Kyrgyzstan will soon join the Custom Union – R. Otunbayeva

February 8, 2013, 06:00

Kyrgyzstan will join the soon Customs Union. This was said today by Ex-President of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbayeva during a live videoconference according to UNN’s correspondent. 

“We will enter the Customs Union. We are striving towards this. We have large trade ties with Russia. Our work migrants go to Russia. 300,000 of our citizens are working there on a permanent basis, but in some seasons their number “surpassed” one million, while the population of our republic is all of 5.5 million,” said Otunbayeva. 

Another important reason identified by the ex-president was the lack of other markets for Kyrgyzstan’s products. “We have a thousand kilometer border with China, but we are unable to sell anything there, China only brings (products) to us. They are ready to sell us everything from needles to who-knows what. Everything we have is Chinese… but we must sell all of the products we produce somewhere. Our only natural market is Kazakhstan and Russia, because the Uzbek border is closed too tightly,” stated Otunbayeva adding “Therefore, the Customs Union, which involves the free passage of goods, services, finance, is a very important Union for us and we are preparing. Negotiations are currently underway and we will join.” 

With regard to possible losses of sovereignty from joining the Customs Union, Otunbayeva said the following, “Let’s not id ourselves, we are all dependent on each other. But for us to live, develop and feed our families, we need the Kazakh and Russian markets. Therefore we will move forward along this course.” 

Among the other integrated cooperation efforts of Kyrgyzstan, the Ex-President named the Central Asian Union, whose idea is currently in a frozen state due to Uzbek opposition, as well as cooperation within the SCO. “We have very intensive political, economic, and cultural ties with China,” Otunbayeva said. 

The Customs Union was founded by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2007. Currently negotiations are underway on the possible form of Ukraine’s participation in the Union. 

Roza Otunbayeva was one of the leaders of the Tulip Revolution of 2005 and the April 2010 revolution in Kyrgyzstan. As a result of the latter, Otunbayeva led the Interim Government and served as the nation’s President after the resignation of Kurmanbek Bakiev and before the election of the current President, Almazbek Atambaev. 

Earlier Otunbayeva held the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and was leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan. 

Source: UNN