September 17, 2008

Kyrgyz PM Comments on Recent Talks With Russian Counterpart in Moscow

Excerpt from report by privately-owned Kyrgyz news agency website

Bishkek, 17 September: "Kyrgyzstan and Russia are ready to sign an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the sphere of hydroelectric power generation in the immediate future," Prime Minister Igor Chudinov has said in an exclusive interview with the Kyrgyz news agency, commenting on the results of his working visit to Moscow.

He said that "there was an exchange of views on the importance and necessity of filling the declaration on friendship and cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan with practical and real actions" at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

"In the first place, Vladimir Putin and I have discussed implementing joint Kyrgyz-Russian power supply projects. The issue of speeding up the payment of Kyrgyzstan's 193m-dollar debt to Russia was also raised. We have finally discussed how and in which projects we will use 2bn dollars Russia is offering to Kyrgyzstan in financial and investment assistance," Igor Chudinov said.

According to the Kyrgyz prime minister, "the Russian prime minister gave an order to Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko right after the talks to prepare a programme and a plan to carry out the joint projects".

The Kyrgyz prime minister said that the Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources Ministry would work in this direction for Kyrgyzstan.

"I hope that we will sign documents to this effect in the immediate future," Igor Chudinov said.

He does not rule out that the Kyrgyz-Russian intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the sphere of hydroelectric power generation will be signed already during an official visit by Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev to Kyrgyzstan, which is scheduled for the first ten days of October 2008.

In the meantime, Igor Chudinov noted that he discussed not only joint work in the hydroelectric power generation sector during the talks in Moscow.

"Vladimir Putin and I also discussed the possible implementation of projects in the agrarian sector. This is also the export of farm produce to Russia and the supply of farm machinery from Russia to Kyrgyzstan. The question of expanding the joint work in the mining sector is also under consideration," the Kyrgyz prime minister said.

According to Igor Chudinov, "it is now essential for the two departments to prepare projects and plans, which have been ordered to be carried out, as qualitatively and soon as possible".

In reply to a question by the news agency about results of his talks with the chairman of the board of the Gazprom open joint- stock company, Aleksey Miller, Igor Chudinov said in brief: "We have talked about serious things".

"We have discussed expanding the possibility of carrying out joint projects in the power supply sector," the Kyrgyz prime minister said.

Igor Chudinov clarified that among other things, he also discussed expanding areas in Kyrgyzstan for geological prospecting, which will be carried out by Russian experts, at talks with the head of Gazprom.

In February 2008, the Gazprom open joint-stock company received a licence to prospect for oil and natural gas in the Kugart and Mayli- Say No. 4 - Eastern areas. In July 2008, Gazprom and the Kyrgyz government approved a gradual programme of carrying out a geological survey of mineral resources in these areas.

[Passage omitted: Kyrgyzstan has an estimated 6bn cu.m. of proven natural gas reserves]

Originally published by website, Bishkek, in Russian 0645 17 Sep 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Central Asia. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.