“If the issue of private investments in the mining sector of Kyrgyzstan has reached the level of heads of state and is being discussed at the highest level, I have bad news for Bishkek. You ended up in a bad way. Comfortable investors who comply with laws and environmental standards will no longer come to the country,” Igor Pankratenko, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Russian expert on Central Asia, said commenting on participation of the Russian president Vladimir Putin in launching production at Jerooy mine.
In his opinion, participation of the president of Russia in the launch of production at a private enterprise in Kyrgyzstan “was not an accident or a courtesy to Sadyr Japarov.”
“One word is superfluous in the phrase “stable Kyrgyzstan”. And any of them. If the changes of power in the country did not go beyond the political field and did not entail redistribution of property, attempts of raider seizure of strategic enterprises and damage to foreign property – this would remain only an internal affair of the country,” the Russian expert said. “After the change of power, agreements are nullified, work of enterprises is frozen, next rallies against “terrible and unpatriotic foreign investors” take place again and again”.
“Moscow is tired of this situation. The last straw was, perhaps, burning a part of the property of Russian investors in 2020 after the overthrow of the President Sooronbai Jeenbekov. Therefore, Russia decided to show that it was very concerned about the position of its investors, albeit in the private sector,” the expert says.
The analyst explains that “the chaos around Kumtor and Jerooy mines is a consequence and reflection of the ongoing processes in the country.”
The expert is critical predicting the situation around these enterprises.
“The mine where the Russian company operates will be looked after from Moscow. Maybe this will somehow be able to curb enthusiasm of officials who in the near future will try to expel the miners from the field. If it were possible, I would recommend the Canadian authorities to act in a similar way – to keep an eye on private business in other countries. There is no other way to ensure the work of their investors in Kyrgyzstan. Practice has shown that the most correct solution in the case of such a system is manual control,” Igor Pankratenko said. “Results of the work of the Parliament member commissions, which periodically check the work of mining companies in Kyrgyzstan, are predictable in advance”.
In order to save the time of the MPs, he proposes to immediately issue investors “an invoice for lack of spirituality”.
“Based on the experience of past inspections of strategic enterprises with foreign capital in Kyrgyzstan, I can say that inspectors will find violations, even if there are none, because the essence of inspections is not to improve or secure production, but to demand compensation from investors or increase payments,” Igor Pankratenko concluded. (24.kg/Business World Magazine)