Authorities in Kyrgyzstan are trumpeting a set of strategic accords to be signed by Moscow and Bishkek this fall as the end to a period of fraught bilateral relations. But observers say the terms are still vague, suggesting mutual wariness as both sides again defer substantive decisions.
The two countries reached a preliminary consensus on energy cooperation, Russian military installations in Kyrgyzstan, and debt repayment during Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov’s August 14-15 visit to Cholpon-Ata, local media reported. Critically for Kyrgyzstan, Moscow has again offered to help with the long-stalled Kambarata-1 hydroelectric dam project and to write off two-fifths of Kyrgyzstan’s roughly $500 million debt. In return, Bishkek has promised Moscow a 15-year extension on its military facilities in the Central Asian country after the current lease expires in 2017.
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Chris Rickleton is a Bishkek-based journalist.