Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Kyrgyzstan and Russia

Vladimir Socor of the Jamestown Foundation addresses the growing ties between Kurmanbek Bakiev's Kyrgyzstan and Russia. This part is new:
"On a parallel track, the authorities are encouraging the emergence of seemingly independent non-governmental organizations that oppose U.S. policies. On May 20, a 'Forum of Kyrgyz Young Politicians' launched a signature-collection campaign in Bishkek against the U.S. proposal that Kyrgyzstan should join the International Monetary Fund's debt-write-off program for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). The program would institute IMF oversight of those countries' finances in return for writing off their debts, supporting budget-balancing measures, and improving their investment climate. However, the just-created Kyrgyz Young Politicians' Forum denounces the program as 'good for the rich countries, not the poor ones' and demands a rejection of 'IMF's ukazes' (Kabar, Interfax, May 19). The U.S. Embassy's public proposal last month that Kyrgyzstan join the HIPC triggered an outburst of anti-U.S. rhetoric from circles associated with Bakiyev.

"The recently created 'Coalition of People's Democrats' similarly demands that 'the U.S. embassy should not interfere in the country's internal affairs' and is telling the public that 'it is in the U.S. interest that there should be no prosperity in Kyrgyzstan … The USA is ready for anything to put a noose around the neck of independent Kyrgyzstan.' Moreover, these People's Democrats are asking the U.S. Embassy to stop supporting the 'odious' Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society led by Edil Baisalov (Kabar, May 18). The latter is a pro-U.S. group and Baisalov was recently injured in assassination attempt in downtown Bishkek in broad daylight by still-unknown perpetrators (see EDM, April 14)."

The piece also claims that Bakiev thinks the war in Afghanistan is almost over. I guess he doesn't follow the news much.


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