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Kyrgyzstan

Geography

Image: webmandry
Map of Kirgizstan

Kyrgyzstan is located in the East of Central Asia, and the largest part of it is comprised of the the Tian Shan mountain range and 6,500 glaciers. Ancestors of the Kyrgyzs were Tiurk nomadic cattle-breeder people residing in the territories of Central Asia and Southern Siberia. By gaining a victory over the Uyghurs, Kyrgyz Kaganat existing throughout the 9th and 10th centuries was formed by Yenisei Kyrgyz. After collapse of the Mongol Empire, ancestors of the Kyrgyzs  moved towards Tian Shan. Despite the attempts to advocate antiqueness of the Kyrgyz ethnicities, it would be a mistake to say, that prior to the establishment of USSR separately existing family clans and their unions were united and formed the Kyrgyz nation which was actually established in the beginning of the 20th century.
Due to various external factors, various views spreaded throughout the territory of Kyrgyzstan, and in the 10th century on Fergana Valley – Islam. At the moment, majority of inhabitants of the republic, particularly in the south, are Muslims.
In 1876, Russian Empire invaded the Khanate of Kokand, however, Alai region, ruled by Kurmanzhan, continued figthing. The forces were disproportionate, and the region was incorporated into the Russian Empire.
It is said that democratic ideas sparked in Kyrgyzstan along with  poet Toktogul Satylganov (1864–1933) who described the unfair life in his writings, was acussed of provocations against Russia and, sent out to Siberia from which he was able to escape.    A writer known worldwide is Chingiz Aitmatov (1928-2008) who wrote in  Russian and Kyrgyz. He was a significant public figure of USSR and Kyrgyzstan, and in 1990 he read the nominating speech of Michal Gorbachev, President of the USSR.   
The territory of Kyrgyzstan covers 199,900 square kilometers, of which 7,200 square kilometers are covered by water. The total length of state border is 3,878 kilometres, including 858 kilometres with China in east, 870 km with Tajikistan in south, 1,099 kilometres with Uzbekistan in west and 1,051 kilometres with Kazakhstan in north.
The Tian Shan mountain range covers around 85 % of the territory of the state, therefore, Kyrgyzstan is also referred to as the 'Switzerland of Central Asia'. The highest peak is Jengish Choqusu (Victory Peak) – 7,439 m. The state has no direct access to the sea, however, Lake Issyk-Kul located in northeast of the country is the largest not only within the republic, but also the second largest mountain lake in the world, located 1,606 meters above the sea level. The lowest point in Kyrgyzstan is Kara-Darya – 132 m below sea level, while approximately 95 % of the state territory is located over 500 m above sea level. There are 6,500 glaciers in Kyrgyzstan, the waters of which  form the beginnings of over 28,000 rivers.
The climate differs from region to region. It is sub-tropical in the South-Western part  of Fergana valley with very hot summers the temperature reaching +40ºC. On the foothils of Northern region the climate is temperate, while on Tian Shan it varies from dry continental to polar, depending on height above the sea level.
Less than 8 % of the land can be used for agricultural purposes, mainly on valleys in the northern part of the state as well as on the most remote places of Fergana Valley. Arable land comprises 6.5 % of the total territory. Kyrgyzstan has the largest wild walnut forests in the world. The largest river is the Naryn River which flows through the Fergana Valley and continues in Uzbekistan.

Population

Approximately 6 million people (2015) live in Kyrgyzstan, majority of whom – in countryside. The average population density is 30 people per 1 square kilometre. 29.3 % of the population are under the age of 15, 65.4 % are aged 15 to 65,  and 5.3 % are above 65.
In the beginning of 1990s, birth rates in the country went down significantly, but in recent decades, they increase in a constant manner, and the current rate is 24 newborn per 1,000 inhabitants. However, the infant mortality rate is also high, it being 30 deaths per 1,000 newborns. Whereas the average mortality rate is 7 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants. Average life span is 70 years (66 for men and 74.2 for women).
The ethnic composition of Kyrgyzstan is rather homogeneous, the Kyrgyzs are the prevailing ethnic group in all regions of the state. In total 72.6 % of the inhabitants are Kyrgyzs, 14.5 % are Uzbeks (living mainly in the southern areas on the border with Uzbekistan) and 6.4 % are of Russian ethnicity. The Ukrainians, Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kazakhs as well as representatives of other ethnicities also live in the republic. Kyrgyzstan also features four Uzbek and two Tajik enclaves.
In terms of religion, 80 % of the population are Muslims (Sunnite), 15 % are of Orthodox belief, and 5 % belong to other denominations.

