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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[15.05.2OO2] From an interview of M.Aibalaev, the Batken Oblast Governor

Batken has good capacity to develop horticulture, vegetable growing and viticulture, that is the products referred to as import-substituting. If investment is competently attracted to the region we could launch commercial manufacturing of juices and vines made of ecologically clean products Batken has always been famous for.
This, in turn, would be a good support to local producers and the state as a whole.
I believe if the work is well organized the oblast could reach international standards and sell its products like other regions of the republic in two or three years
Issues related to fuel and lubricants are quite solvable. We expect Uzbekistan will hand our Burgondy oil field over to us this year. Batkenneftegaz Company has been established particularly for this purpose. We hope this will relax the fuel and lubricants supply issue, and the region will obtain a stable operating enterprise
Security situation in areas bordering Tajikistan is stable on the whole. Yet drug trafficking related issues may emerge. According to the Department of Interior groups of gunmen still exist in the Tajik areas adjacent to our oblast.
However it should be noted that our defenders of Motherland have got good experience in previous campaigns and are nor bad prepared. As is said, if you want peace be ready for war
Uzbek authorities have somewhat eased check procedure. Some posts have been liquidated; about 30 hectares of minefields have been freed of mines around Sokh enclave. This year were going to have this land completely free of mines. People on the both sides demand this.
However these good things are all that we have, and nothing more. Therefore we are putting forward the question regard customs stations around Sokh enclave; two stations still remain there. Our task is to make the neighbors remove them. In case of success Kyrgyzstanis could freely move throughout the Batken Oblast and settle their everyday affairs
Vecherny Bishkek, May 15, 2002

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