Beginning of Meeting with Acting President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiev 2005-07-05 20:22:49 Astana President Vladimir Putin: I am very happy to be able to meet with you again and talk, especially with elections just around the corner. Acting President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiev: Yes, there are only four days to go. Vladimir Putin: I very much hope that the election results will lead to complete normalisation of the situation in Kyrgyzstan, which is something we very much want. We want to see a situation that would make it possible to start tackling social and economic development tasks. As before, we are ready to maintain friendly, special relations with the Kyrgyz people. As you know, we are trying to help in every way we can in the humanitarian area. Our economic relations are developing quite well with trade between our countries increasing by 35 percent over the last year. We have some good results and we also have some things to work on in all different areas. Kurmanbek Bakiev: Yes, that we do indeed. Vladimir Putin: I think we will have another opportunity to have a brief exchange of views on all these different issues. Kurmanbek Bakiev: Thank you very much, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Indeed, we have only four days to go before the elections. The preparations are going quite well. I think that the elections will take place in strict accordance with the electoral code and that everything will be all right. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support at what is not an easy time for us. Above all, I want to thank you for the understanding you have shown of the situation we have found ourselves in right from the first days. Today I can say with confidence that the situation is returning to normal and everything will be fine. Of course, I would like to see economic ties develop at a faster pace. Our trade turnover is growing. We would like the presence of Russian business in our country to produce even greater results and we are doing everything we can to ensure that this will be the case. At least, we are trying to reform our government so that it will produce less words and more action in order to make all these projects a reality. The conditions are already in place for this to happen. A number of major investors are showing interest in the Kombarat Hydroelectric Power Station, in Kombarat-2. The construction of an aluminium smelter is also generating a lot of interest. Then, in the south, we do not have a single cement plant. There is one in the north not far from Bishkek, but, as you can imagine, the transport distance involved is a problem. It would be good, therefore, to have a big cement plant in the south. The raw materials are already there, in Botkinskaya Oblast. In other words, there are a lot of areas where we could work together. Of course, the most important thing is to ensure stability, then work will certainly go ahead. The conditions are already in place and people want it to happen. Vladimir Putin: You mentioned a genuinely important area of cooperation – the energy sector. This includes the construction of major facilities and there is nothing to stop us from carrying out such projects. Kurmanbek Bakiev: In 2001, when I was prime minister, we began building Kombarat-2 using our own resources and we had the project almost 40 percent complete. We will complete Kombarat-2, Kombarat-1… There is huge potential for exporting electricity to the neighbouring countries, to Iran… Vladimir Putin: And to Russia. You already supply us with electricity. Kurmanbek Bakiev: Yes, but we have the possibility of exporting even more.