Administrative-territorial division

Credit: ndnature
Map of Kyrgyzstan

The territory of Kyrgyzstan is divided into seven reģions (oblasts) and two cities of republic importance, them being the capital city Bishkek (north of the republic) and Osh (south of the republic).

No. in the map

Oblast

Administrative centre

Territory, km²

Population

1

Bishkek

 

170

967,200

9

Osh

 

18,5

255,400

2

Batken

Batken

17,000

453,800

3

Chuy

Tokmak

20,200

808,200

4

Jalal abad

Jalal abad

33,700

1,051,200

5

Naryn

Naryn

45,200

262,300

6

Osh

Osh

29,200

1,117,900

7

Talas

Talas

11,400

230,000

8

Issyk-Kul

Karakol

43,100

450,600

Economy

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are the poorest countries among the former USSR republics. Approximately 30 % of the population live below the poverty line, moreover, large economic difference among urban and rural territories exist. The state economy is mainly comprised of industry and agriculture which employs majority of able-to-work  people. Around half a million of the Kyrgyz population become migrant workers each year (mostly in Russia), and their money transfers provide for approximately 29 % of the republic's GDP.
The leading industrial sectors are energy and gold mining. The country has a little small oil and natural gas reserves, but since 2010 their extraction has decreased significantly. Petrol filling stations are partly controlled by Russian corporation Gazprom Neft which owns 63 % of the stations in the northern part of the republic.
The economic situation is greatly worsened also by the impressive external debt which increased on an ongoing basis since 2008. The largest payment for the external debt will be made from 2024 to 2031, and the current amount of the external debt is 3.8 billion USD.
However, in early 2020, President S.Zheenbekov stressed that the policy on external debt management had been changed and would be implemented by a specialized unit set up by the Ministry of Finance. Over the next 10 years, more than $ 255 million will be allotted for external payment debt, with major spending is expected between 2025 and 2029. The president also noted that Kyrgyzstan's state debt amount has fallen from 53% to 44% of GDP in the last two years.
Most of the external debt is made up of Kyrgyzstan's debt to China, and this situation is intricate because in case the neighboring country does not want to extend its loans or if there is an economic crisis, Bishkek will have to take new loans to repay the existing ones. Beijing is eager to provide long-term loans to Central Asian countries, as it provides easy access to natural resources and engaging its workforce in various projects. At the same time, dissatisfaction among the local population is increasing, and in Kyrgyzstan, after a series of protests of local inhabitants, a Chinese project on the construction of an industrial trade and logistics center in the Narin district (central border with China) has been canceled. The construction of the center would have cost $ 280 million and could have become one of the largest in Central Asia, providing 15,000 jobs (13,000 had been envisaged for the locals). An agreement to build the center had been signed in the summer of 2019, a joint venture was established and a free economic zone of approximately 200 hectares was planned to be leased for 49 years.
Contraction of GDP is related to decrease in  precious metal mining, and economic growth is being delayed by slower rates in the trade partner countries of Kyrgyzstan, including the members of Eurasian Economic Union, as Kazakhstan. In order to facilitate economic growth, required would be external support, however, investors are worried about the instable political situation in the republic (coups in 2005 and 2010), moreover, foreign banks often conduct finance operations via Russian finance institutions, which presents certain risks in the circumstance of sanctions.
International experts also emphasise that the Kyrgyz government should put in all the effort to maintain the budget deficit in the level of 4,5% of the GDP.
Agriculture is an essential economic sector which employs approximately 48 % of able-bodied people of the state and provides for around 25 % of GDP. Due to the terrain structure land available for cultivation comprise approximately 7 % of the territory of the state, therefore, the largest agricultural sector is cattle-breeding. The republic produces wool, meat, dairy products, tobacco, cotton, fruits and vegetables, however, food is also being imported.
The main industrial hub lies within the northern part of the country and, by employing 13 % of the able-bodied population, comprises 26 % of the state's GDP. Leading industries are mining, non-ferrous metallurgy, machine building, light and food industry. Light industry comprises textile industry (80 %), sewing and production of leather footwear, all of which are completely made of local raw materials.
The state owns major gold, tin and other natural resource deposits. The largest gold deposit is Kumtor which is being extracted in cooperation with a Canadian company Centerra Gold Inc.
Electric power is obtained in 17 hydroelectric power stations (HPS, the largest of them being the cascade of the HPS of Naryn), as well as thermopowerstations. Kyrgyzstan is rich in hydroresources – water in the state covers approximately 2,448 cubic kilometres, and 70 % of the territory is comprised of lakes, 28 % of the water gained from glacier melting, 1,9% –of rivers, and 0,1% – of underground waters. Water is stored in warehouses and delivered to neighouring Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan during the summer.
Service sector employs around 40 % of the economic active people, because since the collapse of USSR increased have been chances to start business in construction, trade,  road and other sectors.
Main investors in the Kyrgyz economy are Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, U.S., and China. 
Russia allocates funds to support projects for various economic development and social programs, as well as provides military technical aid  to the republic, by supplying ar massively discounted or free of charge arms and military equipment, as well as by providing Kyrgyz soldier trainings in Russian military universities. Moreover, Gazprom is to invest 550 million USD for modernisation and reconstruction of Kyrgyz natural gas transportation system in order to supply natural gas to the living areas of Bishkek until 2019. Russia also allocates great resources to food supply programme in Kyrgyzstan (the sum donated since 2008 exceeds 40 million USD).
The mountainous relief restricts expanding on railway construction, therefore its total length amounts to 370 km approximately, and mainly it is neighbouring countries' railway extension from Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south. The main means of transport in the republic is motor cars, and the total length of motorways is 40,000 kilometrs approximately. The largest density of motorways is observed in the north and on the Fergana Valley it being the border area of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Motorways of strategic importance are also located on the Tian Shan mountain range  and connect the largest cities of the state, Bishkek in the north and Osh in the south. Air traffic connecting the capital city Bishkek and regional centres is also provided. Important natural gas pipelines, including the pipeline Bukhara-Tashkent-Bishkek-Almaty (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan), and Maili-Suu-Jalal-Abad-Karasu-Osh (Kyrgyzstan) also cross the republic.
 

