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Putin's visit to Kyrgyzstan: triumph and loyalty

Expectations and lost opportunities

From the beginning of the year, rumors about the state visit of the President of the Russian Federation VV were heard in Kyrgyzstan. Putin On the background of isolationist tendencies and the increasingly active militarization of Russia, which again claims to be world leaders, a visit to Kyrgyzstan has had some intrigue. The main question for Russia - to test and strengthen the loyalty of the former satellite state in the area of ​​its interests, first of all economic ones. Indeed, recently such countries in the rangeland of Russia are becoming less and less, even those who formally demonstrate partnership in strategic units of the CSTO type and the UNECE.
From Kyrgyzstan various assumptions of possible bargains were put forward.
One of the main directions was the security field. Which since the times of the Union was considered the main reason for the unification of bureaucratic machines and the mobilization of common resources. Many people predicted and referred to the statement of the newly appointed ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic A. Dzhukshenkulov about the opening of a second military base in the republic. He, in the Russian media, managed to declare - "another stronghold of the Russian armed forces, which may be included in the order of the presidents of Russia and Kyrgyzstan in March". Note that in the 2003 year in the Kyrgyz Republic the first and still the only Russian military base in the city of Kant appeared.
The second level of expectations became an issue related to infrastructure projects. This first of all concerned the strategic for Kyrgyzstan cascade of hydroelectricity, which some time ago was engaged in Russia. Even in 2012 year it was agreed that the VNK HPP will be constructed by the Russian company RusHydro. Then it was planned to build four stations with a total capacity of 238 megawatts, the cost of the project was valued at 727 millions of dollars. However, due to economic problems in Russia, the construction agreement was terminated, although RusHydro at that time already invested $ 37 millions of dollars.
The conflict over the implementation of this project has intensified in 2015 year. Then the Kyrgyz government informed that RusHydro broke the timetable for the construction of a hydroelectric power station in Narin and stopped financing the project. The then head of the RusHydro Eugene Dod (in his 2016 year he was charged with an "Fraud" article in connection with his activities just in this post) personally met with the then acting President of the country Almazbek Atambayev and guaranteed that the first two objects of the Narinskaya cascade will be constructed by the end of 2016 year. By the time of the denunciation of the agreement by the Kyrgyz side, the objects were not built. Kyrgyzstan unilaterally denounced the contracts for Kambarete-1 and Verhnenarinsky cascade 20 January 2016 year. The decision was not sole, but all the necessary instances passed. The draft Law "On Denunciation of the Agreement" was submitted by the Minister of Economy, considered by the committees of the LCD, then 97 approved by the vote at a session of the parliament, and only then sent to the president for signature. The relevant documents are openly accessible on the website of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, the registration number of the bill: 6-747 / 16.

It is significant that then the Russian side also recognized the expedient denunciation of the agreement. At the 21 in January, the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the reasons for the denunciation of the agreements were exclusively in the economic area, and further implementation of the projects simply did not seem possible. "The problems are connected with the global crisis, the result of which was the rise in costs and slowdown of economic growth," - said Zakharova, adding that Russia is fully taking decisions on Kyrgyzstan. Thus, in a strategic plan, not only for Kyrgyzstan, but for the whole of Central Asia, in the field of hydropower and electricity production to 2019, a serious conflict broke out.
And the third level of questions was associated with a possible line of the railway in Kyrgyzstan. How will the main railway corridor be formed through Kyrgyzstan? A dilemma discussed in the top management of the country during the last 20 years. In 2017 year, the plan of work for the implementation of the project on the construction of the railway "China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan" was determined. Earlier Bishkek offered its variants of construction of the railway. And in December 2017, Tashkent even held tripartite talks on the railway project. This direction is well suited both to the Chinese and the Uzbek side. But so far the project remains unrealized. By 2019 year, the perspective of the railway line is uncertain.
All these three questions for Kyrgyzstan have come from the category of predictable. Each of them has passed several stages: from negotiations to designing. But due to internal causes, and often external pressure, their solution still pervades. Issues related to hydro resources and their development, as well as railways, their constant deposition is now classified as a category of lost opportunities in the Kyrgyz Republic. Betting between external players, as well as the constant change of government and the views of the leadership of Kyrgyzstan on this vital issue for the country's economy only enhances this process, increasing its spending. Expectations associated with the arrival of Kyrgyzstan V. Putin on the decisions of these industries are no longer the primary. Will they give a serious impetus to their implementation, first of all in the interests of Kyrgyzstan itself - the issue of the last 20 years.

