The slowdown of Russia’s economy is inflicting pain across Central Asia. But impoverished Kyrgyzstan has no choice but to stay close to Moscow, Prime Minister Djoomart Otorbaev tells EurasiaNet.org.
In an exclusive interview in Bishkek, Otorbaev addressed criticism of Kyrgyzstan’s decision to join the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, his country’s energy crisis, and the inevitability of slower growth due to the downturn in sanctions-afflicted Russia, Kyrgyzstan’s largest export market.
“If I said we are independent of the problems in our biggest market, I would be wrong. Russia is our biggest market, the biggest regional economy. Of course we are dependent on it, but we must prepare for the worst,” Otorbaev said in the November 15 interview.
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David Trilling is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.