Kyrgyzstanis wondering – where is gone 19 t gold?

On the day of celebration of the 31st anniversary of independence, President Sadyr Zhaparov said that the Kumtor gold mine has been returned to the full ownership of the country forever. According to experts, Zhaparov specifically stated this, since  19 tons of Kumtor gold worth $1.2 billion were exported from Kyrgyzstan in 2021. The Russian edition of Nezavisimaya Gazeta presented its alignment on the hidden sale of gold.

Prior to this, the country’s authorities stated that they classified the information saling the gold “for security purposes.” However, according to a number of political analysts, the authorities will still have to explain this, since part of the country’s society believes that the money received from the sale of gold can be used to fight for power, the newspaper writes.

“The Parliament of Kyrgyzstan, which will meet on September 1 for its first session after the summer holidays, will have to answer questions from the opposition and society: why did the authorities classify information about the sale of the precious metal, the export of which amounted to 40% of the country’s total exports, and where the billion dollars ? – Ravshan Dzheenbekov, a member of the United Opposition Movement (OOM), expressed his opinion. He states that the opposition is demanding that the authorities also publish the full text of the signed peace agreement between the Canadian company Centerra Gold and Kyrgyzstan and report who signed the contract and under what conditions.

“The fact is that three or four months ago there was movement of the sides of the quarry at the mine, which created risks for the work. A state environmental commission was created, the results of which were also not published. The issue of safety of work at the field arises,” the politician said. According to him, the government manipulates information. As an example, he cited a recent interview with President Sadyr Zhaparov, who, explaining the loss of 19 tons of gold, said that the information was classified for security reasons and spoke about the technical details of the gold transportation.

“The National Bank, in order to transport gold worth a billion, needs to overcome several countries by air. And if they announce that they intend to export so much gold to such and such a country, naturally, there are risks that the gold may not reach its destination. In this regard, from now on, the transportation of gold will be a secret. They will deliver gold to foreign banks, then sell it on the world exchange. All relevant documentation will always be kept in the archive,” Zhaparov told the media. However, according to the opposition politician, few people are interested in technical details. The question is different: where did the gold go and where is the money. In addition, the president explained why Kyrgyzstan refused to take a 26% stake in Kumtor; according to Zhaparov, they “turned into pieces of paper” over 30 years, although back in January 2022 they were worth $650 million.

The politician believes that the Parliament is obliged to demand from the President of the country to report on this issue.

The topic of missing gold, raised by a number of non-governmental media, has become one of the most discussed in the Kyrgyz society in recent days. It received a new sound after Switzerland released import statistics for 2021 on August 30. It turns out that Kyrgyzstan traded with this country for $1.2 billion. But need to point that 90% of Kyrgyz exports are gold.

Director of the Agency for Ethno-National Strategies Alexander Kobrinsky says that those who sent the gold were apparently poorly educated and hoped to hide the fact of exporting 19 tons of the precious metal. There is no information yet that gold has already been sold on the London Stock Exchange. With a certain degree of certainty, we can say that part of it will end up in the UK on personal accounts. “And who do we have in London? And in London – Maxim Bakiyev, who, as they say, has a serious influence on the economy of Kyrgyzstan as a whole,” the expert noted.

According to him, today in Kyrgyzstan there are two main problems in domestic politics: where and for what purposes did the gold go and the inviolability of the state border. “These are the questions that the authorities will inevitably ask. The Parliament, which started its work today on September 1, will raise these issues at the next meeting. But most likely, these topics will not be developed, because the legislative assembly, or rather its parliamentary majority, is under the control of the head of the State Committee for National Security, Kamchibek Tashiev,” Kobrinsky emphasized. And for him, these questions are painful.

There has been a split in the tandem, and the chief security officer is not averse to changing his friend at the highest state post. But he can’t do it himself. “Everything suggests that the end of the year in Kyrgyzstan will not be boring. With a high degree of probability, it can be assumed that changes may occur in the country’s leadership, and in the foreseeable future. And Russia must be prepared for this,” Kobrinsky believes.

inozPRESS.kg,
September 1, 2022