Economics, not politics is prompting Russia to get tough with Kyrgyzstan, a top Russian diplomat based in Bishkek tells EurasiaNet.org. At the same time, the diplomat blamed the Kyrgyz government for delays in a hydropower deal, asserting that officials in Bishkek were politicizing the issue.
Russian-Kyrgyz relations have hit some turbulence in recent months, with the Kremlin showing signs of obvious frustration with Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to obtain foreign aid from Moscow without offering much in the way of diplomatic loyalty in return. Amid rising tension, the two states are now haggling over terms of two large-scale strategic investments, one involving construction of a large hydropower facility on the Naryn River known as Kambarata-1, the other concerning at the Dastan torpedo factory.
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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.