It seems the $315 million contract awarded by the Pentagon to a controversial and secretive fuel-supplier is only part of the story about future operations at Kyrgyzstan’s Manas Transit Center.
The contract, awarded to Mina Corp on November 3, covers only 80 percent of the overall projected jet fuel needs over the next year at Manas, a key logistics hub for US and NATO operations in Afghanistan. The other 20 percent appears destined for a Kyrgyz government-run entity, US officials say.
More importantly, the Kyrgyz government may be preparing to put the brakes on the Pentagon contract. On November 5, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry issued a statement urging the US government to “suspend its cooperation” with Mina Corp.
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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.