BISHKEK, July 22. /TASS/. A decision of the US Department of State to present a Kyrgyz citizen, Azimjan Askarov, with the 2014 Human Rights Defender Award have made Bishkek doubt whether the US partners’ activities are constructive, Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry said in a commentary issued on Wednesday.
"An award to Askarov, who was sentenced by all republican judicial instances for inciting inter-ethnic hatred, for organization of mass riots and for involvement in the murder of a law enforcer during tragic events in June 2010, has brought into question the fact that bilateral cooperation between the two nations is constructive and equal," the ministry said in the context of the government’s decision to denounce the cooperation agreement with the US.
Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry has viewed Askarov’s award as "a factor aimed to undermine the process strengthening the people’s unity and accord inside the country."
"It was not Kyrgyzstan’s initiative to do serious harm to bilateral relations," the commentary said.
At the same time, the Foreign Ministry expressed hope that in the future the cooperation with the United States would be developing "on a basis of mutual respect and also constructively."
In June 2010 Askarov was sentenced to life imprisonment for organising and participating in mass riots in southern Kyrgyzstan, when 442 people were killed and nearly one thousand injured during a few days of clashes.
In response to Askarov’s award, Kyrgyzstan’s government has unilaterally renounced the 1993 treaty with the United States on encouragement and reciprocal protection of investment.
The treaty stipulated duty-free imports of the goods meant for implementation of various US programs. Besides, the staff members engaged in these programmes were not liable to any taxes or other fees.