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Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan break fuel for water stalemate, reach energy agreement 17 ноября 2014, 19:14

Heads of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have had talks in Astana and reached a set of important agreements.
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©Turar Kazangapov ©Turar Kazangapov

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has met his counterpart from Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev at the IV session of the Interstate Council of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in Astana. The results of the talks were announced at a media briefing on November 7, 2014.

Atambayev’s speech was full of gratitude. He noted that Kazakhstan’s $100 million financial assistance to Kyrgyzstan entering the Eurasian Economic Union signified a “brotherly” deed.

Kyrgyzstan’s leader also thanked Nazarbayev for helping the country overcome its energy crisis. Kazakhstan will supply 400 million kilowatt-hours of electricity this year and 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours in the following year.

"I will not hide that one of the main problems for Kyrgyzstan today is the power industry. We have had a very serious shortage of water and it happens once every five years. And I will not hide, our former Energy Minister and other members of the government proposed introducing rolling blackouts in Kyrgyzstan. (…) We had it in 2008, 2009 and 2010; the light was turned off and people sat to without light, in the cold, without all sorts of amenities, with no TVs or Internet,” Amanbayev said.

“We have just signed one of the agreements on electricity supply and, thank God, there will be no blackouts in Kyrgyzstan,” Atambayev declared noting that his country needed at most another year and a half to achieve energy independence.

On his part President Nazarbayev declared: "We have always supported and will support our brotherly Kyrgyz people. So, at the request of the President of Kyrgyzstan we are helping by delivering 400 million kilowatts of electricity [this year] and 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours of energy next year. Despite the technical costs for us, we are solving this issue."

"In turn, our Kyrgyz friends have assured us of their firm intention to fulfil the obligations to supply Kazakhstan with irrigation water during the crop season, which is of fundamental importance to us," President of Kazakhstan said.

It became known that as part of the agreements settled, Nursultan Nazarbayev allowed passage of the fuel destined for Kyrgyzstan stuck on Kazakhstan’s territory since April 2014.

Kyrgyz oil traders asked Kazakhstan to resolve the situation with hundreds of fuel tanks that had been held off on their way from Russian oil refineries on the basis of the government decree №1402 of December 26, 2013 banning export of petroleum products on the territory of Kazakhstan. It came into effect on 1 January 2014 and was first introduced for six months but then extended for an additional six months. This created serious shortages in Kyrgyzstan and pushed the fuel prices upwards.

The agreements settled show that the two Central Asian countries finally agreed on the fuel-for-water courtesy.

The other topic of the briefing was internal stability of the two countries. President Atambayev praised the stability of Kazakhstan and called onto Kazakhstanis to value their country and their president.

"Appreciate, value your President. Because we, in Kyrgyzstan, have gone through two revolutions and thank God we somehow solved the situation. But if you look at the Arab countries: in about 10 countries there were revolutions and only one is trying to pull through. Some, like Libya, are already falling apart. Appreciate stability, appreciate prosperity that has been achieved in Kazakhstan," Atambayev said.

Nazarbayev stressed that Kazakhstan was interested in stability and sustainable development of Kyrgyzstan as well.

"I think the people (of Kyrgyzstan) are tired of all the vicissitudes of instability, and I am happy to observe how peacefully your country has been developing in the recent years," Nazarbayev told Atambayev.

Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writting by Dinara Urazova

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