Persons

The Kyrgyz political arena experiences consolidation of opposition in order to counteract the leading elite happen on a regular basis. Such consolidation along with public dissatisfaction (high unemployment and poverty rate) poses a risk of escalation of the public political situation, as it happened in 2005 and 2010, when presidents were ousted and new governments came to power.
On 11 December 2016 was held a referendum on amendments to constitution, which expands authority of the Cabinet of Ministers, reinforces governmental control over court, abolishes limitation period for criminal offence, etc. These changes provoked harsh criticism from the opposition, due to the current moratorium on changing the constitution until 2020, in particular. The opposition think the aim of these changes are to reduce the right of the parliament and strengthen the authority of Prime Minister.
Fights between the leading elite and oppostion take place constantly, with the same persons mainly involved, including:

Name, surname

In politics since

Position

Activities, additional information

Leading elite

Almazbek Atambayev

1992

former president

entrepreneur (construction)

Omurbek Babanov

2005

member of parliament, former prime minister

entrepreneur (energy, alcohol production), accused of corruption

Isa Omurkulov

1991

member of parliament, head of the fraction of Social Democratic Party

Was accused of corruption 

Opposition

Begali Nargozuyev

2007

member of parliament

entrepreneur, EsenAir airline

Adaham Madumarov

1992

former secretary of Security Council, Deputy Secretary of Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States

considered standing for presidential election in 2017

Roza Otunbayeva

1981

in 2010 to 2011, head of the Interim Government

emphasises that power usurping is not acceptable

Temur Sariyev

2000

former Prime Minister

financier

in 2007, criminal proceedings of  cash smuggling were initiated against him

Omurbek Suvanaliyev

1995

former Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs

in 2007, accused of organising riots

Omurbek Tekebayev

1990

member of parliament, Head of Committee for Agricultural Policy, Water Resource Committee

emphasises necessity to combat crime

compromising news of him went into public in 2006 and 2010

Ravshan Jeenbekov

 

1992

former member of parliament

entrepreneur (pension Asystash and newspaper Alibi)

criminal proceedings of public finance plundering were brought against him

Photo: Kabar.kg
Sooronbay Zheenbekov

The president of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov represents the southern clan, has been governor of Osh during the 'complicated times' after the coup in 2010. S.Jeenbekov’s brothers are also influential persons in the domestic political arena:  Asylbek Jeenbekov has been speaker of the parliament, Kantoro Sharipov – rector for Jalal-Abad Finance Institute, while Jusupbek Sharipov – until 2005, Governor of Jalal-Abad Oblast, he also stood for presidential election, and was an ambassador to Kuwait, Morocco, Jordan, and Bahrain (it is said he propagated building of mosques and Kyrgyz islamisation).
 

