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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[16.04.23] Kazakhstan, Russia Want Kyrgyz Water in Return for Investment

The governments of Russia and Kazakhstan have offered to guarantee private investments in the construction of two hydroelectric plants in Kyrgyzstan if they receive in return control over part of the water collected by the associated dams. But an akipress.org report published by centrasia.ru on 15 April quotes the chairman of a Kyrgyz state committee on the fuel and energy complex, Tairbek Sarpashev, as saying this proposal runs counter to Kyrgyzstan's national interests. Sarpashev speculated that the Russian and Kazakh proposals might be politically motivated, adding that Kyrgyzstan will finance construction of one of the plants, Kambar-Ata-1, itself. The project is to be launched by President Askar Akaev on 16 April. Another akipress.org item on the same day reported that Kazakh Agriculture Ministry Water Resources Committee Chairman Anatolii Ryabtsev announced that in return for its participation in the construction of the two Kyrgyz power stations -- Kambar-Ata-1 and Kambar-Ata-2 -- Kazakhstan wanted shares in the existing Toktogul plant and the right to sit on its board of governors. According to Ryabtsev, this would give Kazakhstan a voice in the distribution of water from the Toktogul Reservoir and ensure a stable supply of Syr-Darya water for the southern part of the country.
The Times of Central Asia, April 16, 2003

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