One neighbor cuts off the gas, another halts petrol deliveries and Mother Nature cooks up an unusually dry season. It all means Kyrgyzstan faces a potentially catastrophic energy crisis this winter, if the impoverished and unstable Central Asian country cannot reach deals with two recalcitrant neighbors.
The predicament began with the sale of Kyrgyzstan’s gas transport monopoly, KyrgyzGaz, to Russian energy giant Gazprom in April. “We don’t need KyrgyzGas, we need gas,” President Almazbek Atambayev said at the time, promising that Russia would guarantee a cheap and constant supply. Soon after the deal was completed, however, Uzbekistan stopped gas deliveries, saying it had no contract to supply Gazprom. The two sides, with Kyrgyzstan in the middle, have not been able to reach an agreement.
On July 23, Prime Minister Djoomart Otorbaev acknowledged that Uzbekistan is not going to resume gas supplies anytime soon and instructed the country to prepare for winter shortages. Hundreds of thousands in Kyrgyzstan’s south remain without gas.
To read the full story