Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are nearing definitive agreement over how to share a disputed reservoir near the border in another sign of warming relations between the countries.
Kasan-sai reservoir was the focus of tense standoff in 2016 that culminated in state-sanctioned kidnappings and armed confrontations.
Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan on December 13 voted unanimously in a first reading to ratify a bilateral agreement granting Bishkek control over the reservoir. Agriculture Minister Nurbek Murashev has said that although Kyrgyzstan will retain control over the facility, both countries will retain access to the water contained within. Kyrgyz farmers will use 8 percent of the water for irrigation of 1,500 hectares of land. The remaining 92 percent will be used by Uzbekistan for an area of 28,000 hectares.
The agreement also covers the issue of expenditure for maintenance of the reservoir. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will divide the $230-290 million costs in proportion to the amount of water they use.
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