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The Kyrgyz president elect keeps the promises given to Moscow

November 18, 2011, 12:00 UTC+3

30 million dollars in Russia is far from all that Bishkek can hope for

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MOSCOW, November 18 (Itar-Tass) — The joint venture subordinate to Gazprom launched fuel supplies to the airbase at the Bishkek airport on Thursday. This is the first commitment, which Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev gave in Moscow. Atambayev won the presidential elections with Russia’s support in October. The Kommersant learnt that the countries will begin fulfilling other agreements soon. Bishkek expects a credit on easy terms at 30 million dollars and another credit of about 256 million dollars from the EurAsEC anti-crisis fund soon. In return Russia hopes to deploy a military base in Kyrgyzstan and to acquire the control over Kyrgyzgaz and the torpedo-making plant Dastan and the most important thing is to oust the US airbase from Kyrgyzstan. Finally Bishkek will turn into the closest Russian ally in the former Soviet republics, the newspaper noted.

The Russian-Kyrgyz joint venture Gazpromneft-Aero Kyrgyzstan launched fuel supplies to the US airbase at the Bishkek airport on Thursday, the republican government reported. In next three months the company will meet 20% of fuel demand at the airbase (360,000 tonnes annually) and in February 2012 may increase its share to 50%. So, Bishkek finally fulfilled its agreement with Moscow reached back in March.

“This is only the first portent. Russia gave support to Atambayev that now our relations with Kyrgyzstan should be settled and Bishkek will do all that Kurmanbek Bakiyev pledged,” a source in the Russian government said. A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry described the relations with new Bishkek authorities as “a starting honeymoon.” “They promised much to us. We also promised them something. We will begin to fulfil our agreements soon,” the diplomat said.

New Kyrgyz authorities expect from Russia primarily new credit resources, which are badly needed for the economy, which is weakened by the consequences of the last year’s revolution and lootings in Osh. According to the Kommersant sources in the Russian government, the country can get a credit to fulfil budget liabilities at 30 million dollars.

However, 30 million dollars in Russia is far from all that Bishkek can hope for. Deputy Chairman of the Eurasian Bank of Development Board Sergei Shatalov, which is a managing director of the EurAsEC anti-crisis fund, said a year ago that the country bid for a credit from the EurAsEC anti-crisis fund for the budget support and financing of country’s restoration. The Eurasian Bank of Development did not disclose the sum of Bishkek’s bid for credit, but the country can claim for a total of 255.39 million dollars. If the credit is approved Kyrgyzstan will get it on very easy terms.

In exchange for financial resources Moscow expects the pledges to be fulfilled. Bishkek gave these pledges back under Kurmanbek Bakiyev. First, this is the creation of a united military base. The country has five Russian military facilities, the terms of deployment for which are regulated by various documents. Moscow is seeking to merge them in one facility, which will be deployed in Kyrgyzstan gratis for 49 years with a probable extension of 25 years.

Meanwhile, Russia demands to take 49% of stock in the Dastan plant, which produces the torpedoes VA-111 Shkval, the Russian trade mission in Bishkek in exchange for the debt written off at 180 million dollars. Finally Gazprom intends to buy 75% of Kyrgyzgaz’s stock and Russian state-run companies – contracts for the construction of hydropower plants. Russia’s main intention is to shut down the international centre of transit supplies at the Bishkek airport Manas, where the last US airbase in Central Asia is located.

Almazbek Atambayev confirmed most pledges back in March, Kommersant sources said in the Kyrgyz government. Russian officials said that after this Moscow will decide finally to stake on him. Judging by first steps Almazbek Atambayev intends to keep his part of pledges. He already stated that the US airbase should be withdrawn after 2014. A transit civil centre involving Russia, the United States and other countries should be opened instead of the military base.


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