Ordinary human rights activist of provincial scale became a bone of contention between Kyrgyzstan and the United States. Or is it just a formal occasion?
Thus, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic denounced the agreement with the US dated 1993. Let me remind you that the Kyrgyz Republic is the only country in Central Asia, with which America has - or rather had - certain agreements.
It is appropriate to give explanations about the government's historic decision.
"The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic explains that the agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the United States of America on cooperation to facilitate the assistance provided for the following. Products, supplies or other property provided or used in connection with the United States assistance programs may be imported into, exported from or used in the Kyrgyz Republic without imposition of any fees, taxes, customs duties, import taxes or other similar taxes or charges, established by the Kyrgyz Republic.
Any government or private US organization, responsible for implementation of the US programs on facilitation as well as any employee of such private organization who are not citizens or permanent residents of the Kyrgyz Republic and who is there, is exempt from any income taxes, social security and other taxes, payment of any tariffs, dues, customs duties, import taxes, and other similar taxes or charges imposed on personal and household goods, and so on.
In addition, civilian and military personnel of the US government, located in the Kyrgyz Republic in connection with the United States programs, are provide for the status, equal to assignable to administrative and technical personnel under Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961," the official communiqué of the Cabinet of Kyrgyzstan, published yesterday, reports.
The public, despite July vacation bliss and late hour, began to actively engage in polemics on this issue.
Efficiency is usually uncharacteristic to Kyrgyz official, this time just struck.
On July 17 the government of Temir Sariev announced its intention to denounce the agreement, and the intentions were fulfilled at sunset on July 21.
US Embassy also responded to the intentions quite quickly. "The US government is disappointed with the statement of intention of Kyrgyzstan to abandon the bilateral agreement of 1993," the press service of the US Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic reported to 24.kg news agency. The Embassy reminded that on the basis of this document provides a large part of the aid "for development for the government and people of the Republic for more than 20 years". "We are studying technical implications of such a decision, which could jeopardize aid programs that benefit the citizens of Kyrgyzstan, including programs on combating violent extremism, increase in economic growth and creation of jobs, improvement of education system, as well as programs on support of democratic development of Kyrgyzstan," the department reports.
The agreement with the United States was denounced as a protest against awarding the Kyrgyz human rights activist Azimzhan Askarov the State Department Award. Of course, Azimzhan Askarov and his award was a formal occasion for "demarche" of our government.
Tears of pessimist
In social networks, many rushed to comment on the incident.
"There is no doubt that the Russian FSB helps to political elite of Kyrgyzstan in purge before the main election," the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Bakyt Beshimov tweeted. He is hardly memorized by his fellow citizens for some victories of the Foreign Ministry of the Kyrgyz Republic under his leadership. He is best known as the person involved in the criminal case of financial irregularities at Osh State University, where he was a rector. Being the Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic in India, he is remembered for his humiliating kitsch-gifts to the first President Askar Akayev, ousted later. But the crowning glory was a quarrel with the future president of the country Almazbek Atambayev, whose colleague he was at the time when the latter was in opposition. It is still not known for certain what the two social democrats didn't share. But after the dispute Bakyt Beshimov went to the US, where he stayed. He lives happily ever after, at times harshly criticizes his former friend from the ocean. In social networks...
"Why tensions with the United States exacerbated in Bishkek? 1. Theatrical nationalism, the desire for self-glorification! 2. Underestimating relations with the United States. 3. Indulging Putin!" Bakyt Beshimov continues commenting on the main theme.
MP of the fifth convocation of the Kyrgyz Republic, elected by Ar-Namys party, Dastan Bekeshev believes that "in general, denunciation of the agreement - excessive and unnecessary reaction, it's a mistake."
But Dastan Bekeshev is to run for the sixth convocation of the Social Democratic Party, so he mollified his judgment.
"Everything has its pros and cons: maybe we will start looking for ways of development without freebies. I'm sorry, because educational projects will be closed. Projects in the sphere of democracy - only earnings of NGOs," he wrote on Twitter.
According to Dastan Bekeshev, one of the representatives of "NGO" - Azamat Akeneeev wrote in social network: "I've never thought that I will regret about joining the EEU, but it looks like it was a strategic mistake. We can not develop in isolation, this is a dead end."
Polemics among Internet users divided them into two verbally warring camps. However, it has become typical: the so-called "pro-American" and "quilted jackets" (so opponents name each other) are really fighting since the power of Viktor Yanukovych was changed in Kiev on Maidan. But that's another story...
Not as scary as it is painted?
Fact: the agreement of the Kyrgyz Republic with the United States is denounced. Definitely we can say only one thing - beginning of the period of formation of a fundamentally new status of relations and cooperation between the two countries. Definitely after the coming reaction of the State Department on the decision taken by the official Bishkek, the parties will negotiate the prospects in silence.
Probably forecasts of some "analysts" that Washington will begin to tighten the screws, or even as a kind of "war" with Kyrgyzstan are still untenable.
Of course, denunciation of the agreement will result in some inconvenience for Kyrgyzstan and the United States.
It (denunciation) implies that all goods, supplies or other property, provided by the United States in the framework of ongoing projects in the Kyrgyz Republic, will now be subject to tariffs, taxes, customs duties, import taxes and other fiscal charges. As well as "any employee who is not citizen or permanent resident of the Kyrgyz Republic", will be obliged to pay taxes. Obviously, the nationals of Barack Obama, who primarily had immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, now lose the special status. Although the seventh floor, which gets hot in earnest, will unlikely ignore these agreements.
What Kyrgyz lose? Users of social networks are concerned: all educational programs will be canceled.
"USAID will never pay taxes. There won't be a precedent. So all the programs will be closed up," one writes.
"It is about programs aimed at increasing economic growth and jobs creation, improving the education system, as well as support for democratic development," another writes.
"It turns out that all the programs and projects from August 20 (or is it on September 1 or August 1) will have to pay taxes and duties to the fullest. And foreign consultants?" the third argues.
By the way, according to some estimates, for nearly 25 years of independence of Kyrgyzstan the United States financed various programs and projects for the amount approaching $1 billion.
Suffice it to recall that different projects of such organizations as USAID, UN, UNDP, as well as the US taxpayer paid for comfortable working conditions, such as members of parliament. Sites, or rather creation and opening of the majority of the official websites of state structures of sovereign Kyrgyzstan, were financed from the budget of the United States. It is time to be ashamed of. Because it is unclear how a huge amount of money - $1 billion - was spent and what was the benefit. Perhaps, individual officials made profit - we know many examples when they were accuses of embezzlement and appropriation of money. But foreign consultants were not in poverty. And we know it, too, because nearly a third of funds laid down in various projects were serve for their remuneration of labor. More than big salary - by local standards.
What should we expect?
Most likely, the high parties will adjust their further cooperation. How? The government on condition of anonymity confirmed that the negotiation process is possible only in strict compliance with the interests of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Little, one of the poorest in the former Soviet Union, but very proud country wants Washington to reckon with it. What will be the answer of the White House?
Meanwhile those are bustling (people in social networks cracked wicked jokes about it not without reason) who are afraid to stay without usual comfort zone. Who argues - will lose wages disproportionately larger than ordinary Kyrgyz citizens, funded by poor budget, it is very unpleasant. And it is a pity...