Domestic policy

Some conventional administrative features are still existent in Kyrgyzstan, them being regionalism and clan membership, which both played a major role historically, nomatic tribe unions, therefore issues regarding strenghtening of national unity are still on the agenda, because indirect resistance between the people of northern regions and those of the south emphasised by regional differences is still in place. The northern region is more economically advanced, with industrial enterprises and leading governmental institutions located there, while inhabitants of the southern region are mainly employed in agriculture, moreover, it is located on the densely populated and ethnically diverse Fergana Valley (border area of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) with high unemployment rate. Also, the northern regions were more russified during the times of USSR, but the south continue traditional conduct of living, including a greater attention payed to Islam.
The ethnic disagreement among the Kyrgyzs, Uzbeks and Russians has been more intense since the last years of USSR when many Russian-origin people left the republic. During the coup in 2010, in the southern part of the state ethnic clashes between the Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks broke out with approximately 900 people killed and 400,000 people seeking refuge in Uzbekistan.
Experts describe Kyrgyzstan as a vulture country whose public administration function in the interests of the leading regime and allows to exploit the monopoly right to 'hunt' its citizens. Politologists say that despite the coups in 2005 and 2010 which led to changing of the power society keep supporting the government, because their standard of living has not improved. Moreover, the power representatives have close relations to criminal circles.
Another trendy thing occuring is the growing Islamisation in the state with over 2,000 functioning mosques, 9 Muslim universities, 60 madrasas and as many various Islam centres, public foundations and unions. In order to fight against the raise of Muslim extremism, public authorities on Fergana Valley organised upskilling courses for southern region imams. Observers say the significance of Islam will keep increasing in the republic, and this process is irrevocable, thus it should not be fought against, but the state should try to educate people in order to prevent them to be influenced by recruiters of terrorist organisations.

Image: static.ca-news.org
Roza Otunbayev

In the following year after the state coup occured in April 2010,  Interim government led by Roza Otunbayeva was formed in the republic, but from 2011 to 2017 state president was Almazbek Atambayev who gained a 63 % support in the election (the other two candidates were supported by 14 % of citizens). During the pre-election campaign, he said the main task would be to combat corruption and lead the republic to its entrance into the Customs Union, as well as  to turn into a civic airport the U.S. Transit Centre Manas. A.Atambayev served as a Vice Prime Minister in R.Otumbayeva's government, but prior to that was an active representative of opposition as well as served as a prime minister.
After the coup in 2010, disagreement caused by internal fights for power appeared in the government,  including interception of telephone conversations among members of the government and their publishing. A.Atambayev had announced that existent were threats to his life because supporters of the deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev as well as foreign special services intercepted telephone conversations of the members of the Interim government and that he had been threathened about plans to murder him. In 2007, when A.Atmabayev held the position of Prime Minister, he once said in a parliament sitting that an attempt to poison him in his cabinet had occured. Later, he received  treatment at Ankara military hospital, doctors of which confirmed poisoning attempt with the use of an unidentified substance. Initiated were criminal proceedings, but as A.Atambayev left the government and returned to the opposition, the proceedings were suspended.
Non-governmental organisations operate actively in the republic, and they have already obtained informal power and moral authority. Part of these organisations execute outside the system of public administration functions. The non-governmental organisations are funded by the West.

