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Kyrgyz Report: December 22, 1999

22 December 1999

Vice President of the Kyrgyzenergo joint-stock company Ilyas Davydov announced in Bishkek on 21 December that Kyrgyzstan has produced 131,100 million kWt-hour of electricity in 1999. This is 1,500 million kWt-hours more than in 1998. 2,000 million kWt-hour electricity was exported in 1999, 970 million of which was received by Uzbekistan, 900 million kWt-hours were sent to Kazakhstan, 150 millions to Tajikistan.

Also, according to Davydov, the Kyrgyz government signed a special agreement with the company Global of Kazakhstan on receiving 17.8 million cubic meters of natural gas. Davydov says the power and heating station of Bishkek has begun to receive 10,000 cubic meters of gas per hour from Global. Kyrgyzstan was without natural gas from 16 November till 11 December due to its unpaid debt of about $4 million to Uzbekistan. It was announced a week ago that Kyrgyzstan received 46,000 cubic meters of gas per hour from Uzbekistan, and the country needs about 90,000 cubic meters of gas per hour in the winter. According to Lev Vasilyev, director of the Bishkek heating and power station, the station needs more than 400 million cubic meters of natural gas yearly.

However, the Director of the Sate Energetics Agency Ularbek Mateev announced in Bishkek on 21 December that tariffs for electricity would be increased soon. According to him, the Kyrgyz energetics sector is still unprofitable, and the agency had worked out a package of measures on raising the tariffs. A public discussion on the problem will be held at the Kyrgyzenergo on 25 December.

According to Melisbek Bekkoyonov, department head in the government, the country needs 180 to 200 million dollars to complete the construction of the Kambar-Ata hydro power station on the Naryn River. Vasilyev announced a month ago that Kyrgyzstan needs about $4,300 million to shift its heating system and other public utilities from natural gas to electricity.

An agreement on cooperation between the Kyrgyz government and an international scientific and technical center formed by the US, Japan and Russia, was signed in Bishkek on 21 December. Kyrgyz Minister of Education, Science and Culture Tursunbek Bekbolotov and executive director of the center Allen Gerard signed the agreement. It was announced at a news conference in Bishkek on 21 December that the center would give $2.033 million for 22 scientific projects on physics, chemistry, biotechnology and telecommunications, prepared by the Kyrgyz scientists.

According to the governmental press service, representatives of the World Bank and the Internationa Fund for Global Ecology offices, based in Tasheknt, arrived in Bishkek on 21 December. On 22 December they took part in a round table discussion on ecological problems of Central Asia (including the Aral See problem) and using of water resources of the region. First Vice Prime Minister Boris Silaev also took part.

The governmental press service announced in Bishkek on 21 December that the government had decided to reorganize the Commercial College in Bishkek into the Institute of Economy and Commerce.

The government has also decided to mark 28 May as the Day of Kyrgyz Border Guards. Kyrgyzstan began last August to guard its state frontiers completely by itself and the border guard directorate was set up at the defense ministry last year. 28 May was the Day of Soviet Border Guards in the USSR.

Founder and one of the leaders of the opposition El (Bei-Bechara) party Melis Eshimkanov told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 20 December that the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan revoked that day the decision by the Pervomai district court of Bishkek taken a week ago. According to the present ruling, the Pervomai district court must re-consider the case in 3 days. The district court ruled on 14 December to leave a decision by the Central Election Commission on the party valid.

Member of the Supreme Court Kulupa Aknazarova chaired the meeting.

The Central Elections Commission decided late in November that the party could not nominate its members to parliament according to a party list. The decision had been taken on the recommendation of the Ministry of Justice, which said that the party could not take part in parliamentary elections because there was no word on participation of the party in parliamentary elections in its own regulations.

The next parliamentary elections will be held on 20 February. 15 out of 27 political parties of the country are allowed to nominate their members to parliament on party lists. The El (Bei-Bechara) party could become the 16th one. The party was founded in 1995. It held its last congress on 11 December and amended the regulations. Chairman of the party is MP Daniyar Usenov, chairwoman of its executive committee is MP Alevtina Pronenko.

According to the Defense Ministry, Minister Esen Topoev departed to Moscow on 20 December to take part in a meeting of the defense ministers of countries that signed the CIS collective defense agreement. Also, it is expected that he will sign an agreement with Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev on bilateral cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan in the military sector.

According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev signed on 20 December a special decree awarding Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev with the Third Class Manas Order of Kyrgyzstan. According to the decree, Sergeev has been rewarded due to his contribution to strengthen security and defense systems of Kyrgyzstan. Russia provided Kyrgyzstan with military equipment during the last rebel-crisis.

According to the Foreign Ministry, a delegation of the Japanese Foreign Ministry led by Yukihido Mikaida was in Kyrgyzstan on 17-18 December. They met with Secretary of the Security Council Bolot Januzakov, Minister of National Security Tashtemir Aitbaev, adviser to the president Askar Aitmatov, First Deputy Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov. Securing of the safety of foreign specialists in Kyrgyzstan was discussed.

Four Japanese geologists (along with Kyrgyz citizens) were taken hostage in Kyrgyzstan by foreign insurgents during the last rebel crisis in southern Kyrgyzstan in August-October. They were released on 25 October.

Secretary of the Security Council General Bolot Januzakov announced in Bishkek on 20 December that 3,384 crimes were registered in the country in 1999 to date. 1,120 of them are connected with embezzling of state budget or property and 430 of them are serious crimes. 146 state officials have been accused of receiving bribes, 760 state officials have been accused of power abuse. Total damage to the state budget is 320 million soms (about $7 million).

On 20 December the Kyrgyz National Academy of Sciences marked its 45th anniversary. The branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Kyrgyzstan, founded in 1943, was turned into the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences in 1954. Incumbent President of the Academy is Academician Janybek Jeenbaev, a physicist.

According to Beishen Imanakunov, Chief Secretary of the Academy, 2,200 scientists and scholars work at the Academy now. 37 of them are academicians, 57 - member-correspondents of the Academy. 362 people have candidate degrees.

Congresses of the two political parties were held in Bishkek on 18 December.

About 100 delegates took part in the 4th congress of the Party "Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan". Chairman of the party, MP Jypar Jeksheev reported to the congress on the recent activity of the party. It was announced at the congress that the party could unite with other parties in a bloc. Also, Jeksheev will take part in the next parliamentary elections on 20 February both in the Tyup single-mandatory constituency and as the number one on the party list.

About 40 delegates took part in the 5th congress of the socialistic Ata-Meken party. It was announced at the congress that party chairman, MP Omurbek Tekebaev will run for a seat in parliament from the Bazar-Korgon single-mandatory constituency and the party list will be headed by professor Rahat Achylova.

The presidential press service announced in Bishkek on 18 December that two more deputy governors of the Batken province had been appointed. Member of Parliament Adylbek Kadyrbekov will be responsible for security and defense issues in the province. He is now chairman of the parliamentary committee on defense and security problems. Barataly Koshmatov has been appointed deputy governor on agriculture. He had worked at the Osh province administration before. The Batken province was formed last October during the rebel crisis in southern Kyrgyzstan. It has become the 7th administrative region of the country.

A delegation of the World Health Organization left Kyrgyzstan on 18 December. During the 3-day visit, they took part in a conference on the health care situation in Kyrgyzstan on 17 December. President Askar Akayev attended the conference. A memorandum on understanding between the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health Care and the WHO was signed on 18 December.