Following the U.S. Department of Defense’s recent decision to award controversial Mina Corporation with a $315 million contract to provide jet fuel to the U.S. Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrgyz government is urging the United States to suspend its dealings with the company, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today.
The ministry also encouraged the U.S. government to take all steps necessary to ensure the full transparency and disclosure of deals related to jet fuel supplies to the Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan, according to the ministry statement. The April uprising in Kyrgyzstan—which led to the fall of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s regime—uncovered fuel-supply schemes that enriched the president’s family at the expense of Kyrgyz taxpayers, the statement says.
Mina Corp. and its affiliate Red Star Enterprises have held contracts to supply the Manas air base with jet fuel since 2002. Mina Corp.’s dealings with the U.S. Department of Defense were investigated for six months by the House National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee. The panel sought to determine whether Mina and its affiliate had an established relationship with the former president’s family, and whether U.S. agencies, including the Pentagon, the Department of State, and the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, knew about it. No evidence of wrongdoing was found.
Still, the U.S. government is being asked to halt its dealings with the contractor until the prosecutor general of the Kyrgyz Republic completes its own investigation into past supply deals.
The Kyrgyz government will also insist on entering into a formal intergovernmental agreement on jet fuel supplies to the Manas base, the statement concludes.
Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayev has previously voiced her opposition to Mina Corp. as a continued supplier of jet fuel, and offered a Kyrgyz-Russian joint venture as an alternative supplier of fuel for the Manas base.