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President Bakiev's Sole Aim is to Save His Regime
Interview] Bakyt Beshimov, leader of Social Democratic Party in Kyrgyzstan
Ryskeldi Satkeev (ryskeldi64)     Print Article 
Published 2009-06-03 09:09 (KST)   
This article has only been lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>
Ryskeldi Satke - President Bakiev's media sources actively circulating information on split within the United Opposition Movement (UOM) after Temir Sariev's (former member of the Kyrgyz Opposition Union) leave of the UOM for his own election campaign. How Sariev's departure did affect UOM at the moment and what's the assessment of the UOM presidential election campaign overall?

Bakyt Beshimov - Saving the regime is the only aim of the president Bakiev . For four years he used a divisive policy of deception and violence. Most of the population understands this. Therefore, Kyrgyz people are concerned and this is not political or historical point. The question is how to free Kyrgyz society from the terrible scourge of Bakiev regime and start a new life in the country? Bakiev election campaign strategists well understood that.

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More and more we observe disappointment of the Bakiev's policy by the people. The main population does not support him anymore. Therefore remains the only use of all state employees and attempts to polarize the opposition movement. UOM is going forward under unified policy and a candidate. It's not possible to win otherwise with a false elections practice and intimidation policy against the opponents . Therefore, Sariev's action helps Bakiev to be in power. If Sariev will not make corrections in June, he will remain without prospects in the future.

Ryskeldi Satke - It is well known fact that the current Government actively engaged in wiretapping and surveillance activities of Kyrgyz citizens particularly used against leaders and members of the UOM as we have witnessed the publication of telephone conversations between Omurbek Tekebaev (leader of Kyrgyz "Ata-Meken" party) and Marina Sabitova (political strategist for Social Democratic Party of Kazakhstan). You have repeatedly expressed the illegality of such actions by the authorities. What is the response of the UOM in this regard?

Bakyt Beshimov - Our goals are positive and we want good for our country so we'll remain open as always. If they want to use surveillance on Kyrgyz people disregarding a real concern for security of the country then let them do it. The time will come to call for justice. They have not paid enough attention to the conflict on the southern borders, ignored the growth of social tensions in the north and desperately threw all in charge against the opposition which is already a majority of the people in Kyrgyzstan.

Huge financial resources are wasted to fight with own population and thus country approaching economic collapse. This disaster could be eliminated if Bakiev and his surrounding will be removed from power.

Ryskeldi Satke - The Kremlin has already started to transfer the money to the Government of Kyrgyzstan. We already know that USD 300 million of russian money are in use. In this light there are still many unanswered questions on Qambar Ata energy project (Hydro Electric Stations). Many various views presented in favor of the Oambar Ata HES with benefits for Kyrgyzstan on the other hand specific details have not made public for discussion yet. Whether these remittances investment or borrowed credit ? Under what terms and conditions we will have to pay it back?

Bakyt Beshimov - Firstly, US$300 million is used to cover Kyrgyz budget deficit and soon will be wasted. Secondly, Kyrgyzstan will start paying back this loan to Russia from 2019 and for ten years from now Kyrgyzstan has to consolidate more than 17 percent of the State budget for this purpose. Such scenario could be possible with GDP growth in case if our economy will be stabilized.

Besides, by borrowing $1.7 billion Kyrgyzstan increased its corporate debt to the creditors.Then the Qambar- Ata joint venture (Russian - Kyrgyz) shall annually repay $90 million. This is large amount. Therefore the question arises on solvency of the business. As you can see a lot of issues surrounded the particular project. Akayev (first Kyrgyz president) and Bakiev tied our country financially. But if you look at this from a different angle the Kremlin made such step toward Kyrgyzstan on the basis of its geopolitical interests. They do not believe the Bakiev regime and that's why Russians are getting involved with use of more reliable methods.

In my opinion, Russia has already started to implement the project "pro-Russian power in Kyrgyzstan" excluding Bakiev. The Kremlin uses him nominally which questions Russia's unreasonable rely on corrupted and not supported by majority of people regime that does not have a firm position on key issues of international policy . Bakiev has lost the confidence of Kyrgyz population.

On that basis, pragmatic Vladimitr Putin arranges the policy of reliance on pro-Russian political elite in Central Asia. This policy, in my view is taking place in Kyrgyzstan already. As far as financial investments concerned it could be beneficial for both Russia and Kyrgyzstan only if there is an honest and effective Government. But under President Bakiev it is not possible.

This is well understood in Russia as well. Read Russian newspapers about Kyrgyzstan and it will give an idea on Kremlin's approach. Bakiev is not considered as a reliable partner. The same thing is happening in neighbouring Central Asian states. So, the problem of reimbursable costs and benefits of borrowed credit generally depends on the quality of leadership.

Ryskeldi Satke - Many questions remain on Qambar Ata HES project management. There is a rollup that it will be implemented by the structure of five managers, three of whom represent the Russian party while Kyrgyz side will be regulated by two. Whether this is a fact and what is the real situation with the management proportion and functions? There is a concern that with time management can go into the hands of the Kremlin. Your comment on this?