Agreements - Areas, Resources and Assistance

V.Putin did not spend in Kyrgyzstan, and he arrived in 28 early in the morning in the morning. Despite the heavy torrential rain, his visit was intense and fruitful. So according to the results of the visit between the two parties 35 documents were signed:

Increase in existing Russian base in Kyrgyzstan:
The Russian base is represented in Kyrgyzstan by four objects. In the south of the country - an autonomous seismic point in Miley-Suu, in the north - an air base in Kanti (very near the capital), a test facility in Karakol (a resort area near a high-lake) and a point of communication in Chaldovar. The territory of the last two objects will increase by almost 60 hectares. The rent remains the same, but due to the fact that the territory itself will increase, Kyrgyzstan will receive $ 4,8 million annually instead of the former $ 4,5 million. Two years ago, the government, in the person of ex-president Almazbek Atambayeva, promised that the territory of the Russian base would not increase, in addition the former head of state raised the issue of its closure. The Russian base is the only such foreign object on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

Extraction of gold and deposits:

Russian Vneshtorgbank (VTB) and Alliance Altin (a subsidiary of the Russian Alliance Group) signed an agreement on the Zerouy gold deposit at $ 180 million. Head of VTB Andrei Kostin said that the total investment in Dzherui is about $ 600 million. The investor hopes that already from 2020 year on Jerus will be extracted annually by 5 tons of gold. "Dzherui" - the second largest gold deposit in Kyrgyzstan. According to the State Geology, approximate reserves of the deposit are estimated at more than 97 tons of gold. The development of the deposit for a long time was postponed due to judicial debates with Kazakh gold miners, and in the 2015 year, having studied the terms of the competition for a license, the Russian company of the oligarch Suleiman Kerimov refused to extract gold from Jerusalem.
Also, the State Committee of Industry and the Russian Geological Holding signed an agreement on $ 1,2 billion to study the territory of Kyrgyzstan for the search for deposits and water supply regions. Of course, the priority is to find gold and other deposits.

Control over oil and gas

After acquiring KyrgyzGas in the 2014 year, Gazprom drew attention to Kyrgyzneftegaz, one of the largest oil and gas companies in Kyrgyzstan, which owns 35 oil and gas fields in the south.
Most of the company's assets belonged to the state, but the government signed a roadmap with Gazprom regarding the participation of the Russian company in their acquisition. Thus, Gazprom, already controlling the gas industry, intends to control oil. Kyrgyzgaz was bought by Gazprom for $ 1 because of large debts - $ 50 million, Kyrgyzneftegaz is also not the most successful company, a few years ago it was on the verge of bankruptcy. On the negotiations with Gazprom, the authorities of Kyrgyzstan reported back in 2017 year.

The development of railways and the airport

"Kyrgyz Temir Zhol", "Russian Railways" and the Ministry of Transport of Russia and Kyrgyzstan signed an agreement on the phased development of railways. According to the document, after the preliminary feasibility study, the parties will make suggestions as to how they can participate and what to do to develop the Kyrgyz railways. For the Russian investors, various projects were proposed for implementation, including the construction of a railway connecting the north and south of Kyrgyzstan and the promising railroad plan China - Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan
And the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) signed an agreement on modernization of the main airport of the country "Manas". It is unknown what will be upgraded at the airport and the company managing it, and how much it will cost. The last company modernized its brand more recently - in 2018 year, and a year earlier, in 2017 year, the airport was repaired - then at the reconstruction were given 28 million soms and they had to allocate a billion more.

Hydro and solar energy

The state investment promotion agency and the RuselProm concern signed an agreement for $ 1,5 billion. The agreement concerns the construction of large and small hydroelectric power stations in Kyrgyzstan, as well as assemblies of hydroelectric and hydroelectric units. How will the work be carried out - it is not known yet, the parties will determine the action plan after the development of the road map.
In addition, an agreement was signed between Astra Solar and Hevel, which together can create components for the production of solar modules - silicon panels that convert solar radiation into electricity.

