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KYRGYZSTAN


 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2002 2001 2000 Ranking(2002)
GDP
Millions of US $ 1,632 1,500 1,400 143
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 290 280 280 179
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Kyrgyzstan

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
198,500 

Population 
4,892,808

Principal 
ethnic groups
Kyrgyz 52.4%
Russians 21.5%
Uzbeks 12.9%

Capital
Bishkek 

Currency 
Kyrgyz Som 

President 
Askar Akayev

  

Update No: 284 - (27/08/04)

Whither Akayev?
It is far from clear whether President Askar Akayev is coming or going. The rumours are circulating. Some say that Akayev has signed a secret deal with China, to enable him to stay, finessing the US nor Russia, who both want him out. Both Washington and Moscow are insisting that the Kyrgyz President should not run at the elections, due next year, for a fourth time. 
In a conversation in April the US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Steven Young, reminded Akayev about the need for him to leave the presidency and to provide fair elections in the country. Akayev apparently answered with chagrin: "You Americans are so strange, you are making me choose between stability and democracy!"
Putin summoned the Kyrgyz President to the Kremlin recently, for all as if he was just a Russian satrap, and directly told him about the need to transfer the power to a Kyrgyz politician, whom the Russians like, but Akayev cannot stand. Eyewitnesses reported that Akayev was very nervous during that encounter. 

Tilt to China?
A reminder that China is a player in the new Great Game for Central Asia comes in reports involving them in Kyrgyz affairs. The opposition claims that after these proposals made by Moscow and Washington, Akayev started relying on China as his last resource. Beijing offered Akayev good protection in exchange for Kyrgyzstan accepting 100,000 Chinese. Perhaps China keeps its promises. Akayev keeps his promises too. 
No one knows for sure how valid this information is. But some facts, which are being discussed in the Central Asian oppositional press, are indicative. 
For example, Akayev appointed diplomat Muratbek Imanaliev as Foreign Minister. Allegedly, he has been working for the Chinese for a goodish time and has been their proxy for quite a while. He is the diplomat who granted China 125,000 hectares of the most valuable Kyrgyz land, with glaciers full of fresh water and with a uniquely designed border outpost, that permits one soldier to have many thousands of enemy troops at gunpoint. 
The Kyrgyz leader is now planning to rent tracts of land (about 500 to 1,000 hectares each) all across Kyrgyzstan's territory to the Chinese for 99 years for all sorts of business projects. In Akaev's opinion, Chinese farmers may become the future driving force of the country's agrarian sector. 
The opposition claims that the Chinese are planning to introduce their internal regime in the rented enclaves, to set up passport control at the entrances and encourage them to have as many children as their hearts and their bodies desire (contrary to the usual Chinese birth policies).
According to the mutual agreement between Akayev and China, these rented lands will become niches for the Chinese to penetrate into all other areas of Kyrgyzstan. Officially China already rents 800 hectares on the southern shore of Issyk Kul Lake (some reports say they were allotted about 1,200 hectares). 
Local people are not allowed in there. A Chinese patrol is guarding this section and checkpoints are now being set up. 

Spy story
In the spring of 2000 in Osh Province in the south, agents of the Uzbek secret services, freely operating on Kyrgyzstan's soil, abducted someone named Bakhtiar K., ethnic Uigur, and took him out of the country. Bakhtiar K. was suspected of cooperating with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). During the interrogations, which involved severe tortures, Uzbek agents found out that Bakhtiar K. was really working for the Chinese intelligence services and that his assignment was to collect information about anti-Chinese activities among underground Muslim organizations operating in Southern Kyrgyzstan. 
Bakhtiar K. also said that within the next few years the Chinese authorities are planning to send about 100,000 Chinese merchants and peasants, and his duties included collecting information about the most suitable areas for their future settlements. When the information reached Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov, he immediately convened an emergency meeting, where a decision was made to dispatch additional troops to be permanently stationed in the Fergana Valley, as far as the Kyrgyz border. This is the reason why Uzbekistan's authorities are now reinforcing and moving Uzbek frontier posts even into the territory of Kyrgyzstan. The process of defusing the mines in some border areas is now being protracted and so is the solution of the problem of water and power supply. 
The opposition claims that Akayev needs Chinese immigrants very badly. They will allow him to retain his power and they will be paying their taxes on time and fulfilling orders worth many millions without asking any unnecessary questions. 
Beijing in turn is ready to give Akayev its support to convince the US and Russia to give him the chance to run the country until 2011. The Chinese leadership have promised Akayev to make up any losses from reduction of foreign financial aid from Washington. -- Huge profits will be made from goods transits on the Kyrgyz-Chinese railroad, which China will start building in 2005. 
The opposition claims that all Akayev's actions are aimed at retaining his personal power and that is exactly why he allied himself with China. Time will surely tell. 

End of a communist statesman
Absamat Masaliyev, former leader of Kyrgyzstan who headed the Central Asian nation's Communist Party both before and after the Soviet collapse, has died, the government said Sunday. He was 71. 
Mr. Masaliyev died on July31st from a heart attack. 
In 1985, he became the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Kyrgyzstan after changes in the Soviet communist leadership that saw Mikhail Gorbachev take power in Moscow. 
He remained in office until 1990, when he lost in the country's first-ever presidential elections, as the Soviet republics sought to assert their sovereignty in moves that led the next year to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The election was won by Askar Akayev, who remains president of independent Kyrgyzstan. 
After the election loss, Mr. Masaliyev took control of the surviving Communist Party, and in 1995, he won a seat in the upper chamber of parliament representing his southern home region of Osh. 
Later that year, Mr. Masaliyev challenged Akayev unsuccessfully again, but he drew strong support in the south. In 2000, he won a lower parliament seat and held that post until his death.

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ENERGY

Kyrgyzstan triples electricity exports

Kyrgyzstan's OAO Elektricheskiye Stantsii (Electric Stations) tripled electricity exports year-on-year to 800 million kilowatt hours in the first half of 2004, company Director General, Sagyndyk Dorodoyev, said, Interfax News Agency reported.
Kazakstan received 506.4 million kWh, China 656 kWh and the rest went to Russia, Dorodoyev said. Kyrgyzstan earned 1.5 million Euro in the first half from electricity exports alone, he noted. This money was spent partially on the overhaul of the Toktogul hydropower plant. Elektricheskiye Stantsii produced 7.25 billion kWh of power in the first half, 1.3 per sent more year-on-year. Plans call for producing 14 billion kWh in 2004 against 13.8 billion kWh in 2003.

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FOREIGN LOANS & AID

Kyrgyzstan gets aid to secure nuclear waste

Kyrgyzstan will receive monetary aid from the United States and Russia to secure radioactive waste sites left from the Soviet era, Ecolinks news services reported recently. 
The countries have committed a total of 560,000. Russia's Nuclear Energy Agency pledged 160,000 Euro and the US State Department offered US$400,000. The money will be used to secure and rehabilitate uranium waste sites in Kaji-Say, which is 155 miles east of the capital. The project will focus on the waste sites containing 170,000 cubic metres (6,002,824 cubic feet) of radioactive uranium waste, Kyrgyz Emergencies Ministry spokesman, Emil Akmatov, said.

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