noticed in Kyrgyzstan, even if Putin said the strengthening was needed because of increased fighting in Afghanistan.  Though both sides in the border fighting took substantial losses, the casualty figures show that Kyrgyz took a worse beating in the fighting with the Tajiks.