20 november 2017

Central Asia news

Kyrgyzstan decides to abandon financial help of Kazakhstan

21.10.2017 21:36 msk

Ferghana


Jogorku Kenesh, the Kyrgyz parliament, has received a draft bill denouncing the agreement with Kazakhstan under which the latter provides its assistance to Kyrgyzstan within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEA), reports 24.kg news agency on 20 October. The authors of the bill are not specified, the deputies will consider it next week.

The parties signed the agreement with Kazakhstan in 2016. Kazakhstan promised to help Kyrgyzstan adapt to the conditions of the EEA by gradually transferring it $ 100 million. The assistance aims to improve the customs infrastructure of Kyrgyzstan and bring the veterinary and phytosanitary systems of the republic under the standards of the EEA, explains Kaktus Media news agency.

According to the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan, the first tranche of aid was to be equivalent to $ 41.03 million. The Ministry of Health would have received about $ 7 million, the Ministry of Agriculture - more than $ 6.1 million, the State Inspection of Veterinary and Phytosanitary Security - about $ 16 million - and so on.

"We decided to say 'no' to these means. In other words, we no longer need them," Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Duishenbek Zilaliev told Azattyk Radio (Kyrgyz service of Radio Liberty), "we will seek sources of funding from the budget or outside the treasury. To date, we completed the construction of the majority of 14 laboratories that meet the requirements of the EEA. We fund them ourselves. Until the end of the year, we will complete many of them."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan has already drawn attention to reports about plans of Kyrgyzstan to denounce the agreement but has received no official information. At the same time, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that "the heads of government of the two countries did not touch upon this issue during the talks on 18 October."

A week ago, Bishkek refused from the humanitarian aid of Astana in the form of boards, rolled metal and poles, which the Kyrgyz side planned to use in efforts to eliminate the consequences of natural disasters. Kyrgyzstan appealed to a neighbour with a request for help in May 2017. By October, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Emergency Situations officially stated it no longer need it.

Commenting on Bishkek's reaction, Kazakhstan's Minister of Finance Bakhyt Sultanov accented that this refusal does not concern the $ 100 million agreement, and the Kazakh government "routinely proceeds to allocate funds from the republican budget."

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 past presidential 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.

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

On 18 October, prime ministers of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan met and discussed the situation which resulted in Kazakhstan agreeing to allow individuals, passenger buses, cars and empty cargo trucks pass the border from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan. At the same time, it is still unknown when cargo trucks loaded with Kyrgyz produced goods would be able to move on the territory of EEA via Kazakhstan in the future.

Fergana News Agency