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Kyrgyzstan seeks to strengthen cooperation with RF – first vice-premier

October 29, 2011, 22:49 UTC+3

"Russia is the first economic partner of Kyrgyzstan. It shows interest in the most promising fields, in particular in the energy sector" - Prime Minister Babanov

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BISHKEK, October 29 (Itar-Tass) — Kyrgyzstan will strengthen cooperation with Russia, acting Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov said.

This process is inevitable and it will continue, the first vice-prime minister said. “The whole system of trade and economic partnership with Russia is that cooperation will intensify. Our accession to the Customs Union will speed up these processes,” Babanov said.

In his view, the big potential of Kyrgyz-Russian relations will play a considerable role in this aspect. “Russia is now showing interest in the construction of major hydroelectric power stations in the republic and search for oil and gas fields. If our measures are implemented, we will have an opportunity to receive crude hydrocarbons,” Babanov stressed.

He noted that Russia also showed interest in Kyrgyz military-industrial enterprises, which “were famous of their products in the Soviet Union times”. “We will know this and we are always ready to make advances,” the acting prime minister said. “I want to say the implementation of joint projects is recorded in the medium-term programme of cooperation. We want to make it clear that we are ready for cooperation. Unlike our predecessors, we are not going to deceive anyone or play double.”

According to Babakov, the earlier reached agreements on several projects with Russia have not been realised yet due to Kyrgyzstan’s fault. “Now it is not a secret that the reasons for the delay are explained by the policy of the previous leadership,” he said.

Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy priority – to strengthen cooperation with Russia – remains unchanged regardless who will be president and prime minister of the republic, the acting prime minister told Itar-Tass.

“I believe that regardless who will be president and prime minister of the country, the foreign policy priority remains unchanged – we seek to strengthen cooperation with Russia,” Babanov said.

In his words, “I reiterated that Russia was our strategic partner. We will live in peace and security with our neighbours and build good-neighbourly relations with them.”

At the same time, the acting prime minister said Kyrgyzstan continued to develop mutually advantageous trade and economic relations with other states. “Everyone understands well that cooperation with the Russian Federation will develop further irrespective who will be elected the republic’s president at the upcoming October 30 presidential elections and who will be appointed Kyrgyzstan’s prime minister,” the Kyrgyz vice-prime minister stressed.

In addition, Babanov said Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Customs Union would make it possible to increase manifold trade and economic cooperation with Russia.

“Russia is the first economic partner of Kyrgyzstan. At present, it shows interest in the most promising fields, in particular in the energy sector. The three-year programme signed by the heads of government of our countries proves this,” Babanov said.

In his words, “under the programme, the parties intend to build more hydroelectric powers plants and develop the oil and gas sector of Kyrgyzstan. We are also actively discussing the development of military-technical cooperation.”

“As of today Russia supplies 95 percent of all oil products. After Russia lifts duties on lubricants this year, their consumers buy fuel on privilege prices,” the acting prime minister stressed.

Thus, “the burden has been lowered from ordinary people and the budget organisations”, he said. According to Babanov, totally it reaches about 350 million U.S. dollars. “Finally, all this has a positive impact on the product cost that is why I want to assure you that we’ve always felt the support from Russia,” the Kyrgyz acting prime minister pointed out.

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