Bakiev Wants Much, Much More for Manas

by Nathan Hamm on 12/15/2005 · 2 comments

President Bakiev wants much, much more from the United States for the continued use of Manas. MosNews says he wants a hundred-fold increase, raising payments to $200 million per year. AFP says “tens of times more” is being sought. Scratch “sought” though because RIA Novosti says that he wants dozens of times more and that this is non-negotiable.

“There is no room for bargaining here,” Kurmanbek Bakiyev said. “We must proceed from market trends.”

Kyrgyzstan said the United States would have to pay world prices for renting the international Manas airport in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

“We support the anti-terrorist operation and therefore are providing our territory for the efforts,” Bakiyev said. “But considering our living standards, it would be justified to charge international rates.”

He’s full of it. Everything is up for negotiation, and while Kyrgyzstan probably should get more for Manas, a hundred time increase is outrageous.

The ongoing negotiations over the base perfectly encapsulate everything that’s wrong with Kurmanbek Bakiev as a leader. He cannot keep his word. His statements and positions weave all over the place. As much as I’ve been paying attention, the only times he shows an ounce of willpower is when he acts as a puppet for others’ interests. And if he’s being genuine, taking this and past statements together, his only plan for Kyrgyzstan’s future is to keep the foreign money gravy-train flowing as long as possible rather than actually trying to encourage the local creation of wealth.

Subscribe to receive updates from Registan

This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

For information on reproducing this article, see our Terms of Use


Gene Daniels December 17, 2005 at 7:17 pm

The new group of Kyrgyz raiders who swept to power after the March revolution are finding the pickings to be slim. All the fat interprises got eaten-up during Akaev’s reign. Now Bakiev must drum-up some new revenues to steal from, or his band will turn on him.

Not a very pretty scene here is it?

Kuda January 4, 2006 at 4:10 am

True the new are just as bad as the old – well almost. But why shouldn’t the Kyrgyz try and squeeze every last cent out of the Americans? They have had it cheap and propaganda don’t come cheap. How many bombs can you buy for $200 mill? Not so many I guess, they probably spend that much daily on stealling Iraqi oil.

Previous post:

Next post: