26 Jun 2010 21:43

Kazakhstan refuses to move troops into Kyrgyzstan

MOSCOW. June 26 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan will not delegate any of its troops to a peacekeeping force the Collective Security Treaty Organization may move into Kyrgyzstan but stands ready for economic assistance to the neighboring country, the Kazakh president said in a television program on Saturday.

"Any independent country should do everything possible to avoid foreign troops being moved onto its territory. We Kazakhs can't move our troops in there for purely practical reasons," Nursultan Nazarbayev told Russian television.

"Troops will move in, they will have weapons in their hands, there will be a clash, a Kyrgyz will kill a Kazakh and a Kazakh will kill a Kyrgyz. We are neighbors, and we will then forever be trying to sort out which are the bad guys and which are the good guys," he said.

Kazakhstan is, however, willing to supply Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies with equipment for stabilizing the situation and to provide means of transportation for humanitarian aid, he said.

Kazakhstan sees economic development as one of Kyrgyzstan's main tasks, Nazarbayev said.

"It is a common opinion that Kyrgyzstan is such a poor country that it is in no position to even be a state and that it has no prospects," he said. That is not true, he argued, because "Kyrgyzstan has all it needs for statehood."

Kyrgyzstan has deposits of iron ore, zinc, tin, gold and silver, mountain rivers with a rich electricity generation potential that remains unused, and undeveloped facilities for tourism, Nazarbayev said.

"What lies in the soil is not wealth. It needs to be taken out and sold, and the money must be spent for the benefit of the people," he said.

To make this possible, large investments are needed but the country needs a privatization policy for them to come, he argued.

Nazarbayev suggested that, after its planned constitutional referendum on Sunday, Kyrgyzstan start work on an economic revival program. Kazakhstan is willing to share its economic experience with the neighboring country, he said.