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Kyrgyz PM: Gold Mine Talks Continue

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev
Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev says the government is hopeful of getting a greater share of the profits from the Kumtor gold mine.

In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL on December 10, Satybaldiev said his government is in talks with the Canadian company Centerra to get a 67 percent share of the valuable mine, but is more likely to get about 50 percent.

It currently owns a 33 percent share.

He added that a financial charge to Centerra for environmental damage is not punitive but rather "normal business."

On Uzbekistan, Satybaldiev said talks demarcating the countries' 1,400-kilometer border continue and an agreement for some 900 kilometers of the Uzbek-Kyrgyz frontier should be signed within three months.

Satybaldiev said talks also continue with Tashkent about gas supplies to Kyrgyzstan with the only outstanding issue being the price.