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Russia, Kyrgyzstan seek stronger energy cooperation

December 17, 2013, 10:17 UTC+3 BISHKEK
1 pages in this article

BISHKEK, December 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Bishkek will host the sixteenth meeting of the Russian-Kyrgyz intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical and humanitarian cooperation on Tuesday.

Delegates to the meeting will consider promising areas of interaction, the press service of the Central Asian republic’s government told Itar-Tass.

“The meeting will discuss cooperation in the fuel and energy complex, oil and gas industry, manufacturing industry, transport, migration, healthcare, culture, education and science,” the press service said.

At the talks the Kyrgyz delegation will be led by Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev and the Russian delegation - by head of the Federal Customs Service Andrei Belyaninov.

“The two sides plan to sign a protocol that will reflect most promising areas of partnership and will draw out plans for the upcoming period,” the press service said.

The two countries’ cooperation enhanced after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Kyrgyzstan last year, when a range of bilateral agreements, in particular on Gazprom’s buying a controlling stake in Kyrgyzgaz for one dollar, was signed.

“Now many people speak of a one-dollar deal,” Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev. “But nobody says that thus we have resolved the problem of non-stop gas supply to our country at a lower price.”

The president estimated the deal at $655 million, as the Russian gas giant plans to inject such funds into modernization of Kyrgyzstan’s gas distribution infrastructure and start geological surveying on its territory.

Kyrgyzstan and Russia also agreed to implement two large-scale hydropower projects — on a parity basis to start the construction of a cascade of four hydropower plants in the upper reaches of the Naryn River and Kambar-Ata-1 hydropower plant.

The project’s implementation will start next spring. “The project’s launch is delayed through Kyrgyzstan’s fault, as we have not yet allocated land plots for the construction of the plant and infrastructure facilities,” Atambayev said.

According to official estimates, last year’s trade between the two countries reached almost $2 billion. Russia is Kyrgyzstan’s biggest trade and economic partner.

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