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Kyrgyz Report: December 3, 1999


3 December 1999

PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS IN BISHKEK.
About 300 residents of the southern Togolok Moldo, Sovetskaya and Leningradskaya streets of Bishkek City blocked the transport traffic along the Sovetskaya Street, one of the main ways of the city, for about 3 hours on 3 December. They protested the government's inability to provide people with natural gas. The crowd dispersed only after the head of the Sverdlov district of the city, Bakyt Kakeev came to meet the protestors and promised them to resume heating of their houses. About 200 people blocked the Manas Avenue in Bishkek for several hours on 2 December with the same protest.

Kyrgyzstan has been without natural gas since 16 November. Uzbekistan stopped gas deliveries due to a debt of about $4 million. According to the Kyrgyz government, the major portion of the debt has been paid, since and gas supplies will be resumed soon. However, the two governmental delegations that visited Tashkent for negotiations after 16 November have had no success.

PRESIDENT AKAYEV CELEBRATES A UNIVERSITY JUBILEE.
President Askar Akayev took part in celebrations of the 45th anniversary of the Technical University in Bishkek on 3 December. Akayev delivered a speech at the meeting, which was held in the building of the State Opera. Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev also attended.

Akayev told the conference of republican education workers on 24 November that Kyrgyzstan today is a leader in educational development of and is accessible to everyone not only in the CIS but also in Eastern Europe. With a population of 4.8 million, the republic has 1.26 million secondary and higher education students, Akayev said.

GOVERNMENTAL MEETING ON BACK WAGES.
According to the governmental press service, First Vice Prime Minister Boris Silaev held a special meeting in Bishkek on 3 December. Heads of some ministries, governmental bodies and industrial enterprises took part in the meeting. According to Silaev, the government must end the year without any debts on wages, pensions and other social allowances.

To reach its aim, the government has to find by 20 December the additional money as follows: 360 million soms (about $8 million) for the National Social Fund; 146 million soms (about $3.2 million) for paying back wages; 52 million soms (about $1.1 million) for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

NEW DRAFT OF THE STATE BUDGET FOR NEXT YEAR.
The parliamentary press service announced in Bishkek on 3 December that the parliament had received from the government an amended law draft on the state budget for the year 2000. According to the draft, the government expects 9,769 million soms (about $217 million) of revenues and 9,584 million soms of expenditures. According to MP Dosbol Nur Uulu, there is still no clause on raising wages or pensions in the draft.

The parliamentary People's Assembly rejected approval of the previous draft on 15 November, calling it unreal. The government called for revenues of 10,079 million soms against 10,022-million soms of expenditures next year. Before this, the government prepared an initial budget draft in September, saying there would be 9,897 million soms of revenues and 9,717 million soms of expenditures in 2000. The government had to amend the initial draft due to the decision by President Askar Akayev to form a new province in the country.

US GENERAL IN KYRGYZSTAN.
According to the presidential press service, Secretary of the Security Council, General Bolot Januzakov met in Bishkek today with General Anthony Zinney, a high ranking US military official. Bilateral cooperation between the two states in military sector and the last rebel crisis in southern Kyrgyzstan were discusses. Januzakov and Zinney have signed a program of cooperation in 2000.

MONGOLIAN PRESIDENT TO KYRGYZSTAN.
According to the presidential press service, President Natsagin Bagabandi of Mongolia will arrive in Bishkek on 4 December. He will meet with Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, Prime Minister Amangeldi Muraliev, and other high officials. A declaration on strengthening bilateral relations and several agreements are expected to be signed during the 2-day visit. A large group of Mongolian businessmen will accompany the president.

SECURITY MEETING WRAPS UP.
A two-day meeting of heads of interior and security services of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan ended in Bishkek on December 3. The Bishkek Memorandum was signed at the meeting. According to the memorandum, the special services of the 5 states will join in their attempts to combat international terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as organized crime, illegal imigration and arms sale, and drug traffic. Also, the services of the five countries could organize joint actions.

It is mentioned in the memorandum that the signatory countries will support each other against any action aimed at undermining their sovereignty and that the Bishkek Memorandum is not aimed against any other country. Also, a special working group was formed.

Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo, Kazakh Interior Minister Kaiyrbek Suleimenov, Kyrgyz Security Minister Tashtemir Aitbayev, Kyrgyz Interior Minister Omurbek Kutuev, Chinese Deputy Security Minister Nyu Peng, Tajik Deputy Interior Minister Absatar Radjabov took part in the meeting.

GAS DELIVERIES FROM UZBEKISTAN COULD BE RESUMED NEXT WEEK.
Governmental spokesman Farid Niyazov announced in Bishkek on 2 December that Kyrgyzstan would finish paying all its debt for natural gas from Uzbekistan by 6 December and that gas supplies could be resumed next week.

Uzbekistan stopped gas deliveries on 16 November due to the Kyrgyz debt of $4,095,000. According to the government, the debt had been reduced to 289,000 dollars and 900,000 dollars worth of flour by 1 December.

MORE ETHNIC RUSSIANS LEAVE KYRGYZSTAN.
Russian ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Georgi Rudov told RFE/RL correspondents in Bishkek on 2 December that more and more ethnic Russians have started leavng Kyrgyzstan recently. According to him, the main reasons for it are the a hard economic situation in Kyrgyzstan and raising unemployment, the last rebel crisis in southern Kyrgyzstan, and recent attempts of the National Commission on State Language to strengthen Kyrgyz language in Kyrgyzstan.

Vasili Ostapchuk, head of the migration service of the Russian embassy in Bishkek, told RFE/RL correspondents that 3,194 ethic Russians left Kyrgyzstan officially last autumn compared with 353 people who left the country in autumn of 1998. According to Ostapchuk, the real figures are much more for sure.

There are about 650,000 Russians in the country now. This represents about 13 percent of total population. There were about 900,000 Russians in Kyrgyzstan early in the 1990s. About 120,000 people left the country in 1993 - the record emigration.

PARTY SUES THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE.
Leaders of the El (Bei-Bechara) party Melis Eshimkanov and MPs Bakyt Beshimov, Alevtina Pronenko and Daniyar Usenov held a news conference in Bishkek on 2 December. According to them, they have sued the Justice Ministry, accusing it of violating the constitution and the law on political parties.

Upon the recommendation of the Justice Ministry, the Central Election Commission banned last week the party from taking part in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. According to the ministry, there is no clause on participation of the party in parliamentary elections in its founding documents.

RUSSIAN PAPER ON AKAYEV.
The Moscow based Slovo paper published on 1 December an article on the cadre policy of President Askar Akayev, saying that Akayev is appointing to high ranking positions in the country only people who are personally devoted to him. Bekbolot Talgarbekov is from the Naryn province, not from Kemin, as is written in the article.

PRESIDENT AKAYEV SUPPORTS RUSSIA IN CHECHEN WAR.
President Askar Akayev addressed the international security meeting in Kyrgyzstan on 1 December and said that "the Kyrgyz nation decodedly supports the actions of the Russian Federation aimed to protect its territorial integrity, to secure constitutional order, and that [Kyrgyzstan] desires the restoration of peace and stability in the Northern Caucasus as soon as possible".

Akayev said "We share the concern of the friendly Chinese People's Republic on growing separatist trends in China and support the Chinese authorities in their actions to secure the state". Also, Akayev said "We welcome the results of the presidential elections in Tajikistan, which will promote the strengthening of the conciliation and concord processes in the brotherly Tajik Republic".

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