Monday, March 12, 2012 -
A pending deal between the Kyrgyz and Russian energy ministries will give Russia’s oil giant Gazprom dominance over Kyrgyzstan’s petroleum industry, oil traders warned on Monday.
The warning came as Kyrgyzstan’s lower house of parliament was debating legislation that could give Gazprom’s subsidiary units Gazprom Neft Asia and Gazprom Neft Aero-Kyrgyzstan exclusive control over the sale and export of petroleum products.
The deal is opaque and ripe for corruption, said 23 independent Kyrgyz-based oil exporters in a statement sent to the Bishkek government and parliament in Bishkek.
The agreement “is prone to corruption, is absolutely anti-market in nature” and smacks of Soviet-style centrally planned control, said the petition, republished in knews.kg news agency.
The deal discriminates against Kyrgyz enterprises and creates ideal conditions for the complete monopolization of the Kyrgyz oil sector, they said.
It also undermines the prospects of an independent oil refining industry in Kyrgyzstan, it said.
The legislation also runs against World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, signed to by both Bishkek and Moscow.
It also contravenes Kyrgyz law, they said.
The companies called on Kyrgyz authorities to encourage a competitive market environment, prevent corruption, and respect national and international laws.
Gazprom Neft Asia currently controls around 60 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s oil exports to Russia. The remaining 40 percent is managed by independent oil exporters.