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Kyrgyz parliament okays deal to sell 100 percent stake in Kyrgyzgaz to Gazprom

December 11, 2013, 15:53 UTC+3 BISHKEK
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BISHKEK, December 11, 15:18 /ITAR-TASS/. Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has approved by a majority of votes an agreement to sell a 100 percent stake in debt-ridden state-run company Kyrgyzgaz to Russia’s gas giant Gazprom for one dollar, the parliament’s press service told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“Seventy-eight of the 120 parliamentarians voted for the agreement,” the press service said.

The two sides sealed the intergovernmental deal in Moscow in late July. Under the agreement Gazprom gets for one dollar a controlling stake in Kyrgyzgaz, including 8 percent owned by the Social Fund of Kyrgyzstan and individuals. All shareholders will be paid compensations.

Aside from buying assets of Kyrgyzgaz the Russian monopoly will pay off the gas company’s debts that, according to different estimates, total between $30 million to $50 million.

The Kyrgyz government hopes that after Gazprom enters the republic’s market it will inject around $655 million into a gas distribution system and geological surveys in the Central Asian country, including the construction of gas pipelines to Kyrgyzstan’s three regions.

Moreover, Kyrgyzstan hopes that Gazprom will ensure nonstop gas supplies to consumers, who usually face gas cuts in autumn and winter.

This has already been the Kyrgyz parliament’s second attempt to ratify the intergovernmental agreement with Russia. Several days ago it was approved in the first reading taking into account parliamentarians’ recommendations. Some deputies doubted rationality of handing over Kyrgyzgaz-owned land plots to Gazprom.

“We need a strategic investor that will be able to boost our gas industry,” Kyrgyz First Deputy Prime Minister Dzhoomart Otorbayev told a parliamentary session on Wednesday. “There is no alternative to Russia’s Gazprom.

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