It’s been an open secret for months, but government leaders in Kyrgyzstan have finally come out into the open with their aim: Bishkek wants full control of a US contract to supply aviation fuel to the Manas Transit Center.
The governments of Kyrgyzstan and the United States are set to sign an amendment to the Manas Transit Center’s leasing agreement that will enable the purchases of aviation fuel directly from a Kyrgyz state-owned enterprise.
In a boost for Kyrgyzstan’s economic revival efforts, Russia has abolished an export tax on fuel. Imposed during the last days of former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s administration, the Russian fuel tariff was widely seen as a trigger for political upheaval that buffeted Kyrgyzstan in 2010.
A scheme to deceive Russia about the purpose of jet fuel purchases, carried out by Mina Corp and Red Star Enterprises, the two main fuel suppliers to the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, undermined US diplomatic interests and jeopardized American and NATO military operations in Afghanistan, a US congressional report released December 21 asserts.