Bakyt Beshimov - Yes, such conditions are established and certainly,concern is justified. Russian company can gain leverage for strategic resources of the region as water and energy. But it is not the main issue here. We welcome the cooperation with Russia in this area as equal, reliable and efficient partner. The World Bank (IMF), incidentally also supports such partnership.

But your question displays a broader picture of the essence in cooperation with Russia today and tomorrow. Inside the Kremlin changes occur in favor of mutually beneficial cooperation with Central Asian countries. It is in Russia's best interests to have a unified, stable and friendly Central Asia. The empire rule "divide and conquer" can be effective for a short period of time but in the long run creates headaches.

New political elite in Central Asia will also gradually build relations with Russia and other major powers on common grounds. In this term, Kremlin's alleged support of pro-Russian corrupt and inefficient regimes by Russian political establishment might backfire creating unfriendly force under which comparably afghan Taliban could become a less threat.
I think Central Asian dictatorships have many Russian influential political figures on their 쐏ayroll. So, it is unclear who is who in Moscow? and what interests they do represent (R or personal)? This is a big issue.

Ryskeldi Satke - On NATO Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan. There are quite conflicting news coming out of all sides on extension of the airbase stay. According to Pentagon statements there is a progress in negotiations with Kyrgyz Government which means a continued presence in Kyrgyzstan. That confirmed by various world news agencies including Chinese. On the other hand, Kyrgyz Government is still insisting the opposite version of the final output at the end of August 2009. Do you think one of the parties allegedly misinforming on particular issue and which party do you believe involved in such actions?

Bakyt Beshimov - All the so-called Bakiev foreign policy is a clear contradiction. Who of the major geopolitical players now notes what comes out of Bakiev's Government? No one believes him? Bakiev foreign policy is nearly impossible to analyze. You can see that the main decisions for Kyrgyzstan in international relations are no longer made in Bishkek (Capital of Kyrgyzstan). So the answer to the airbase extension can be analyzed by dynamics of the US - Russian relations.

Ryskeldi Satke - Recently, Kyrgyznews website reported the death of the special military unit "Alpha" servicemen . Former parliamentarian Kubatbek Baibolov indicated in the past that the "Alpha" has been used by the senior government officials in the persecution of opponents and in strictly personal matters. Whether this is actually a fact and what is your comment on this?

Bakyt Beshimov - Growth of the conflicts along the southern borders suggests that Kyrgyzstan has no system of national security. One reason for this unfortunate situation is the use of special units against the civilian population.

Ryskeldi Satke - A few days ago you conveyed the recommendations on strengthening the presidential elections legitimacy in the headquarters of the Central Election Commission. Meanwhile, most of the opposition leaders are confident that Bakiev will falsify the election results . So what actually is expected?

Bakyt Beshimov - Fair elections are impossible under the current authorities. Therefore, we must increase pressure on them under slogan "honest elections" so those who administer forgery and deception would feel responsibility. Bakiev is not the only player in this field. There are many Kyrgyz citizens who sold their soles to the evil. If people understand responsibility and will not agree with the current regime then we have a chance for fair elections. It could be only up to us and free will of the people. There is no other path.

Ryskeldi Satke - On Mailuu Suu radioactive waste site. The town of Mailuu Suu is among top ten most radioactively contaminated areas in the world. There are approximately 25 000 residents exposed to the dangerous levels of radioactive contamination on daily basis with shocking statistics on cancer cases, population mortality , birth defects and numerous health related abnormalities . It is clear that this part of Kyrgyz citizens has been left on its own and has no support from the Government. What is the solution to their problems in your opinion and what can we do to secure radioactive waste sites around the Kyrgyzstan?

Bakyt Beshimov - The Government has no ability and desire to resolve this problem today. We need to attract huge financial resources and provide funding for routine work to improve the health of the nation. A corrupt regime does not have any interest in doing so and will not obviously. The nation's health is much complicated issue and if it will continue the trend of the growth in the number of children with congenital diseases, then in the next 10 years we are looking at huge state problem.

Ryskeldi Satke - Regarding judicial hearings of convicted Nookat residents (Town in the southern part of Kyrgyzstan) . According to experts, this court hearing reveals a Government orchestrated scenario under which a convicted have no chances to dismiss the charges and by most human rights organizations they were used as "scapegoats" by the Government in order to justify its own crimes against Nookat residents. Do you think we can expect more of the repression scenario cases down the road against the opponents of the regime?

Bakyt Beshimov - The repression can be utilized against all outspoken Kyrgyz citizens. Bakiev regime objective is to spread fear among our population and place them on the knees. They don't have to have a respect to achieve this goal. Country fell off backwards into the hole of evil.

Ryskeldi Satke- What is your assessment of overall economic situation in Kyrgyzstan?

Bakyt Beshimov - If the country does not change on July 23, the prospects are disasterous . Recently, one of the presidential candidates who has no chance to win said that he participates in the elections to express himself in the run-up to the severe economic crisis which country is heading to in early 2010 and then he predicts a victory for himself. His projections on economy are not groundless. But destruction of our country can be prevented if we say no to Bakiev on July 23.
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Other articles by reporter Ryskeldi Satkeev

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