Kyrgyzstan may seek nationalization of Kumtor gold mine for sake of pacifying people, says President Atambaev.
Kyrgyzstan may seek to nationalize its largest foreign-run gold
mine which has been at the centre of months of protests, President
Atambaev has said. In an interview with the BBC Kyrgyz Service, the
president said that a long dispute over ownership of the Kumtor mine had
turned into a political game. There have been persistent protests
demanding that Kyrgyzstan take a bigger share of the economically vital
mine. President Almazbek Atambaev said that nationalization remained an
option even though the economic consequences could be harmful. President
Atambaev told the BBC that if no agreement could be reached,
nationalisation would be considered to calm down public agitation over
the issue. "Even if it is very hard and harmful for Kyrgyzstan,
maybe, for the sake of pacifying people, we might take a harmful
action... Like nationalisation," he said. The Parliament of
Kyrgyzstan disapproved the memorandum of understanding concerning Kumtor
project between the Kyrgyz government, Kyrgyzaltyn, Centerra Gold Inc.
of 9 September 2013 with 84 MPs having voted against the memorandum and
only 2 for it. The Parliament also passed the resolution recommending
the Kyrgyz government to continue talks with the Centerra Gold Inc. to
boost Kyrgyzstan's stake up to 67% in the project.
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