Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will hold talks on natural gas, water and electricity supplies in November, Kyrgyz Energy Minister Igor Chudinov said today in answer to a question by MP Aslan Maliyev.
"This question will certainly be raised in November in connection with Uzbekistan supplying natural gas to us in winter and Kyrgyzstan supplying water to Uzbekistan in spring. We will insist that we will sell not only electricity but also water because water is a commodity," he said.
In answer to Maliyev’s question of "Will Kyrgyzstan be able to use irrigation water as a tool to exert pressure, following Uzbekistan’s example?", Chudinov said: "In fact, winter comes first and only then comes spring. For this reason, we always talk first about natural gas and then about water. Therefore, there are complications," he said.
In the minister’s opinion, "we [Kyrgyzstan] must understand clearly that we will buy natural gas from Uzbekistan whatever price will be set for it". "At the same time, Uzbekistan must buy our services, including on water discharges and on supplying electricity, at market prices. It will be good if we defend this stance," he said.
In turn, MP Ulugbek Ormonov noted that spring came first and only then came winter, Kyrgyz AKIpress news agency website reported.
"One may do all this work in spring and sleep in winter, instead of saying in the same way as you [Chudinov] did: `Look, winter has come and then spring comes’," he said.