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Kyrgyzstan Rejects $100 Million Aid Package From Kazakhstan


President Almazbek Atambaev last month said Kazakh authorities were "meddling in Kyrgyzstan's domestic affairs" by meeting a political rival.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has signed a law cancelling an agreement under which Bishkek would have received $100 million in aid from Kazakhstan to bring its customs and border-crossing infrastructure up to the standards of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Kyrgyzstan's presidential website said on November 16 that the Foreign Ministry had been ordered to inform Kazakhstan's government about the new law.

Kyrgyzstan joined the EEU in August 2015. The Russian-led trade bloc also includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Armenia.

Kazakhstan agreed in December 2016 to provide the $100 million aid package to Kyrgyzstan with the first disbursement to be released by the end of 2017. So far, Kazakhstan has not released any of the promised aid to Bishkek.

Relations between the Central Asian countries have deteriorated in recent months with outgoing President Atambaev accusing Kazakhstan of interfering in the campaign for Kyrgyzstan's October 15 presidential election.

On October 7, Atambaev said Kazakh authorities were "meddling in Kyrgyzstan's domestic affairs" by supporting opposition candidate Omurbek Babanov, the chief rival of Atambaev political ally Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev met with Babanov in Kazakhstan in September.

According to official election results, Jeenbekov won the vote in the first round. He is scheduled to be sworn into office on November 24.

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