08ASTANA2156, CENTRAL ASIAN LEADERS REACH AGREEMENT ON WATER AND ENERGY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA2156 2008-10-31 09:46 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9960
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK
RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2156/01 3050946
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 310946Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3706
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0755
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0154
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0864
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2038
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1987
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2323
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0316
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0233
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002156 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, OES (PHUDAK, NFITE) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL SENV TX TI KG UZ KZ
SUBJECT:  CENTRAL ASIAN LEADERS REACH AGREEMENT ON WATER AND ENERGY 
FOR THE UPCOMING WINTER 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  The presidents of the five Central Asian states 
overcame their disagreements and signed an agreement in Bishkek on 
October 10 to share water and energy resources this winter.  One 
expert sees Gazprom's influence behind this deal, which, if 
implemented, would represent an important step forward on water and 
energy cooperation in Central Asia.  END SUMMARY. 
 
SUMMIT AGREEMENT ON WATER AND ENERGY 
 
3. (SBU) The presidents of the five Central Asian states overcame 
their disagreements and signed an agreement on October 10 in Bishkek 
to share water and energy resources over the winter period.  If 
implemented, the agreement should improve the winter situation in 
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.  Ruslan Ayabov, head of the Bilateral 
Cooperation Division of the Kazakhstani MFA's Central Asia 
Department, confirmed to the Regional Environmental Officer (REO) 
the results of the October 10 Biskhek meeting, which followed a CIS 
heads of state gathering.  Ayabov gave the REO a non-paper with the 
following details about the agreement: 
 
-- Kazakhstan will supply Kyrgyzstan the amount of coal it needs for 
the winter period. 
 
-- Uzbekistan will guarantee an uninterrupted supply of natural gas 
to Kyrgyzstan during the first quarter of 2009, an amount that will 
exceed by 150 million cubic meters the amount delivered in the first 
quarter of 2008.  (NOTE:  The media in Kazakhstan have reported that 
Uzbekistan will be supplying its natural gas to Kyrgyzstan at a cost 
much lower than the current market rate.  END NOTE.) 
 
-- Tajikistan and Uzbekistan agreed on the transit of approximately 
1.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity from Turkmenistan through 
Uzbekistan's electrical power grid. 
 
-- These agreements are directed toward maintaining the level of 
water in Kyrgyzstan's reservoirs necessary to guarantee the demands 
of neighboring countries for water for the irrigation period (i.e., 
the 2009 crop season). 
 
DID GAZPROM GREASE THE SKIDS? 
 
4. (U) In an article entitled "Kyrgyzstan Could Deny Uzbekistan the 
Status of Gas Monopolist," which appeared on October 20 in the 
Russian newspaper "Vremya Novosti," Central Asia expert Arkady 
Dubnov reported that Gazprom has signed memoranda of understanding 
regarding buying controlling shares in Kyrgyzstan's state-owned gas 
company KyrgyzGaz and in Kyrgyzneftegaz.  Dubnov claimed that 
Gazprom also bought up a significant amount of Uzbekistan's natural 
gas, and that Gazprom informed the Uzbeks that if they refused to 
supply gas to Kyrgyzstan this winter at subsidized rates, then 
Gazprom would do so using part of the gas that it had purchased from 
Uzbekistan.  According to Dubnov, Gazprom's hidden hand thus greased 
the skids for the Central Asian presidents to reach the water and 
energy agreement for the winter. 
 
5. (SBU) COMMENT:  In the past, various factors inhibited water and 
energy cooperation, causing the countries to negotiate annual 
bilateral deals.  The interests of the upstream countries 
(Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) in using water for electricity 
generation have clashed with the interests of the downstream 
countries (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan) in using water for crop 
irrigation.  Additionally, Uzbekistan has held out from cooperating 
because of disputes with Kyrgyzstan over the status of the Amu-Darya 
and Naryn rivers, and has retained ambitions to remain the monopoly 
supplier of electricity in the region.  If implemented, this 
agreement will represent an important step forward on water and 
energy cooperation in Central Asia, even if Gazprom/Kremlin Inc. 
banged the table to make it happen.  END COMMENT. 
 
 
ASTANA 00002156  002 OF 002 
 
 
HOAGLAND

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