Wednesday, August 15, 2012 -
Russia and Kyrgyzstan discussed the cancellation of all debt owed to Russia by the Central Asian state during two days of meetings in Cholpon-Ata on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov met with Kyrgyz First Vice Prime Minister Aaly Karashev also discussed military cooperation and collaboration in electricity projects in the Central Asian state.
The two governments will sign the official document to write off Kyrgyzstan’s debt to Russia – estimated to be $490 million – on October 15, 2012, the Kyrgyz government said on its web site.
The two sides also reached agreement on the construction of hydropower plants in Kyrgyzstan, agreeing to construct and operate plants at Kambarata-1 and the Upper Naryn cascade. The agreement will be formally signed on September 15, and a capsule will be placed on the Upper Naryn cascade on November 1.
Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have pushed diplomats in recent weeks to finalize the agreements with Kyrgyzstan.
Shuvalov said that Putin gave him explicit instructions to resolve the Kyrgyz debt issue.
“Vladimir Putin has instructed me – along with senior officials of ministries and departments – to visit Kyrgyzstan in order to discuss military-technical issues, energy, and settlement of financial issues,” Shuvalov told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“We need to agree on solutions that will form the basis of a joint agreement or even several agreements that in fact will begin a new chapter in our relations.”
The relationship between Putin and Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has not been particularly warm. Atambayev has previously called on Russia to pay its debt to Kyrgyzstan for the leasing of its military base there, a request that was frostily received at Atambayev’s last state visit to Moscow.