Image: nurkz
Almazbek  Atambayev

In September 2016, A.Atambayev issued an order to set an interdepartmental group to find the potential relation to members of the Interim government to entrepreneur Kadirzhan Batirov leaving the state (K.Batirov has addressed criticism regarding performance of the Kyrgyz government, including press conference held in Warszaw in the beginning of September 2016 at an OSCE meeting related to human dimension).
The domestic situation of Kyrgyzstan  became more complicated after an A.Atambayev's speech at celebration of the Independence Day on 31 August 2016, during which members of the Interim government were accused of unlawful act by him indirectly. Representatives of the opposition have become more active expressing their criticism  in mass media regarding changes in the constitution, increasing level of corruption and ineffective reform of the judicial system. Soon after the said speech reported was worsening of A.Atambayev's health condition and his departure to receive treatment in Russia – it was a possible attempt to leave the public space and prevent disagreement with former members of the Interim government who accused him of attempts to usurp power. Opposition have published information regarding A.Atambayev's properties, including a house in Koi Tash (near Bishkek), built on a land parcel which was previously owned by Bakiyev, but during the coup was transferred to A.Atambayev's supporters – A.Atambayev later bought the land parcel, bet the former owner Albek Ibraimov became a mayor of Bishkek (property was registered in his wife's name).
In the end of October 2016 the coalition of parliamentary majority collapsed due to the leave of the Social Democratic Party (the President's party), thus the government was also forced to  resign. The President issued an order addressed to the Social Democrats to decide upon formation of a new coalition, and it currently comprises of the Social Democratic Party, as well as political parties Kyrgyzstan and Bir Bol. After the restoration of independence, this is 27th government in Kyrgyzstan already.
On 24 November 2017 inaugurated was the newly elected Kyrgyzstan president Sooronbay Jeenbekov. In the presidential election held on 15 October 2017 he gained  a 54.75 % support. S.Jeenbekov is a member of the leading Social Democratic Party. In order to stand for election, he resigned from the Prime Minister's position which he had taken on in April 2016 (previously, following the state coup in 2010, he was appointed as governor of Osh Oblast).
During the pre-election period, criminal proceedings were brought against some of the candidates, while on 17 August 2017 Omurbek Tekebayev, leader of the political party Ata Meken, was convicted to an eight-year deprivation of liberty and confiscation of property as well as prohibition hold positions in public administrative structures within a three-year-period after his release. O.Tekebayev was arrested in February 2017 at Bishkek airport on the arrival from Cyprus, where he had gathered materials regarding Atambayev's possible relation to crash of the plane Boeing 747-400 in Kyrgyzstan in January 2017.O.Tekebayev has been convicted of corruption. Many observers and politicians said the proceedings were falsified for political reasons. The conviction may assure the reinforcement of form of authoritative administration repressions against opposition and restrictions of free speech which could led to extended conflicts in the future are to be following.
O.Tekebayev and A.Atambayev were comrades in the Interim government, bet in 2015, their disagreement sparked, when A.Atambayev initiated referendum on amendments to constitution (Tekebayev was amongst the authors of the constitution, and it was said the amendments would not be included until 2020).
In June 2019, Parliament lifted A.Atambayev the state of former president and the immunity status, which meant he could be prosecuted. The suspension of the status came following allegations by a group of MPs backed by the Prosecutor General's Office, including illegal land acquisition, the release of criminal authority Aziz Batukayev and corruption in the modernization of the Bishkek thermal power plant. A.Atambayev announced the accusations "are absurd" and he will defend himself if there are attempts to arrest him. However, in August 2019, he was arrested, placed in custody, and a criminal investigation is in progress.
The Kyrgyz domestic life is restricted with politicians been members of various unions, organisations, political parties, including those of opposition for several years already participating. New and renewed political parties and their alliances are being formed relatively often, but their leaders stay in politics and try to fight for the gain of power. 34 parties stood for parliamentary elections in 2015 (over 200 parties and political alliances have been registered in the republic in total). Elected in the parliament were the 6 following parties:

Name of the party

Leader/leaders

Seats in parliament

Year of formation

Social Democratic

Almazbek Atambayev

38

1993

RespublikaAta Jurt (Fatherland)

Omurbek Babanov Kamchybek Tashiev

28

2014

Ata Jurt 1992

Kyrgyzstan

Kanatbek Isayev

18

2003

 Ata Meken (Fatherland”)

Omurbek Tekebayev

11

1992

Bir Bol (Wealth)

Dosali Esenaliyev

12

2010

Enugwu-Progress (Success-Progress)

Bakit Torobayev

13

2012

In recent years, combat of terrorism has been put on the agenda –several persons suspected of preparation of terror attacks in Osh and other cities in the southern region were arrested by special services in 2014. According to the special services, interception of high-level authorities is taking place within the republic, done not only by the competent bodies, but some foreign embassies and representatives of criminal circles as well.
In August 2016, outside the Embassy of China in Bishkek happened a terror attack – Zoir Khalilov (Uyghur, born in 1983), a citizen of Tajikistan and a member of the East Turkestan Islam Movement blew himself up. It is said he has done so according to guildlines issued by Uyghur terrorist groupings that fight in Syria and have relations with Jabhat an-Nusra (Support Front). Due to suspicion of involvement of organising of terror attack, arrested were five citizens of Kyrgyzstan, including one woman (all of them had lived in the southern part of the republic).
Whereas in the end of September 2016 in the western part of Bishkek (where private houses are mainly located) detected and neutralised were improvised bombs, but in the end of October reported were bombs in Bishkek airport (the news did not materialise).
 

