Kyrgyzstan to withdraw WTO complaint against Kazakhstan

BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan says it will withdraw a complaint it filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Kazakhstan’s moves to toughen customs controls on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border which led to a two-month bottleneck at the border checkpoints, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Tolkunbek Abdygulov told reporters in Bishkek on December 5 that the complaint will be withdrawn after Kyrgyz and Kazakh authorities agreed on a “road map” to solve the problem.

RFE/RL correspondents reported on December 4 that, for the first time since mid-October, all trucks started passing the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border without delays and the long lines of cars and trucks had begun to disappear.

Kazakhstan introduced tougher inspections of all trucks crossing the border on October 10 after then-Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev publicly criticized Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and accused Kazakhstan of meddling in Kyrgyzstan’s October 15 presidential election.

Kazakhstan denied Bishkek’s accusations, saying the checks had been intensified to curb goods being smuggled into the country from Kyrgyzstan.

On November 30, Nazarbayev and Kyrgyzstan’s new President Sooronbai Jeenbekov met in Russia and agreed to work out a plan to resolve the situation.

On December 2, in Astana, First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin and Deputy Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Tolkunbek Abdygulov signed the Roadmap on bilateral economic cooperation, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

According to the Roadmap, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will adopt new approaches to jointly ensure the measures of customs, tax, veterinary, phytosanitary and sanitary-epidemiological control at the external borders of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and provide export, import and transit supplies through the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border with the participation of representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission.

The Kyrgyz side undertook obligations to exercise proper control in the above areas in full compliance with the requirements of the EEU.

The Kazakh side earlier blamed Kyrgyzstan for smuggling goods into Kazakhstan and the EEU, citing customs statistics according to which the amount and cost of goods that enter Kyrgyzstan from China are much bigger than that of the goods that cross the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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