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Kyrgyzstan Moves To Compensate Losses Caused By Kazakh Border Bottleneck

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BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's government has adopted a resolution aimed at assisting businesses and entrepreneurs who have suffered financial losses due to delays at the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border.

Prime Minister Sapar Isakov said on October 30 that he signed a resolution under which traders, vendors, and others affected by the border bottleneck would receive tax relief and other benefits to compensate the losses.

Kyrgyzstan has blamed Kazakhstan for long lines and the slow movement of travelers, cars, and trucks across the border, delays that began when Kazakh authorities stepped up checks at the frontier on October 10.

The delays began after Atambaev accused Kazakhstan of meddling in the campaign for Kyrgyzstan's October 15 presidential election and criticized the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev over his long rule.

Kazakh officials have denied any political motive for stepped-up procedures at the border.

Both countries are members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EES), which also includes Russia, Belarus, and Armenia.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said on October 27 that Kazakhstan's actions contradicted the goals of the EES, which include easing trade among its members.

On October 24, Kyrgyzstan said it was denouncing an agreement under which it would have received some $100 million in aid from Kazakhstan earmarked to help bring its infrastructure up to EES standards.

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