Foreign policy

Kyrgyzstan has an extensive cooperation with many countries and international organisations, which corresponds not only to the national interests, but also to the contemporary challenges, including security. The main objectives of the state is provision of sovereignity and territorial integrity, creation of favourable conditions for stable development, respect for human rights and liberties, creation of good neighbour relations and fostering of integrating processes in Central Asia, investment attraction to the republic, expansion of co-operation with the CIS member states as well as Europe and the US.
The most significant Kyrgyz co-operation has been established with Russia, Kazakhstan and China as well as the US, which support the processes of democratisation in the republic, and Turkey, which puts particular emphasis on the ethnic closeness between the two states. Kyrgyzstan is also a member of several international organisations, including Shangai Cooperation Organisation, Collective Security Treaty Organisation and many others.
As for the neighbouring countries, the best cooperation was made with Kazakhstan, after formation of the Customs Union, turnover of bilateral trade has also increased. Kazakhstan also provides military technical support in Kyrgyzstan by delivering military equipment and ammunition. It also hosts many Kyrgyz migrant workers.
However, on the final stage of his presidency, A.Atambayev addressed several harsh statements regarding the state's relationship with Kazakhstan on trade and economic as well as border issues. In his last presidential press conference on 20 November 2017, he announced that Bishkek should consider  an opportunity to build a road to China by excluding Kazakhstan (there is a short distance in Chuy oblast, north of the country, placed in Kazakh territory). During his working visit in StPetersbourg on 17 November 2017, he asked Russia to involve in the settlement of Kyrgyz-Kazakh dispute, if "anyone needs the Eurasian Economic Union".
Disagreement with Kazakhstan was initiated by disharmonious views related to delivery of agricultural produce. In autumn 2017, Kazakhstan suspended imports from certain Kyrgyz dairy and meat and confectionery producers which was explained by non-compliance with sanitary rules. Due to the same reason, Kazakhstan imposed temporary restrictions on dairy and confectionery produce deliveries from Kyrgyzstan in 2016 as well. In September 2017, Kyrgyzstan suspended flour imports from Kyrgyzstan and announced it plans to stop coal importing (coal is mainly imported from Kazakhstan), and by the end of October coal from state's material reserves were started to be used for the running of Bishkek's thermopowerstation.
On 10 November 2017, Kyrgyz parliament approved decision on denuciation of an agreement with Kazakhstan in the summer of 2016, which prescribed receiving of financial aid in the amount of a 100 million USD for fostering of  the state integration within the Eurasian Economic Union (it was planned to use the finance for customs as well as veterinary and phytosanitary structure equipment adjustment to international standards). Kyrgyzstan declared the promised financed had not been tranferred. Not long before Kyrgyz presidential election (took place on 15 October 2017) A.Atambayev said Astana was trying to affect election results, although later he admitted the statement had not been correct. However, Kazakhstan refused to send its observers to the election as well as strengthened the border regime, thus complicating the border-crossing procedure for Kyrgyz people, which led to long queques in all control throughput points in border valstu area of both the countries.
Speaker of the Kazakh Parliament Nurlan Nigmatulin, commenting on A.Atambayev's statements, said they were of irresponsible nature and would not ruin the inter-state relations. He also said that no results in economy or politics have been demonstrated by Atambayev's presidency, moreover, he has shown he has no both political and inner culture.
Kyrgyzstan has a number of disagreement points with Uzbekistan in the border area, where the territory is not delimited and demarked. Since September 2016, the inter-state communication in order to solve these issues have become more intense: Andijan Region (Uzbekistan) was visited by a Kyrgyz delegation of 130 representatives approximately, and a return visit to Osh region was held at the end of October, and it was lead by Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Adham Ikramov. Moreover, on 19 October 2016, negotiations between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs for both the states were held in Tashkent with a particular emphasis on the necessity to develop good neighbour relations to facilitate cooperation in the fields of trade, economic and culture. However, numerous countries have also faced several incidents ir on the borderline, including harsh discussions regarding oil and natural gas deposits Severny Soh and Chongara-Gal'cha extraction (in the dispute zone). At the current stage, the bilateral relations have improved a lot, and Uzbekistan has expressed its willingness to invest in the building of  Kambarata Hydro Power Plant, which saw a strong Uzbek opposition previously.