Agreements with Kyrgyz banks

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) has signed agreements with several Kyrgyz banks. Loan lines were opened for the Halyk Bank branch in Kyrgyzstan, Khalik Bank, which once was Kyrgyz Kairat Bank, and Ayal Bank, in the past the Kyrgyz Agricultural Finance Corporation, established by the Government and the World Bank.
Halik Bank and Aiil Bank will receive $ 5 million, while it is unknown what these funds will go to, but the main task of the latter is to support the agro-sector and implement state agricultural development programs.
The RSC Bank, in which the EBRD and the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund want to invest $ 40 million in the RSK Bank, has already announced that the amount will go to finance small and medium-sized businesses. 100% of the shares of this bank belongs to the government.

Agreements on weapons production

The Bishkek Stamping Plant signed three agreements with Russian defense companies worth over $ 50 million. The Kyrgyz enterprise produces several types of hunting and warhead cartridges, and according to the latest information announced by the head of the plant, it plans to produce another type of cartridges for hunting - a toolkit for them the creation was prepared by the Russian design bureau.

Data processing and access to information

A Kyrgyz-Russian data center will be created - an agreement on its creation was signed by Kyrgyz Alfa Telecom, Kyrgyztelecom and the Russian concern SITRONICS. To implement the project, the company will check the state of the information and telecommunication infrastructure in Kyrgyzstan and develop a roadmap for the deployment of data center infrastructure and the creation of information systems and services for government agencies.

Confidence - protest and gifts

The state visit of the Russian president was accompanied by a protest action, as well as traditional gifts from the first person of Kyrgyzstan.

Eve of the visit - 27 March in Bishkek was arrested couple of activist Nurlan Karimshakov. The couple was arrested near the building of the Russian Embassy during a picket against President Vladimir Putin's policy. The reason for the detention of the police was the presence in the posters of appeals for interethnic hostility. The posters of the activist contained such inscriptions as "Putin-aggressor", "Occupation", "Killer", and "We do not need a military base." The police, through experts, concluded that the inscriptions call for interethnic hostility, and filed a case under the article 313 of the Criminal Code - "Violation of racial, ethnic, national, religious or inter-regional hostility."
While the Kyrgyz public could not understand to which nation and even more hostility the claims were to the couple-activists - Kyrgyz, Russian or Ukrainian, and how does this relate to the claim to the activists in general? Currently, the incident itself and the explanation of the prosecutors are the subject of broad discussion in Kyrgyzstan. "

But after the official part, Sooronbay Zhenbekov presented Volodymyr Putin with the Orel horseman and a puppy of the Kyrgyz hort, Taigan. Then the presidents went to the house-museum of Chingiz Aitmatov. After that, the Heads of State laid wreaths to the Eternal Flame, despite the heavy rain. Heads of state honored the moment of silence of the heroes who died in the Great Patriotic War. Thus the day of the visit of the Russian president was completed.

Conclusions:

  • President V. Putin's state visit was intended, first of all, to consolidate the existing level of relations. The impression was that Putin ran across the territory to ensure the loyalty of her leadership and the return of Russia's former potential "on the ground."
  • The signed documents concerned areas where agreements had already been made between Kyrgyzstan and Russia - those which, for various reasons, have either been completely terminated or have not been implemented for the last five years. This primarily concerns hydro resources. Agreements in the field of subsoil use - mining of gold, oil and other, have shown that Russia views Kyrgyzstan mainly as a source of resources.
  • Some agreements had the nature of the adaptation of the still complex process of regulating the Customs Union procedures, which went into the format of the EAEC.
  • Fundamentally new in transactions were the items related to data processing and access to information. Not yet clear goals of this direction. Information, access to it and the declared "road map" - is this part of the general information space between Kyrgyzstan and Russia, and where are the limits and opportunities of this perspective?
  • In general, Putin's current voyage in Kyrgyzstan can be viewed as a visit to inventory loyalty, which is so necessary to the state, which increasingly forms an isolationist foreign policy, and resembles the situation in the USSR in the middle of the last century. It must be admitted that Kyrgyzstan (or as it is still designated in Russia - Kyrgyzstan) remains one of the few states that confirm its full loyalty to Moscow at all levels.

Elmira Noguibayeva
Head of Analytical Center "Polis Asia" (Bishkek)


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