Russian, Kyrgyz foreign ministers to discuss bilateral ties in Moscow

Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbayev will visit Moscow on March 27-28 to discuss bilateral ties between Russia and Kyrgyzstan with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, a spokesman for the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said.

During the talks, the two ministers will focus on agreements reached during visits by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev and parliament speaker Akhmatbek Keldibekov to Russia, the spokesman said. A program for cooperation between the Russian and Kyrgyz foreign ministries in 2011 is expected to be signed during the talks, he added.

During talks in Moscow earlier this month between Atambayev and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia agreed to cancel export taxes for petroleum and oil lubricants supplies to Kyrgyzstan, which had been introduced in February. Moscow has also agreed to provide Bishkek with a $30 million non-interest loan to help the Kyrgyz authorities maintain stability in the country.

In its turn, Kyrgyzstan agreed to sell 75 percent of its Kyrgyzgaz energy company to Russia’s Gazprom and allow Russia to develop new energy deposits in the Central Asian country. Bishkek has also agreed to sell a 48-percent stake in its Dastan plant producing VA-111 Shkval rocket torpedoes to Russia.

Atambayev also pledged not to raise the rent for a Russian airbase in northern Kyrgyzstan, which currently stands at $4.5 million a year.

The head of Russia’s Customs Service said in February Russia could share experience with Kyrgyzstan on entering the Customs Union, currently made up of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. In late December 2010, Atambayev said the country was interested in joining the Customs Union.

Kyrgyzstan saw large-scale opposition riots in April last year that ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and brought the opposition to power. The political situation in Kyrgyzstan stabilized after the country elected a new parliament and approved Roza Otunbayeva, the former opposition leader, as president for a transitional period until 2012.

BISHKEK, March 27 (RIA Novosti)

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