In November 2017 A.Atambayev said Kyrgyzstan needs infrastructure projects in the fields of energy and transport, therefore, "we should take loans and build railway" in cooperation with Uzbekistan. He also said that motorway Tashkent–Osh–Kashgar should be put in operation as soon as in 2018. "We will connect the north and the south of Kyrgyzstan via railway, but formation of the necessary loan will take a few years, although the amount is relatively small – a few tens of million USD. "We understand the loans are needed to build roads and to look for alternative markets. China is ready to give us loans, and Beijing needs environmentally friendly products, and Kyrgyzstan has environmentally friendly products. Since we are cut off from EEU and no one cares about it, we must work with China and look for other markets," A.Atambayev said.
The economic cooperation with China is of a wide scope, and many Chinese entrepreneurs work at the free economic zone in Naryn. Chinese production (mainly everyday consumer goods) amounts to 17 % of the total imports to the republic approximately. China has also supplied Kyrgyzstan with military equipment, as well as takes place at joint trainings dedicated to anti-terrorism issues. Many Chinese people living in Kyrgyzstan ar involved in trade, as well as a massive Uyghur community on the border with China (a time ago, it raised concern regarding China and Kyrgyzstan's possible merge and fights for authonomous state).
Kyrgyzstan has very close cooperation with Russia, and the only period of diplomatic freeze was the winter of 2009, because after several requests from Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to shut down the US airforce base at Bishkek airport Manas and Moscow's promises to issue loans to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan did not do so, and the airport kept operating as the base for coalition forces and was renamed Transit Centre. However, in 2014, the Centre was dissolved, and Kyrgyzstan expanded its cooperation with Russia increasingly. It is a member of a number of organisations with Russia playing the central roles, including the CIS, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,  Eurasian Economic Union, Customs Union, Collective Security Treaty Organisation.
Russia is the main Kyrgyz trade partner (the percentage of products imported from Russia amounts to 28 %) and contributor, as it provides a free of charge aid, including  humanitarian aid and supply of military equipment and writes off the Bishkek's debt to Moscow (300 million USD are written off annually). Many Kyrgyz migrant workers are employed in Russia, money transfers from whom comprise a major part of Kyrgyz budget.
A number of Russian military sites are dislocated in Kyrgyzstan currently, the main of them being airforce base in Kant, which ensures airspace control of Central Asia. It is run according to an agreement concluded in 2003. Initially, this Collective Security Treaty Organisation's base was set for a 15-year period, however, the agreement was later prolonged to 49 years.
In 2012 Russian joint military base was established in Kyrgyzstan, and it comprises all military sites belonging to Russia and located within the republic – the communication hub No 338 of Fleet in Kara-Balta (Chuy region) and anti-ship missile  testing base No 954 in Koisari near lake Issyk-Kul. The communication hub provides radio communication with ships and submarines as well as implements radio technical intelligence. To operate the site, Russia would have to pay 3 million USD each year, however, it provided trainings for Kyrgyz officers instead. At the same time, a site near lake Issyk-Kul is possessed by Russia, and is also home to Russian-Kyrgyz joint company Ozero which develops and tests torpedoes. 95 % of company's shares are owned by Russia. Torpedo production factory Dastan is also located near lake Issyk-Kul.
Russian automated seismisc station No 1 at Ichkesu (Issyk-Kul region) and radioseismisc laboratory No 17 at Mailuu-Suu (Jalal-Abad region) are included in the Single automated seismic monitoring system of the Seismic Service of Ministry of Defence of Russia and are to be used for earthquake and nuclear weapon test control. Status of the said sites is prescribed by an agreement made in 1994, according to which Russia can use the sites free of charge, while reporting part of the information received to Kyrgyz scientists.
Prior to the presidential and parliamentary election Kyrgyz politicians try to win support from Russia. After the coup in April 2010, Russia was not directly involved in the events in Kyrgyztan, however, prior to the parliamentary election (held in October 2010), leaders of several Kyrgyz political parties visited Moscow and held meetings with Russian officials. It was assumed that some of the parties for their election campaign activities had received financial means from Russia (10 to 15 million USD). Russia tried to reinforce its positions by staying in touch with a number of politicians, mutual competitors. It is possible to hold a view that non-official political consultations with the presence of Russian representatives were organised also in September 2016 when president A.Atambayev received the treatment in Moscow.
