20 november 2017

Central Asia news

Kyrgyzstan complains about Kazakhstan to trade organisations

17.10.2017 22:45 msk

Ferghana


The Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan complained to the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECE) and the secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) about strengthening of control by Kazakhstan on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border.


Queue on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border: people are waiting for the inspection to move to the Kazakh side. 13 October 2017. Photo by Azattyk

The statement in the ECE pronounces that the additional control at all border crossing points is contrary to the basic principles and objectives of the agreement on the EEA (the Eurasian Economic Union). Kazakhstan limits the freedom of movement of goods thereby violating one of the basic principles of the unified market of the EAEC, the Kyrgyz government believes.

Before, according to the State Border Service of Kyrgyzstan, 8,176 people and 662 cars, including 388 large trucks on average used to cross Ak-Zhol and Ak-Tilek checkpoints daily. Since 10 October 2017, these indicators have collapsed - down to 3,446 people and 357 cars. The border service observes clusters of cars - from 100 to 300 units daily since last week at all checkpoints.

In a letter to the WTO, the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan reports that Kazakhstan is violating the fundamental norms and principles of the multilateral trading system, the most-favoured-nation treatment and the principle of the national regime.

"Since 10 October 2017, the Republic of Kazakhstan has been unilaterally creating obstacles when goods and individuals crossing the borders without any preliminary and formal notification of the reasons for such actions on the part of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which is a gross violation of the multilateral rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO)" , the appeal says.

In turn, the Minister of National Economy of Kazakhstan Timur Suleimenov asks not to politicise the situation on the border. According to Tengrinews.kz, the minister said that Kazakhstan operates within its legislation and in the framework of its obligations to the EEA.

"Any country, in my opinion, can apply internal measures in case of a need to protect its economic and other interests. In my opinion, there is no need to politicise anything or speak out; it is necessary simply to continue all daily work, and to try to solve the problem including all interested agencies, both ours and Kyrgyz," Suleimenov said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kairat Abdrakhanov, explained the strengthening of control over the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border by the integration processes taking place in the EAEC.

"This is quite an impersonal process and the situation when issues related to, for example, the need to strengthen sanitary, phytosanitary or veterinary control arise at the borders of neighbouring EAEC member states - this is in the interest of all the countries of the EAEC. Because the sooner we establish a modern monitoring system on our borders, which are generally open to the movement of goods and services, the better it will be for us," Tengrinews.kz quotes the high official.

The reaction of Kazakhstan to the appeal of Kyrgyzstan to the WTO has not yet known.

On 7 October, Almazbek Atambayev during his speech at the ceremony of presenting state awards accused the Kazakh authorities of "imposing their candidate" on the upcoming election in Kyrgyzstan. In response to these attacks, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and the Prime Minister of this country Bakytzhan Sagintayev made statements in which they called Atambayev's statements "provocative" and "unacceptable."

The aggravation of political relations between the states has also affected ordinary citizens. Kazakhstan transferred the border troops to a reinforced regime of service, and then set checkpoints with armed servicemen on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border, explaining it by the presidential election in Kyrgyzstan, and in fact - complicated the citizens of Kyrgyzstan to cross the border. As a result, at all checkpoints, long queues from the Kyrgyz side emerged.

Fergana News Agency