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KYRGYZSTAN


 

 

In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 1,737 1,632 1,500 145
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 330 290 280 178
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
198,500 

Population 
5,081,429

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

Capital
Bishkek 

Currency 
Kyrgyz Som 

President 
Askar Akayev



Update No: 305 - (30/05/06)

Aftermath of revolution
Revolutions usually usher in a period of turbulence. A year on from Kyrgyzstan's popular Tulip Revolution, the country has suffered widespread political instability and parliamentary wrangling.
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev replaced former President Askar Akayev, who was ousted in the popular uprising in March 2005, following on complaints of corruption. Akayev and his family departed to Russia.
But Bakiyev is far from popular himself in a country that remains desperately poor. The revolution raised expectations in a manner hard to fulfil. 
Bakiyev has come under fire over concerns about the growing influence of criminal groups on the government, and amid complaints of widespread corruption and a sluggish economy.
In the months that followed his rise to power, following last year's political revolution, there has been a series of high-profile killings of lawmakers, prison riots, and highly divisive battles between competing clans for control of big business. 
Some analysts suggest Kyrgyzstan risks civil war, if President Bakiyev does not get control of the corrupt clans, some of whose members have made their way into the current parliament, enjoying parliamentary immunity from criminal prosecution. 

Mass rally to make the popular point
Meanwhile, opposition parties and civic organizations vowed to stage a mass rally in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, to pressure President Bakiyev to step up the fight against organized crime and to move forward with long-promised democratic reforms. 
On April 29th, it took place. Bakiyev was heckled by thousands of protesters, just days after a major cabinet upheaval. In the protest rally in the capital demonstrators chanted "down with thieves," demanding that President Bakiyev deal with corrupt officials. They complained that they had seen no improvement in their standard of living. 
Bakiyev unexpectedly addressed the rally, saying the reforms he pledged would take time to be effective and that what he called irresponsible politics would not help.

Thirteen cabinet ministers to stay 
His display of firmness may have helped him end the political crisis. 
Thirteen ministers in Kyrgyzstan agreed to stay on in early May after Bakiyev refused to accept their resignations. Only the transport and culture ministers of the fifteen-member cabinet had failed to submit their resignations. Their move to quit came after a parliamentary resolution had criticised the Cabinet. 
But Vice Premier Adakhan Madumarov told reporters: "The president did not accept the resignations. The president ordered each minister to work much harder than before... The government will remain the same." 

Bakiyev on his first state visit to Russia 
Kyrgyzstan is a pro-Russian country by the standards of the former Soviet Union. It helps that it has no common border with Russia and that local Russians are well-educated by and large and make an obvious contribution to society in the professions and business.
Bakiyev made an historic trip to Moscow, his first state visit there, just days before the political turmoil back home. 
Kumar Bekbalatov, who heads up the Bishkek office of the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), says Bakiyev's visit presented lucrative opportunities for Russia. "In Russia, the desire is to get into the energy sector in Kyrgyzstan. And we see Russian giant Gazprom entering the Kyrgyz economy, at least the first statement [is] an agreement has been reached," he said. "Also, there have been talks of building an aluminium plant in southern Kyrgyzstan, as well as modernizing the electric energy sector. I think the expectation was that the visit would solidify all these agreements." 
Military cooperation also figured large in the talks, especially given President Bakiyev's warning to the United States in late April. In it, he had said that his government could expel one-thousand US troops from a Kyrgyz base (Manas) used to support anti-terrorism operations in Afghanistan, if the United States does not agree to pay more by June 1st.
Bekbalatov says, in his view, the threat is more about trying to score political favour with Russia than anything else. "This statement was made precisely because of the need of President Bakiyev to show some type of at least political loyalty, and to appease some of the [regional] concerns related to the airbase," added Bekbalatov.
Moscow initially signed on to the increased US military presence in Central Asia, but in recent months has shown signs of withdrawing its support. Russia also has an airbase in Kyrgyzstan. And following his talks with Mr. Bakiyev, President Putin made clear Russia plans to expand its military resources in Kyrgyzstan. Putin says he looks forward to continued military-technical cooperation with Bishkek on this issue.

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ENERGY

Kyrgyzstan may sell hydroelectric stations


Parliamentary candidate, Bermet Akaeva, recently told Litsa newspaper about the possibility for Kyrgyzstan to join the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) and also its effects, New Europe reported.
Akaeva said Kyrgyzstan might sell the cascade of Toktgul hydroelectric stations in order to get permission to join the HIPC initiative which will lead to loss of energy independence of the country and ability to manage its water resources. Akaeva said if Kyrgyzstan joins the HIPC Initiative then it would turn into the state-bankrupt, the failed-state. According to Akaeva, the current authorities applied for assistance under the HIPC Initiative due to their "incompetence or as a result of "revolutionary" habit to deny any achievements of the previous power." "Unfortunately, the new power has not used the experience and knowledge of Akaeva's team of economists; Ulan Sarbanov spent a year in trials, and the abilities of Abildaev and Toromyrzaev are unclaimed in their home country."

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

Putin, Bakiyev target for mutually beneficial ties 

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, recently signed a joint statement to affirm "the invariable adherence to the historical relations of friendship, alliance and strategic partnership."
The presidents welcomed the positive dynamics of "mutually beneficial economic relations, including those between regions, as a key link in Russia-Kyrgyzstan cooperation," the statement read. They also noted that "economic relations still fall short of their potential and may be broadened," the statement read.
Putin and Bakiyev called for a more energetic use "of a sizable potential for investment and cooperation with Kyrgyzstan's promising industries and the most favoured nation status for Russian economic entities on the Kyrgyz market," the statement said. The volume of Russian-Kyrgyz trade has quadrupled since 2001, reaching 543 million Euro last year, Russian foreign ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said. 

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MINING

Mining sector attracts investment of US$54.5m 

Direct investment in geological exploration and the extractive mining sectors in Kyrgyzstan totalled 2,245 billion som (US$54.5 million) in 2005, the head of the State Geology and Mineral Resources Agency, Vladimir Zubkov said, Interfax News Agency reproted, citing the agency's revised figures. 
Exploration spending totalled 1,278 billion som (US$31.0 million) last year, and 967.7 million som (US$23.5 million) was invested in extractive sectors. This included 2,062 billion som of foreign investment and 182.9 million som of domestic investment. Zubkov said 138 million som was spent on oil and gas exploration, 1,129 billion som on gold exploration and 10.5 million som on exploration for other mineral resources.

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