Part Two


Murat Laumulin, D.Sc. (Political Science), Chief Researcher, Institute of Strategic Studies under the President of Kazakhstan (Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan)

Russias Energy Interests in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

Russia is also actively cooperating in the oil and gas industry with Kyrgyzstan. This cooperation is mainly expressed in an agreement between the Kyrgyzstan government and the Russian company Gazprom on the exploration and development of gas fields over a span of 25 years.

At the beginning of 2004, Uzbekistan insisted on entering a new gas contract with Kyrgyzstan, but its conditions were tougher and less advantageous for the latter. The price of gas remained the same42 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, but in so doing Uzbekistan insisted on it being paid in full in hard currency, and not 50% in currency and 50% in goods as before. Taking into account its large foreign debt and state budget deficit, this contract was extremely disadvantageous for Kyrgyzstan.

Since there was no other alternative Kyrgyzstan was forced to agree to essentially any conditions Uzbekistan put forward. This situation prompted the Kyrgyz leadership to look for alternative sources of gas supplies. For example, in May 2003, an Agreement on Cooperation in the Gas Sphere between Gazprom and the Kyrgyz Government for twenty-five years was signed. Gas is delivered via the existing major gas pipelines. Apparently, Gazprom is planning to deliver some of the gas it purchases in.

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