Moscow emphasises it is being distant from the political processes in Kyrgyzstan and does not support any of the candidates openly, however, it is still important for Russia to stay informed about the events in Kyrgyzstan. In August 2017, Kyrgyz presidential candidate Omurbek Babanov (leader of the political party Respublika) visited Moscow. He had suggested on mass media to dislocate another Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyz governmental representatives always say Russia is a strategic partner, as well as emphasise its role in the provision of economic stability in the Kyrgyz republic.
On 29 November, prezident S.Jeenbekov held a working visit in Russia in order to meet the country's leader Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and to discuss the perspectives of bilater relations between the states and cooperation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. This was the first official presidential visit abroad for S.Jeenbekov (he was inaugurated on 24 24 November). In his inauguration speech, he emphasised the main Kyrgyz partner states are Russia and China.
After collapse of the USSR, the US became active in Kyrgyzstan and facilitated creation of many non-governmental organisations and funded their operations. The US have allocated significant amount of financial means to various activities strengthening the processes of civil society and democratisation, including trainings for people working in public administrations and experts in various sectors.
From 2011 to 2014, at Manas airport in Bishkek located was the U.S. Transit Centre (initially – airforce base) to provide support for operation of coalition powers in Afganistan. The U.S. continue their cooperation with Kyrgyzstan also after the deforming of the centre, and in the autumn of 2016 the Pentagon allocated around 9,000 USD to  Bishkek's non-governmental centre Crossroads Central Asia to conduct  socio-economic surveys of inhabitants of Kyrgyzstan and other countries in the region, with particular emphasis on the migrant workers who have returned from Russia recently. Results of the survey were used in a research at the University of Wisconsin. The total budget of the research was over 3 million USD. It collected opinion data on geopolitical conflicts and major international issues, as well as the socio-economic situation in Kyrgyzstan, performance of the government, social and other life matters. Surveyed were  six groups of inhabitants (8 to 10 people in each) aged 18 to 49 (four groups in Bishkek and two in other regions), moreover, two groups were of former migrant workers in Russia.
Cooperation with Turkey is of a rather wide scope, and is determined by the common ethnic origin, i.e., the Turkic ethnicities. Turkish officials say that there are positive changes occuring in Kyrgyzstan's development and support governmental effort to facilitate growth in economy and prosperity of the inhabitants of the state. Turkey is also keen on the ideas of Pan-Turkism, therefore, Ankara has invited Kyrgyzstan to join the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan are also members of this organisation) and several different level meetings of the organisation have been held in Bishkek already. The trade volume between Kyrgyzstan and Turkey increases constantly and soon will reach 1 billion USD. Turkey also supplies free-of-charge military equipment and gives a chance to Kyrgyz soldiers to study at Turkish military schools. The state also considers to establish pharmaceutical company in the republic and to export medical preparations to Kyrgyzstan, to widen its network of pharmacies, and to invest in the processing industry.
Through commercial entities, non-governmental organisations and educational institutions Turkey has expanded its religious activities in the republic. Ankara allocated 150 million USD for Turkish-Kyrgyz university Manas. Since the restoration of independence, several Turkish educational institutions are being run in Kyrgyzstan, including lycea in practically all the cities and a private university. It is possible that under the cover of various religious organisations intelligence bodies, including those from the US operate, the aim of which is to expand the agency network in Central Asia. Besides the officially registered learning institutions, supporters of various religious movements reside in Kyrgyzstan, including Suleymaniye, which is particularly active in the south of the state. In order to promote its ideas, Suleymaniye use Turkish madrases, distributed over several regions of the republic. Moreover, after the pass of exams at these schools some attenders are being sent to a year long training course in Istanbul. All these madrases are funded by Turkish commercial enitities, which are of a large number in the republic, and the attempts of Ankara to reinforce its ideological positions in the republic continue.