As talks to shape Kyrgyzstan’s next government get underway, the United States has fashioned a compromise fuel-supply arrangement that US officials hope will ensure American and NATO access to the Manas transit center outside Bishkek for at least two more years.
The fuel supply arrangement at Manas has been the subject of US-Kyrgyz wrangling in recent months. Kyrgyz officials were pushing for the creation of a Kyrgyz-Russian joint venture to act as the sole fuel supplier. The Pentagon, meanwhile, remained committed to a competitive tender process. The supply issue reportedly was among the topics discussed during a September 24 meeting between US President Barack Obama and Kyrgyz provisional leader Roza Otunbayeva.
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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.